• Graded • [The Forging] Life & Death

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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

Arc 721, 30 Ashan

Jacien spent his moments explaining to the young mage her mistakes, again. It didn’t feel remotely good in the least, especially after enduring the unrelenting voices, fighting back against whatever they, and her own soul, could muster in terms of negativity. In truth, she had no idea what to feel about herself or frankly anyone else. Her intentions weren’t good enough.

Elisabeth had thought she had progressed but that didn’t seem to be the case, and it was apparently evident to everyone but herself. She had always prided herself on her ability for self-reflection but perhaps she had just been lying to herself all along, seeing what she wanted to see. She was still that girl from Rharne, overwhelmed upon learning of Idalos’ bigger issues, wanting to help but not knowing how.

Maybe she was an idiot.

“Thank you.” Those were the only words offered up, unsure of what else to say. She was grateful for whatever he had done but words were not her friends at that time so instead of digging herself further into the hole, she just stopped digging.

When he cursed, her eyes flickered to him briefly, listening as he explained something about being outed and the Audrae link? She had no idea what that was all about, but it seemed that whatever had happened, had been taken care of.

He removed a silver ring and what had been hidden was revealed. The marks he wore, Elisabeth wasn’t sure what they signified but it was clear Jacien had powerful abilities, as evidenced by the green mist and the concurrent return of her energy. She did as he asked, holding still. And when he finished, she thanked him again.

Taking his offered hand, they moved to the passageway. Elisabeth nodded at his advice, letting him know she understood.

***

Jacien and Elisabeth arrived in the Glass Temple several bits later. Glancing around, she noticed Kura, Doran, and Ru, but remained silent for the moment, observing, watching, and staying out of the way...but as always taking everything in.
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Doran
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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The Glass Temple & Chuckles:

When Stan told him that they had one of those necklaces, the son of Ziell raised an eyebrow for a moment before he remarked, his tone of voice thoughtful, “I met Aeon once, a couple of arcs ago. He impressed me”, he added. He had met Aeon on a boat trip to Ne’haer, prior to the Battle at Treid’s Tomb. The young hero had already been missing an eye and an arm back then – he didn’t know how he had lost them - but he had been an incredibly skilled swordsman, nevertheless.

Thinking of his first and only meeting with Aeon, he accepted the necklace and inspected it from all angles, before he said a brief prayer for the dead hero and finally told Stan, “It looks exactly like my necklace. And Aeon was indeed at Treid’s Tomb, as was Mrs. Augustin, if I remember correctly. As for who else received such necklaces”, he continued and turned to the guard that had posed that question, furrowing his brow barely noticeably in the process. “Mrs. and Mr. Augustin should have one each, and I am almost certain that Lei’lira Warrick was given one as well”, he added.

“It’s been a couple of arcs. I’m afraid that I do not remember every single name anymore”, he admitted in a calm tone of voice before he thanked the guard who would bring the necklace to Hart. That Hart would be protected was good to know, although they had yet to find a necklace for Elisabeth, of course. His decision not to let her into the temple before that still stood. No matter whether Elisabeth was innocent in this regard or not, he would not let Audrae spy on them again.

While the others went looking for more necklaces, he turned to the researchers once more and listened to what they told him about Ol’Tuck. “Are you suggesting that Ol’Tuck could be the Induk of Sweetwine?” he asked and considered what Professor Fridson had said. “I don’t assume that there is any way to find out if freeing him might bring the fairies back?” he wanted to know. That was something that had immediately come to his mind. What would freeing Ol’Tuck mean for the fairies, and for the entirety of Scalvoris, provided that he did indeed turn out to be the Induk of Sweetwine?

“Saoire”, he abruptly said to Stan and proceeded to elaborate, “Saoire is the Immortal of Turtles. Ol’Tuck is or was a tortoise. According to the legend, the slain fairies turned into turtles and tortoises. Can you see if she has time to help us, please, or if any of her followers or anybody in Saoire’s school knows more about this matter – or the tree on Emerald Isle itself? It would be good if we had more information in that regard”, he decided.

“We also need to figure out if there is another way into the tree”, he added and turned to look at all of them.

Provided that they found out anything useful, he would forward the information to Sweetwine.

“There was mist as well when the Induk of the Mountain was being dealt with”, he murmured thoughtfully when the conversation turned to the matter of Ornthus which seemed to be the place where the ScalvFlame was. Before he had the opportunity to ponder what that meant further, Chuckles piped up. He had thought that the information that the flame entity could provide had been exhausted, but apparently, he realized, that was not the case.

“You said that Mount Ornthus is a place where all the worlds meet, a so-called vergence. Can you tell us more about it, please?” he wanted to know. He had come to realize that communication with Chuckles was a problem quite some time ago, but perhaps, he had some useful information to share, nevertheless. It was worth giving it a try in his opinion. He would not rely on the flame entity alone in that matter though.

For that reason, he turned to his researchers once more – and also addressed Stan, as spirits might be closely tied to matters of the faith – and spoke, “I’d like you to look into the matter of vergences. What exactly are they, what happens if they stay open for a longer amount of time, can and should they be closed – and how do they affect magic?” he added, furrowing his brow slightly as he remembered that they were dealing with a breach between Emea and Idalos and that using magic was dangerous at best.

Did a vergence have a similar effect?

“Also, what exactly does the Mountain Induk’s fate mean in that regard?” he spoke before he turned to the array of Diris. “Woe, can you tell me more about what happened on the mountain?” he wanted to know Sintra’s son had been there. He might possess valuable information, information that might help them save Scalvoris.

“And”, he continued as another thing occurred to him, something that he should have considered earlier. “Is there such a thing as an Emean vergence, a rip in reality that leads from the Beneath to Emea – or from Emea to Idalos? I need a Loshova or a Zuuda, someone that is familiar with matters of spirits and the soul”, he muttered, wishing that Faith Augustin were here in order to advise them once more. Her help would have been invaluable. For a moment, he wondered if he should try to contact her – but it was unlikely that she would arrive in Scalvoris Town in time. Her advice would come too late.

There might be someone else though, if his suspicion was correct.

The Groups:

When the Mortalborn received the report about the bench and the symbol on it, he furrowed his brow before he turned to Kura and told her, “That symbol looks like the medal the Elements have but the elements on it are arranged in the wrong order. Albarech, can you tell me more about the medal? Do you know what the symbol in the middle stands for?” he wanted to know. If she could not help him, he would repeat the question to whatever the representatives of the Elements were present. Finally, he asked the researchers to try and find out more about the symbol Ishallr had found and the Element medal.

“Didn’t the Scaltoth group see the moon even though they were deep underground, and wasn’t there light in Sweetwine?” he asked as he pondered the symbol again. “Is there a connection? Treid is a son of Fei”, he remarked, recalling the Immortal's fate and Audrae’s role in it once more, and proceeded to rub his forehead for a moment as there was so much to consider.

“Please”, he told the researchers as well as Rose, the librarian. “If anything about the reports or what we all say catches your attention, take a closer look at it, and let me know if you found anything interesting out.”

If any of his questions in regard to the symbol were answered, he would share the information with the three groups.

He would make sure that they succeeded, one way or another.

“If you find any other symbols like that – or have already found one – let me know, please”, he asked Ishallr, Scaltoh and Sweetwine and described the symbol to them. “Also let me know if the symbols change in any way. And if you have found a way to handle the Chainstones safely, tell the other groups.”

The symbol that the Elements used was different from the one that Ishallr had found which made him wonder if the latter represented the current state of balance on Scalvoris. If that was the case, it was possible that it would change as the teams progressed. If that happened, it might help them time everything correctly. Of course, he might also be interpreting too much into it; in his opinion, it was better to turn out to be wrong than to not consider a certain possibility though.

“Chuckles”, he spoke to the flame entity once the report from Sweetwine arrived, relieved that contact with the team had been reestablished. “You told us that Sweetwine was a song, a dream brought alive by the rip. What kind of song is it though?” The flame entity tended to speak in riddles, but he had known about the Song of Sweetwine, and thus it was possible that he might have more information in that regard.

Eventually, he decided to contact Ishallr once more, including Darius, provided that he could be reached again. “Darius Baer has found a chainstone, and Arlo, Eckman and Praetorum found another one. Ishallr needs to be released first”, he reminded them. Having done that, he sent a message that Ishallr had found the first two chainstones to the other groups – and let Ishallr and Sweetwine know that Scaltoth had found a chainstone as well. He would not rely on them getting in contact with each other; communication between the various teams – or a lack thereof – had been a problem before.

Scaltoth had done best out of all three groups so far in his opinion, but there was one thing that he asked the researchers to look into, regardless, “See if you can find out anything about what’s under Scaltoth. Perhaps there are even maps of sorts?” he added. It didn’t make sense to him that there was no information at all. Somebody had to have previously taken a look at the jungle. Mortals tended to be curious.

“And try to find out if mages that do not cast are affected by this here at all – and if there is a way to remove a spark, a way that does not involve killing the mage or causing them permanent harm”, he added, frowning in a somewhat obvious fashion. There was a rip in reality, a breach between Emea and Idalos, there was a vergence, and magic was unreliable at best and nearly deadly at the worst of times. He had already been ambivalent towards his spark before, although he still valued his connection to Llyr, but if it constituted a risk, to himself, but especially to those around him, it needed to go.

It might not be the case now, but there would without a doubt come a moment when such would happen, and when even the Ring of Paradigm that he had brought in case he needed that kind of protection might not be enough.

Unlike the Warden, he would not put others at risk because of his attachment to another person, no matter how much he had loved or still loved said person, and no matter how many happy memories – and there were a lot of them - were involved. He would choose differently, provided that a way that did not involve his death presented itself.

He would never rely on such a power anyway, but preferred to trust science, and his sword.

Maybe, he considered with a somewhat grim smile, his initiation had been due to a temporary lapse of judgement, a moment of weakness (He was not immune to such things; he was imperfect, just like everybody else in the world.)

~~~

Cassion & Daia:

There was an intensity in Cassion’s eyes that was almost physical. Up until that point, the son of Ziell had thought that he would eventually be able to understand his father’s kin, no matter how foreign they were. He had thought that one of the major differences between them and him, apart from their far greater power, was that they were irrevocable tied to their domains (which made blaming them for their actions a questionable thing to do).

There was nothing mortal or even comprehensible about the look in the Taleweaver’s eyes though. He was nothing like him. He did not turn away though, but met his gaze, utterly in awe, and intrigued. He had never looked divinity in the eyes like that before, he realized, and might never get a chance to do so again. He had met a number of Immortals over the course of the centuries, but they had always appeared to be almost human. Perhaps, he considered, it was a mask that they wore, in order to look more approachable.

For a few moments, the son of Ziell stood completely still. He was tense, and perhaps even shaken, but as Cassion laughed, approached him and clapped him on the back – and confirmed that this was indeed what Ziell had warned them all about – he returned the grin. “I thank you”, he replied and inclined his head deeply when he told him that he had called Daia. He had of course, always tried to remain hopeful before, because life was nothing without hope, but for the first time, he saw a very realistic chance to save the island, and the world.

He did not say anything when Cassion more or less told Kura off, but simply listened, standing some distance away from her in order to give them a bit of space, the expression on his face calm and polite. This conversation was none of his business, and thus he would not take part in it.

Before long, his attention was drawn to Ruari. He had noticed that Cassion had kept on observing her while he talked to the Albarech which made him wonder if Audrae still had a hold on her – and if giving her the necklace had only been a temporary or partial solution. It was unlikely that the Immortal would pay so much attention to her if there was nothing unusual about her, not when the fate of the world was at stake.

When Cassion remarked that she was here, he immediately turned towards the door and stood completely straight. He did not ask him who he meant, because he knew. Daia had finally arrived. When his patroness walked through the door, accompanied by three of her lions, he bowed for a moment, deeply and utterly respectfully, but he did not say anything. Whatever was happening, this was Cassion’s and Daia’s part of the story.

His entire attention was focused on her – and on Cassion – as she placed a hand in his, and they began to speak, affected by the importance and the magnitude of the events that were about to unfold. They spoke in perfect unison, as if they were one person, speaking from two mouths. How could he ever have thought that he had anything in common with them?

Standing still, fascinated and entranced – he had seen a lot of things over the course of the centuries, but never anything that had come even remotely close to that – he watched as the shadows began to disappear, as Isis fell and the light changed with each name that they spoke, taking note of the fact that they did not mention Delroth or Sintra. Had they not sworn the second Oath? Was that why Delroth had been able to cause trouble in Sweetwine?

Daia approached Ruari, and the light grew brighter and brighter. The son of Ziell turned his head away so that his eyes would not get damaged, but he continued to listen as Daia and Cassion who still acted as one told Audrae to let go of the child. When the child collapsed, his heart skipped a beat, before he suddenly noticed the lines in the palms of the Immortal’s hands. Llyr’s fingertips had glowed with a similar light, and Hart had had the same glow on his chest. Had what had happened taken a great deal of Cassion’s power, perhaps too much?

When Cassion addressed him again, and got up rather slowly, he offered the Immortal a hand, provided that he needed his help, before he remarked, returning his – and Daia’s smile, “And I am grateful to you, to both of you.”

He could not help but wonder how Cassion and Daia planned on dealing with the Warden and his daughter, but he decided not to ask; he would not hold them up any longer than was absolutely necessary, besides, it didn’t matter how they decided to deal with the two of them, only that they did. There was only one thing that he decided to ask them about before they took their leave, because it might continue to play a part in the story.

“I have one more question, provided that you have time”, he told them in a polite tone of voice, hoping that they would not mind – it was too important not to mention it in his opinion though. “You did not invoke Delroth’s name, or Sintra’s. May I ask why?”

When Cassion told him that he would not remember, he furrowed his brow very lightly as he wondered why this would be the case, but he did, again, not ask. Unlike some people, he would not babble endlessly in the presence of such beings; besides, it seemed as if the peculiar kind of amnesia that he would suffer from would only be temporary.

The reason for it would likely be revealed in time.

That was why he only said to Cassion, smiling, “I look forward to meeting you again during the feast. And I will tell Oram, I promise”, he added before he bade them farewell, bowing politely and respectfully once more. For just a few moments, he stood there, looking at the place where they had been, thinking about the magnitude of what he had just witnessed before he relayed Cassion’s message to Oram – and continued his work.

~~~

Elisabeth, Jacien & Kalortah:

The son of Ziell did not make a face when Jacien brought Elisabeth into the temple, even though he was quite tempted to do so in light of what he had learned so far. He did not look irritated, or angry, even though the young woman had nearly doomed Scalvoris and possibly the entire world on top of it through her inaction (which was quite a feat, everything considered; at least, he had never heard of someone nearly dooming the world in such a fashion before). The expression on his face was calm, cool and utterly polite.

“Welcome back, Miss Angelus”, he spoke and inclined his head fractionally in a greeting. “I’m glad to see that you have recovered fully and are free of Audrae’s influence once more. I do not know what Jacien and you talked about, but I assume that you are aware of the foolishness of your actions – or rather, your inaction - and that you endangered all of us and possibly the entire world on top of it?” he wanted to know in the same calm tone of voice before and raised an eyebrow fractionally.

“It seems as if the Albarech and I are supposed to give you a task”, he continued and thanked Jacien before he gestured for her to come with him. For a moment, he considered just putting her in a random corner and assigning a guard that would watch her at all times to her, but that might cause her start to talk nonsense again and possibly lead to unforeseen complications; besides, she possessed some skills that might be of use. If he remembered correctly, she was a skilled researcher – she had worked at the Institute for Innovation in Rharne when they had first met the cycle before.

“I am working with a team of researchers. We are trying to help and advise the three teams as well as addressing reports and requests from other parts of Scalvoris”, he explained to her. “Provided that the Albarech agrees with me, you will help the researchers with their work. You will defer to the Albarech, Jacien or me though. If you discover something that could possibly be useful, you will talk to the Albarech, Jacien or me first. You will not, under any circumstances, contact our teams or anybody else without explicit permission from the Albarech, Jacien or me”, he added as she might share the wrong information or misinterpret things.

He was aware that he was not always right either; he tried to correct his mistakes once he had realized them though, quite unlike Elisabeth who had just made everything worse and not exactly impressed him with her common sense and her sense of judgement so far.

“That aside, if you are a mage, do not use your magic under any circumstances. It could, again, endanger all of us as we are dealing with a breach between Idalos and Emea, among other things. If you can’t resist the lure of the spark, I can procure a Ring of Paradigm or paradigm cuffs in order to make it easier for you”, he offered in a cool tone of voice before he turned to the Albarech once more as that needed to be said in his opinion.

“Albarech, I would strongly advise that someone keeps an eye on Miss Angelus, despite the fact that the ghost has been removed. I do not trust her not to cause problems should she be allowed to roam freely”, he remarked, aware of the fact that he might sound slightly harsh. It was better to be harsh than to take, possibly unjustified, pity on someone though and put countless others at risk in the process.

He would not be such a fool.

“It might also be a good idea to update her on some of the most recent events”, he added.

Once Elisabeth had been dealt with and put to use, he turned to the other researchers once more as he had one more task for them, “Cassion said that Emea is breaking through and imagination becomes real. That is apparently why Arlo Creede saw the Skeeterwampulus. I want to know if there are any other reports in that regard, if there is mist involved, and if we are dealing with a constant phenomenon, or if the effects are spreading – and if there is any way to stop it”, he added and furrowed his brow again (he had frowned and furrowed his brow on a regular basis since this had started).

“Cassion and Daia helped us save the world, but it’s not really over yet, and I would advise you not to relax or let your guard down for that reason”, he spoke, addressing everybody, including the three teams, because they might feel tempted to do so now that the worst threat had been taken care of. He would not relax yet though, and he would not consider his part in saving the world and what it meant in more detail until it was over for good.

“You must free the Induks in order to achieve balance on Scalvoris, but at this point, you could choose not to and return to Scalvoris Town”, he told the teams. Just like Daia, he did not think that it was likely that they would stop, but he would make the offer, nevertheless. “If you decide to go on, I will continue to advise you as best as I can.”

Having said that, he approached Jacien once more in order to finally ask those questions, inclining his head as he said to. “I don’t think that we’ve thanked you enough yet”, he told him, because his contributions seemed to have been overlooked slightly so far. Mere words were far from sufficient in his opinion, but they were all that he could give him at the moment. “Am I correct in assuming that you are familiar with the Elements as well as matters of spirits and the soul?” he asked in a polite tone of voice and raised an eyebrow slightly. Time was still an issue, and for that reason, he would not beat about the bush, especially since it seemed as if Jacien had been outed by Cassion, anyway.

And Kura had called him one of her deputies before.

“Mount Ornthus seems to be a vergence”, he told him before he repeated what he had learned so far. “And what more, the fifth element seems to be Spirit or the Heart”, he added, remembering his original research. “There is a symbol, of a moon on a black background, surrounded by sunrays, that is featured on the bench and the tiger that were seen on Ishallr. The medal that the Elements use is similar. I would appreciate anything that you are willing to tell me in that regard”, he spoke, aware of the fact that there might be some things that Jacien would not be willing to share.

“All of Cierel’s daughters seem to play a part in this conflict, but Famula’s involvement in Scalvoris is still a mystery to me for the most part”, he admitted – there was no shame in admitting that he didn’t know everything. A certain amount of ignorance was normal, and it was acceptable, as long as you decided to work on it and better yourself.

It was just as he awaited Jacien’s answer, that he noticed something. “The owl”, he remarked and pointed. “Who does that owl over there belong to? Does anyone have an owl familiar?” he wanted to know. The appearance of an unknown animal in the Glass Temple was concerning, but there was another thing that worried him much more.

When the reports of Kalortah’s generous offer and Bao’s decision to put him under arrest reached him, he resisted the urge to mutter a curse, about the treacherous Avriel and his foolish patron. Only the fact that using an Immortal’s name in a negative context might have unforeseen consequences kept him from saying something. The Albarech, he decided, had been right to decline Delroth’s offer. He could not be relied on.

He would not have trusted the Avriel not to try and deceive the Sweetwine group, and possibly even lead them to their doom, but still, his arrest (if they managed to arrest him) would likely cause delays in regard to a mission that had already involved far too many delays.

It was, he considered, a good thing that freeing the Induks was not an absolute necessity anymore; at the current rate, they might not manage to free the Induks in eight trials.

There was one thing that he didn’t agree with though. Kalortah was not a murderer because of what he had done; in his opinion, his actions just made him an asshole.

“I think Councilor Bao has a point when it comes to keeping the Avriel away from the Glass Temple. He is a traitor, and I would not trust a single word that he says”, he murmured before he turned to Kura and asked, raising an eyebrow slightly as he did so,

“Albarech?”

It was up to Kura as the Albarech to decide what would be done in regard to the treacherous and potentially dangerous Avriel; he did not have any authority in that matter.


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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Groups and Chuckles

Kura didn't immediately notice the Tarouz owl fly in, largely because she was so focused on other matters, and so used to having owls around, that she didn't initially separate it from her own owls. The current topic was the necklaces U'frek made for those that had been at the battle of Tried's Tomb. Kura hadn't been present at that battle, though it's not likely she'd have been much use, given she was at the low end of her sleep problems when the battle was going on. Still, when it turned out they had another necklace from a fallen warrior, Kura nodded slightly. "Faith's friend. I remember the story." she said, shaking her head. "A good thing she brought the necklace here, though. The only two people I know for sure were at the Battle for Tried's Tomb are the Augustin's, and so far as I know, they're in Desnind." she said, a slightly sad note in her voice at that. She kind of hated it when her friends were that far way, for a lot of reasons, her admitted over-protective streak being one of them.

She knew little enough about Ol' Tuck and the legends surrounding Sweetwine. Legends could turn out to be fact, as seemed to be happening here, but she tended not to pay attention to them until they became relevant. She'd tried to catalogue all the legends about the Eternal Empire once when she was young, and had nearly had a breakdown trying to determine which were real and not. Ever since, she'd kept myths and legends at more of an arms reach so she could focus on more practical matters. So, naturally, that came back to chomp on her tail feathers. That said, she did take note of one thing. "If there's legends about spirits in Sweetwine, there's probably similar legends about Scaltoth and Ishallr. We should look into that." she said, her tone calm.

When Chuckles tried to explain about Ornthus, Kura tilted her head for a moment, then nodded to herself. "Ornthus is where everythin' meets. The highest point of what used to be, if I were to guess, part of the Eastern Continent, before Chrien decided to sink a whole bunch of it. If I were to be guessin', Ornthus is actually one of the tallest mountains in Idalos, only most of it is underwater now." she said, her tone thoughtful. "If all of present-day Scalvoris is on top of what used to be Fei's city, then where we are now would have been well above the population centers of Pyke. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Immortals, or maybe even Fei herself, used Ornthus as a safe place to poke at the barriers between Idalos and Emea, or between Idalos and the Beneath. A safer location, in case somethin' went wrong." she said, before shaking herself.

"Anyway, back to the point. A vergence is where multiple planes of existence are meetin', and tryin' to exist in the same place. Accordin' to reports, there was some oddness about the final battle of that war down in Rharne that looks like it might have taken place in a vergence, for instance." she said, before shrugging. "But that's really all I know about them. My understandin' is that they're rare, and not to be trifled with. I've never, for instance, heard of one lastin' so long as the one on Ornthus appears to have been around." she said, looking rather non-plussed at the idea. "I hate dealin' with Emea. It always complicates matters." she said, scowling slightly.

Then she looked at Chuckles. "If the door in Sweetwine has been barred against us, is there another way into that tree?" she asked, her tone as thoughtful as she could make it.

Groups
When Doran asked her about the symbol and the Elements medal, she shrugged. "For the Elements, it means Spirit. It was chosen to represent the different branches of the Elements. If there was more meanin' to the symbol, then nobody ever thought to tell me about it. I don't know what it means on the symbol in Ishallr. I could mean Spirit, it could mean balance, hell, it could mean the moon. Still, best to have the others on the lookout for it." she said, nodding as Doran started to tell the other groups to watch out for more symbols. When he asked them about the Chainstones, though, Kura stepped forward to send a message through Squeak to Nir'wei.

"Nir'wei, I think we mishandled the chainstones when we freed Ishallr. Possibly we had too many and mixed in things that weren't actually Chainstones? Either way, it seems Faldrass became unbalanced as a result. We'll need to be more careful this time around. You did the most work when it came to freeing Faldrass, you may have a better understandin' of Chainstones than I do as a result. Have a think on it, and let me know if you see anythin' we did wrong." she said, sending her message through Squeak.

Immortals

Cassion's re-firmament that he would help was comforting, but when he started to tell her off, she gave him a somewhat resigned look. She could agree with what he saying, though she would disagree rather strongly with both his reasoning and his timing. Was it just a part of being an Immortal, this need to drop everything and start lecturing people when the world was at stake? Vri had done it as well, during the disaster in Emea. Still, she could admit that her egocentric speechifying had been out of place, as well as that he didn't know her well enough to know that speechifying was all it had been. Too much time learning from Raskalarn, perhaps, had made her prone to using centralizing terminology.

Still, when he was done, she bowed her head. "I am well rebuked for my poor choice of words, and I thank you for the reminder that I fall too easily into bad habits." she said, before meeting Cassion's eyes again. "I assure you, I do not truly believe that I can do this alone. I had merely intended to make a statement of intent and to reassure those who follow me that we will succeed, but I could have done so in a better manner." she said, before pausing as something occurred to her. "Did...did you call me pup?" she asked, sound very genuinely outraged for a brief second before she looked back at her chair and frowned.

"Cally, how long was I sittin' there?" she asked the ghost. Cally thought for a second, then answered. "About a bit, maybe two. Looked like you were tryin' to keep from completely losin' your temper with everythin'." she said, shrugging slightly. Kura sighed, then called over all four deputies, since Jacien was still out of the room, and Cally. "With Audrae controllin' people, quick bit of precaution. Cally knows me better than anyone here, if she says I'm not actin' like myself, then I'm out of power until I am. Command of the military goes to Rand, control of the execution of government affairs goes to Shania, leadership of this crisis goes to Doran, and none of it returns to me until I'm declared mentally sound again. Understood?" she said, waiting for a nod from all four Deputies. "Good. Tell Jacien when he gets back." she said, before turning back to Cassion.

"I appreciate the concern for my free will, but I am very much in control of my own faculties. I'm just old, prideful, and prone to boasting." she said, her tone getting rather self-deprecating at the end. Then her expression hardened with a hint of actual anger. "But please, never call me pup again. That's my mum's name for me and my siblings, and you are not her." she said, her tone making it clear that she felt that Cassion had trespassed into her family affairs. She could accept it, this time, due to the Audrae issue, but it was still highly invasive.

Then Daia walked in and her and Cassion did some sort of weird merging of power and possibly identity. Though, Kura mused, in an Immortal, they were nearly the same thing. Mortalborn were not defined by their powers, but Immortals were and she wondered if they could know for sure where the power let off and the identity of the Immortal began. That said, it was not them alone, as it appeared almost every other Immortal was backing them, barring Audrae, Sintra, and Delroth. She did frown slightly when Isis was apparently sent on. She hadn't been quite sure she was done with the antagonistic ghost, but Cally remained and Famula's judgement had proven sound before, so Kura let it pass without protest. She did, however, turn away from the two brightly glowing Immortals.

When Daia stepped forward alone to more permanently banish Audrae from Ruari, Kura tilted her head, then nodded. The necklace had only contained Audrae's influenced, but it had not banished the Immortal of Shadows. Kura had stepped forward as the child started to fall, but Cassion was faster. When he looked at her, she saw the scars in his hands. "Thank you. I know part of what that cost you." she said, her tone sincere, though she did not pull up her coat sleeve to show her own Fracture Scar. She had a feeling that Immortals would already know about it.

When Daia and Cassion explained what they planned to do, she nodded. "The girl is, according to the story Cassion told, innocent in all this." she said, before nodding at Daia specifically. "My mother always spoke well of you to me. I am honored to have had the chance to finally meet you." she said, bowing to her aunt. "We will free the Induks, however. Leaving them imprisoned is most likely quite foolish." she said, some amusement coloring her voice. When Cassion gave her advice, though, she smiled and nodded. "I would not have any other way, Storyteller." she said, her voice soft.

Elisabeth, Kalortah, Jacien

Communication re-opened as the Immortals left and Kura grinned. "How very helpful." she said before looking over at Jacien and Elisabeth as they walked in. Doran was rather upset with her and made no effort to conceal or restrain that fact, chewing her out almost as soon as she walked in. Kura, for her part, let him get it out of his system, then walked over to Elisabeth. "It's good to see you healed, miss Angelus." she said, smiling slightly. "The reports I received from Rharne said your research abilities were of use to them in their war. As Doran said, we have quite a bit of research goin' on here, so this is your chance to prove the ghosts wrong about you." she said, gesturing her to a table. "Doran's restrictions apply, however. There's been a means of supernatural spyin' discovered here, and while one such source has been cleansed, it could be brought in by those who were outside the temple. Jacien is protected, by nature of his Blessings, but you were not so protected." she said, recalling that Elisabeth had also been controlled by Audrae. It was possible, even probable, that was no longer the case, but Kura wasn't going to just trust that.

Kura filled Elisabeth in on the most important of recent events, then turned her attention back to the tasks at hand. Upon receiving word that Bao Bao was attempting to arrest Delroth's Avriel, Kura sent a note to the Sweetwine Elements to be ready to pick up an arrestee, then looked up as Doran asked about an owl. She was getting ready to tell him it was hers, purely on instinct, when she saw the owl he was looking at. That was absolutely not one of hers, and it looked more like a Tarouz owl. "I have three. But that is not one of mine." she said, nodding to Cally to pay attention to her behavior, then giving the owl a cold smile. "That's a Tarouz bird, part of Delroth's blessin'." she said, as an aura of black flames surrounded her for a moment before it expanded out into the shape of an owl, engulfing the entire temple before vanishing. Once it was gone, though, anyone who looked at Kura's owls would notice their eyes had all turned gold and they were looking at the Tarouz owl. "Tell your master that the negotiations with Delroth have concluded and that he should give no resistance to his arrest. He will be unharmed, per the Albarech's orders." she said, her tone calm though her voice was echoing as if her words where spoken again by thousands of different owls.

She had no idea if she could control a Tarouz owl, and she had accounted for the possibility of the control backfiring until the power wore off, which was why she had Cally watching her, but it was, in her opinion, worth a shot. When Doran asked about the Avriel, she nodded. "I don't plan to bring him here, no. He is no ally of ours." she said, trying with very little success to control the echoing effect that using Parliament of Owls caused, before giving up with a sigh. "You know, this echo is wonderful for attracting attention, but bein' stuck with it for normal conversation is just plain annoyin'." she said, before shaking her head. "Fortunately, it's not permament." she said, glaring at the Tarouz owl.
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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The Glass Temple I (before Elisabeth & Jacien arrive)

Just before they left, there were two things.

Cassion looked at Kura, listening to her explanation. He smiled when she said that she was old and prideful and prone to boasting, but - when she asked him to never call her pup, he nodded his head and then, he spoke. "You have my sincere apologies," Cassion said, his tone and expression earnest. "I had to be sure, and I saw no other way." For a moment, just a moment, he was quiet and respectful. The Taleweaver understood that an individual's story had aspects which were intensely personal. "Besides," he added with his more familiar twinkle of amusement in his eyes. "Better your wrath for calling you that, than your mother's for not seeing if Audrae had been messing with you. " Cassion said no more than that, but Kura might be aware that the Immortal of Travel did not apologise often - or easily.

Then, there was Doran's question and this one, Daia answered. "We called on those Immortals we know we can trust to support us," she said quietly. "Those who would stand in companionship against Audrae's machinations." She smiled at him. "We did not call on those who we felt could not be guaranteed to add to our stance. In that moment," she gestured to the spot where she and Cassion had stood. "We were vulnerable. It was important that we called only on those we knew were on our side."

And then, with a smile from both, to both, the Immortals departed.


The Reports:
Nothing to report this round.

The Glass Temple II (featuring special guest star: Chuckles!)
Elisabeth was quiet on the journey over there, and Jacien did not make small talk. It was not his way, not at all. He retained his own quiet, kept his own counsel. They arrived and Doran spoke to Elisabeth, then Kura did. Jacien gave no indication of any opinion on his part, he simply got back on with his work. He listened to Kura's explanation to Elisabeth of what had happened and he remained silent as he did. Then, he escorted Elisabeth over to the research area, and showed her where things were, and introduced her to Professor Fridson.

"If you wish it," he said to her, "when this is done, there is a job for you in the Spirit Branch of the Elements. I will train you." There was, of course, no expression on his face as he regarded her. "You are not without potential, if you will allow yourself to learn." He didn't wait for an answer, he simply nodded to her and turned and walked away.

Professor Fridson smiled at Elisabeth. "We're investigating Ol'Tuck's Run," he said. To Doran, he shrugged slightly. "I'm not completely sure how we would find out if Ol'Tuck is an Induk. But we'll keep looking. There is a lot of crossover, it's true." Doran asked about speaking to Saoire, or someone from her school, and Stan - the tiny tunawa High Priest - nodded. "I'll do what I can," he said.

"The Sweetwine Induk" Chuckles said. "walked as a turtle before it was bound" Chuckles considered the question of the fairies. "They are Sweetwine. It is Sweetwine. The two places, Sweetwine and Scaltoth, are linked and the turtle walked the earth as the fairies flew the air." The fire-entity tried to explain. "When Faldrass freed, the others felt their bonds loosen, a little. They are seeping out. If Sweetwine is free, they will be." Regarding Elisabeth - who Chuckles had not seen before, the flame-entity spoke to her. "I am Brother Chuckles. The Death-Forged tells me it is polite to give a name. That is the one I was given." When Doran said that they needed to find another way into the tree, Chuckles explained calmly. "There is not. There is one way and that is many."

As Kura described what a Vergence was, Chuckles turned his face to her and listened. "It is all and many and one." Chuckles said. "It is the entrance to the Fracture of Fei on top of the entrance to the ScalvFlame on top of a gateway to the beneath. It is reality, rend open." He flickered as he spoke. "It is all the worlds in one place. It is beautiful. But it must be closed. Once the Induks awake, it must be closed. You will do that." He seemed quite certain they would.

Jacien spoke then. "The fracture of Fei is a rip to Emea, the vergence is a rip to the Beneath, the place is already an opening like these doors and trees." He looked at Doran. "I would need to be closer to confirm it. But it sounds like it, to me, that there are three rips in reality and other worlds pouring into ours." This did not sound like a good thing to him. He looked at Kura then. "I can enter the Beneath and see what is happening there, if you wish?"

Doran's question regarding the song of sweetwine, though? Chuckles thought about it and then answered. "The Sweetwine Induk" Chuckles said. "sings. It is the song of Sweetwine. The song of Scalvoris. The song of Idalos. It is in the air. It is of the air. " He knew that they were asking for a reason, so he tried to explain even though he didn't know how they didn't know - or what Doran actually meant. "The Scaltoth Induk hums. Vibrates. In the earth." Chuckles said. "Faldrass and Ishallr, too. Faldrass roars and Ishallr whispers. It is all the song. The Great Song."

The researchers got to it with regards to Scaltoth. What was beneath it.

Assuming that she was working with them, it was Elisabeth who found it. She had the information on the three Scaltoth tribes. In the North there were the matriarchal cannibals - the Shoma'khan. Then there was the Mid tribe, the Mur'thi - a patriarchy who are allegedly able to craft miracles. Finally, there was the Southern tribe - the Bro'ky'na. But what she found was that there was very little known about these tribes. People hadn't studied them, they lived in isolation. In the mid-tribe, the Mur'thi, there was an enormous tree - which was said to descend deep into the roots of the earth and connect the three tribes. But it was a tiny detail in an old text regarding the Bro'ky'na that she found the tale of "Death Canyon," the place where tribespeople went to die. These death-worshipping people believed that Death itself lived under Scaltoth. The Death Spirit welcomes them and, apparently, Death Canyon is where the true spirit of the Scaltoth resides.

But really, information was scarce. People had travelled to the Jungle and some had returned. But not many.

Doran asked about the symbol - Kura gave an answer and Jacien nodded. "In the Elements badge, it symbolises the Spirit Branch," he said. "I am the leader of that Branch. We are undercover and hidden. Unknown to the majority of people. Even the Council is - or was - largely unaware. For the past," he thought about it, for a moment. "Four arcs, we have been closing in on the Sparrow, the Warden, the Logging Consortium. There were agents in many different places - there still are, mostly. We saw the enemy as a centipede." He smiled tightly. "It does no good to cut off one leg. It has too many others. Instead, we have been gathering information with the aim of a single, decisive strike." He gave a slight shrug. "At the most sensitive moment when we had nearly closed in and were preparing for the final piece to move on the chess board, my operation was compromised."

He didn't sound bitter or angry, he simply stated facts. "Which forced us to move more quickly." He said no more than that, regarding the Elements. "It symbolises both light and dark, the sun and the moon, the places where people like me, where the Spirit Branch has to reside. In order to keep people safe." As for Famula's involvement, Jacien smiled slightly - a rare expression. "She has served Scalvoris. When Faldrass erupted, when the docks collapsed, when the Black Ships attacked - those who died did not cross over. By nature of the imbalance here, it has been more difficult for them to cross. So, she has tended to them - there has been a small group of us who have helped them, individually."

The final question was regarding magic and that was fielded by Fridson. There was no evidence at all that a mage who didn't cast would experience anything unusual. Of course that was so far. There were examples of people having sparks removed and there were suggestions that some mortals could do it. Faith Augustin was the one named. However, Immortals could remove sparks, certainly. There were examples of it - and the people had not died.

The Three groups, no Six Groups erm... Four Groups? Three Groups Again!!:
All communication is open with all groups.
Ishallr: Arlo, Prae, Eckman, Darius:
"Darius has seen these statues, and there's a lantern and when he looks at the statues through the lantern, he can see them - their souls. He says Arlo might know how to free them? Advise please!"
Then
They're together - in a large room like the one Arlo has been in before.
There are talking statues, they're telling what happened there - how they have been used by Audrae - and how Famula has been busy there.
They want them to put the three chainstones in the statues hands - they claim Arlo has been carrying a chainstone for the three years since he visited.

Sweetwine:
Kalortah exploded at the same moment as his owl and has, now, disappeared.
They've opened the door.

Scaltoth:
"Hello alo. Woe says he can still hear you, and you all can hear me I presume? Doran, he tells me that Ornthus trapped and chained the Condemned of Ashan to his crown, where he fed upon the ephemeral energies pouring out of him.There were lesser spirits that they met along the way, Truth, Falsehood, many of them aiding us. Tio himself set them upon that task. I believe Miss Yeva was there as well as Balthazar Black. Anyway, the Condemned was chained to the crown of the Mountain, which had to be destroyed by the mage Balthazar Black, who shot him with lightning. Woe tried to save him, probably hoping for a greater reward from Tio, but in the end they had little choice but to be rid of him. Tio told us the Condemned formed a vergeance through Ornthus and his court of spirits, who all fed upon the energies. It threatened to form a fissure that opened up the veil between the Beneath and Idalos. Or such is the impression that was delivered to Woe."

They've gone down the hole and discovered a very odd inky blackness.

The Owl:
Kura used her Parliament of Owls power.

And the owl exploded.

Not gently, not softly, it did so with a loud bang and the feathers flew everywhere. It didn't have time to look startled or scream or even react. One minute it was an owl, and the next it was - in a bizarre moment of deja-vu - kibbles'n'bits and splatted over the floor of the Glass Temple. The air was filled with bits of feather like there had been some crazed pillow-fight. The peacock screamed and as the feathers burst all over the place the peacock, too, disappeared.

In the midst of that panic a small - and familiar to manyanyone who was at Cylus Dusk or has met him IC figure walked through a gate in the middle of the Temple. Horatio Thunderbussell, the small cadouri who was Saoire's assistant, waved a hand in front of his face to protect against the flying feathers. "I say!" He gave a low and courtly bow to all present and then spoke, trying not to let the rain-of-feathers bother him. "Saoire has asked me to come and help you, as much as I may, and has given this gateway to her school. She is busy, and sends her apologies, as Faldrass is feeling the imbalance and he needs to be kept calm." That was something of an understatement, but no matter.

"Ol'tuck is the Induk of Scaltoth, Lady Saoire believes. The fairies are the Induk of Sweetwine. She describes them as the "gifts" of those Induks, not their physical forms though. I believe the two - Ol'Tuck and the fairies - exist when the Induks are free, because the Induks exist. Ol'Tucks run is the place where the two Induks walked together. There is a similar place in Scaltoth. Oh, also!" He had in his hands a box - which he handed to the nearestwhoever posts first, basically person to him. "Sweet treats from Saoire. She says you must all keep up your strength and your spirits. Each one of you." He smiled. "You are saving the island and, potentially, the world."

Info & Rules

  • This thread is for those who have stayed in the Glass Temple following this thread
  • Due to the time-sensitive nature of this, I can not hold out for people to post. If you miss a round, there will (I'm afraid) be consequences.
  • This style of event moderation - with objectives etc - was taught to me by a dear friend and one of the most talented Storytellers I've ever known. With thanks to Crimson / Straylor.
 ! Message from: Reminder
There are no required skill levels for this.
It is - undoubtedly - dangerous. It's a war.
What will get you hurt is NOT if you are low skilled. What will get you hurt is doing something foolish. There's plenty for everyone to do.
Equally, being highly skilled is not a guarantee of anything. This will need teamwork and smarts.

Objectives

One ring to rule them all? . Get a Lord of the Rings reference in to your next post. (Can-Do)

DiriCom

Summarised above.
Next Post: Sunday 20th June
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Arc 721, 30 Ashan


To say that the events of that trial were beginning to wear on the young woman wouldn’t have been entirely inaccurate. It, to that point, had been a very, very, very long trial.

Most involved in the situation had been pulled at the time of the Glass Temple convergence (the meeting of summoned individuals), but for Woe, Kura, Bao, Hart, and herself, matters had begun earlier. Perhaps because of that, Elisabeth felt a special connection to them that was hard to explain, each link unique in its own way. From Bao, she had witnessed extraordinary bravery and selflessness. Hart had given himself up for his child and provided a path forward for those that sought to end the conflict. Woe, well, that was a complicated matter she couldn’t begin to unpack yet…

…and Kura? That was easy...and the situation before her only further cemented how she felt about the Albarech.

Doran

While she could respect his abilities, Elisabeth did not agree with the leadership Doran was displaying before her. As soon as he started in on her, the young mage called upon her learned discipline. She had endured and respected Jacien’s sharp rebuke, even though it had been hard to hear. She would endure Kura’s as well if given.

She had already lost her temper once that trial in the Glass Temple – a mistake she would not make again. Elisabeth had to admit that even if they had been located differently, she would have responded the same way for one reason - Scalvoris. She had made mistakes. Hard to admit but she had been confronted with evidence that was difficult to ignore. Rehashing it wasn't doing anyone any good but she refused to argue and distract further from what needed to be done, disrespecting those trying to save Scalvoris. She wasn't going to make the job harder than she already had for others.

It was the moment he stated that he didn't trust her not to cause issues that stuck in her mind. He knew she was free of the ghost and yet, in his mind, she was still a problem that needed to be handled. Free of influence and yet, an issue.

Listening, Elisabeth attempted to shutter away all the awful things she had heard in her mind – things that Doran’s words were working to further reinforce. She knew that none of the people around her realized what she had been through on the flight to Scalvoris Town, and she wasn’t of the mind to enlighten them, but it was taking a great deal of energy to push away the negativity presented, trying to forget that her own heart had stopped twice and she hadn't even wasted time asking Jacien if she had been dead.

As Doran concluded, Elisabeth simply responded with a neutral “I understand, professor.”

Kura

Kura presented a wholly different representation of leadership, and for a split second, the young mage almost broke down. Almost. Kura’s refusal to subject her to more negativity, for whatever reason, in her mind, cemented the loyalty the young mage already felt to the Albarech personally. She hadn’t realized until that very moment how much everything had affected her over the course of the trial. Returning Kura’s small smile, she nodded, listening carefully as things were laid out.

Audrae. It was awful enough dealing with Isis and whatever else had been affecting her but tacking on Audrae was a little much. It appeared to stem from her time with Ru, which naturally made her worry about the Ishallr team. Had she put them in additional danger with the taint? Just how the beneath were so many things able to access her? The visions on Faldrass. Isis. Audrae. Whatever hell else had been in her. She needed to figure out how to steel herself from such things but had no idea where to begin. Maybe once everything was over, she would find out.

Ru! Glancing around, Elisabeth found the young girl playing with Kura's wolf, and....a crow? Relieved, she marveled at how Audra's possession of Ru almost undid everything had it not been caught. "Even the smallest person can change the course of the future*," she spoke, whispered to herself. Pieces had been moving around and because of Ru for some time...

The Ishallr team was alright. Darius was unharmed. A sigh of relief washed over her. All the teams, thus far, were alright but dealing with challenging circumstances. She believed in each one of them and their ability to overcome.

As Kura concluded, she nodded her head gently. “Thank you, Albarech. I will get to work.” Part of her wished to ask for a weapon, but she was fairly certain that it wouldn’t be permitted. In Kura and Doran’s shoes, she wouldn’t have allowed her to have a weapon either considering just how many things had been in and out of her mind that trial, although there was a lingering fear that Command was logically a target for attack. Take Command out and the teams would struggle all the more.

Jacien

Elisabeth was aware of where Jacien was while being talked to by Doran and Kura, so she wasn't surprised when he was the one to lead her to Professor Fridson and the other researchers.

What did surprise her, however, were his words. A job? With the Elements? What? Her eyes gazed curiously at him as he walked away from her, masking an overwhelming sea of confusion. Elisabeth doubted she would ever understand the mysterious man, but it seemed his presence in her life wouldn’t be the simple matter she once thought it. Then again, the same could be said for her entire life.

Was he simply be kind? No. Elisabeth immediately dismissed that thought. Jacien's work was too important to simply offer a job out of pity or kindness. Elisabeth knew the truth of the man, having witnessed the marks upon him, recognizing two. He may have slipped the ring back on, presenting himself as he wished the world to see him, but she knew, and now he was offering her an opportunity.

She wasn't sure how to feel about that.

Chuckles

Turning her attention to Professor Fridson, she offered a smile in return, absent-mindedly twirling the slender silver band on her finger as he explained what they were currently researching. Nodding her head, Elisabeth began to settle in and get to work when Chuckles addressed her. To be fair, the fiery being was difficult to miss but several things had been pulling her attention.

Of course, she knew who he was, a few times over. As he introduced himself, she inclined her head gently and offered up a smile,. casting an uneasy glance at Doran, who had very specifically told her not to 'contact' anyone else besides himself, Kura or Jacien. However, she had been directly addressed so she hedged a guess that it would be permissible to respond. “An honor, Protector.” It seemed almost a lifetime ago, her visions, but they had allowed her a peek into Vega’s previous journey and her first look at the being in front of her. Of course, the full story came a few trials later, told to her and Kura in Haven. Pointing at her head, she explained to Chuckles. ”I saw you in visions, many trials ago, of when you first met the Death-Forged. I learned the whole story a few trials later. It’s an honor. My name is Elisabeth.” The young defier thought to mention her connection to her kin element, but it didn’t seem the appropriate time.

Everything Else

Elisabeth listened to the conversations going on around her, but as well, focused on the task at hand regarding Ol’Tucks Run. Chuckles spoke in riddles, much as U’frek had. She supposed that was typical. Beings such as Chuckles and Immortals saw the world differently, through their own frame of reference.

She listened to Jacien as well, speaking of the rips in Emea. Was that what had happened on Ishallr? She knew Praetorum had cast, and things had gone very, very wrong after that moment. That was the moment the voices had started - more than just one ghost. Elisabeth didn’t know anything about Emea, other than the few small pieces of information from Balthazar regarding the danger of casting for mages in Emea. The Beneath – equally mysterious to her.

Doran's mention of mages that hadn't cast and ill effects upon them caught her attention. She was perhaps not the best example but any information was helpful, in her opinion. As Professor Fridson had spoken of the findings, she directed her comment to him. "I'm a defiance mage, and I haven't cast. I called on fire earlier totrial, here in the Glass Temple before everyone was called here and we knew what was going on. I didn't cast and I didn't notice any ill effects. I confess though that I might not be a good sample subject." Elisabeth knew of another mage in the room but it wasn't her place to divulge that information as the Albarech's abilities had been shown to her in private.

Chuckles replied to a question Doran had asked, and at once, Elisabeth understood what the fire entity was trying to say. Well, she thought she did at least. “Balance.” Her voice was soft, speaking to Professor Fridson, knowing Jacien to be nearby as well. “It’s Balance. Everything. The Songs, harmony. It’s all part of a larger picture that requires balance. Every Immortal that has given us information has referenced ‘balance’ in one way or another. U'frek told me at things are interconnected, waves to the ocean, ripples in a pond. Balance that holds the seasons in sway. Everything is Balance. "

It was hard to explain her spark's unique personality to others, but she felt compelled to try. Balance was a part of her - something her spark forced her to understand. "My spark demands a balance between my abilities with the four elements. Even though my kin is fire, my spark becomes a bit unruly if I don't use the elements equally. It taught me to respect and honor my connection with each equally."Through her journey, Annexamus (her name for her spark) had been demanding, yet the lessons on balance had been invaluable.

Focusing on the research, it took time but something became evident. First off, references to tribes of Scaltoth, but lacking any real bulk of research. She always found it curious when things simply weren’t researched, sending up red flags regarding the reasons why. It appeared that people maybe did try to research, but many never returned – never a good sign.

Eyes reading quickly, she shifted the book over to Professor Fridson, pointing out what she found about the Mur'thi tree and the “Death Canyon”. Where “the true spirit of the Scaltoth resides”. Thinking back, her mind was trying to tell her something, reaching back to the convergence at the Glass Temple. “Professor, the Albarech mentioned that there was a tribesman that possibly could help the Scaltoth team. Did they find him? He might know something about this…”

The conversation between Jacien and Doran was interesting for a few reasons. One, she had no idea what the Spirit Branch of the Elements was. It was one she simply hadn’t heard before and considering she had just been offered an opportunity within it, curiosity won out.

It was inevitable, perhaps, that mention would eventually be made of the incident in Almund. Elisabeth had been blind to what she had walked into but walked into it she had, causing a chain of events that led to exactly where they were.

Information came into Command from Woe. Balthazar was mentioned, and the story sounded familiar. It had been mentioned at Balthazar's Trial, if she remembered correctly.

There was, apparently, some concern about one of the owls. Kura’s voice echoed. Really loud. Once she was done, the owl….exploded. Arching a quick eyebrow, Elisabeth waved away feathers as they descended, noting the entrance of one Horatio B. Thunderbussel III, whom she had not met but saw at the Cylus Dusk ceremony on Faldrass. Her thoughts quickly skipped to Faldrass island, trusting that if someone were wrong on the island, someone would have said something already. Right?

Where he entered was close to where Elisabeth was seated, and as such, she began to rise to greet him but remembered her restrictions, lowering back into her seat again.

Listening to the Cadouri, he spoke of troubles with the Induk on Faldrass, and Elisabeth quickly offered up her prayers to Saoire, simply sending her thoughts of deep appreciation. The young mage wasn't sure if things worked that way, as she wanted nothing from the Immortal other than to impart immense gratitude, but she hoped that somehow, Saoire would know. Perhaps when she returned home, she would find her way to Saoire's school and leave a gift.

Lord of the Rings Reference
* Spoken by Galadriel to Frodo in Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Ring

Last edited by Elisabeth Black on Fri Jun 18, 2021 8:16 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 2219
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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The Glass Temple:

The son of Ziell did not say anything when Jacien told Elisabeth that there would be a job in the Spirit Branch of the Elements for her when everything was done, and offered to train her, but simply nodded at the young woman. He had said what he had wanted to say to her – in his opinion, she needed to realize how dangerous and absolutely foolish her actions had been. Once, he had seen some sort of potential in her as well though. There might still be hope for her. He had been given a second chance after Oscillus, and he had taken it. He would be a hypocrite if he did not at least offer a similar chance to her.

Jacien’s offer, and the research that she would take part in here, would be an opportunity for her to prove herself.

With that thought in mind, he left her to her new task – although he would occasionally look in her direction, just in case - and turned to listen to what Chuckles said about Sweetwine. He did not pose his newest set of questions right away though – although there were quite a few – but thought about what he had heard for a few moments before he raised his voice again. “If the fairies are Sweetwine, will the turtle fly the air once Sweetwine has finally been released?” he wanted to know in a calm tone of voice and raised an eyebrow fractionally. That was the first thing that had come to his mind once he had heard the flame entity’s explanation. Once upon a time, he might have considered the idea of a flying turtle to be strange, but he had dealt with stranger things since.

His second question was closely related to his first one.

“If the one way is many, do the fairies constitute a way into the tree and to the Chainstones?” he continued before he moved on to what he thought was his final series of questions. When Chuckles had talked about the Great Song, he had suddenly remembered something that Vega had said to him on Faldrass again. Chuckles was older than the Immortals. He had been protecting the ScalvFlame for thousands of arcs which meant that his creation predated the Shattering – and possibly the arrival of the Originals from Emea. He was part of the old world. He might know what had come before the Originals and the Immortals and what kind of beings had walked Idalos once.

Before, when the fate of Scalvoris and the entire world had been at stake, he had refrained from asking seemingly non-essential questions for the most part, but things were mostly under control again, and even if the three groups failed to release the Induks, Scalvoris might not sink. For that reason, he wanted to know, “Chuckles, do you remember when the Great Song was first sung? Who and what were other the singers, and why did the singers begin to sing the song?” he continued as something else occurred to him. The Immortals and their creators were a relatively recent occurrence, everything considered. Had Idalos been filled with song before the Originals had appeared?

“Chuckles, was the world a world of spirits before those whose marks we bear and their creators arrived? Are there an Induk of all of Scalvoris, and an Induk of Idalos?” he wanted to know, hoping that Chuckles’ answer would give him some insight. He still had not figured out how to talk to the flame entity completely, although things were a bit clear now.

Chuckles had mentioned the song of Sweetwine, the song of Scalvoris and the song of Idalos. Where there even bigger and more powerful spirits than those that they were dealing with now, and if there were, what did that mean for the future of their world? Had they just managed to save it only in order to possibly face another conflict at one point in the future – a future that he would very likely be a part of due to his Immortal blood?

Perhaps, he considered somewhat thoughtfully, his questions were not non-essential, after all.

When Jacien confirmed his suspicion that they might be dealing with more than one rip in reality – he had mentioned three – he could not help but wonder. He did not say anything when it came to his offer to enter the Beneath and see what was happening there though. Jacien had asked the Albarech; it was up to her to decide what she wanted him to do in that regard.

Instead, he posed one more question, “Will releasing the Induks help close the vergence?”

~~~

Jacien’s answer made it clearer which part Famula played – Doran had been wondering about it; all of her sisters were involved, after all. She had tended to the souls that had not crossed over. Furthermore, he offered some insight into the symbol that he had seen – and maybe the remaining answers in that regard would come from the three teams. He had told them to let him know if they found more symbols, and if they changed.

He did not say anything when Jacien told him that his operation had been compromised, and they had been forced to move quickly as a consequence, but simply inclined his head. He knew that this was about Balthazar Black – he had been contacted prior to the start of his old acquaintance’s trial. Instead, he wanted to know, a thoughtful expression on his face, “How did you help those who died, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Once Jacien had answered that question (or not), he turned to listen to what Professor Fridson had to say about the matter of magic, furrowing his brow slightly as he did so. So, there was a way. He had not known that Faith Augustin who he had met before knew how to remove a spark, although approaching an Immortal would likely be a safer way to do so.

Asking an Immortal for help when it came to something that had been due to a lapse of judgement on his part would be a tricky thing to do, he realized. If something constituted a risk, it needed to go though, one way or another. It was a relief that it was not an immediate concern though – his colleague had said that mages that did not cast were not affected. “Thank you, both of you”, he said to Professor Fridson and Elisabeth – she might not consider herself a good sample subject, but he had found what she had said of interest, nevertheless – and inclined his head in a gesture of gratitude before he turned to the reports from the three groups, less tense and worried than he had been.

The Groups:

Upon hearing Darius’ request, the Mortalborn leafed through his research notes for a moment before he contacted his former student. “Arlo Creede talked about the statues during the briefing in the Glass Temple”, he spoke and summarized what Cassion’s son had said before he added, “In light of what the tiger and the woman said, I do not think that anything needs to be done in regard to the statues though.”

“I would suggest that you put the Chainstones in place now, and release the Induk of Ishallr”,
he added, casting a glance at Kura as he did so in order to find out if she agreed with him in that regard. Ishallr needed to be released first; in his opinion, it would be better to get it over with. Everything else, such as the woman’s and the tiger’s story that shed further light on the role that Famula had played in the current conflict could wait.

He had to admit, what he had heard made him wonder about Enri Von Smooglenuff once more though. He had told his story when the waters had been boiling. The story that the woman had told was also a part of his story. He truly wished that he would be able to meet the man in person one trial. There were so many things that he wanted to ask him; and besides, he just wanted to find out what kind of man exactly Xiur’s son was.

Before long, he turned to the report from Sweetwine though. While Ishallr’s part was as good as over, Sweetwine constituted the cause of some concern. The Avriel had exploded, but it did not sound as if Delroth had killed his servant because he had failed. Nobody had reported a body, or body parts, at least. “Where did that Avriel go?” he muttered before he asked, Sweetwine as well as those that were in the Glass Temple, “Did anybody ever find out what his name is?” All else aside, the man was likely a wanted fugitive now.

Apart from the Avriel issue, things in Sweetwine were going much better now. The door was open once more, the group could finally proceed, and it seemed as if the faeries were showing them – or rather, Oram Mednix – the way. All that they needed to do now was move on and finally find the Chainstones so that the remaining Induks could be released.

Since the situation on Emerald Isle was under control, apart from the Avriel issue, he turned to the last report, the one on Scaltoth, thanking Woe for the information that he had sent before he turned to the researchers, including Elisabeth and asked, “Has anybody found out what’s under Scaltoth? They’ve gone down the hole and discovered some sort of inky blackness”, he added, furrowing his brow slightly as he did so. “I want you to conduct further research into what the meaning of this could be.”

Everything Else:

Kura used her power, the owl – that was apparently a Tarouz owl – exploded, and the peacock followed suit. The Mortalborn’s eyes widened for a moment as feather’s flew everywhere and proceeded to raise an arm in order to protect his face. “What exactly did just happen?” he wanted to know – he was not sure if Tarouz owls – and whatever exactly that peacock had been - died upon exploding, like a normal owl would without a doubt have – just as a Cadouri walked in.

Unlike Elisabeth and Kura, the Mortalborn had not attended the Cylus Dusk festival, so he did not recognize Horatio, but he bowed to Saoire’s servant politely and respectfully nevertheless before he remarked, “I appreciate whatever help Lady Saoire and you can give. Please let her know that we are grateful”, he added before he proceeded to cast a questioning and somewhat confused glance at Elisabeth who had begun to rise but lowered herself back into her seat again.

It seemed strange to him that she did not greet Saoire’s messenger, that she did in fact not say a single word. Was she being rude, or had she misunderstood his orders? He had not wanted her to contact anybody without permission, lest a similar disaster as the one on Ishallr occurred. He had never forbidden her from leaving her seat and exchanging a couple of harmless words with a visitor that was nearby though. That would have been excessive, and unfair.

Since Elisabeth had not accepted the sweets, he walked over to Horatio in her stead and took the box, smiling at the Cadouri. “Thank you”, he spoke, proceeded to open the box and offered the Albarech a sweet treat before he approached Jacien, Elisabeth, Stan, Rose and the professors, and finally took one for himself and ate it, enjoying the taste of it. Horatio had said that they would all have to keep up their strength and their spirits. A trial might come when the courage of men failed, but it was not that trial.

It was just as he had offered the people around him the sweets that something occurred to him, and he turned to Horatio once more, held the box out to him with a slight smile and inclined his head fractionally. “Would you like to have one as well, sir?” he wanted to know. In his opinion, it would not be right if the gift-giver did not get a taste of his own gift. With that thought in mind, he subsequently sent a silent prayer to Lady Saoire, thanking her personally, before he repeated his words of gratitude to Cassion and Daia – he was and would always be in awe of what he had witnessed - to Xiur, and finally to all the other Immortals that had decided to support them that trial.

Together they were saving Scalvoris, and the world.
Lord of the Rings Reference
Doran thought the following sentence towards the end of my post: “A trial might come when the courage of men failed, but it was not that trial.”

This is a reference to Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gate during “Return of the King”:

“A day may come when the courage of men fails […] but it is not this day.”
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Cassion and Daia

Kura nodded her head at Cassion's apology, smiling slightly. Cassion, according to what she knew of him, did not apologize easily or often, and she was grateful for it. "I understand not wantin' to make my mother angry. I'm told it's rather unpleasant." she said, before sighing slightly. "Though I expect I should anticipate a lecture from either mum or the Empress for lettin' my self-control slip so severely as to cause such concern, especially durin' a crisis." she said, shaking her head before bowing to the two Immortals. "Thank you both for your help, and for your caution." she said, watching at they left.

The Glass Temple

Kura nodded as Elisabeth started to get to work on the research, then turned to listen as the researchers brought forward their results. Chuckles was talking about Spirits at the same time, and when he explained the Vergence, she nodded at him. "I imagine it's quite lovely if you have the ability to see it, but it's also very, very dangerous." she said, before looking at Chuckles as he said they would close the vergence once the Induks were awake and free. "Will freeing the Spirits? Close the Vergence? Or do you know another way to do that? Most of my knowledge of Vergences boils down to why I should stay away from them as best I can." she said, her tone curious.

When Jacien suggested tht he travel to the Beneath to see what was happening, Kura thought for a moment. "If you wish, you may. However, the Beneath is liable to be extremely dangerous right now. It was rather less safe than usual over on Faldrass, and I doubt that a Vergence is doing good things for it. If you do go, be very careful." she said, her tone worried.

She didn't understand any of what Chuckles said about songs, but it was certainly interesting, if not necessarily very helpful right now. Jacien's elaboration on the Spirit part of the Element badge was helpful, though, but Kura did give him a rather flat look. "And none of you thought to let me know what the symbol actually means?" she said, before shaking her head. "Ah well, we weren't dependent on my knowin' it for the most part." she said, before nodding at Jacien's explanation of what Famula had been doing all about the Scalvonite dead. "Makes sense, if we've got a hole in the Beneath. Even the dead that want to cross over are probably havin' trouble. I gotta figure ghosts are stronger as well." she said, before looking at Cally. "Though come to think of it, I haven't particularly noticed that ghosts are any stronger, barrin' that whole mess in the Almund Graveyard." she said, before she shrugged.

When Elisabeth asked about the tribesman she had suggested to Nir'wei, Kura nodded. "Ralgar Warborn. Nir'wei's found him, aye." she said, before turning to Squeak. "Squeak, tell Nir'wei to ask Ralgar if he knows anythin' about a turtle spirit or death spirit, as best he can." she said, before pausing in thought a moment. "I think it might have to do with the Death Canyon, and I believe that Ralgar's part of the tribe that would know about that place." she said, her tone thoughtful.

Groups

"I don't know how to release souls from ice statues." she said in response to Ishallr, though she gave Jacien a questioning look when she said it. When they said Arlo should have the third Chainstone, though, Kura nodded at Doran. "If you have all three Chainstones, then go ahead and free Ishallr. If we're right, that will also re-balance Faldrass." she said, her tone calm. If they could free Ishallr and rebalance Faldrass, it would give them a lot more breathing room.

Sweetwine was doing all right, apparently the Avriel that had been behind things had dramatically exploded. Kura was pretty sure that was more dramatization on Delroth's part than actual death. Then Woe's Diri chimed up again. "We can hear you, aye. Had a brief hiccup, but Cassion and Daia sorted it out, apparently they're goin' to run about and be helpful." she said, before she let Doran handle the more academic side of things. So far, things appeared to be back on track with the field teams.

Owl

Kura flinched back from the Tarouz owl as it exploded, then growled at the splatter it had left behind. Then the peacock exploded as well and this time, Kura just raised an eyebrow at it. At Doran's question, though, she just shrugged. "Delroth took his ball and went home. That power only affects owls, and even then it doesn't make them explode. Nothin' would have happened to the Avriel or the peacock, so Delroth's just bein' all pissy because he didn't get anyhin' out of tryin' to sabotage us." she said, her lack of concern remarkable. "But I made my voice all echoey for no good reason now, so I guess he can have that petty victory." she said, a slight amount of annoyance in her voice.

Then Horatio Thunderbussel walked in and Kura nodded to the wee Cadouri. "Apologies for the mess. Delroth felt scorned that I refused to make him the prime Immortal of Scalvoris and needed to make his displeasure at bein' refused and then circumvented rather dramatically known." she said, before nodding when he explained what Saoire was doing. "I'll have to think of a proper thank you gift for her when we're done with all this." she said, her tone musing. Then he opened up a box of nibbles. She took the one offered her, and nibbled at it. Not really in a way that indicated she didn't want it or any such, but rather it looked to be just a matter of habit for her. "Thank you very much. This is really good." she said, her nodding her head at him.

Cally, if offered one, took one as well. There was a thoughtful look to her face, then she nodded and wheeled to face one of the people who had been bringing food to the temple. "We need taters." she said, getting a confused look from the man she was talking too. "T-taters?" he asked, getting an eyeroll from the ghost. "Potatoes. Boil 'em, mash 'em, stick 'em in a stew?" she said, getting a nod from the man as he set off in search of spuds. "Make some chips, or fries for folks who are wrong, out of those, pair them with a nice piece of fried fish." she said to herself. "It'll round out the soup and pair with the sweets very nicely." she thought. They'd already had cooking oil brought in, thank goodness.
Off Topic
Cally's referencing, and partially quoting, an exchange between Sam and Gollum in The Two Towers movie. (I don't think, offhand, that it was in the book.) Also a brief reference to the endless debate between British and American food names.
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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The Glass Temple
"Greetings, Death-Forged" Chuckles said. "It is a pleasure to meet you."

The professor who Elisabeth spoke to nodded. "Ralgar Warborn, yes. He is with the Scaltoth Group." He smiled at her, a kind expression on his face. "Speak with one of the Diri, they will bring you up to date on everything that has happened, and where everyone is." Assuming that she did that, one of the Diri there would fill her in on all the happenings in the other groups.

When Kura said that she didn't know what the symbol meant, Jacien looked at her with his usual deadpan expression. "I honestly assumed you knew, Alberach." He spoke with his usual tone and he seemed entirely genuine. "My apologies."

Chuckles spoke up, though, and responded to Elisabeth's point about balance. "Not magic, Death-Forged," he said. "Your spark is alien to this place, to our Song. It attaches to your soul and makes you less of Idalos, not more. There is no balance in Domain. Only the chaos of Emea and those who created the Immortals." He tried to explain, pointing to things as he spoke. "I am Balance. The Induks are. They are the Song of the Idalos. Magic is not. The Diri. The Anak. The Induk. They are of this world. You are, if you will allow yourselves to be, but you allow the magic to taint your soul."" He didn't sound like he was judging, that it was a good thing or a bad thing. Just that it was. "It is another entity, a parasite. It seeks power, always. Not balance. Even if it feeds your preference, it does so in order to make itself used. It pushes. It pushes you to cast, and thus to grow it's power. You are its servant."

Jacien raised an eyebrow and glanced at Kura. "Famula forbids magic in all forms. She is the Immortal of Souls." He assumed Kura knew those things, but it was best to be safe.

"Magic trapped the Induks," Chuckles said. "While it exists in its current form, there is always danger. Mortals allow themselves to become enslaved, in their search for power. It changes them, their very soul. It is a shameful taint brought here by foolish actions of Oath-takers and Immortal-creators. They risked the world. Mages still do, by buying the illusion and enslaving themselves, sacrificing their soul for power." He seemed to sigh. "It taints the soul and steps you away from Idalos. It is perilous to study too deeply the arts of the Enemy, for good or for ill. Elrond "

Chuckles, evidently, did not like magic. But would freeing the Induks close the Vergence?

"I believe so," Chuckles said. "It will allow it to close. It may not happen immediately, though. I do not know." The message was passed on to Ralgar, and they would need to wait for the answer, and as for Sweetwine, Chuckles said that they were in and the fairies had allowed it. Again, he seemed rather confused that they did not know this, but he tried to be helpful.

Jacien, meanwhile, responded to Kura's concern. "I have protections which should help. I will take no risk, Albarech, I promise you." Doran's question about helping those who had died caused an almost-expression to cross his face. "We help them move on," he said. "I see them, and I help them get closure on what they need to move on to where they should be." And, that said, once he was sure there were no more questions, he walked out to explore the Beneath.

The "inky blackness" that they researched led to very few things. Perhaps they did not have enough information, or perhaps there was some aspect of this missing. However, Professor Fridson lifted his head and said, rather nervously. "It sounds like liquid shadows. Could it be of Audrae?"

The Reports:
Nothing to report this round.

The Three Groups:
All communication is open with all groups.

Ishallr: Arlo, Prae, Eckman, Darius:
They have freed the Induk - the Induk called Arlo "Life-Forged", and offered Praetorum and Eckman to become "Ice Forged".
Eckman agreed.
Praetorum (you'll know when he posts, assume you know)
They're arriving outside the Glass Temple.
The Induk said that, when all four are freed they must go to the ScalvFlame and there, balance will be restored.

Sweetwine:
They've gone in - they've been split up! Oram diri reports that Oram is in three places, and still a fairy.

It's a confusing time!

Xander is fighting a spider-snake in a cathedral. There are lots of eggshells and two glowing intact eggs.
Bao is walking down a long corridor with open doors which make him very sad.
Zoro is crossing a river that's very dirty.

Scaltoth:
Yeva has disappeared. If I forget, next round there'll come a message saying that she's ok (the Elements circling there will let people know) - she was "ejected" back to the beginning of where they were (the frozen pond) and is being flown back .
They've found what seem to be the remains of an archaeological expedition - but it's ancient. There's vines - with something behind them, but they don't know what.

Horatio & Chuckles:
When Elisabeth half-stood but then did not speak or take her gift, the small cadouri walked over to her and put his hand into her hand. "I remember you," he said quietly. "You were at the Cylus Dusk festival, were you not? You live on Haven with Balthazar Black?" He patted her hand gently. "He did a bad thing, abandoning his post for all that time. Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens Gimli, it is true. But he came back and he is facing his sentence. Saoire tells us that None knows what the new day shall bring him Aragorn and maybe, at the end of it, this will be a good thing."

He looked at Doran then and he smiled, his whiskers twitching. "Yes, we believe that if all goes well the star turtle will again fly. Is it not amazing that fairies might do this? Even the smallest person can change the course of the future!Sam Gamgee it seems!"

When Doran asked about the Song, Chuckles thought about his answer.

"The Song created this world, and was created by it," Chuckles said. "It is for us the air we breathe, the food we eat. It is our home and our hearth, our beating heart. If I had a soul, it would sing the Song of Idalos."

It was, however, Doran's offer of a sweet treat to Horatio which caused the small Cadouri to almost burst with gratitude. "So kind! Thank you! Oh, thank you!" He was positively delighted, it seemed. To Cally (who he had offered one, of course), he nodded. "I can get those for you! Tell me what you need, dear lady, and I will move immediately!" He patted his hand, showing her a small ring. "Saoire has given me the ability to travel between here and her school. Oh! She asks me to let you know," he said to Kura. "That she can - when the time comes - open a gateway to the ScalvFlame, if you wish it. I understand that one or more of your number has been there, and that is enough for her!" He turned back to Cally and what was obviously an equally important matter. "Now, what else do you need?"

Info & Rules

  • This thread is for those who have stayed in the Glass Temple following this thread
  • Due to the time-sensitive nature of this, I can not hold out for people to post. If you miss a round, there will (I'm afraid) be consequences.
  • This style of event moderation - with objectives etc - was taught to me by a dear friend and one of the most talented Storytellers I've ever known. With thanks to Crimson / Straylor.
 ! Message from: Reminder
There are no required skill levels for this.
It is - undoubtedly - dangerous. It's a war.
What will get you hurt is NOT if you are low skilled. What will get you hurt is doing something foolish. There's plenty for everyone to do.
Equally, being highly skilled is not a guarantee of anything. This will need teamwork and smarts.

Objectives

None this round :)
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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The Glass Temple:

Elisabeth brought up the matter of balance when she talked to Chuckles which caused the Mortalborn to incline his head fractionally. She also mentioned that her spark demanded a balance between her abilities between the four elements. He briefly wondered if Balthazar Black who he knew as a Defier of considerable skill, but not necessarily common sense, had initiated her before he dismissed that thought as inconsequential for the time being. Instead, he turned to look at Chuckles once more, a curious expression on his face. He had called the young woman Death-Forged. Was she the same as Vega now?

The flame entity’s words caused his mood to become slightly somber once more. He found himself agreeing with most of what he had said. He had not become a mage because he had wanted power – he had never cared about mere power – but because he had wanted to understand magic, and because he had met a young man with platinum blonde hair in one of his dreams, a young man that had shown him that there were still love and beauty in this world.

It didn’t matter why you got initiated though, whether it was because you wanted power or because you wanted to understand what magic was like and felt like. The result was the same – a taint on one’s soul. The fact that his spark seemed to be a fairly symbiotic one made it worse in his opinion, because the changes were so subtle and pleasant most of the time. He had almost welcomed them for a time. He had already decided that he would free himself of his spark before, but the desire to get rid of the taint was stronger now. He didn’t want to become less of Idalos, he wanted to become more of Idalos.

He didn’t want to risk the world, he wanted to protect it.

He couldn’t help but wonder what the removal of his magic would mean for Llyr’s and his love though, provided that the etherist would ever return to him. The son of Chamadarst harbored several sparks, but he wouldn’t change his mind, regardless. He had already suspected certain things about magic before; and Chuckles had confirmed them. The status quo was unacceptable.

As soon as this here was over, his soul would become pure again.

For a moment, he also couldn’t help but wonder if Llyr and he would still have fallen in love if he had never brought the matter of magic up and gotten initiated, if that connection hadn't existed; he preferred to believe that they would have found each other regardless though and that their feelings would have been the same. Their love had started with two initiations, into magic and dreamwalking, but in the end, it hadn’t been about that.

“You called magic a parasite”, he remarked, his tone of voice thoughtful and looked at the flame entity again, because there were still secrets that needed to be uncovered. He didn’t wonder how Chuckles knew; he was ancient and had already seen entire millennia come and go. “You called it a shameful taint brought here by foolish actions of Oath-takers and Immortal-creators. Do you know how they brought magic here? Do you know where magic comes from and how it came into existence?” he wanted to know. That was something that nobody had ever been able to tell him, something where even his extensive skills as a researcher had failed. What exactly was magic?

And could it ever be changed in order to become less harmful? Chuckles had spoken of magic in its current form …

In any case, he believed that Famula might be right to forbid magic, although it had been used for good before and could be used for good again, and not all mages were the same.

He also had a number of questions about Famula and the matter of souls but he refrained from asking them, for the time being. Instead, he simply nodded at Jacien as he walked out to explore the Beneath before he turned to face Professor Fridson again, furrowing his brow as he did so.

The Groups:

Death Canyon, the Death Spirit and the inky blackness were of some importance, the Mortalborn decided, but by the time that they had found out more, the group would likely already have proceeded. For that reason, he briefly considered not looking into the matter further, but then again, Death Canyon might play a part in the future. It likely wouldn’t just disappear.

“Contacting Ralgar Warborn is a good idea”, he decided and nodded at Elisabeth and at Kura before he proceeded to tell the researchers, “I’d like you to look into any connections between Audrae and Scaltoth. Furthermore, I’d like you to research the Death Spirit. Also see if there is any mention of a previous expedition in the books, or if someone knows something about the expedition – what they were doing down there, and if they found anything. I’d like to know what that room is and why you can see the ocean from there, among other things”, he continued before he decided to conduct some research into that regard as well and see if he could find out anything that might be of use – he was one of the most proficient researchers in Idalos; he might discover something of importance while the others were still in the process of looking for clues.

“Where did Yeva just go, by the way?” he wanted to know when the report that Scaltoth had mysteriously lost one of its members reached the Glass Temple. It did not sound as if she had died, but simply been transported somewhere else, just like Delroth's bothersome Avriel.

When it came to the report from Sweetwine, he was at a loss though, he had to admit, which was a comparatively rare occurrence these trials, everything considered. “How on Idalos can Oram Mednix be in several places at once? Do fairies possess some sort of magic that is neither domain magic nor of divine origin?” he murmured, shaking his head slightly before he turned to the matter of Ishallr. After their early difficulties they had done comparatively well; the Induk was free now, and what more, Arlo, Praetorum and Eckman had apparently become Life Forged and Ice Forged respectively which made him wonder.

“Chuckles”, he spoke, momentarily turning to the flame entity. “Can you tell us what Life Forged and Ice Forged are?” he wanted to know. He knew that Elisabeth and Vega were Death Forged – Chuckles had been able to recognize what Elisabeth had become somehow – and that there were several Fire Forged involved in this mission; but what exactly were Life Forged and Ice Forged? And what more, were there more groups, connected to the remaining elements?

Praetorum’s decision to put a rune on Elisabeth despite his warning about magic still irritated him – he had nearly doomed all of Scalvoris and, possibly the world; in the end, Ishallr had succeeded regardless though. There was the possibility of change, and improvement for Praetorum, just like there was for Elisabeth; and in any case, the four that would arrive at the Glass Temple soon might need help. They might be hungry, and tired. For that reason, he spoke, “They might want something to eat and drink when they arrive. They might also need medical attention”, he added. From what he had heard, they seemed to be fine, but one couldn’t know for sure.

Some things would likely only become clear when they stood in the Glass Temple again.

“Congratulations”, he told the Ishallr group because that needed to be said in his opinion. Their accomplishment deserved just as much recognition – no, more – than their mistakes. Ishallr had nearly doomed all of Scalvoris and maybe the world on top of it at one point, but in the end, they had helped save it.

“Please keep in mind that the Induks of Scaltoth and Sweetwine need to be freed at the same time”, he told the two remaining groups, just in case they had already forgotten, before he focused his attention on what was happening Glass Temple again.

Horatio & Chuckles:

When Horatio confirmed that the turtle would indeed fly again, Doran’s eyes widened for a moment. For a moment, there was a lookk of pure surprise and amazement on his face, and then he agreed, in a sincere tone of voice, “It is indeed. I look forward to seeing it with my own eyes!”

When Chuckles spoke about the Song further, he abruptly looked at him, thoughtfully. For a moment, he couldn’t help but wonder if Chuckles ever regretted not having a soul and wished that someone were able to give him one, but he couldn’t think of a way to bring the matter up, at least not without possibly offending the flame entity, or making him sad.

Besides, could you really miss something that you had never had?

What exactly was a soul anyway?

Eventually, he decided to pose one question though, because he had been wondering about it for a while. “Chuckles, what exactly are you, if you don’t mind me asking?” he wanted to know.

No matter if Chuckles answered or not, and no matter how cryptical his answer might possibly be, he eventually turned to Horatio again, listening to him as he explained to Kura that Saoire could open a gateway to the ScalvFlame for them when the time to restore balance came.

“I would strongly suggest that you accept Saoire’s offer, Albarech”, he spoke in a calm and polite tone of voice, looking at Kura. “Otherwise, reaching the ScalvFlame will be challenging. As for what else we need”, he continued. Horatio had asked Cally – at least he had that impression – but his words had made him realize something, nevertheless.

“It will likely be very cold on that mountain, colder than it would normally be”, he remarked and turned to the people around him. “We need to prepare for that. We need cold weather gear, anything that will help us when we are there, orange sand, and more White Heat, if you can find it”, he added, remembering the flower that had been given to Elisabeth.

The world had been saved, Audrae’s threat had been taken care of, Ishallr had been freed, Scaltoth was making progress, and even Sweetwine was finally doing something – although he still wasn’t sure why exactly there were four Orams now - but it would not be over for good until they had reached the ScalvFlame, and balance had been restored. There was still work to be done, and there were preparations that had to be made.
word count: 1807

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Elisabeth Black
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Joined: Tue Sep 29, 2020 3:51 am
Race: Human
Profession: Little Wonder-Bunny of Anger
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Arc 721, 30 Ashan


Kura, Doran, Chuckles, Jacien
It wasn’t often the young mage was caught unaware. It would be very evident that the moment Chuckles called her ‘death-forged’ that Elisabeth was surprised, arching her eyebrow gently as she cast her gaze at the fire-entity. “I’m sorry, Protector. I must have misunderstood you. Did you call me ‘death-forged’? That’s Vega’s name?”

Chuckles then went on to explain that magic wasn’t Balance, causing more than a few questions in her mind. Balance was a part of her. It was something she felt deeply about and had included magic in that equation, focusing on keeping her mediation and discipline ahead of her skills with Defiance. She balanced the elements, as her spark seemed to want but in truth, it was what she wanted too. Could a spark and mage be aligned in purpose? She had considered her spark more of a symbiotic presence than a parasite, but perhaps that was because her spark was relatively young? All questions she needed to consider.

Just as the Immortal’s viewed the world through the lens of their Domains, did Chuckles view it through the lens of his? The words of U’frek kept ringing in her ears. Words of Balance, urging her to be such. Could she be Balance as a mage? Could her spark be part of it all? She was of many different worlds and influences. Could she not balance it...all? Wasn't that the very nature of balance?

Elisabeth wanted to respond to Chuckles. Desperately. However, to do so would have been selfish, serving her own purpose and not the greater reason they were there for. As such, she refrained.

Jacien’s remark, upon hearing it, did illicit a quick response, spoken to Kura and him. The urge to speak previously had been quelled because to ask questions regarding magic and Balance, to her, felt greedy considering everything, but now, a need for the pair to understand who she was emerged.

The tone the young mage used was soft, but quite firm. “For the most part, I taught myself how to be a mage. I didn’t have a guide or mentor besides random, singular lessons. Because of that, I’ve become the mage I want to be, not what is typical or usual. My magic is used to help people. I keep things in check by focusing on discipline and meditation, being responsible. Being a mage is a heavy burden - one I accept and take seriously, but magic isn’t who I am. I will never be defined by it. Ever.” She smiled, hoping they understood what she was trying to convey.

Chuckles spoke again, and as before, she held her words. Elisabeth respected what he said about magic and his views, but it didn’t align with that she knew of herself. She didn’t seek power and she didn’t feel her soul vastly different.

It was a lot she needed to think about, but right then wasn’t the time. Smiling, she inclined her head gently to him. “Thank you for your words, Protector.”

She watched as Jacien departed to the Beneath, thinking about all the questions she had for him once their work was done.

Diri-time
Professor Fridson had suggested she talk to a diri to get up to speed on the teams. Unfortunately, Elisabeth's experience with diris was limited to a one-time appearance of Fuego, who hadn't spoken to her. Glancing at the professor, she cast a confused look his direction. "Do you have a suggestion of which one? I don't have much experience with diris, sadly."

Horatio
Elisabeth indeed had some confusion regarding her restrictions, causing a bit of a weird dance to occur. Horatio, perhaps sensing something, had walked over to her, and taken her hand. Smiling, she listened to him speak of Balthazar and Saoire. Elisabeth held Saoire in the highest regard, and she had enjoyed the time spent with Horatio as well, even though it had never been one-on-one.

Putting her hand over his, the raven-haired young woman spoke softly in reply. “I remember you too, and your graciousness the night of Cyclus Dusk. You and Saoire welcomed me with open arms, even though I was not of here. I appreciate your words, Mr. Thunderbussel. Balthazar is a complex man. As always, I will support him any way I can with love and compassion as he travels his path, wherever that leads.

Everything Else
Elisabeth listened as Doran asked Chuckles about Life-Forged and Ice-Forged. Since she was apparently Death-Forged, the answer was of some interest to her. Balthazar and Darius were Fire-Forged, but beyond that, she knew extraordinarily little about being ‘Forged’. She didn’t like not having information.

Doran suggested that Kura take Saoire up on the offer to extend a gateway to the ScalvFlame, causing Elisabeth to nod her head as she sorted through some papers, looking for new information. She took a moment to bring up something else that might be relevant but made care in the way she phrased the words to Doran and Kura. “As I mentioned, I saw Chuckles through visions I had on Faldrass. I’ve seen the ScalvFlame. Arlo has been there, as obviously Chuckles has. We won’t be walking in blind, tactically Expert Tactics , which is a good thing. It might be helpful, before going to the mountains, for Arlo to give a quick rundown to all about what to expect so we can mitigate at least some surprises? The more information people have, the better.” She had considered Chuckles giving the information but in light of the way he viewed things, things possibly could get lost in translation.

It was just an idea. Maybe it would spark a better idea from either Kura or Doran.

Ishallr succeeded, which was cause for celebration, but they still had a lot of work to do. The worst thing they could do, in her opinion, was let down their guard. That’s usually when bad things happened.

Cerulean eyes glanced at the door, knowing the Ishallr team was due to arrive any moment. Elisabeth had some apologies to make.

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