[Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

17th of Ashan 721

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Bao Bao
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[Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

17th Ashan, 721
"You wished to speak to me, councilor Bao?" Stan smiled at the familiar Cadouri. With everything that had been going on in the world, Bao found most of his comfort in the Temple nowadays. Something about the atmosphere and Stan's wisdom was heartwarming. With all of the problems that were soon to happen in Slag's Deep especially, Bao felt overwhelmed. Usually, he would come here to relax, but Bao had finally come up with an idea.

"You don't need to call me councilor, just Bao is alright" he said with a smile to the Tunawa, kneeling down for a moment. Stan stood in front of him and smiled back, the two becoming rather good friends in the time Bao had been visiting. "Well, I choose to do so out of respect, and because you come to me now as a councillor. Why else would you formally request to speak to me?" the Tunawa said simply, placing a hand on Bao's own and looking up at the taller man. "What troubles you?"

With a small sigh and a glance at the floor, the Cadouri admitted why he came here. "Some trials ago, in Cylus, I met a fortune teller. She asked me to sit down. Joelle, her name was. Told me that she had a message for me, so we all sat down and she gave us nice drinks and called me kind for offering my blanket" he explained with a warm smile across his face as he remembered how good the hot chocolate had been and how kind the woman was.

"She told me my prophecy. That I would meet new people, laugh and smile, dance with strangers and make many friends" he started, before finally looking up to Stan with a small glint of concern in his eyes. "But that I would have a huge responsibility, and that a man would find me. Frost would appear under his feet and he wants to offer me something. So I thought about it, and I don't know who the man is, and I don't know what he asks of me. But the responsibility I have..."

"What if it's to end everything going on, with Slag's Deep? To try and save lives somehow, to try and find peace for everyone. Now that I'm councilor of welfare it makes sense, doesn't it?" he asked, wondering if he truly had that much responsibility on his shoulders. If that was really what he would be doing for whoever the man was. As he spoke, however, Stan looked up at him and let a small smile spread across his face - clearly aware of something that Bao wasn't.

"My friend, you have so much to learn" Stan said with a simple smile and a pat on the Red Panda's arm. While Bao did not understand the prophecy, to Stan it made sense. Yet he said nothing. Instead, he pointed to a shrine across the hall of the temple. "Your prophecy, right now, does not matter. You are not responsible for this war, you are not responsible for any of this. Prophecies will come when they, and you, are ready. So if that is tomorrow, then you will be ready tomorrow, whether you know it or not. If that is in an Arc, so be it."

Bao turned and looked as Stan took a few steps closer to the shrine before turning back to the Cadouri. "You wish for peace, because peace is all you have known. Which makes you noble and kind" the Tunawa started, gesturing for Bao to stand and come closer. Once the Cadouri did so, Stan turned and pointed to the markings on the shrine, snowflakes and people stood side by side. "But if you wish for peace, why not pray for it? You've been praying to him since I told you of him. He might not be able to help you with your prophecy, but if fighting can be avoided, this will be how."

With a look to the shrine, Bao nodded. "What if he doesn't know, or doesn't answer?" the Cadouri asked, causing Stan to smile just a little wider. "Then, Bao, you are enough with or without the help of the Immortals. You will find a way to bring peace, because you are determined to do so. Do not be afraid of trying, be afraid of giving up, and then you will be unstoppable" he offered his wisdom, before turning back to another small group of people praying. "If you need me, I'll be joining some others with their prayers to trial. But my thoughts, and my prayers, lie with you too, Bao - be brave and strong."

As Stan walked away, unseen by Bao, the Tunawa gave a gentle smile back to him and sent a small prayer in his head.

Slowly, the Cadouri stepped forward to the shrine and knelt down on the ground, wrapping the blanket Saoire gave him around himself. With a deep inhale, the small man closed his eyes and focused. On Ziell. On the Immortal and his domains. Peace specifically mattered now. As he prayed he whispered under his breath. "Ziell, Saoire. I pray to both of you specifically, more than ever before" he said quietly, deciding to talk to Saoire first. "Hello, mother" he whispered with a small bow of his head in respect.

"I'm lost, and confused. I learned so much from you about helping and being kind, and it's been easy to do. Every time I am kind to people they smile and are happy, and I see all the rest of my people doing the same. Some of them have even found families to live alongside and everything has been so beautiful - just as you promised" he said, yet he did not smile, nor did he really sound as happy as one should when they had seen so much of the world. It was unusual for Bao to be this way, but he felt like he had to do something. He was the councilor for welfare, after all, and people in Scalvoris needed him.

"But now I need to help people and resolve this war, and I don't know how. I never learned about war, never learned about hate, because I don't understand them. So if there is anything that can stop the hate, or teach me how to handle people when they are so angry or sad, please tell me" he asked Saoire, his mother-figure. With another deep sigh the Cadouri changed his focus to Ziell, pausing and wondering what to say. Praying was natural to him, yet he felt he was asking too much of an Immortal even just for their advice. They were, after all, as living as anyone else Bao had met.

After a minute of pause, Bao finally spoke. "I have a request, if you can hear me" he whispered. "I wish to make peace, and to do so I need to find out what is causing so much anger. Kura told us all about the Warden, and what she knows. Maybe he's evil, or cruel, or spiteful. But without knowing more, I can't find peace, because both sides need to agree on ending this war before it begins" the small man explained his thoughts openly to the Immortal, should anyone even be listening.

"So I wish to speak to him, I wish to meet him and to end this before it begins, to find out and understand his hate" he asked, with no fear to his voice, letting his spirit be uplifted a little at the idea of ending this war before it began. With all of his determination and focus on Ziell, he maintained silence for a moment before finally asking. "If there is a way I can talk to him, with no weapons, just me to him - I want to. If you know where I can find him, or someone who can take me to him, please."

After a small pause, Bao lowered his head a little more. "I'm sorry for asking so much" he finished, opening his eyes and sitting up straighter, sighing a moment. Whatever it was that he had left to do, he would tackle as it came. If that was in a trial, or a season, he would make it work. As difficult as this task would be to deal with, Bao was determined to make it work, determined to make it safer for Scalvoris.

As he stood up and looked around the temple, Bao offered a smaller prayer in his thoughts to the Immortals as a collective, as he always did when he was praying. It was important to give respect to all of them equally. He owed them that much.
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Re: [Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

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The Glass Temple.

His feet had walked here so many times, this place dedicated to them all. It was strange, perhaps, the existence of such a place in an island defined by strife. He had long considered the strangeness of Scalvoris as he had watched the people here, and he was not at all surprised that it was here that Saoire chose to call home. She saw potential, and the possibility of peace here. He was not yet entirely sure that her optimism was justified, but he trusted that - at the very least - she believed it.

Besides, he liked Stan.

Stan, the High Priest of the Glass Temple was a strange creature, and he was as peaceful as he was pragmatic. As much as he did not usually enjoy the continued company of mortals, Stan was one of the rare ones with whom Ziell enjoyed a glass of winter wine and a debate on matters of importance.

He smiled to Stan, and inclined his head as he walked towards the Cadouri and he saw Stan's smile of recognition. For Bao, the place would grow cold and he would notice the ice settling on his fur and whiskers. However, what he would know without a doubt was that the coin he held did not change temperature. Not even by the smallest amount. "Hello, Bao," he said. The man who was, it seemed, walking towards him was tall and slender, with ice in his hair and eyes which seemed somehow both old and young simultaneously.

"You met Joelle," he said, as ice danced on the glass. "And she told you of a meeting we have yet to have." He smiled at Bao and then Bao realised that the ice-covered man had gestured for them to walk together. He led the Cadouri to the small shrine of Chamadarst as he spoke. "We will have it here, in thirteen trials." He looked down at the small Cadouri and smiled, gesturing for Bao to sit on the small bench that was there for people Bao's height and smaller.

"If I did what you ask now, Bao," he said. "Then maybe you would succeed. But it is more likely that you would not. In order to maximise the chances of a peaceful outcome," he sat on the more human-sized bench. "You need to be not a single flake of snow, but rather, a flurry of them." Looking down at Bao, the Immortal raised an eyebrow. "If you could speak to this man," he spoke thoughtfully. "What would you say? What would you ask?"
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Re: [Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

As everything went cold, Bao looked up for a moment at the shrine. Ice set over him and he paused to speak before a voice addressed him from behind. As Bao slowly turned around and felt the cold a part of him understood. With how much time he'd spent around Saoire it was no wonder that he knew. If anything, it was more of a surprise that he hadn't picked up on it sooner. Cold everywhere the man walked, prophecies as a domain. Bao had been so wrapped up in his wonder and curiosity that he had missed clues right in front of him.

"Ziell" Bao said with a look of both relief and happiness, smiling to the man and standing himself up. Having spent so much time with Saoire, Bao understood the Immortals, at least to some degree. While he had never met Ziell before, nor did he claim to know everything about the man, he didn't imagine the Immortal of Peace would care much for kneeling or other signs of respect that some Immortals might demand. Instead, Bao simply lowered his head in a small bow, before looking up as Ziell explained the prophecy.

As he walked with the Immortal he glanced at the shrine with curiosity. "How do I get a flurry, or be a flurry?" the Cadouri asked, turning to the Immortal as he asked his own question. It was a difficult one to answer, it had to be said. Even with his determination to make things right, Bao would need to know what to say. Something would work, he knew it would.

"I would ask what he wants, how he feels" Bao said with a small pause, knowing he would sound insane to most people. Approaching a man like the Warden and simply asking what he wanted was suicide, or so some would have him believe. But Bao didn't know this man, didn't know who he was or what he was planning on doing. If he was going to try and make peace with the Warden then he would need to do so in a way that worked for both of them. The Warden would want something, Bao just needed to know what.

After another moment of pause, Bao turned to the Immortal and looked up. "I would tell him I don't want a war, or a fight, or anyone hurt. That I want peace, and that I want everyone to be safe, and that all I want is to help Scalvoris and her people" he explained. "Because it's the truth, and because maybe he wants the same. Peace" the Cadouri thought. It was such a strange idea to him, that people out there wanted war. It made no sense that someone would wish harm on others. Thinking about it hurt him in a way he couldn't quite explain. Maybe this would help him understand, and perhaps help him prevent it.

SIghing gently, Bao let his smile fade for a moment, wanting to ask Ziell a thousand questions. There was so much that Bao didn't understand about Idalos, some of it beautiful and other parts terrifying. Hatred, war, anger, bitterness, spite - none of it made sense. People were spiteful, some wanted to watch the destruction of others. Cities wanted war with each other and the people in them would stab each other in the back for one reason or another. It did more than confuse the Cadouri, it scared him.

"I love Idalos, and I thank Saoire every day for bringing me here. But this anger and hate, everything about Slag's Deep and the way people prepare for war. I don't understand it, I don't want to understand it" he admitted to the Immortal, sadness quickly taking over his features. "But if I want to change it, I need to. I know I do. I need to learn what hurts people like this, so I can learn to help them recover. It's just...not like my people. We sang more songs each trial than I've heard people sing since I arrived in Idalos, and we ate more good food because we deserved to feel good no matter what. I want to show Idalosians, all of them, that they deserve the same. To sing and dance, to be happy. Not to feel this way, bitter and upset."

Emotions running high, Bao brushed his face uncomfortably, clearly trying to hide his upset. "It hurts to think people might die if I don't do something. Knowing that I have the chance to save them...I have to try. Otherwise, it's my fault" his nose twitched with a sniffle. After a moment of upset, Bao let out a small laugh through the few tears that formed. "I'm sorry. I didn't want to ever meet like this, and I didn't mean to get upset. I just want to make the world better, even just by helping out a few people at a time."

"So what do I need to do?"
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Re: [Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

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Ziell smiled as Bao smiled at him. Bao's first question caused a slight chuckle to emanate deep from the chest of the Immortal. "A flake," he said, and a large, single snowflake fell down, wisping and twisting it's way down to the ground in front of Bao. "A flurry," Ziell said and large flakes - hundreds of them - swirled and flurried around Bao, settling on his whiskers, his fur. With a smile which was almost-whimsical, he watched as Bao literally burst his way out of a snowflurry.

As the Cadouri said what he would say, Ziell nodded. "He does want peace," he said, of the Warden. "But the only way that peace can come for him is if a great darkness is released, one which would devour much." Bao's assessment of Idalos, though, it brought a sad expression to the Immortal's eyes. "There is much wisdom in your words, Bao." He gazed down at the small Cadouri and smiled, then put his cool hand on Bao's shoulder.

"Saoire is wise, also." he said. "She gave Idalos the greatest gift she could. The Cadouri." he sat on the more human-sized bench and he reached down to wipe away the tear which Bao shed. Each one, where he touched, froze immediately and he held out his hand with tiny crystal tears in his palm. "Dance and eat and bring peace where you walk. Every trial, change a life." But as for what Bao could do. "Come back here in thirteen trials," he said softly. "And save a life, and a soul."

There was more, of course, and Ziell looked at Bao with a melancholy expression. Yet, there was hope there, too. "A child has been taken," he said softly. "Because her parents - both of them - could help the Warden to win. She is just one person, Bao. But every flurry is made up of flakes and there is never too much kindness." He looked at Bao with a serious gaze. "Her father, Hart, he is a peaceful man. Help him save his daughter, Bao." Zeill put the frozen tears into Bao's hand and closed the Cadouri's paw over them. "These will allow you to walk in peace in one place. Maybe, in doing so, you can save a life. Maybe you can save many." He smiled down at the small panda. The frozen teardrops disappeared.

"But find out all you can first - share that information and make sure that all of you are a flurry, not individual flakes, then come here and they will be waiting." He smiled slightly. "Do you have any other questions, Bao?"


OOC: After my next post, you may (if you wish), post here
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Bao Bao
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Re: [Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

All of the bad feelings faded one by one as snowflakes fell around Bao, amazement on his face as a big smile spread, Bao bursting out of the flurry. "I think I understand, at least a little" he laughed softly, using his paw to brush some of the snow off his face as his smile maintained for just a moment, until Ziell brought up what the Warden wanted. It surprised Bao, yet somehow it reassured him a little. All the man wanted was what, really, most people did.

Peace.

Then came the wave of sadness, in the talk of Idalos as a whole. As Bao explained his concerns with Idalos, he saw Ziell's expression change. Sadness. "I try to be wise" the small Cadouri admitted, looking up at the Immortal as Ziell's cold hand rested on Bao's shoulder.

As Ziell wiped the tears away from Bao's eyes, making small crystals from them, the Red Panda listened carefully. It made sense, at least Bao thought. If Idalos was not like the Cadouri, and did not sing and dance and share joy with one another, why not teach them to be so? That was what Saoire had taught them, to share their joy with the world. It was just difficult sometimes. A challenge for another trial, one that he would tackle in due time. Until then, all he could do was make sure every person he met was given kindness and warmth.

Then, Ziell continued on and Bao paused for just a trill. "I know Hart" he said with a sad look up at the Immortal. Hart's child had been taken from him, a small girl? Why would someone do that? Why had the Warden not just asked for the help of the parents? It was a sad thought to have, one that showed his view on the world just that little more. "I will do anything to help save that girl, and the family she misses. You have my word" he nodded to the Immortal with full confidence, planning on keeping that word no matter what the cost would be.

As the tears disappeared in his hands, and Ziell explained what they did, Bao looked up in awe. Everything he had hoped Ziell would be, he was. "I don't have a question, just...thank you" he said with a warm, gentle smile. "I'm glad I was praying to the right Immortal" he admitted, hoping Ziell would be happy to hear that Bao was both amazed and honored to have met Ziell and found him the way he was.

Then again, he expected nothing less from the Immortal of Peace.

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Re: [Temple of Glass] Hear my voice

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Your Review
Bao Bao

Overview

I truly can not express how much I love this little fella. Bao's over-riding determination and kindness are beautifully written and, somehow, he's still so very real. You write him as a complete person - he's naive but he's learning, and his wisdom shines out. I truly loved writing with you in this thread and I hope that you thoroughly enjoy your very well-deserved rewards.

Points

XP: 20
Renown: 10

Loot

IC:
Ziell's Snowflake - the fur on Bao's chest has an image of a snowflake on it. This gives the small cadouri an air of wisdom and peacefulness. It will not stop someone who is determined to fight him, or fight around him, but it will give people a moment of pause, a thought. It's a RP thing only and may be ignored by anyone with a Discipline or Meditation skill above Competent.
OOC:
Medals Awarded:
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Painting With Words (because you do!
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In Your Favour (for acquiring Ziells favour)
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For fantastic plots!
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Right in the Feels (because you make me cry! )

Knowledge

Discipline: Turn your worries into plans
Discipline: Focus on what you can change
Discipline: Put your energy into what you believe is best.
Discipline: Not asking all your questions
Discipline: Remaining hopeful
Endurance: Sudden changes in temperature
Endurance: Snow indoors!
Etiquette: Titles aren't necessary between friends
Etiquette: Respectful prayers.
Etiquette: Say thank you
Investigation: Putting pieces together.
Investigation: Don't jump to conclusions
Investigation: Understand your enemy
Investigation: Sometimes your enemy isn't who you think!
Rhetoric: Analogy
Rhetoric: Metaphor
Storytelling: Telling something that happened, so it makes sense.
Tactics: Be a flurry, not a flake
Tactics: A peaceful solution takes planning
Tactics: Peace often has a price.
Tactics: Bring joy to create joy



If you have any questions or concerns regarding this review - drop me a PM.
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word count: 313
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