• Mature • [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

30th of Ashan 721

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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides


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Arc 721, 30 Ashan

"...And even though the storm was well past her, left in the Sea of Hollows, the young woman faced something even greater than the boiling sea and anger of Chrien, nestled within the cathedral of glass and legend. The storybooks often told of such moments. What would her’s bring?"


Everything was happening so quickly. In the next few bits, several situations would collide in a spectacular cacophony of happenstance, destiny, emotion, morals, choice...

....and even Immortals.

Sitting in the foyer of the glass temple, she felt the familiar pull of something trying to get her attention. Before, on Faldrass, it had happened twice. The first time, visions of a mountain, fire and a battle. The second, an Inn. Both occurred during meditation and she had been unable to stop them from overtaking her or even discover their source. Now, even without meditation…they came….

Furious and brilliant, the images fell, flashes of the past and present. People she knew, some she didn’t, but they were just that – flashes. No higher context presented itself. Pieces of pictures and things that she struggled to understand. Why was she continually asked to make sense out of things with no background or understanding? Almund. The Trial. The Visions. The Storm. The Glass Temple. Her death. When would enough be enough? Why her?

The stranger on the way to Scalvoris – an unknown Immortal – had said something of her.

“You have the potential to be the link between all the viewpoints, the balance."

She was balance? Elisabeth certainly didn’t feel like balance; she felt like she was losing her mind.

The young woman was on a precipice. She didn’t know the wider framework of what she was being shown and told, and she had no help. Elisabeth was tired. She had celebrated Cylus Dusk - a night of remembrance and hope - looking forward to her future with Balthazar as he asked her to stay with him. But then, only ten trials after, Almund. The Trial. Thirty trials gone. They they had been sent to Faldrass - another new start. The visions had come. Then sixteen trials later, the crossing and storm...and now the temple. It was overwhelming...

Then came the shattering of glass…


***



He was there, in front of her. The one that had been willing to sacrifice her to a fate worse than death. Just standing there like it was a normal trial. Maybe it was. Maybe Woe did this sort of thing all the time. She had been a fool. Lesson learned.

Glancing to the side, she noted the presence of a Cadouri as well…but he was of no matter at the moment.

Grabbing her pack and journal, Elisabeth moved away from Woe to the other side of the foyer, making sure to face him and not trusting to turn her back on him. He, in her mind, had attempted to murder her – there was no coming back from that. He would see that in her sapphire eyes. The man was unknown to her and she treated him as such.

She was done with trust. In one fell swoop, the man before her had obliterated it...and made her a far more mysterious variable in the process.

The young mage, so often misjudged, was done. The terror she had felt hearing him so easily decide her fate was slowly slipping to something she had not been aware she even possessed inside of her to such depths.

Fury.

The thought of never seeing Balthazar again had frightened her to the core. Once that emotion tumbled away, bit by bit, it came…revealed.

“You…”

It was a quiet ferocity she leveled against him. Elisabeth wanted to strike him. It was probably good that she had not brought her sword to the temple for she was not sure she would have been able to hold back what she felt for him in that moment. Discipline only took one so far but....no. She would not have done that. It wasn't who she was.

“How dare you, you fucking asshole….”


Once upon a dream, they had talked. She hadn’t known if he was real or not, but never in her wildest imaginings did she think they would come to the situation they were in.

“You don’t sacrifice others – EVER! You chose the easy way out and didn’t even bat a fucking eyelash.”


Her jaw was clenched, growling the words out. She had never felt the emotion coursing through her in that moment. He would have happily denied her life while he got to live his. He hadn’t even hesitated, wanting to play Immortal and use her like a chess piece.

“And for another with an agenda. I guess the agenda doesn’t matter as long as you aren’t the one making the sacrifice, eh? Minor details.” Truthfully, Elisabeth didn’t know whom he had been speaking to, but it had obviously been an Immortal. Which Immortal…didn’t matter. They were everywhere, it seemed. Swirling around them all, making deals and deciding fates.

Another thought came to her from her voyage to Scalvoris…

“"You are a seeker after truth, not bound to one of us, but seeing all of us. That gives you insight which you can use well."

That was her strength – she wasn’t bound to an Immortal. Unmarked. Unfettered by agendas or Domains of Immortals. There was no one out there helping her. She had to help herself.

Pacing the length of the immediate foyer, cerulean eyes locked on him, she continued, leaning into the emotions and intelligence that made her the best version of herself.

“And yet, for every ounce of loathing I feel for you right now, I wouldn’t have done it to you. I won’t become you. I refuse. I will not give up hope. There is always a way without sacrificing lives. You look at the battle in front of you and work the problem - not settle for easy outs."

Grabbing the letter she had written him on the beautiful paper from Faldrass, she crumpled it in her hands, throwing it at him. “You don’t deserve these words. You don’t deserve any words."

Then she reconsidered it, arching an eyebrow at him. "I take that back. You deserve two - chew sand."

Thank you, my love. Those are great words, indeed.

The greatest influence on Elisabeth's life was the Yari she loved. The love they shared made her stronger. His training in multiple areas had made her dangerous yet it was the abilities that she herself had honed that others should have been fearful of. No one realized it.

Underneath the training was a mind unlike any other. It was still evolving, growing, developing.

Elisabeth was not Balthazar. He would have handled the situation differently. Much differently. He was not there, however, and she was….

…but that didn’t mean she couldn’t utilize his strength. Separately, they were forces to be contended with. Together? Stronger.

Always stronger.

She reached out, calling to her the element that was Balthazar. Ever since the first moment she had felt it, it had always been him. Ribbons of crimson swirled in her eyes, but she held the element there, not asking it to manifest, simply holding on to it if someone moved against her, and only in that case. Woe had proven that he wouldn't hesitate to kill her - she wasn't taking chances.

She was going home. Faldrass needed her. Haven needed her. She would make sense of what was going on there.

Keeping him in her sights, she grabbed her pack and moved backwards, towards the door.

“Faldrass needs me....”




OOC - Mod attention

Okay, for the purposes of this thread, this is the following I'm taking into consideration.

Woe/Elisabeth's first dream thread
Elisabeth Stormy Crossing to Scalvoris
Vision #1
Vision #2
Elisabeth's letter to "dream Woe"
Almund
Balthazar's Trial


These threads, I am not considering as a basis for her state of mind:

Kura/Elisabeth/Vega - It has just started and there is no relevant information there yet
Woe/Elisa dream #2 - Some posts but I feel it would be weird to include that in her thinking as the outcome of that thread possibly would change this thread. I don't want to do that.

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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

"The coin" Bao muttered under his breath, holding the ice-cold coin in the centre of his paw. It was the trial. Whatever was going to happen that had been prophecized by Joelle was happening today, as Ziell had told him. They were due to meet today, by a lake. Frost would cover his feet. But there would be responsibility, Bao would have a job to do. Something big and important. As he thought about it his small body shook a little, walking towards the Glass Temple, trying not to let nerves get the better of him.

But from what he could see, Scalvoris rested on his shoulders now.

As he walked up to the giant temple with Saoire's blanket wrapped around his shoulders he hoped he would see Stan, hoped he would get some advice from his friend. Anything. Yet as he walked in the door it was not Stan he saw. Two strangers, he had met neither before. As he walked in the door he was shown something in snowflakes, many things. Events that unfurled. A girl afraid, was it the one that Ziell had talked about? The child of Hart, a man Bao had met once. The Warden and his daughter. Immortals, lots of Immortals, all talking to people. They were mostly strangers, apart from a few. Oram. Bao still had to go and give him chocolates. Elisabeth, who Bao immediately recognized as the woman in front of him.

All of that information, all thrown at Bao so quickly, sunk in slowly.

Then the fighting started. Elisabeth yelled at what had been done, or could have been done, because of a deal she played no part in. Bao frowned a moment, placing the cold coin in his pocket as Elisabeth prepared to leave. "I'm sorry" his voice spoke calmly from behind her, looking forward to them both. Should Elisabeth turn and look the small Cadouri would approach, offering a small hand. "I'm sorry you're hurting, and I'm sorry that you're angry. But please, stay a moment" he asked, placing a warm hand on hers, shaking a little as he did.

As he reassured her, it was clear to see he was out of his comfort zone, eyes looking more than a little afraid. Once he had talked to Elisabeth, he thought for a moment as he looked to Woe, knowing his appearance was likely sudden. "My name is Bao, I came here at the request of Ziell" he said with a weak smile. All of it made sense to him now. Before this, he had been a flake. But now, with the help of many others, he was a flurry. "I don't know either of you, and you have no reason to trust me. But I need you."

Confidence. It was the key. Always confident, even in fear. Never being immune to fear, just refusing to let it hurt him. "Ziell told me to be here this trial, and that I would have a big responsibility. A prophecy, my prophecy, was told to me. Now, I come here and I see all of that, and it makes sense. I understand, or I think I do" he explained to them both, looking to Elisabeth directly now with calm and gentle eyes.

"You have every right to be upset, you are allowed to hurt, and I don't speak for Woe," he spoke, hoping she would understand. "But we need to work together right now. As Ziell told me. We can not find peace as single flakes, but we can as a flurry" he nodded before turning to Woe. It was time for work, his responsibility. "I saw what Chamadarst showed you. All the people that have talked to Immortals and what they said, and I think I understand."

Unsure if the Immortals would be listening now, Bao thought of them. Some in particular. Ziell. Saoire. Vhalar. Xiur. "We need a flurry to unleash the Induk's that Xiur spoke of, to free them and to make the daughter weaker. Whatever she is now, she isn't the girl she once was. We try and get Ru back, for her and her family. So we release the Induk's of Scalvoris" he said to Woe and Elisabeth. "We can't do it alone, and it will take time. We'll have to find them. But we can do this."

Then he fell silent for a moment, his paws shaking that much more. "But while we do, people get hurt. The Warden has time to prepare, the daughter has time to prepare. Ru stays where she is, alone, and we can't allow that" he admitted. Bao's memories strayed to Hart lifting him up so he could view a lantern, smiling kindly to him. Caring for his happiness as a mere stranger on the side of the road of Scalvoris Town. That sort of kindness was, as sad as it was to admit it, rare in many. Selflessness.

Perhaps Bao should take from example.

"If the Immortals protect me, somehow, I can take the Warden position. To try and ensure you all have time to release the Induk's" he said with full attempt at trying to hide his fear, yet his whiskers twitching for a moment. "Elisabeth said we don't offer others. So I offer myself. I have friends who will wait for me, and who will keep me going. I have Immortals that have raised me since I was just a Red Panda. I've never known anger, as I told Ziell. I don't understand it, or hate, or war. If anyone can fight off that kind of corruption and darkness, it's somebody who has never known darkness and has no temptation to it. Which means me."

With a small thought to Ziell specifically, Bao spoke again with a little of his confidence back. "But if things don't work, and the darkness gets me anyway, I will be less dangerous to you all. Which means everyone is safer" he nodded to them both. "I'll swear an Oath to Vhalar, and I'll pray for Peace and Hope. I'll think of Saoire, the mother that raised me, and all she taught the Cadouri. Anything it takes to keep me safe and keep the darkness at bay" he explained, before asking something of the two strangers he just met.

"If Ziell will allow me to do this, whatever feelings you have about each other, you must try and awaken the Induk's. You must try and save Ru. You must try and calm Chrien. So that we can put an end to this" he asked of two people he knew nothing of, two people who had no reason to help him. But he hoped.

Because what else could he do?
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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

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Breen’s voice came to him from the Beneath. ”Oh Master, Oh…” he was hungry and wished to soak in the ambient sorrow of a life Woe thought he might snuff out in a trifling bargain with Chamadarst. One life to save thousands. It was simple mathematics, and though he was not suicidal (anymore), he would have gladly given of himself to ensure a lasting peace. Even if it meant every last drop of wealth he made from now until eternity. Had he not?

And here was a selfish, self-absorbed young lady, still naive to the ways of the world, seeing little but herself. Her dreams, her views, and her isolation. Did she not understand? And what would she expect to give before the deal was done? Was this not a sacrifice she was willing to make? This was essentially the fate of everyone on the island, should they forestall the coming storm. Better for one to suffer it in resignation, than everyone.

She spoke of her inability even to do what was necessary, if it came to her most loathed enemy, she would not even cast them into perdition. What a loss. Of such latent talent, brilliance and acumen, to so much sentimentality. She was a clever girl, but all that cleverness was wasted if she wasn’t willing to do what was necessary.

She said he didn’t deserve words, that words that were spoken to a dream that she hadn’t known were real at the time. Woe had dreamt himself. He never wrote letters to those that appeared in them. Again, a grotesque display of sentimentality. Woe wondered if he’d ever been so silly and affected as this girl. Then he remembered… How could he forget?

Petty mortal attachments and mortal caring were what had prompted the first major lesson that Erastus his master and father had given him. It was the lesson that prompted Erastus to give him the Web medallion, a marker to make him reviled by any who saw him in Rynmere, so that he wouldn’t forget who he was, nor anyone else. He tossed his disciple and slave Woe to the wolves, and so the lesson was learned. A medallion that had exposed him to the worst of Etzori manslaughterers, and then was destroyed subsequently by Magpie, that it would no longer bedeviled Woe’s existence. Would that he’d met someone like Magpie earlier, perhaps then…

But no, Woe was what he was, and had become who he’d become as a result of every action and inaction leading to this point. He wouldn’t take one ounce of it back. There were no refunds or reparations to be made. He accepted himself. ”Yes, I am.” He said, of her labeling him a fucking asshole. ”And I would sacrifice any one individual or thing, even my last drop of wealth if it meant preserving every life on this Island in perpetuity. But Chamadarst, my generous and wise patron pointed out that it would take more wealth than exists to forestall the folly of mortal kind.”

He quirked a brow, ”What would you give if it came to that? The hell that awaits us all? I…”

But then, his words were interrupted by the appearance of a young cub of a thing… Woe had never seen its like. A small, bipedal animal of sorts. And it began speaking. It introduced itself as Bao, who came here at the bidding of Ziell. Woe knew who that was, having received the same visions, and visions of Bao himself just moments before. Understanding had flooded into him, and so he altogether was given more information and knowledge than he knew what to do with right now.

Woe was silent during Bao’s speech and continued to monitor the tangle of the young mage who’d revealed her mutation for all to see. Woe reflected that Hart was in trouble and that he’d seen that as well. Yet he didn’t know the significance yet of that. Hart was important? Did he have something the Warden wanted?

Woe was sobered by the words of this small, yet strangely wise creature. It was willing to offer itself. Offer itself to the greater good. ”You are a brave man, Bao. But let’s not rush to sacrifice anyone until we know what exactly is needed in order to enact such a reversal of fortunes. Although it sounds as if the position comes with little but trouble, it is unlikely that the Warden will give willingly his position. Especially knowing that it enables him to prolong the life of the one who he believes is his daughter.”

Woe’s eyes became distant, and he looked at no one in particular, ”There’s little one wouldn’t do for a child of their own blood. Many mortals would willingly die to preserve the lives of their children. Even some who are less than mortal…”

Breen’s voice reached to Woe from the Beneath once more, ”Master… May I come in now…”

Woe shook his head, sending a subconscious ‘no’ to his diri familiar. They all needed clear thougths for what was happening, and couldn’t afford to have their emotions clouding their thoughts. Woe likewise wouldn’t manipulate either person’s emotions, for fear of upsetting the precarious balance.

”We need to all just… Calm down. Please stay Elisabeth, whatever you think of me, in dreams or here or otherwise. I never deceived you.” Woe gestured toward a chair in the church, a safe distance from himself, so she might feel more comfortable knowing there was the distance between them.

”Like Wise Bao said, we need to work together.”
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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

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Elisabeth lost her temper.

She growled out words of fury. She swore. She began to use her magic, to channel fire in a temple. Then, Woe spoke to her, and Bao entered and spoke too. Both of the males asked her to stay and Bao spoke of sacrificing himself.

And then. The windows froze.

Not just in terms of no longer showing images, no longer moving; also as ice threatened to crack them, dancing in impossibly-fast tendrils across the panes.

Just for a moment, it was silent.

"Would it not be more seemly," Chamadarst said, directly behind Elisabeth. "To turn your ire to me?" He gazed upon her, cooly. "Since you have so many feelings, so much to say, and so loudly and rudely." He walked out to where they could all see him and nodded, once, to Bao before turning back to her. "Speak your words to the one who made the offer."

His eyes were colder than the ice which froze the glass. "But know that if you choose to behave in such an unmannerly and undignified manner again, I will find it," he paused. Considered. "Irksome." It was hard to earn Chamadarst's ire - but he did not like rudeness, or displays of such excess emotion, especially in holy places.

He turned to look at Woe and he nodded. "If this could be done, it would be a simple transaction, nothing more." He had no interest in hysterical women, and he turned to the cadouri who had entered. "What you suggest is not possible." Chamadarst said.

"However," spoke another voice. Bao knew him, of course. Ziell looked at them and spoke. He nodded to Woe, smiled gently at Elisabeth and he moved over to Bao and put his hand on the Cadouri. "However, the child, Ru. She is placed where neither violence nor passion, hatred or love can find her." Ziell lowered himself down to look Bao in the eyes. "Would you replace her, child of Saoire? Would you sit before the pool of water in the cold darkness where she is, until I come and find you?"

Chamadarst considered it. "It would require me to imbue you with neutrality," he said.

Ziell nodded. "Neutrality and peace."

The two Immortals seemed to have a whole communication, in a glance. Then, Chamadarst nodded his head, then turned to Woe and he asked, "Tell me what you know of the child's father, Hart? He could be a pivotal ally in this conflict." After Woe had replied, Ziell spoke. "We can do that if you would willingly do so, Bao?" He spoke calmly, softly. "It will require you to be brave, but I promise you. I will bring you out of there."

It seemed that all eyes turned to the small cadouri. Ziell gazed on him. "If there is a peaceful way to do this, then I would see it done. I believe that they will not harm you. He is, at his core, a hurt and desperate man." The Immortal of Peace looked at the three mortals gathered. "Minimising bloodshed is a common goal among you, I believe? Let us start there."

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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides


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Arc 721, 30 Ashan


As Elisabeth had begun backing out of the foyer, the voice of the Cadouri caught her attention. Flicking her gaze down at the creature, she noted that he held out his hand to her, apologizing. He didn’t have anything to apologize for. Why was he doing so? Gently, almost hesitatingly, Elisabeth stretched out her hand, softly taking his in hers, eyes glancing back at Woe again. Yes, she was angry. Hurting? Possibly, but she wouldn’t admit it to herself, even if that were the case. What did she have to be hurt about?

Woe spoke words but at that moment, she didn’t respond. Elisabeth didn’t trust the words she would say to counter him and as such, she decided to say nothing. It gave her time to think…and consider. He was looking for information and she had no desire to give him any.

She noted that the creature beside her was shaking, lowering to his level as he spoke to them both, introducing himself and explaining his purpose there. Ziell? Well then, the Immortals were all over the situation, weren’t they? Part of Elisabeth wished Saoire was there to talk to but no, it wasn’t right asking for guidance. Mysterious Immortal guy from her crossing had already warned the young woman about the folly of Immortals and their involvement. That folly could extend to their marked as well.

“Each Immortal will approach this through their Domain. To understand this, you must understand those involved.”

She did not know the Immortal behind Woe’s involvement. Ziell ,she felt, she had some knowledge about. Flipping through the visions, Xiur had been there. She didn’t even know who she had met herself, so certain pieces were still very much obscured to her.

Bao spoke of needing them – both. As he continued, he explained that he was beginning to understand what he had seen. Seen? Others were seeing things? Until that moment, she thought it had been just her but maybe there were others. Glancing at Woe, she considered asking him if he had seen things, but no. She couldn’t go there yet. Well, at least until Bao confirmed that he had. They had both seen things. Were they all seeing the same thing? She couldn’t be sure but what Bao was describing sounded like the flashes she had been privy to.

Chamadarst? That was who had been with Woe? Add another name to her list.

Unleash the Induks? To free them and to make the daughter weaker. Xiur. Xiur had said that when Faldrass was released, the daughter’s power had been diminished. But he also mentioned Earth, Air, Water, and the Heart. She knew those terms too…but not from the recent flashes. No, that had resulted from research born of her first vision on Faldrass. The Baron’s books told of the “five essentials - or five elements. Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and the Heart which binds them” Xiur had not mentioned fire so it was safe to assume that was Faldrass.

The Heart – that was an entirely different matter. She knew a lot about that. Visions and research had given her clues…but Elisabeth was unsure of how much of that to get into right then.

Bao spoke of the girl that had been taken and finding the Induks and that they needed time…and he felt that he, perhaps, could give them the time they needed. She and Woe. All the while he spoke, the young mage kept glancing in the man’s direction, looking for any indication of what he was thinking.

What Bao proposed, caught her off guard. The sacrifice itself was huge but more importantly, the reasoning behind what he said was very well thought out. Tactics. Hadn’t the mysterious Immortal guy told her that she needed to consider all information from multiple angles?

Still, no. The more she knew and was shown, the more she was certain that the Oath that held this Warden wouldn’t allow another to be switched out. There were too many powerful forces at play. Again, she wasn’t sure, but it was a guess.

Before she could speak, however, Woe did and oddly enough, echoed some of her inner thoughts. Some. Not all. In truth, that very fact made her a bit irritated, mostly realizing that there were parts of them that were more similar than different. It wasn’t something she wanted to consider at that moment, in light of the earlier episode.

Squeezing the Cadouri’s hand, Elisabeth smiled gently at him, noting that it was easier to focus on him than Woe. “As he says, you are brave. I don’t believe what you ask is possible but that does not lessen the impact of your wise words. I agree with Woe. There are larger issues at play here that need deeper consideration. I didn’t realize the stakes or context here before you spoke, so I am grateful to you, Bao. I’ve been dealing with...visions…. for a while now. No one knew what they meant. I live on Faldrass. These were different than the flashes I saw totrial.”

And then Woe mentioned something about everyone needing to calm down. It wasn’t so simple. Perhaps she had lost her temper and overreacted, but she recalled him having done the same not so long ago. Had he forgotten already?

He asked her to stay, telling her that he had never deceived her. The young mage supposed that was true. Woe had very blatantly chosen to sacrifice her life. There was no deception in that, but the anger was still there. It was only when he spoke of them needing to work together that she finally dropped the connection she had with fire, turning to consider him as she continued to hold Bao’s hand. “And how am I supposed to trust you? Working with someone implies a measure of trust...” It wasn't a question spoken in anger, but curiosity. How could they bridge that divide? Could they? Her mouth opened to say more…but closed once again. No. His business was words, just like hers. Information. She couldn’t let him have access to her thoughts and feelings as before. He knew far too much about her already.

They needed to have a conversation, but she doubted that would happen. Things were much bigger than the two of them now and she had to accept that. Too much had happened for her to pretend otherwise. Whatever was happening involved all three and they had been brought together for a reason.

And it was then that Chamadarst made himself known.

Turning, she regarded him as he walked past her then came to face her. Elisabeth knew a tightrope when she saw one, him telling her to level her comments to him. The young mage had very little time to consider what she would say, but it came to her quickly enough. “I apologize for my behavior, Chamadarst.” Elisabeth knew how to reign in when she needed to and while she was still angry, she was able to identify better what she was angry at.

Herself.

She had been naïve about Woe. Possibly others. Elisabeth saw the world through the lens of a curious, intelligent girl who strove to understand everything. Her folly had been thinking a few interactions with the strange man within the scope of dreams had told her everything she needed to know about him. She had created a construct of her own design…and had been wrong. Perhaps certain impressions had been correct, but she didn’t know him, and it was silly of her to have felt like she had. It didn't lessen her anger about him being willing to sacrifice her - they saw that differently - but it allowed her to view him for what he was - a stranger.

Focusing on the Immortal in front of her, she began to speak again, in a calm, measured manner. “I believe that without a better understanding of the wider context and reach of the situation before us, that sacrificing anyone is unwise. There seem to be, if the flashes I saw totrial and visions I received previously on Faldrass, a lot of people that hold pieces of this puzzle. What if one of them holds the key and is accidentally sacrificed for the greater good? What damage does that do to the entirety of our fight? Right now, we are all spread out over Idalos, information scattered. Every person is important. Woe, Bao, Darius, Yeva, Doran, the other people in the flashes. We look at the problem in front of us and work it, using everyone's abilities and unique perspectives.

Remember, Elisabeth. Don’t get caught up in what is happening and other perspectives. Listen to yourself. Be balance - the bridge between.

Mysterious Immortal guy had asked her to bring all the viewpoints together. To see the larger, larger picture…but also to see all the smaller pictures. That was what she could do to help.

Another voice came. This time, it was Ziell, and her mind found peace in seeing him there. Bao was still next to her, holding her hand, so as Ziell moved to him, he came near her as well. She refocused her attention on his words and the conversation he held with the other Immortal, as well as Woe. While doing so, it gave her more time to think.

It was…just so much. She hadn’t realized the depth of what was happening. From her small vantage point on Faldrass, in Haven, she had thought the visions to be telling of some oncoming danger to the island. Small picture. Mysterious Immortal guy had widened the picture and Bao, Woe, Chamadarst, and Ziell had broken it open, letting her understand the magnitude of the challenge in front of them.

As Ziell addressed the three of them, Elisabeth was the first one to speak. “I apologize for not understanding what was happening. As I told Bao, I’ve been dealing with visions for a while now but didn’t understand anything about them. I was visited on the crossing here by someone who told me that I “have the potential to be the link between all the viewpoints, the balance."

She paused for a moment and looked at both Ziell and Chamadarst. The words were hard to say for she truly didn't know how it would work, but she had confidence in her ability to push differences aside for the greater good. She could do it. She would do it. Touching the silver ring on her finger, she told them the truth in her being.

“I will do what I’ve been asked to do. With whomever, I am asked to do it with.”

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Bao Bao
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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

As Woe and Elisabeth thanked Bao, calling him brave, the Cadouri gave a gentle smile and his nerves faded a little. "Thank you" he said with a small nod to them both, before they started to talk a little to one another, Woe asking Elisabeth to stay and calling Bao wise. Elisabeth returned a question about trust, one Bao understood. They would need some trust to work together, though everything Woe had said and explained made some sense to Bao, even if it wasn't how he would handle any sacrifice.

Then came the ice.

Glancing aside to Chamadarst, Bao listened as he spoke to Elisabeth, both threatening her and offering for her to speak her anger to him and not Woe. A part of him wanted to speak up at that, to say there was no reason for any of the threats and anger, but decided that he would save his breath for the moment. Sometimes, he was learning, peace only came from accepting an argument and leaving it behind where it was, not attempting to rectify it once it was already over. Now, especially with an Immortal involved, seemed to be one of those times.

Then Chamadarst told him it was not possible before a familiar voice approached. Without hesitation, Bao's eyes watched the immortal he had worshipped for many trials now. Ziell placed his hand on Bao, the small Cadouri returning the same and resting his paw on top of Ziell's hand. A chance to save Ru, the child of Hart. Replace her, take her place, and wait to be rescued by Ziell and the others. Bao paused, letting everyone speak that had to before he gave an answer.

Then it was his moment.

"I came to Idalos just seasons ago, and I have more friends than I could have imagined. Hart is one of them. Even if we met once, he helped me with something small, and it made my trial that much brighter" he nodded to Ziell. "So I'll do it, and I will be brave, because I trust you - with everything" he spoke directly to Ziell. It was direct, more so than most would be with an Immortal, but Bao had been raised by one. Saoire was as Mortal in some ways as the other people he had met in Scalvoris. Kind, caring, compassionate and sometimes emotional. Which meant even Immortals, sometimes, needed to be talked to as friends.

"I just ask one favor" he started, already accepting that this was what he wanted to do, to save a girl from the fear and loneliness she must be feeling. It was his responsibility, as Joelle had told him. Waiting by the lake, the pool of water that Ziell had said about just now. Yet what made him so sure was not the prophecy, or the Immortal in front of him that he believed in.

But that he would have done it without either of those had he been given the choice anyway.

Gesturing to the outside of the glass temple, Bao looked to the Immortal. "Once Hart may see his daughter again, as soon as that may be, tell him to find me once this is done. I wish to take him and his family somewhere nice, and make sure they are alright. Perhaps to see some lanterns together, as friends this time" he explained with a bright smile, focusing on what good he could muster as he felt his paws shake just that much stronger.

Truth be told, he was afraid. Darkness, trials going by with little to do and nobody to rely on. It was a challenge. It was scary. But Bao knew that every piece of fear he was feeling now was amplified for the poor girl who just wanted her family, who hadn't been taught all the ways to keep optimistic as Bao had.

That thought, knowing that she felt that fear, was enough motivation for him.
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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

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The emotions were high in the air, even between the presence of two Immortals who embodied different versions of stoicism and peace of mind, they formed a maelstrom that nearly shook the foundations of the Glass Temple. Woe couldn't ignore the emotions, they were evident on the tangle, between Elisabeth's cooling fury and confusion, and Bao's brave resignation to fate, and his hope that he might help make a person smile again. Woe had the challenge to keep his own emotional tangle in check. He was increasingly aware of the void in it, the wound that filled with whatever emotion sought to fill in for the missing feelings of love and concern. He hemmed those emotions in as they came, in himself. Forming a levy against the rising tide as it were, so they wouldn't fill that void.

Breen's whining came to him through their link, from the Beneath. Woe ignored him, for now.

Woe had never seen his Patron so... not angry, not annoyed, but vaguely inconvenienced and bothered. It stood to reason, given his neutrality that he took issue with a woman like Elisabeth, who from what Woe understood, had a very stark, white-black view of morality. If Woe had a chance, he wouldn't mind tutoring her in the ways of neutrality. The benefits. She had a clever mind, but it was hemmed in by the maze-like lattice of inhibitions. Such a world would open up to her, if she opened up to possibilities, once she let those black and white barriers fade to gray.

There'd be time to see if that was possible later. For now, he'd only just attempted to condemn her to perdition. That wouldn't be easy to overcome. She'd need convincing without deception. But into that bargain, he could achieve part of what he intended.

They spoke of replacing the child of Hart, Ru, with Bao. Woe knew that Hart would be looking for the child, if he knew anything of his brief association with his pupil, it was that he was devoted to his children, and worried about them incessantly. He'd seen that much with Wren and Hart.

Woe turned to Chamadarst, and nodded, "He would do anything for his children. If he received an offer to exchange himself for the child, he would take it. He wouldn't see that the kidnapper had no intention of keeping his part of the bargain, but even if he did, he would take the chance if it meant even a remote possibility that his exchange would result in the child's safety."

Woe's mouth twisted at that. He didn't like it, that his latest pupil was so desperately bereft of good sense. But he understood his actions. He didn't hold it against him. Woe only regretted that Hart had not trusted him enough to seek his help. Perhaps he feared what Woe would do, or what he might be capable of? Which brought Woe back to the present, having just condemned or attempted to, a strange woman in a temple.

Woe nodded to Ziell, turning from Chamadarst to the Lord of Winter, "Yes, minimizing damage and bloodshed is my goal and one I would give at nearly any price that is within my means."

Woe looked at Bao then, and put on a gentle expression. Although it really just looked neutral, "I will pass that message on to Hart, if it pleases you Cadouri. You have my word."
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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

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When Elisabeth apologised, Chamardst nodded his head in acknowledgement, but said no more.

Ziell, however, nodded. "U'frek gave you good advice, Elisabeth," the Immortal of Prophecy said.

And then the Immortals spoke, and - indeed - all eyes turned to Bao. And the small cadouri did not hesitate. Ziell looked at the small panda and there was pride in his eyes, clearly there for Bao to see.

"I know you're afraid," Ziell said, quietly. "I promise you, I'll get you back."

Chamadarst spoke then. "We can disguise you, but you must remain silent during your time there." he said.

Ziell nodded in agreement. "Even though your voice will sound like her, you will not have the same tone or ways of speaking. Stay as quiet as you can, Bao."

And then, Ziell stood and held out his hand for Bao. As Bao's hand touched Ziell's the two of them disappeared.

Chamadarst looked at the remaining two. Woe and Elisabeth. "You have the information. The Alberach is waiting for you in her office in this town." he said. "Go there now, and tell her what you have learned." his voice was cool, dispassionate. "Her concerns regarding the Sparrow are correct, " he said, as though he thought they'd know what that meant. "It is nearly time.". And in the time it took a nel to fall to the floor, he too was gone.

And where he stood was a small child. She looked at the two of them and silent tears fell down her face.
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Bao I will start a new thread for you, soon (TM).
Woe and Elisabeth, you may post again if you wish - or I can review. Let me know.
Let me know what you are going to do re: Kura. There will be a thread, either way.
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Re: [The Glass Temple] One Nel, Two Sides

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Your Review
Woe

Overview

It amazes me how you write Woe. He is so intricate in his thought processes and I love how his mind works. You portray him beautifully, with real grace in your writing style which makes for an intriguing pc who is fun to read. I particularly enjoyed, in this thread, his thought processes regarding Elisabeth ~ and I was struck by how he wanted to teach her. If he's neutral then he's neutral good I think, although it's hard to put such "cookie-cutter" alignments on to such a complex and nuanced PC. Enjoy the rewards here! They are very well deserved.

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

IC:
1. Chamadarst's Coin - The Coin which Woe finds in his pocket is icy cold and made from glass. It has a single use of a favoured ability on it from the mark of any Immortal NOT listed as sibling, ally, or enemy of the Coinking. Alternatively, it may remove 1 curse from 1 individual. Please choose one use and PSF it.
2. Chamadarst's Favour - Since you behaved in an acceptable manner, the Lord of Neutrality favours you with the next 2 abilities in your mark
Isolated Calm
Those Blessed by Chamadarst will frequently find themselves alone, separated from those who would normally be their peers. However, rather than being a curse, those who wield Sombran find this to be rather useful. Isolated Calm boosts the focus and discipline of the Blessed whenever they are alone, allowing them achieve things they might otherwise find difficult to manage. This manifests in several ways, all of them beneficiary to the Blessed. They are all but immune to mundane distractions, the chattering of people on the street outside, dripping water, wind blowing through the room, and things of that nature. In addition, they able to more easily resist the mind clouding effects of things like drugs, magics or blessings. Finally, they'll find it a bit easier to parse business or crafting matters, amounting to a 15 EXP skill boost to any skill that falls under those umbrellas.

Wealth Spirit
Like many Blessed, those who wield Sombran can communicate with the spirits that fall under Chamadarsts Domains. In the case of Wealth Spirits, the Blessed can choose to have one accompany as a familiar. These spirits are drawn to those who have a lot of money, and the wealthier the Blessed, the stronger the Wealth Spirit will be. However, they are not drawn to the poor, and if the Sombran loses too much wealth, the spirit will depart for richer pastures. These spirits get stronger the more accumulated Wealth Points the Blessed has.


3. Ziell's Favour ~ although he has not marked anyone this day, Ziell is positively inclined towards you

OOC:
Medals Awarded:
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Painting With Words (because you should have it!!)
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In Your Favour (for acquiring Chamadarst's favour)
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For fantastic plots!

Knowledge

Business Management: Neutrality aids commerce
Business Management: Big picture decisions
Business Management: Define your terms
Business Management: State what you want, and how much you'll pay for it.
Business Management: Balancing the books
Design: Designing buildings to appeal to Immortals
Detection: Noticing others in unusual ways
Detection: Making sense of what you see.
Detection: Elisabeth's tangle
Detection: Noting emotions
Detection: The way that the feeling of a room can change
Detection: The signs of displeasure
Discipline: Ignore distractions
Discipline: Use previous experience to strengthen resolve
Discipline: Know yourself.
Discipline: Be concise.
Discipline: Avoid gross displays of sentimentality
Etiquette: Paying homage to an Immortal
Etiquette: Making offerings at shrines
Etiquette: Know who to stand on ceremony with - and who not
Investigation: Consider the importance of names unknown to you
Investigation: Make sense of things by looking at their context
Investigation: Trying to decipher another's motives
Investigation: Weigh up the cost of people
Logistics: The cost of human life vs human lives.
Logistics: The logistics of a war
Mathematics: Basic balancing of equations.
Negotiation: Consider the terms of your agreement
Negotiation: Be open to change
Negotiation: Be clear on worth
Negotiation: Change your demands
Negotiation: Often based on shifting ideas.
Negotiation: Sacrifice whatever you need to achieve your goal
Negotiation: Be clear what you are.
Negotiation: Understand when your time is up
Negotiation: State your aims, find common ground.
Tactics: Play the long game
Tactics: A long life is an advantage
Tactics: Consider all angles.
Tactics: COnsider the worth of a person to your individual goals.
Tactics: Keep your allies calm
Tactics: Motivating others to do as you want




Elisabeth

Overview

Wow, she's a spitfire when she loses her temper, isn't she? She flipped from terrified to furious very quickly - and that was entirely realistic and appropriate as a response! You write Elisabeth so well - in this thread I was particularly taken with how she's trying her very best to make sense of a situation, but the situation is fast-moving and very out of her comfort zone! She really rolls with the punches, and gets pullled along in the maelstrom. But, through it all, she is consistently herself. Lovely writing - enjoy the rewards!

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

IC:
Chamadarst's Coin - The Coin which Elisabeth finds in her pocket is icy cold and made from glass. It has a single use of a favoured ability on it from the mark of any Immortal NOT listed as sibling, ally, or enemy of the Coinking. Alternatively, it may remove 1 curse from 1 individual. Please choose one use and PSF it.

Ziell's Favour ~ although he has not marked anyone this day, Ziell is positively inclined towards you

OOC:
Medals Awarded:
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Pioneer (first PC to irk Mr Neutral himself!)
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In Your Favour (for acquiring Ziells favour)
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For fantastic plots!

Knowledge

Cosmetology: Choosing an outfit appropriate to the event
Design: The layout of temples
Detection: Listening to voices
Detection: Trying to pinpoint location
Detection: Trying to work out if others can hear you
Detection: Noticing a Cadouri
Detection: Notice emotions by body language
Discipline: Controlling terror
Discipline: Containing tears is hard
Discipline: Reading a letter to funnel your terror
Discipline: Trying to remain calm in a temple
Etiquette: Thanking the Immortals.
Etiquette: Put yourself on eye level
Intimidation: A tirade
Intimidation: Swearing
Investigation: Names of Unknown Immortals.
Investigation: Puzzle pieces fit together
Investigation: Remember names for later
Investigation: Lots of information in one place
Logistics: Organising a busy day
Logistics: Clothing in lots of different places.
Logistics: Making sure you have supplies with you.
Negotiation: Sometimes, nothing is the best thing to say
Tactics: Move away from threats
Tactics: Take your things with you.
Tactics: Don't turn your back on the enemy
Tactics: Weigh the cost of a sacrifice
Tactics: Information is power




Bao Bao

Overview

Well, here we are and Bao Bao is prepared to sacrifice himself for a child. I was so touched by Bao's compassion in this thread. I think what tips him over from sweet and cute cadouri to wise and wonderful fluffball is that he's so very prepared to put his money where his mouth is. He just stepped forward and did what was right and saved a child. No hesitation, and despite being so afraid, he just did it. Lovely writing, fantastic pc - enjoy those rewards!

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 15

Loot

IC:
Chamadarst's Coin - The Coin which Bao will find in his pocket when Ziell brings him back from the Vault is icy cold and made from glass. It has a single use of a favoured ability on it from the mark of any Immortal NOT listed as sibling, ally, or enemy of the Coinking. Alternatively, it may remove 1 curse from 1 individual. Please choose one use and PSF it.


Ziell's Favour ~ although he has not marked anyone this day, Ziell is positively inclined towards you
OOC:
Medals Awarded:
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It Was Nothing (for saving Ru's life)
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In Your Favour (for acquiring Chamadarst's favour) - you now have 2 of these medals
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I'm Not A Hero! (for potentially saving Hart's life)

Knowledge

Caregiving: Acknowledging emotions in others
Caregiving: Empathising
Caregiving: A gentle touch can make all the difference
Caregiving: A kind message can be passed on
Detection: Detecting changes in temperature by touch.
Detection: Noticing the expressions of others
Discipline: Preparing for responsibility
Discipline: Channel your fear into positivity
DIscipline: Be afraid, do it anyway
Discipline: Take comfort from those around you
Endurance: Sudden icy cold
Etiquette: Say thank you when people are kind
Investigation: Linking past and present.
Investigation: Trying to make sense of a situation you've walked into the middle of


If you have any questions or concerns regarding this review - drop me a PM.
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