• Graded • [The Forging] Ice

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks, jungles, mountains, forests and islands of note.

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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Inside The Cave
Darius asked the tiger a question.

This was not usual behaviour, of course, but it also wasn't a usual time. The tiger looked at him with a gaze which seemed to be comprehending and it stepped forward. Lowering it's head to the ground, directly in the middle of the statues, it sniffed around for a moment. Then, it caught something between its teeth and it lifted it.

From the ground came a lantern. A beautiful, intricate lantern. It was carved from ice and in it swirled an electric-blue mist.

The tiger lifted his head to look at Darius, then he pressed his nose against one statue, then the lantern. Another statue, the lantern. It seemed to be communicating with him, somehow, but whether Darius understood its meaning or not, remained to be seen.

But then, there was the matter of the stone. The tiger watched Darius as he examined the stone and the only time the creature gave any indication of anything was if Darius got too close, or seemed inclined to touch it. But, since Darius did not, the tiger simply sat and looked. Watching Darius as he tore some cloth from his tunic, the tiger tipped it's head slightly, curiously almost. And Darius dropped the cloth over the stone.

The cloth burst into flame.

It was burned in a moment, nothing but a wisp of smoke and a small amount of ash. The tiger, however, stood and moved. It moved so that it stood next to Darius, positioning itself so that Darius' hand was on it. Then, it looked at the stone, and then at Darius.

And back to the stone.

Info & Rules

So - you are in this thread on your own (except for me!)
You are in the cave, on your own (except for the tiger!)

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
[*] Darius You are managing against the cold, but you're feeling it. You are dressed and the ice is no longer melting under your feet. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have no further spare clothes and you have a slight tickle in the back of your throat from where you just breathed in smoke.

Objectives

None

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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Darius watched, intrigued, as the tiger lowered its head and, with its giant maw, lifted a lantern from the floor of the cave. Like the statues, it was intricately carved, and unmistakably ice, and yet it somehow emitted light. While holding it, the tiger nodded towards the frozen figures, and Darius nodded back to the creature as if he understood what was being communicated.

He wasn't sure if he understood at all, but he was trying his best to do precisely that.

"Can I try?" he asked quietly, reaching out to take the lantern from the ice predator's mouth.

It was only after he'd reached into the jaw of a fierce tiger that he contemplated his actions and a chill of fear ran through him. The giant cat seemed friendly, but he shouldn't assume that it would always remain so.

If he was able to collect the lantern, he would hold it up against the statues: the figure of the woman, first, then the child, and finally the man. Darius squinted his dark grey eyes as he attempted to see what - if anything - the light might reveal. He searched the workmanship itself for any markings or aberrations within the ice. They truly were a sight to behold.

As for the stone, Darius lamented the sacrifice his tunic had been forced to make, and he pondered how he might try to collect it. He distinctly remembered Oram's use of ash to collect one such stone on Faldrass, and he wondered if the same might apply on Ishallr. After taking a swig from his waterflask to ease the discomfort in his throat, he used his boot to kick small portions of cave ice onto the stone to see if they would melt, or if they would hold their temperature. If the ice did not immediately melt, he would drop a wet part of his tunic - a portion soaked in the moisture of Ishallr ice - to see what might become of the material. If that met a similar fate to the the dry tunic, he would heap ice onto a third piece of tunic to see if that would protect the material from the stone's effects.

By the time he was busily trying out these experiments, the tiger appeared to have grown bored, for it had lifted itself up from its haunches, baleful eyes staring at the Scalvorian as it approached, and nudged itself against him as it sniffed at the stone. Darius nodded again, this time with more understanding as he held onto the creature's frozen fur and bent over to cautiously touch the stone with the tip of one finger.

"I can't have my hands full, you see," he spoke quietly, "in case I have to use something else."

Darius patted the pommel of the longsword that sat at his side. He was wary of the caves of Ishallr. He had fought in them before, and he would prefer not to repeat the experience.

"So if I let go of you to protect myself, and the stone burns my hand off..."

The bearded blond cocked his head slightly, to see if the tiger understood. And then he looked back down at the strips of material that he had laid upon the stone to see if any of his experiments were able to offer a solution.
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Inside The Cave

The tiger- thankfully for Darius' fingers - had no issue with him taking the lantern and, when he held it up to look with, it seemed to just cast light. However, when he looked through it, through the glass of it to the statue itself - he saw the statues, but as people as living, breathing people. With the lantern between his eyes and the statues he saw, he would have been forgiven for thinking that they were alive - although as he looked more closely he saw that they were almost ghost-like. The surroundings seemed entirely normal when viewed that way and the tiger next to him seemed to be more flickering with flames of ice, when he looked at it through the lantern.

Then, he began to experiment and, just as he might realise that the Ishallr ice worked and he could indeed use that in the way that Oram had used ash, the tiger grew more demanding. Holding on to the creature's fur, Darius touched one finger to the stone. The finger touched it and it felt cool, smooth, like a cold pebble. But it didn't burn or harm him in any way. So, ice of Ishallr or the tiger, it seemed were what he could use to hold this chainstone. The tiger gazed at him as Darius explained and briefly touched it's cold nose to Darius foot.

Where the ice wasn't melting.

Again, it seemed, there was a message the tiger was trying to give. But, it backed off and let him scoop up the chainstone in his piece of cloth, surrounded by Ishallr ice. As he did, two things happened simultaneously. First, the tiger's ears perked up and it stood. It turned to look at Darius, and then moved towards a particular entrance. Darius might note that he was fairly sure that the entrance hadn't been there a few moments ago. But then, the caves of Ishallr shifted and changed. Everyone knew that.

The tiger moved to the entrance, and then it moved back to Darius. Back to the entrance, back to Darius. If he didn't take the hint, the tiger would take his coat gently between it's teeth and pull and tug.

It was, it seemed, keen to move that way. Now.

The second thing that happened, though? Darius heard Katara's voice, calling to him and then, his little diri was in contact - she told him everything that had just happened in the glass temple.

Info & Rules

So - you are in this thread on your own (except for me!)
You are in the cave, on your own (except for the tiger!)

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
  • Darius You are managing against the cold, and you're feeling it less and less - getting more comfortable. You are dressed and the ice is no longer melting under your feet. You are not yet tired. You are not hungry. You have no further spare clothes.

Objectives

None

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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Darius was predictably grateful to the tiger for letting him hold the lantern with all of his fingers remaining intact. He realised, as he lifted the light to see the shadows it might cast about the cave, that he was feeling a tightening bond with the ice predator. It had tested him, and he had feared death, but he had not shied away from it. And now, it was even attempting to make suggestions and provide the Scalvorian with tools to help him on his quest.

He shifted the position of the lantern and peered through it, and that was when he saw the ghosts trapped in the statues. Dark grey eyes widened at the sight, but he recalled Arlo speaking of setting souls free, though he had no idea how Cassion's son had accomplished such a task. And his time with Faith had taught him that ghosts did not necessarily need to be feared, but were nothing more than people who had yet to find a way to pass on.

"Do you need help?" he asked the statues.

Faith had spoken to the dead sailor on Ishallr, but Darius wasn't sure how, and so he just felt awkward and more than a little confused.

His attention was soon turned to collecting the chainstone, and after some experimentation, he was relieved to have the item in hand. With Ishallr ice packed around it, he wrapped it up in his tunic and tied a knot into the material, before placing his new parcel carefully into his pack.

The ice tiger touched its nose to Darius' foot, and, in response, the human patted the creature gently on its head.

"What is it, friend?" he asked gently. "Something you need to tell me?"

But the creature stood to attention and moved towards another part of the cave. It seemed clear that the tiger wanted Darius to follow.

And then, all of a sudden, he heard the cry of a hawk. Not just any hawk, but one whose screech was known to him.

"Katara!" he exclaimed under his breath as he turned to see familiar flamed feathers fluttering in flight. "I was wondering where you'd been. Where are the others?"

The Diri told him what had been happening in the Glass Temple. It was a lot to take in, to be sure, and he felt as though he was in a tiny rowboat, riding the ups and downs of a huge swell, as he caught up with the information.

Elisabeth had almost succumbed to the cold - and Isis - but had been returned to the main island; Cassion had appeared; and so many other bits and pieces that it threatened to overwhelm him. But he needed to remain focused on the task at hand and not let what was happening elsewhere distract him from the task at hand. The Induk of Ishallr still needed to be set free, and the other groups were still relying on that to happen before anything else, so he needed to push on.

The fate of the ghosts still bothered him, and so although he made his way towards where the ice tiger was leading him, he did so slowly, and he spoke to Katara each step of the way.

"Can you tell those at the Glass Temple about the ghosts?" he asked, while still holding the lantern. "And ask them how Arlo set the other ones free?"

In Darius' eyes, the Induk wasn't the only one who deserved to be released, and he waited patiently as the hawk chirped back in response.

"And," he added with a glance towards the tiger, "are you able to translate for me? I think our friend is trying to tell me something, but I'm not quite sure what."

Once that was communicated, he would ask Katara to scout ahead, in the hopes that he could be better prepared for whatever lay in wait around each icy corner.
Inventory
  • Average quality studded leather gambeson, leggings, and boots.
  • Average quality longsword.
  • Average quality dagger.
  • Waterflask.
  • Lantern from the ice tiger.
  • Mirror with magic healing ability. Your mirror functions as a normal mirror - but it emits a constant warmth along with the constant glow. It will function as a camp-fire if placed on the ground and keeps the person carrying it in a constant state of warm - summer or winter!
  • Saoire's box of chocolates. A small box with 10 8 chocolates. They are, frankly, beyond delicious and taste like your very favourite thing. You find yourself unable to more than 1 on any trial. But each one provides the following to whoever eats it for the next 6 breaks: "Saoire's domain of Gifts is not merely one of physical goods, but of the happiness and joy that comes with both giving and recieving a well meant gift. This ability allows the Blessed to give both themselves and anyone they're with a feeling of joy and good cheer, banishing negative feelings like sorrow, anger, and fear."
  • Cassion's book. Cassion has given Darius a book in which to write things.
  • Other winter equipment provided by the Elements. (Spare clothing, rope, crampons, rations, etc.)
  • Vega's skill bonus. This skill will be directly linked to the focus Vega has so - if it is in a camp preparing for battle, for the soldiers it will be a combat skill - but the cook for that camp would gain a bonus to cooking for the troops. No more than one bonus per day can be given. (Chosen skill: Field Craft.)
  • Vega's flag bonus. PCs who are working towards the goal of the clan are given more support, more help. Things happen quicker and more efficiently for that reason. PCs who are actively using skills which benefit the "clan" and are doing so with NPCs / PCs of the "clan" - may assume that the task is less difficult and by everything going smoothly and people helping, everything falls together more easily. This allows the task to be easier / a stroke of luck /teamwork to mean that the task is completed in 50% of the time OR to 2 levels higher a standard than they could otherwise achieve.
Last edited by Darius Baer Bottom on Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1034
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Inside The Cave
Darius peered through the glass and he saw the souls. His re-discovered link with Katara was a source of delight to him - and to the small creature. Messages were sent back and forth, and as yet there was no response regarding the souls.

He wanted to stay and help, and there was a draw to do so, but Darius did something which was important. He took a leap of faith. He walked, albeit slowly, towards where the tiger was leading him and Katara was filling him in on everything which had happened. It was overwhelming - or could be - but Darius kept his focus. The tiger continued to urge him with a growing sense of intensity. Katara couldn't communicate with him, she said, so she couldn't tell what it was that he wanted - other than he obviously wanted Darius to walk.

One foot in front of the other and then he stepped over an invisible line and the bearded blond was no longer in the same place. The world changed and the caves shifted as Darius felt himself surrounded by a flash of ice-blue light. The tiger glowed the same colour and it was the exact same colour as the flash of the bench which Arlo experienced.
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And the two mortal men were there. Arlo and Darius stood, side by side. Darius' tiger looked at Arlo - the enormous creature seemed to recognise him and it inclined its head. The place? Arlo had seen it before. It was beautiful in there. A large cavern, cathedral like in its glory, with pillars of ice and statues of the same. There, in front of them, were ice sculptures of people. It was a scene, like they'd been people going about their lives and then suddenly in a trill, turned to ice. A group sitting at a table and eating, some people walking, others sitting and talking, it seemed. Each one of them was frozen in perfect stillness, the detail of each of them exquisite. One woman was sitting on a raised dais, an almost throne-like chair, obviously the leader of the group.

Eighteen of them.

Sixteen of them seemed to be people of the same time, an older style of dress. Two of them though, were of Arlo Creede. One was him as an eighteen-arc lad, sitting and lifting a flagon to his lips. The other? It was as he was now - and it was exactly as he was now. Of course, when he had seen them be created, due to his own sacrifice, Arlo had seen that one was of an older him. He'd recognised it but - what he had not remembered when he pulled them on was that the clothes he wore now were exactly the clothes this statue had. Every detail, down the tiniest one, was exactly him in this moment, carved in perfect rendition in ice.

That statue, the one which mirrored Arlo was standing and he held out a hand, as though expecting something.

Standing next to the Arlo of right-now statue, there was a statue of a woman. It was the woman Arlo had spoken to all those arcs before. She too held out a hand. Both Darius and Arlo recognised her - it was Joelle. The fortune teller.

On his other side, there was a statue of a man. He had moved from when Arlo visited the caves before. Now, he stood flanking the statue of the Sojourner and he, too, held out a hand.

"It is a pleasure to see you again, son of Cassion," the woman's voice was soft, gentle. As Arlo remembered it and they all heard it. "We two have waited for you. To finish the tale we told you." The eyes of the statue were moving, but the voice came from within it. "Darius," she said softly. "Cassion has told us about you and your bravery. Ledas, it is good to see you." The last she addressed to the tiger.

"As it is to set eyes on you," Ledas the tiger said and they all heard it. To Darius, the tiger turned to look then and it was glowing. "I vouch for this man, Darius by name." The tiger's voice was deep and baritone, reverberating around the room. "He is brave and true and has impressed me with every action."

There should be at least one more," she said. And then, they all heard - apparently even the tiger and the statue - the voice of Lyova. Arlo's diri. No one had thought to question how it was that Lyova could speak to the other diris. Arlo, after all, was not Fire Forged. That was something unique to them. Yet, Lyova had been there and she had chatted and those in the Glass Temple had heard her as had Arlo. Come to that, Arlo had never questioned how, after Jesine's death, Lyova had stayed with him. But she had.

And now, just like all the Fire Forged Diris, everyone heard her. In the Glass Temple they heard her. Praetorum and Eckman heard her.

"Praetorum! Eckman! Come! Bring the stone! We're here, we're finally here," and she showed Praetorum and Eckman what was happening. Praetorum and Eckman appearedI've checked with Prae's player together, having sat on the bench holding hands to ensure that they were not separated. Praetorum had the chainstone in a bag. When he'd tried to use cloth on it, the cloth had burned, but a knife sliding it into a bag had worked just fine.

And the ice statue of the woman spoke. "Well met, brave Praetorum and Eckman. We have watched from our prison and we are grateful to you - to you all - for what you do here." She was a statue of ice, perfect and not moving, but talking, next to a statue of Arlo.

It was not a usual day, even for Scalvoris.

"There is truth in stories" she said. "And I will tell you mine." Speaking softly, she began.

"We gave our future to stop the island from sinking into the sea. The waters were boiling. We were called by who we believed to be Qylios but was, in fact, Audrae. We did not know. Three of us came, one was already here" the one who was here was, apparently, the woman seated on the dais. "One from each Edge of the world, we used the portal stones, and we brought the stones with us, so that no one would be able to follow. She was here, with the base stone and preparing for us. Four corners, four elements, four generations of each family. That was the sacrifice."

Arlo had, of course, heard the story before. "We were told that our sacrifice would save the island from the four creatures, that they were what caused the seas and the lava. They were not. Elemental wolves, elemental tigers, elemental birds - all of them existed here and she trapped them with the Induks" She turned blind eyes which saw them to them each individually. "We were tricked. We made the sacrifice willingly, to save the world. We had to be brave, not to cry out or ask for help. Courage, after all. We agreed"

Ledas stepped forward then, although he remained close to Darius. "Audrae used a relic which was here. A relic crafted by Ralaith which trapped these people and drank their lives, eternally, out of time." He sounded sad. "It was never meant for this use, it was intended for the most beneficent of uses."The tiger told then, of a medic of great renown who visited Scalvoris with the hope of healing his beloved from an incurable disease. As time began to run out he had begged the Immortal of Time for more, and had been granted an item. Not to extend life, but to freeze it. To hold his wife in a state of being frozen in time while he worked. The price, though, was that each trial her life was extended by in this frozen state, so his was shortened by one.

Eventually, the medic had accepted that he could not cure the illness. He shattered the item, held her while she died and left. But once he was gone, others came and tried to replicate the medical miracle of freezing people in time, not aware that it was a relic granted by an Immortal which did it. Arcs passed and then the relic of Ralaith was found. By a man who sought power over life and death itself. He wanted to use the relic to achieve Immortality, to ascend among the gods. "And Audrae promised him all of it for the relic. He gave it to her and she made four daughters of Qylios believe that they could use it to save the world."

The woman spoke then. "Then, in Cylus 718, Arlo Creede came here with Cassion. Cassion had learned of our tale and he had tried to save us, but we had asked him to help us. It was the curse. None we asked for help, could. So, he brought Arlo here, and told the tale. We did not ask for help." But, of course, Arlo had given it. "It had been Cassion's intention to free Arlo, when he took the curse from us. Since Arlo had not asked for help, Cassion could. But Arlo surprised the Immortal"

The tiger spoke. "Arlo was freed from the curse without Cassion's aid and there were two statues of him. Famula, like her sisters, was working against Audrae but could not stand directly. So, she took a tiny part of your soul," he said to Arlo. "And she put it in the device. It called you here, now, to finish what you started then."

All those years ago Cassion had not known what had happened. How there were two statues of Arlo. But now? Now it seemed that a biqaj selling potions on the docks of Scalvoris had been part of Famula's plan, too.

"We can not ask for help," the woman said. "But Ishallr is trapped and we freely chose to wait here until you came. Three chainstones. Darius, you have one. Praetorum, you have another. Arlo you have carried yours with you since you set us free."

She fell silent then. Ledas spoke in a deep voice. "If you are to act, you must do so together." Looking to Darius then, the tiger regarded him. "I thank you, Darius, for the trust you have already shown me, and I hope you take the final step. Three hands. Three stones."

Info & Rules

Hello again everyone! :D Arlo, Prae, Darius. :D Tony (Ledas)

Current State

 ! Message from: Current State
  • You all feel fine.

Objectives

Do, or do not. There is no try. Get a Star Wars reference in to your next post. (Can-Do)

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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Who’s the more foolish: the fool or the fool who follows him?Obi-Wan Kenobi, A New Hope That was the question Arlo had asked himself, as he threw caution completely to the wind, and sat down on that bench. Only time, perhaps trills would tell if it had been the right or the wrong decision. Once it was done, it would be left for Prae and Eckman to decide if they'd follow suit.

Then in a flash of blinding blue light and the blink of an eye, Arlo found himself standing in place he'd been before, all those arcs ago, and remembered all too well. Two of the statues exquisitely crafted from ice, including two of himself, attested to that. And finally, there was Darius, and the ice tiger he and Prae and Eckman had been tracking. While he couldn't exactly recall crossing paths with the creature before, the tiger seemed to recognize him, so Arlo smiled and dipped his head respectfully in return.

"Darius," he said, already taking in their surroundings. "It's good to have found you safe. Prae and Eckman should be along shortly. Maybe." If Darius had been receiving reports from Lyova or elsewhere in the same way that the rest of them had, then the man would already know that Elisabeth was safe. "It looks much the same as the last time I was here," he said, but then frowned curiously after taking a closer look at the replica of him that was older than the other. "Except, not exactly." How was that possible, he thought as he walked nearer his own image for a closer look.

Down to the very last detail, of the here and now. Just that very morning, breaks ago, he'd cut himself shaving, and there it was, that small imperfection on his cheek. Had it only changed due to his close proximity, or had it been changing all along? At any rate, it seemed not only this one, but others had moved since the last time he'd seen them. Hands out in expectation, as well. Certainly he recognized the woman. Joelle, except that last time he was here, he hadn't made the connection to the woman who'd handed him the potion to drink. One that had added several arcs and several layers of muscle to him, overnight.

Still, he smiled and dipped his head when she spoke. "It's very good to see you again as well. Although I'd thought you, all of you, would have been long gone by now." It had never occurred to him that when he'd freed them, they'd remain there after he was gone. All these arcs. If only he'd known. And yet, she'd go on to explain why that was, and why it had been a choice freely made. Of course he knew most of the story already, though certainly not the ending. Because it wasn't, in fact, over just yet.

Meanwhile, Prae and Eckman had arrived, and were present in order to hear a firsthand retelling of the tale. It was true, he might have questioned how it was that Lyova had remained with him, even after it no longer seemed possible that she would. He'd have missed her more than he'd care to admit. But the truth was, he hadn't questioned it. He'd assumed she'd had a choice, and had opted to stay. And for that he was grateful. "Famula...A piece of my soul?" The revelation came as a surprise to be sure. Was that how the statue of him managed to exactly mirror him as he was now?

It did seem to partly clear up the mystery of how he'd been released from the curse he'd freely taken upon himself back then, without having to ask for Cassion's help. When she told them what they needed to do, however, and that for all these arcs, he'd been carrying one of the chainstones with him, Arlo was temporarily taken aback. He'd taken three things away from that journey into the ice caves, apart from the memories. A scar and Cassion's blessing. The wolf's tooth that he wore round his neck. And..."Ah."

Pulling his domain bag from his shoulder, Arlo reached inside and pulled out a small, leather wrapped bundle, and undid the ties, in order to reveal a small statue of a bear made of ice that hadn't melted in spite of arcs gone by. It had appeared in his hand when the curse that he'd freely taken upon himself, had been broken. "All this time I've been carrying this with me, without really knowing why." So very little had he known then, until just now. He grinned a little while holding it up to what light there was and quipped, Silly old bear.Winnie the Pooh reference, just because. :P

So three outstretched hands, three stones. Arlo didn't need to be asked, even though he knew that they couldn't. He'd have done it even if the fate of Idalos didn't hang in the balance. "Ready?" he said to Darius and Prae, assuming that they'd be feeling much the same as him. All together, all three at once, they'd been told. A bit of his soul was in play here, so it seemed most reasonable for him to place the small bear into the outstretched hand of his own mirror image. He'd only do that however, gently, when both Prae and Darius did the same with the remaining two statues, right alongside him.
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Darius felt torn as he walked away from the statues. The ghosts within - souls of those who had fallen - were trapped inside, and he felt as though he was abandoning them and prolonging their imprisonment.

"I have a bad feeling about thisThis quote (or a variation thereof) appears in every Star Wars movie, and is said by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, C-3PO, and even BB-8 in binary!," he muttered under his breath.

And yet, despite his inner turmoil, he knew that he had to push on. What good would it be to free three souls and lose the entirety of Scalvoris in the process? With a glance at the lantern in his hand, and a silent prayer of repentance sent towards Famula, he allowed the ice tiger to lead him away.

There was a moment, which he couldn't quite define, when he seemed to suddenly be transported. One instant he was in the cave with the three statues; the next, he was in...another cave with statues. The lantern was still in his hand, the tiger was still by his side, and Katara was still chirping excitedly, but that was just about all that was unchanged.

There were more statues in this room than in the last, and he was no longer the only member of the Ishallr expedition in the caves. He saw Arlo first, and then Praetorum. The third man to appear was not someone he knew by name, but Darius recognised him as one of the Sohr-Kahl riders. The blond mariner wore a relieved expression as he sent each of them a nod of greeting.

"You're a sight for sore eyes," he quipped. "I'm glad you're here."

There was one obvious absence, of course, and for a fleeting moment, Elisabeth's fate stung Darius in the chest, but he banished the thought almost as soon as it arrived. In time, the adrenaline would fade and he would feel all of the anguish that the knowledge of her near-death experience warranted, but the present moment demanded that he retain a clear mind so that he could focus on the task at...

...hands were outstretched as the icy sentries held their positions before the group. Darius was struck by the one of Arlo that matched his features in every possible way. Even his clothing, down to the hem of his tunic, was a perfect duplicate.

And then a voice startled him. There was a familiarity to it, but only in the faintest of ways. It took a few trills for him to recognise the icy features of the fortune teller. The bearded blond furrowed his brow at the sight.

"Joelle?"

Darius thought back to the trial in Cylus when he'd been asked if he'd wanted his fortune told. He hadn't taken it seriously, at first, but the woman had convinced her with his words. Only now, in the comparatively freezing caves of Ishallr, did the Scalvorian recall that Joelle had not been bothered by the recent snowfall, despite wearing rags. And she had seemed blind, and yet had seen into the future.

"But...how?"

How was she here? As a statue? When he had seen her in the flesh in Scalvoris Town?

Almost without thinking, his free hand fumbled its way into his pack and pulled out a cardImage. Darius looked at it, and studied the boatman and the child. Which one was he?

And then Joelle's words within the cave began to register in his mind. Cassion had been told of his bravery? His bravery?

Darius was still returning the card to his pack when he heard another voice.

He turned to see that the ice tiger was talking. Talking!

It took a few moments for Darius to find his voice.

"Well met, Ledas," he eventually managed.

It felt good to call the tiger by his name.

He heard Lyova, then, and was relieved to learn that the others had a chainstone, too.

And then Joelle and Ledas began to tell a story. Darius' dark grey eyes watched as he turned his head between the two speakers: one, a statue that had been a blind fortune teller; and the other, a tiger that had until this moment only uttered growls and roars. Or, Darius contemplated, perhaps it was only now that he understood what the fearsome creature had been saying all along.

After the statue wove her tale, Darius turned to Arlo, curious as to the man's reaction. It was, after all, his tale, too.

The son of Cassion seemed to take it all in his stride, but when the man produced the bear trinket, Darius recognised what he was about to do. Nodding in agreement, the Scalvorian reached into his pack and pulled out his knotted tunic bundle and began to unravel the material. He let the soaked piece of clothing fall away, revealing a chainstone packed in ice. Setting the lamp gently down - or letting Ledas take it, if the ice tiger wanted it back - Darius rested the stone in one gloved hand, while the other rubbed away the snow and ice so that the upper side of the stone was revealed.

And then, after sharing nods of readiness with Arlo and Praetorum - and one of acknowledgement of Ledas' gratitude - Darius reached to the nearest statue and turned his hand over so that the exposed part of the stone would meet the outstretched icy palm.

"One...two...three," he spoke at a steady pace.

And slowly, gently, in unison with the others, he placed the chainstone into the statue's grasp.
Inventory
  • Average quality studded leather gambeson, leggings, and boots.
  • Average quality longsword.
  • Average quality dagger.
  • Waterflask.
  • Ledas' lantern.
  • Joelle's fortune telling card: the boatman.
  • Mirror with magic healing ability. Your mirror functions as a normal mirror - but it emits a constant warmth along with the constant glow. It will function as a camp-fire if placed on the ground and keeps the person carrying it in a constant state of warm - summer or winter!
  • Saoire's box of chocolates. A small box with 10 8 chocolates. They are, frankly, beyond delicious and taste like your very favourite thing. You find yourself unable to more than 1 on any trial. But each one provides the following to whoever eats it for the next 6 breaks: "Saoire's domain of Gifts is not merely one of physical goods, but of the happiness and joy that comes with both giving and recieving a well meant gift. This ability allows the Blessed to give both themselves and anyone they're with a feeling of joy and good cheer, banishing negative feelings like sorrow, anger, and fear."
  • Cassion's book. Cassion has given Darius a book in which to write things.
  • Other winter equipment provided by the Elements. (Spare clothing, rope, crampons, rations, etc.)
  • Vega's skill bonus. This skill will be directly linked to the focus Vega has so - if it is in a camp preparing for battle, for the soldiers it will be a combat skill - but the cook for that camp would gain a bonus to cooking for the troops. No more than one bonus per day can be given. (Chosen skill: Field Craft.)
  • Vega's flag bonus. PCs who are working towards the goal of the clan are given more support, more help. Things happen quicker and more efficiently for that reason. PCs who are actively using skills which benefit the "clan" and are doing so with NPCs / PCs of the "clan" - may assume that the task is less difficult and by everything going smoothly and people helping, everything falls together more easily. This allows the task to be easier / a stroke of luck /teamwork to mean that the task is completed in 50% of the time OR to 2 levels higher a standard than they could otherwise achieve.
Last edited by Darius Baer Bottom on Wed Jun 30, 2021 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1326
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Praetorum
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Re: [The Forging] Ice


Praetorum reached out for the stone, cloth in hand, only to be interrupted by Arlo, who suggested that he take it in an even more indirect fashion. It was a sensible idea, and Prae drew his hand back before making contact. Drawing a hunting knife, Prae did just what Arlo said, gently scooping it into a waiting bag, careful not to let it touch him even through the cloth.

Luckily, it worked just fine, and nothing went wrong. For once.

Then Arlo spoke again, and Prae tipped his head to the side, considering. It made sense, much more sense than just wandering around aimlessly while the tunnels teleported them too and fro, but it was risky. Then again, Prae was hardly in a position to tell anyone not to take a risk, given the circumstances. “Have your diri tell us if anything horrifically terrible happens to you if you disappear once you sit,” he told Arlo as the man prepared to sit on the mysterious bench. “If not, we’ll follow after a few moments.“

Sure enough, Arlo sat, and vanished in a flash. “That answers that,” he muttered. He waited a heartbeat for Lyova to tell them that Arlo was now dangling upside down in an ice cave somewhere, about to get eaten by some horrid monster or something equally awful. Instead, her voice rang out in their ear excitedly, telling them to cross over and bring the stone. Well, that was good enough for Prae. Reaching out, he grabbed Eckman’s hand—“Let’s try not to get separated, shall we”—and sat on the bench, ready to get beamed overBonus star trek reference. Too bad there's no one here to call 'Scotty'..

They reappeared—together, thankfully—with Arlo and Darius, who he nodded to in greeting. It was good to see the man alive and well, after their brief separation. Then the statues nearby began to speak, greeting them by name. No stranger than anything else that had happened so far, he supposed. They told their tale, one of deception, of sacrifice, of bravery.

They did not ask for help, merely outstretched their hands. And Prae understood, feeling the weight of the bag in his hand and Scalvoris’ fate on their shoulders. Arlo pulled out a chainstone, a small ice sculpture he had evidently carried all this time. Darius unwrapped his own, coated in ice and safely held.

Prae nodded his assent, and crouched down, sweeping snow and ice into the bag in his hand until the stone was covered. Then, he carefully took a cloth, covering it with snow as well, and used it to pick up the chainstone, guessing that like Darius, the layer of ice and snow would keep it from hurting him.

He shared a nod with the other two men, and stepped up to the last statue. And as Darius counted them down, he placed his own chainstone into that open, icy hand, in perfect unison with the others.
The war of stars reference
Luke Skywalker dangling upside down in the wampa cave in The Empire Strikes Back


[Inventory as before, + Chainstone in hand]
word count: 522
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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Re: [The Forging] Ice

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Inside The Cave
Arlo, who had been here before, spoke his greeting - he said that he had thought they would be gone by now, and Darius asked how it was Joelle was here. Arlo considered his soul being here - or a small part of it - and Darius examined the card which Joelle had given him. Arlo too had a cardImage given by her many arcs ago. "Maybe it was luck which brought you to me those trials," she said. "to hear the prophecy I spoke. But, in my experience, there is no such thing as luck A New Hope" It was true, as far as she was concerned.

"I was there, and here. It is hard to explain, and a difficult task to achieve. It requires focus. But I had to." Her voice lifted into a smile, even though her face was frozen. "Your focus determines your realityPhantom Menace, so I knew. Do. Or do not. There is no try Do I really need to explain?."
Image
The three of them moved, in unison. They placed the stones together, in time with one another and there was a glow of pure white. "It is done. The circle is now complete. A New Hope" Joelle whispered and, when they could see her again, as the white light receded, they saw that the statue had changed. Just slightly. She smiled, now, a slight smile on her face and a single tear was frozen eternally half way down one cheek.

Joelle's statue no longer held out its hands, either - now, those hands were crossed over her heart. Arlo's statue, too, had changed. It now stood, holding an ice-bear and the figure was looking at that small bear in just the expression Arlo just had.

But it might be reasonable to assume that none of them noticed that for quite a while. Because where the statue of the man had been standing mere moments ago now stood another form. For Darius, who had seen Faldrass, it was not so different. "Ishallr," Ledas said and he bowed.

The earth shook. The cave trembled and that shaking was felt all over Scalvoris. But it was one tremor and then, it was gone. The being in front of them stood and spoke. It was simultaneously massively tall and yet, contained in the form it wore. When it spoke, they felt the very ground shake as it's voice boomed out and yet, it was quiet and softly spoken.

"Is it true?"


It looked at them, ice-cold eyes regarding them. And then, it moved. Standing there, they could feel the power emanate from it. The room around them had seemed cathedral-like previously but now it took more clear shape. It was vast and beautiful and ice glittered like crystal. There was an altar carved from ice and there were creatures moving in the enormous place.

"I am free once more. Finally. You have my thanks, you four."


Looking at them, each one, it regarded them. Then it spoke to each, individually.

"Darius Baer. You freed Faldrass. I see his Forging on you."
It bowed its head slightly.
"We owe you a debt."


To Arlo then, Ishallr spoke.
"Arlo Creede, we know you. Your willing sacrifice set in motion what was needed to make this task easy."
Obviously, he had a different definition of "easy" and "difficult". But it continued.
"The touch of the ScalvFlame is on you. You are Life Forged. When it is time to choose, I hope you and the Death Forged choose balance."


Ishallr looked at Praetorum and tilted his head appraisingly.
"Praetorum. You are not of Scalvoris, yet you have acted in our defence. Your bravery earns our gratitude. If you will have it,"
the creature spoke firmly, words reverberating around the cathedral-like space.
"We will make you Ice Forged."


Eckman was spoken to, and Ishallr praised his bravery. He offered the same to the Element and, without hesitation, he accepted.

It would be fair to say that they might expect Ishallr to stop speaking then. But it did not.

"And you, Lyova,"
it spoke to Arlo's diri.
"You have done your duty well. You would be free?"


"I already am!" Lyova said, fluttering around. She was briefly visible to everyone - and they saw that she was a small, brightly lit fairy. "I am free to choose and I choose to stay, to stay with him. Don't let it go to your head, Arlo, but I like being with you and you have so many adventures and we have such fun. He's having a baby you know, well, he's not but Vega is and they're going to be parents and that sounds like the biggest adventure of them all. I made the vow when he made the sacrifice, and I will keep it. I am of dreams and earth, the sweetwine song, of fire and ice and freedom. I choose!" At her talking, the Induk of Ice chuckled. It was a sound so beautiful that it would force tears from many. Lyova, though, shifted form in a way Arlo had never seen and next to him was a wolf of ice.

"And you, Ledas?"


Ledas spoke in a deep voice. "I am where I choose, also" The tiger, it seemed, was far less chatty. "If Darius will accept my company."

And so, the Induk of Ishallr spoke a final time to them.

"You must leave now. When all four are freed, you must go to the ScalvFlame and there, balance will be restored."


And with that, the Induk simply made it so that they were no longer there. The four of them now stood - with Ledas also - at the entrance to the Glass Temple. Eckman sighed. "My Sohr Kahl is going to be so confused," he said.

Current State

Mission: Successful

You have freed the Induk of Ishallr! One more post from you here, please, and then you will find yourselves in the Glass Temple
You do not need to post in the Glass Temple this round - please end your post here with you walking in to the Temple (he dropped you outside) if that is what you would do. You can always slope off, now, too. But that would be no fun at all!

Objectives

Please determine if you will accept the offer of becoming Ice Forged, Praetorum.

DiriCom

Fully functioning once more!!
Next Post: Sunday 27th June (in the Glass Temple)
word count: 1079
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~~Red in hoof and claw... ~~


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Praetorum
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

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Re: [The Forging] Ice


Praetorum had been in the presence of spirits before—but never one like this. Its… vastness, for lack of a better word, reminded him almost more of an immortal than the petty spirits he’d encountered in the past. It almost reminded him… of a dream he’d once had, a twisted dream with effects that had rippled out into the waking world.

He shook the thought away as the Induk Ishallr began to speak. To Darius, the Fire Forged. To Arlo, who he labeled Life Forged—not a term Prae had heard before, but it fit the Death Forged that had been mentioned before. In hindsight, they probably should have seen that coming.

And to Prae and Eckman, it offered its own forging. The chance to be Ice Forged. It did not explain what that meant, but Prae thought he had something of an inkling. To be the equals and opposites of the Fire Forged, to balance them out… “I accept,” Prae said, lowering his head in respect. At his side, Eckman did the same.

Lyova and Ledas made their choices too, and then…

Prae blinked, and he felt a lurch—not physically, but internally, as their location abruptly changed. Even before his eyes landed on the Glass Temple once more, he knew—they were back in Scalvoris Town.

“Fire and Ice, Life and Death… I suppose the others will come out Soul and Song Forged, then?” He said, almost more to himself than anyone else. He shook his head. “Come on,” he said to the others, and started to head into the temple. “Let’s get warmed up inside. I don’t know about any of you, but I never want to be that cold ever again.”
word count: 289
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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