• 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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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:50 am

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Timestamp: 1st of Cylus, 718
Location: Padraith's House, outside of Scaltown.

The sky above was dark, and all across the island, fire burned to keep the shadows of Cylus at bay. Kura ignored them, instead focused on making the trek from her house to Padraig and Faith's house. It was cold as Faldrun's burned out heart, but Kura's furs kept her nice and warm, so she was able to ignore it. Under normal circumstances, the council member would have been out among the commoners at the bonfires mingling and getting a feel for the island. However, Faith had given birth while Kura had been up around Darbyton, and from the sounds of things it had been a damned mess. Plus she hadn't had the chance to speak to Padraig about his trip since he had returned, only hearing some rumors about barriers at the end of the world.

When she got to their house, and the adjoining house for Katie and Cyrus, Kura had a moment to wonder why she hadn't built her own home closer to her friends houses. It would have made visiting significantly easier, especially in the cold. However, she had wanted to live as close to the forest as she possibly could, so she wound up living a goodly distance away from the rest of the town. Still, she liked her house and was contemplating adding a library to it once she had her current debt paid off.

Pausing once she got to the porch, Kura took a look around, looking for anything odd. She had heard about the wild carriage ride through the town, and she had a guess as to who had been responsible for that from conversations with the others. Still, everything seemed quiet, and her familiars, who followed her out of the darkness at different points of entry, all agreed with her. After a moment, she nodded and knocked on her friends door, quietly so as not to wake the twins she had heard her friends now had. "Faith, Padriag? It's Kura." she said, keeping her voice low.
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Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:25 am

There was a tradition on Scalvoris that, for ten trials after a woman gave birth, there were no visitors allowed, no gifts given or names chosen. Just the immediate family and the newborn. Or, in this case, newborns. That was just fine with Faith, she had to admit that not only had she enjoyed the chance to get back to some semblance of physically normal the time of just them had been wonderful. Getting used to the twins, to their individual personalities, their routines and likes, dislikes and mostly, just looking at them. The thing which amazed her, she'd told Padraig, was the smell of them and how beautiful it was. Or maybe it was their toes, she loved their toes the best. Then, she told him, it was how they slept best wrapped up together. But then, there was the way that Girl-Bun wrinkled her nose or perhaps it was how Boy-Bun sucked his thumb. Maybe it was... actually, she had to admit, she loved every inch of them and all of it was her favourite.

Finally, though, this trial had dawned and they could reasonably go out, let people in and call their children by the names they had already agreed on. There was no where she wanted to go, she told him, but that wasn't the point. Knowing that they could was important. It was probably a freedom thing, she had to admit. However, that morning as they sat with a twin each, eating some toast and sipping tea Faith looked up from her gaze on their son to Padraig and she grinned. "Happy new arc, Padraig." Her expression softened as she looked at their daughter, nestled in his arms. "I can't tell you how it feels to see you and her. Or you and him. Or you and both of them. My family, I just... gosh I talk a lot these trials, though, don't I?" Looking down at the ten-trial old baby in her arms, she fussed over his blankets and smiled.

Just as they were finishing up, there was a low wuff from Cosmo and the two wolf pups, one of whom was under Faith's chair and one under Padraig's, as close to their respective charges as they could be, also stood. At the sound of the voice though, Cosmo's tail wagged and Faith called out. "Come in, Kura!" Her expression to Padraig showed her delight. Their friend was here and they could show off their children to someone who mattered to them. Standing, the young woman moved over to her husband and grinned as Kura came in the door. "It is so good to see you, Kura, and you too, Cally! We have people we would like you to meet. This here is Noah," she said, using their son's name now that she could. The baby in question was, of course, tiny, with a mop of dark hair and silver eyes. Just like his mother and the black wolf pup who was now standing at her feet, sniffing suspiciously at Kura.

Their daughter, she left to Padraig to introduce as she motioned into the house. "Come in. We'll get the kettle on and they can meet you properly." Faith looked, felt delighted to be able to show their children to their friend. She simply could not be more proud, more pleased or more delighted that Kura was the first person outside of their immediate family to meet them.
""Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Padraig
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Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:57 pm

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Padraig had learned a lot during the ten trials since the twins had been born. Little things mostly, some inconsequential, that combined to create a wealth of knowledge. There were things about babies in general such as the discovery that the top of an infant's head, after bathing or no, had a wonderful intoxicating aroma.

During one long night of rocking both back to sleep, he'd gone so far as to try and figure out the scientific reason for it. Some combination of chemical reactions and compounds belonging to the youngest of young alone, maybe? But there were other things, patterns that intrigued him. Even in silence, if one woke, so did the other. Sometimes they seemed to breathe, perfectly in sync one with the other. He'd even learned to do without nearly as much sleep as he was accustomed to.

He'd also been fascinated to discover that one small, nonsensical human, let alone two, could turn his gruff, dry humored grandfather into a clownish entertainer on command. Just a whimper or coo would do it. Padraig was growing a little stir-crazy however. Not that he needed or even wanted to go out, and couldn't imagine where he'd go if he did. Like Faith, it was the difference in being able to choose, once the traditional period of self-isolation had passed. "Happy new arc," he said with a smile when Faith sat down across from him at the table. Their daughter had fallen asleep in his arms, her tiny fingers wrapped tightly round one of his own. Extracting his hand would have woken and displeased her, though he had no interest in doing it.

"You have every reason in the world to gush. Look at what you've made," he told her with a smile, glancing at both children and back again. Cosmo though, as ever, knew someone was approaching before they were even close to arriving. Padraig would never quite understand how the dog did it. An enhanced sense of hearing, or a sense that belonged to him alone? Nevertheless, the voice on the other side of the door was a familiar one, and as the wolf pups took up their positions of watching over their charges, Padraig carefully got up from his chair, babe in arms.

"Kura, it's good to see you. And you Cally," he added when he joined Faith in order to greet their guests. While the silver pup at his feet sniffed the new arrivals up and down, unsure yet whether they were friend or foe, the tiny, dark eyed girl in Padraig's arms opened dark amber eyes and blinked. "And this is Madison," he said, moving out of the way then so everyone could file in and have a seat.
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:02 pm

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When Faith called her in, Kura opened the door and stepped quietly inside, still not sure if the kids were awake. However, that turned out to be unnecessary, as both kids were awake. She shut the door behind her when she came in, both familiars trailing after her just before she got the door shut. Speck found an out of the way place she could perch herself without damaging anything, while Phelan went to speak canine to Cosmo. Or at least, he would have before he caught the scent of the pups.

Kura hadn't noticed them yet and grinned at Faith and Padraigh. "Good to see the two of you, now that you're out of isolated confinement." she said, her tone cheerful. "And it's nice to meet you, Noah and Madison." she said, smiling at the babies. Cally waved energetically, but stopped short of speaking when she noticed the twins eyes. Kura noticed them too, then looked down at her friends feet. The sight of the kids protective little guardians drew another smile, though she shook her head at the same time. "And nice to meet the two of you, as well. Been a long time since I saw infants with Velduris." she said, grinning slightly.

After a moment, she looked over at Phelan. "It occurs to me that you can't hear them. Some of the wolves have names they use, some don't, and they wouldn't be able to tell you. Phelan, can you talk to the fluffy balls of protection, please?" she asked, looking at her own black wolf familiar. Phelan nodded, then flopped down on the floor and started speaking canine at the pups. Kura shook her head and looked back at Faith and Padraig. "She's supposed to ask before she blesses infants, but mum forgets sometimes." she said with a sigh, before grinning at her friends again. "So how have the two of you been? I heard about the carriage, has there been any more trouble?" she asked.
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Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:53 am

The way that Madison's tiny fingers wrapped around his single digit intrigued Faith. The emotions she felt were close to overwhelming and the sight of him, her husband and Madison, her daughter sitting together, his arms holding their baby tight even as her arms did the same to their son burned into her. Madison was sleeping, but as Noah lifted his tiny hand to rub at his nose, his twin did the same and Faith watched in wonder. "There's someone out there who looks like me. Exactly like me." She knew that, had known that for some time now. "Do you think we do things like that, her and I?" That sort of thing simply hadn't even crossed her mind. She understood on a cognitive, intellectual level, the fact that she had a twin. Yet the bond shared by twins, the ways in which they often behaved was beyond her knowledge, let alone any sort of instinct.

"We made them," she responded, looking at him with a gaze which told of her opinion on him saying she made them. "I'm a doctor of no small renown and I assure you, Professor, your part in the proceedings was necessary and very welcome." Her teasing was undeniable, but then that was how they had always been together the two of them. Things had been just one crisis after another for them, but the fundamental them had not changed.

It was good that it hadn't. She wouldn't know how to do any of this, otherwise. Still, there was no time for more than that as they both stood and greeted their friend. It had to be said, Faith adored Kura and the woman's reaction to the twins, wolves and generally everything was just perfectly her. She even asked Phelan to find out the pups' names and Faith smiled. "Well, we've named them Starr and Nova. I hope they don't mind." In fairness, since they couldn't speak to them, really they were going to have to live with them going 'best guess'.

They had suspected, of course, that they were Velduris wolves, but it was good to have confirmation. She smiled at Kura and shook her head. "No, nothing else. They were sent by Alexander," looking down at Noah, she smiled at their son as she answered their friend. How had they been? "It's .. overwhelming. They're perfect and beautiful and I look at them and see both of us and yet themselves individually. " She hadn't taken her eyes from the baby in her arms until she looked up at Kura and beamed. "I've never been better. We made people," Faith leaned herself against Padraig and the terrors of the carriage seemed a hundred arcs away.

Still, tea was needed and Madison had her fingers wrapped around Padraig's, so Faith nestled Noah into his crib, pulled his blankets around him and wandered to make the tea. "Alexander sent them, the plan was to get me to him and then turn the baby into a thrall." She called in, like it was a plan for shopping, maybe, going for a meal or to the ballet. "Padraig saved me. Us. I was in labour, not really much use. We'll have to deal with him. We were going to talk to you about that," she said and grinned at Cally as she brought the tea in. "I can make you physical and you can hold one, if you'd like?" To Kura, though, she grinned. "You, you can always hold one of them."
""Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Padraig
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Wed Feb 21, 2018 4:01 pm

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Cats didn't often hunt large birds of prey. In fact it was more usually the reverse. So when Quattro, the top of the stairs spied the great creature fluttering to a high perch, the four tailed electrified cat scrambled quick and high tailed it into an upstairs room, deep under a bed where she'd probably remain for the duration of Kura's visit. If not longer. There were the wolf pups after all, and she hadn't resolved herself to their presence quite yet.

Madison smiled back, in a sense, in response to their friend's greeting. Though infants smiles were funny things and it looked to be that of a happy drunk, cradled in Padraig's arms. "And it's good to be out of confinement," he responded in kind. Velduris, she said, regarding the pups. It was true he guessed, but to now he'd merely thought of the pups as their children's companions, that might also grow into devoted protectors. Just as Cosmo was too, but perhaps in much more intimate and complicated ways.

Of course he hadn't really anticipated that they'd have names different than what he and Faith might call them. They'd responded well enough after all, so far. As for Kura's question about what might have occurred since the trial that children were born, Padraig frowned and shook his head. "Not since then, no. But we've been isolated here." Not that he thought for a trill that Alexander would simply walk away and give up. No. He suspected that the man would wait, maybe until they least expected him to turn up again. Contrary to that supposed hope however, the scholar hadn't begun to let his guard down or grow careless and comfortable.

He grinned however when Faith maintained that they'd made people. In fact they had. Two, perfect, clever and beautiful humans. But she was also right, when she told Kura that something would need to be done about Alexander. They'd never rest easy until it was done. As for Cally? Padraig smiled at her in response to Faith's suggestion. "Would you like to hold her?" he asked.
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:39 pm

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As it turned out, neither of the pups had names of their own, and Kura relayed that they were fairly happy with their new given names. "Starr and Nova are good names for them. They think so too." she said, smiling slightly. She was glad to hear there wasn't any more trouble from Alexander since his last appearance, but she was still trying to find any sign of the undead trouble maker. "I'm glad the two of you are doing all right. And yes, new people indeed." she said, grinning at her friends and their new kids. "Always changes people somewhat, when they have children." she said, grinning as they all sat down.

When Faith offered to make Cally solid so she could hold a baby, the ghost practically bounced with delight. "Oh, pleasepleasepleaaaaassseeee?" she said, her excitement clear. "I used to babysit for some of Kura's staff back before I died and I haven't gotten to spend any time with children since, since they couldn't see me and all, oooh, since you have Famula's blessing and it's all blood based, would your kids have it too? Or do divinity magic thingies not work like that?" she asked eagerly, the ghost as cheerful as ever.

Kura, meanwhile, took the child Padraig offered her. "Hello, Madison. You're looking well today." she said, grinning at the small child. She held out a finger for the baby to grip before looking up at Padraig. "I never had the chance to ask you about your trip up north. I heard you found some sort of barrier, but I couldn't get any details from the crew. What did you find out there?" she asked, her tone curious.
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Thu Mar 01, 2018 1:17 am

Poor Quattro, Faith thought to herself. The poor cat was not yet used to the wolf pups and now, here things were, all large and winged. So, the cat made herself scarce and Faith couldn't blame her. Kura spoke of the wolves and a frown of concentration settled on Faith's face. "When I was with Nir'wei and Karem was there, she blessed him. She put her hand on my stomach, too," that must have been it. What would it mean for the children, she wondered. It was a gift, most certainly and Faith was more than grateful for it. Each and every protection possible was what she wanted for them. She had put the Servant's Mark on both the babies ~ Famula granted her three uses of it and so that meant that she afforded them all the protection she could.

It would never be enough she knew, but she had to keep believing that they would win.

For now, though, she concentrated on helping Cally become solid. It was tiring to do it, although less each time, and Faith sat down afterwards. She did her best not to show it to anyone except him, of course, but the pregnancy and the birth had taken a toll on her and she was weaker than she had been for a long time. Stronger every trial, though, and that was what was important. "I'm not sure, Cally, to be honest, but look, he can see you," Faith said and she handed the baby to Cally. Noah, for his part, looked at Cally and let out a gurgling sound which sounded almost like a giggle, but he was far too young for such. Then, he grasped her finger, as his sister grasped Kura's. Faith looked at Padraig and gave a slight smile. It felt strange, unusual not to be holding the children. Not bad, not at all, and she was delighted to see Cally and Kura with the children.

While Padraig spoke to Kura about what he found on the expedition, Faith sat with Cally, who turned out to be an absolute natural with babies and had Noah gurgling contentedly in her arms. She didn't speak, just picked up a piece of sewing she was working on ~ an embroidered piece which would eventually be framed, detailing the twins' names and the date of their birth ~ those were in the center of a tree, with branches coming out from it, each branch having a name on it. Kura was there, Cally also. Family, friends, the people surrounding them at the moment of their birth. Faith was determined, these twins would know that they were loved from the moment they were conceived, and that their parents took the time to make and do and be there for them. So, she was quite content to continue to craft what was truly beautiful piece as Padraig answered, more than willing to chip in as needed.
""Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Padraig
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Sun Mar 04, 2018 3:24 pm

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It was such a strange thing to think, to observe and acknowledge how enthusiastic a ghost was at the idea of holding a baby. There were things he understood perfectly well and didn't need them explained. Faith had done that already, explained how her interactions with the dead went. Nonetheless he found physics...astro, quantum, so much more logical, sensible and easy to understand. Still, he smiled when Cally seemed to hop up and down in her seat when Faith handed her their son.

And he gently handed Kura their daughter. Fingers wrapped around one of Kura's own, Madison gazed up at their friend, blinking, studying, and murmured back in response as if the two of them were carrying on a serious and impactful discussion. Meanwhile he sat back with a frown and considered Kura's question. Just what had he actually found out there. "To be honest, I'm very much hoping that I'll be able to go back...out there, much better prepared next time and more able to give you a better answer when I get back."

"There's some sort of barrier," yes, he explained, then went on to add, "But there's so much more than that. It's colder out there than anything I've ever experienced before. And there are, what I can only describe as dead zones." Places where magic, or divine connections and blessings simply didn't work, he explained. There wasn't just one barrier either, but a number of them he added, and each time a vessel passed through them, it might find itself being tossed around in a sudden storm, or about to collided with an iceberg that dwarfed any others previously known to man.

"It's as if each of these zones out there is in isolation, like being caught in a fishbowl," he explained. Except that in most cases, you could pass out of those again and back into normal waters. "That last one though...What equipment I had, that I could have used to observe or measure it, had been destroyed in the storms. It was massive though, extending as far as the eye could see in every direction. I got the impression that it was dome shaped however," Padraig added.

"And it was also apparent that even though we didn't attempt to pass through it, there was very clearly something on the other side." Meaning, he guessed, that instead of describing the thing as the edge of the world, it might be better to think of it as a place of transition, or maybe some sort of border between this one and the next.
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Wed Mar 07, 2018 4:02 pm

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Cally was indeed a natural with children and the moment Noah was deposited in the ghosts hands, she started to sing quietly to him, rocking him slightly. While the melody of Cally's song was good, and her singing voice was perfectly passable, it would quickly become apparent to anyone listening that Cally wasn't actually singing any words, just nonsense syllables. While Cally sang and Faith sewed, Kura split her focus between Madison, who was utterly adorable, and Padraig's tale.

She didn't speak until he finished, but when he did she shook her head. "Those dead zones, they're...not entirely an unknown element. I didn't know there were any where you were goin', but I think I know, loosely, what made all those obstacles you ran into." she said, before taking a deep breath. "A lot of people don't realize how old Idalos really is. Mostly people assume it can't be much older than 718 arcs, since that's the calendar date. Truth is though, not even the Immortals are sure how old it is. There are powers that predate them by no small margin. Now, I don't know much about the Older Powers, the Immortals don't seem to like to talk about anything that happened before humankind showed up, but I do know that they aren't compatible with Domain Magic or Divine power. The dead zones you ran into are probably a remainder of these ancient powers." she said, looking down at Madison tickling her tummy a bit.

"As for going back to that barrier, this is going to go against every bit of the scientist in you, but I would advise against it, at least for a while." she said, her tone serious. "Here's the thing, whoever put that barrier there, it's not there by accident, and there's no way to know how durable it is, or what could remove it. Odds are, it's either there to keep people out of that area, or to keep something else in. Like sectioning off a part of the city that has the plague, or a giant prison." she said, looking down as Madison grasped at her finger again.

"That being said, more and more, people are finding records of what came before. Odds are, there are records of what you've found, clues to what lies beyond. And an indicator of what can and can't break them. And since Scalvoris is pretty close to this barrier, I'd guess that this island is the most likely place to find those records. The Ice Caverns, those seem to be part of the Older Powers as well, and...well, the Immortals Tongue makes no bloody sense, honestly, it could have clues as well." she said, shrugging.
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