• Graded • [The Forging] Life & Death

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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Glass Temple

When Jacien explained that he thought she'd known about the symbols, Kura gave him a mildly amused look. "I should have asked as well." she said, before shaking it off and moving on. Chuckles took offense to magic, but Kura's only direct reaction to his speech was a slightly amused look. "A lot of the older Powers take offense with the existence and use of Domain Magic, for reasons rangin' from issues with it's nature to what amounts to little more than vanity." she said, before shaking her head slightly. "To the potential risk of all on at least one occasion that I know of." she said, her tone showing some irritation. That various Immortals had a problem with Domain Magic was something she could understand, but she had really come to dislike their tendency to try and completely lock it out as an option.

She did, however, frown at Chuckles diatribe on the effect Domain Magic had on souls. She wasn't quite sure if she found it comforting or infuriating that Immortals weren't the only beings who had sheer egotism required to try and tell people what to do with their own personal souls. It, in Kura's opinion, reflected an unfortunate tendency to treat Mortals as children who didn't have the maturity or intelligence required to take care of themselves. Kura could admit that she sometimes grew frustrated with the limited knowledge and wisdom that could be gained in a standard Mortal lifetime, but that didn't mean they were all stupid children.

However, she kept her peace for now, out of recognition that it was a spectacularly bad time to argue with ones allies. She did nod at Jacien, though. "I'm aware. I worked alongside the Zuuda during the war with Ellasin." she said, before looking at Elisabeth as she gave her little speech. Her expression was somewhere between amused and nonplussed. "Keep that in your head, miss Angelus. Power, of any sort, is a tool in Mortal hands. Dangerous, yes, but it is somethin' you use, not somethin' that defines you. Don't let that make you complacent though. If you don't pay attention, any power can come to control you, even mundane ones." she said, her tone firm. Then she frowned slightly. "And do try to get some proper lessons. Self-teachin' is risky when dealin' with magic, and I've no desire to see you do yourself an injury." she said, genuine concern in her tone.

When Chuckles confirmed that freeing the Induks would probably close the Vergence, Kura nodded. "We'll have to go up there to be sure, regardless." she said, before nodding at Jacien as he said he could take care of himself in the Beneath. "Go have a look, then, aye." she said, watching as he slipped into the Beneath. Cally, though, looked up at Doran's question and Jacien's response to it.

"No one answer to that question, professor." Cally said, grinning widely at him. "Becomin' a ghost isn't generally somethin' that happens by accident, and we all have our own reasons for stayin' on, our own Anchors to Idalos. So each ghost requires a personal touch to send us on our way, if we can be sent at all." she said, before shrugging. "There are some, myself included, that have no desire to move on. I can't speak for others, but I don't have anyone waitin' on me in any afterlife." she said, before laughing slightly. "It ain't bad, though, bein' dead. I don't precisely have to worry about dyin' again, you know?" she said, her tone cheerful.

Groups

Kura let out a cheer when the news came through that the Ishallr group had succeeded and freed their Induk. "All right, that's one down. Now we just need to worry about Sweetwine and Scaltoth." she said, before turning to those groups. Oram had split up, no clue how that had happened, and the others were making their own progress. Frankly, Kura had no idea how to help any of that group at all. Scaltoth had completely lost a person, Yeva, and Kura had no idea where she was. There was, frankly, nothing she felt she could do for the groups at this point that Doran hadn't already set in motion.

She did, however, look up when Doran asked what the Fire and Ice Forged were. "I can answer that, to an extent" she said, calling over Ignia, the flaming owl that Faldrass had given her. "If you've ever worked with the Wardens of the Lake in Rharne, we're akin to them. We work with Spirits given to us by the Induk to protect Scalvoris. We gain power from it, yes, but that comes with responsibility as well." she said as Ignia landed on Kura's outstretched arm. "As to what those powers are, I can't say for the Ice Forged, but I'm one of the Fire Forged, and I find myself rather less bothered by this cold than regular folks are. Our Diri also make good advisors and assistants, most of the time." she said, getting a warm nuzzle from Ignia before the owl returned to the brazier she had claimed. "The powers are more limited than Immortal Blessin's in scope, but they are far from weak." she said, her tone calm.

"Ice-Forged, I expect, are a sibling-group to the Fire Forged. There were some indications during the meeting with Faldrass that there were more Induks to free and that they worked as a team, which Chuckles has nicely confirmed for us. I would guess that the Forged of the other two Induks fall into the same groupin'." she said, before shrugging slightly. "As to the Life and Death forged, I'm not so sure. I doubt they're the other two sibling groups to Fire and Ice Forged. I expect they're somethin' else altogether, or possibly more akin to a title, than an empowered group." she said, her tone thoughtful.

When the Ishallr group came in, she grinned at them. "Well done, barrin' a few setbacks. You lot sit and rest for a bit, we've got food and drink available." she said, waving to a table to the side of the temple where there was refreshment to be had.

Horatio 'n Chuckles

When Horatio spoke about Balthazar, Kura looked over at him. "Part of that's my fault. It was my decision to do a full investigation into where he'd wandered off to for an arc and why he was in Almund instead of Haven." she said, her tone calm. She didn't regret the decision at all, but she did feel the need to make sure accounts were clear on the matter. When the offer of a portal to the Scalvflame came, Kura nodded. "Aye, I'd be very grateful of a portal to the Scalvflame. It would save us a great deal of time." she said, her tone calm before she looked at Doran. "We've got cold weather gear here already." she said, gesturing to the supplies she'd had brought to the temple. Since she was Fire Forged, she wasn't using any herself, but she'd had enough brought for everyone, including herself and Doran. She nodded at Elisabeth's suggestion as well. "Good idea, and your memory of what you saw could be very helpful."

Cally, meanwhile, grinned at Horatio's enthusiam. "Salmon would pair best with what we've had so far, I think. With a bit of lemon and some chives, to draw out the flavor. Oh, and salt for the cooking." she said, bouncing in place a little. "I don't need pre-cut portions, I can butcher most anythin' pretty well these days. Benefits of cookin' for a hunter, you know." she said with a bit of a laugh. "Oh, I've been meanin' to ask, what do Cadouri normally eat? I wouldn't want to accidentally offer offense because I don't know about any taboos, you know?" she said, her tone sincere.
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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The Glass Temple I
The group from Ishallr arrived. Praetorum, Arlo, Darius (and a very large glowy tiger) all made their way in to the Glass Temple. They were there, as these conversations happened and could take part in them. As they happened, though, they were given food and warm clothing. They got to hear the conversation with ChucklesImage, an entity Arlo knew from his trip into the Heart of Scalv and the defeat of Wilma the Wonder Weed.

"No," Chuckles said to Doran when he asked if the being knew what magic was, how it had come into existence. "I know that it is not of this world, if it was I would know it. I know that it is an alien parasite which changes the mortal body and mutates it. I know that accepting this parasite kills most who try to host it. I know that every growth in power mutates the mortal form, and soul." He thought about it, then nodded. "It is a choice freely made. But it is not balance and you are not in control of it." When Kura said that older powers took offense to the use of Domain Magic to the potential risk of all, he considered it. "How is that different than what you do here?" He asked because he was genuinely curious. There was no offense or emotion in his tone, simply the need to understand. "The Older Powers do not wish to let the Parasites grow in power, because the parasites would control the people the powers serve in their role." He spoke that with a clear understanding in his own way. "You do not wish to let the Warden grow in power, because he would control you and the people you serve in your role. He would harm you and them. So you declare war. " He turned and pointed one flaming finger in an out there direction.

"To the potential risk of all. You seek to put right a situation which could not occur if magic did not exist. Only the unnatural can bind nature in this way. Only the unnatural can make nature bleed." He was obviously simply trying to understand what the difference was, and was interested. The world, after all, was a very strange place to him.

Jacien raised an eyebrow at Elisabeth's speech, but Kura responded so he was quiet while he did. However, he added his thought. "How do you know that you are the mage you choose? Not the mage it does? You know nothing about the entity you have allowed inside you. You voluntarily accepted likely death for a parasite of unknown origin to attach to your soul and mutate you. You do not know its age, its race, or its goal. Other than it wants you to cast, to explore, so it can grow in power. It feeds your proclivities, panders to your ego; every spark does. It is not something to be proud of, acting in ignorance and continuing to do so. The choice was yours to make. It was uninformed and reckless." He looked at her seriously. "And whoever initiated you was reckless. Especially if they knew you truly have so little knowledge." Then, he nodded once to Kura and turned on his heel and left. He knew that Kura was a mage, but he also knew that her decision to become one was a well-considered one. It didn't make it the right decision, in his mind, but it was at least made in receipt of the facts.

When Elisabeth queried what Chuckles called her, he answered her. "Death-Forged is a title, not a name," he explained to Elisabeth. "My name is Chuckles. I am a Brother of Flame. There is only one Chuckles. There are many Brothers of Flame. You are Elisabeth. You are Death-Forged. There is only one Elisabeth. There are two Death-Forged." He pointed then at Arlo. "He is Arlo. He is Life Forged. There is only one of both of those, but there may be more Life Forged, in the future."

Doran asked, then, what Life Forged and Ice Forged were and Chuckles nodded. He was quiet while Kura explained, then he added his own thoughts and understanding. "Ice Forged are those chosen by the Induk Ishallr. They are to Ice what Fire Forged are to Fire. If they are freed, there will be Song Forged and Soul Forged from the Induk Sweetwine and Scaltoth" That was fairly straightforward, Chuckles thought. Then, he went on.

"They exist in balance, the four. They are part of the Forged. But the Forged has another balance." Flickering flames pointed to Elisabeth and then Arlo. "Life and Death." The sight of a fire-entity frowning was rare, but there it was. "In the Heart of Scalvoris, where the ScalvFlame lives, there is a central flame. The one Wilma the Wonder Weed sought to extinguish," to Chuckles, the ridiculous names were as real as any other word - and all of them were nonsense. "To balance the flame there must be four and two. Fire, Ice, Song, Soul. The four which balance. Then, Life and Death balance to make the center." He spoke like he was talking to children, because to him this was so obvious. "It must be. But it is your choice."

So much of this was strange to the literal creature. And so, when Doran asked him what he was, Chuckles answered. "I am Chuckles, Brother of Flame. Guardian of the ScalvFlame. I serve the Induks. And Death Forged Vega tells me I am also a Dweeb." Did that answer the question? He obviously hoped so. To Elisabeth's thanks, he nodded. "You are welcome. My name is Chuckles, please call me that. Protector is neither my name or my title."

Professor Friedson gestured to the Fire Forged they're visible. There's Oram's and Nir'wei's. Diris. "One of those two," he said to Elisabeth with a slight, rather bemused smile.

The White Eagle:
Just then, an eagle flew into the Glass Temple. It was pure white and, as it landed, it transformed into a woman. Tall, with long dark hair and vivid green eyes, she looked around at those present. Then, she spoke to Arlo. "Our father has entered Slags Deep," she said. Her voice was clear and she did not speak quietly so all could hear her. "He is with Daia. All we have found is bodies. Everyone there is dead. But more than that, they are emaciated. Like they have been drained of all liquid, they are dry husks." She held out a piece of glass which some of them would recognize as Drainglass. "They were all wearing something made of this. From manacles to small pins. We even found a cufflink. Cassion believes this is unlikely to be the full population of the prison and wishes to know how many there should be?"

If it had seemed like she didn't know who was who, that she did indeed know just that became apparent when she turned to look at Kura. "Do you have numbers?" She asked. "And importantly, when are the numbers from?" That was important, and she explained why. "Presumably, he stopped sending you numbers when you declared war on him? Cassion believes that when that happened, he started pulling in mages to the prison, and simultaneously growing anti-mage sentiment in Egilrun. Tactically, he seems to have pulled all the mages he could to his base of operation and made the place it is less likely to have mages there." That seemed to be a clear summary to her. Having said that she waited for the numbers.

She would wait and then, having answered questions or whatever was needed, she would nod to them. "Fare well," she said. Her final nod was to Arlo. "Brother." And then she jumped into the air, transforming into the bird as she did and she flew away.

The Two Groups:
Sweetwine:
They're in the middle of a hollowed out tree with what appear to be three chainstones. Oram is no longer a fairy. There are three mushrooms waiting to put the chainstones on. There's a glowing dead fairy and a lot of increasingly insistent fairies.

Scaltoth:
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. They're finding odd things which don't add up and Woe (who has been left up above the hole) and Cyshe (Nir'wei's Warden Diri) are seeing what seems to be evidence that they're in some kind of dream-like state down there.

Professors and Horatio:
Horatio seemed largely to not know exactly what the heck was going on so he beamed when Cally gave him things to do. He worked, happily, to feed the new arrivals from Ishallr, and he also got gear for them all for the mountain trek.

One thing of note from the research that Professor Friedson was doing at Doran's request. "Professor," he said. "There is no evidence of there ever being any archaeological dig in Scaltoth. No records, no reports. " He looked at Doran with frustration. "Not in the existing records. Nothing."

Jacien:
As the Ishallr group were settling back down, Jacien returned. He walked in and his expressionless face was as they would expect it. However, he walked up to Kura and spoke. "The Beneath is in chaos," he said. "The vergence is creating confusion and panic. I believe that it is indeed a rip in the Beneath and Emea, atop each other. I am concerned that, if things are not dealt with quickly, then there might be more concerns with ghosts and other entities." He was calm - always - but there was a slight tinge of urgency in his voice. "How fare the two remaining groups?"

Once that was answered, he turned to those who had just come back from Ishallr. "Please. Tell us everything you can which may help the other groups. Then, anything which may help us go into the ScalvFlame, as Chuckles says."

OOC: Ishallr Group
Please feel free to assume clean warm clothes, good food, etc. You may get involved in as many of the above conversations as you wish. This place is very much "business", and you'll quickly have things to do.

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 I

When Elisabeth told him that she had taught herself how to be a mage, and that she hadn’t had a guide or mentor, one of Doran’s dark eyebrows abruptly rose a bit. He had already had a low opinion of Balthazar Black before, although he had the potential of changing for the better, just like most people in the world, of course, but if he had initiated the woman that he supposedly loved and done nothing to help her afterwards, then he was a worse man than he had thought. Llyr who often had a tendency to come and go had taken the time to teach him. He had been there when he had cast his first couple of spells.

Did Balthazar care so little about Elisabeth that he had simply left her to her own devices?

He was, he had to admit, somewhat irritated, but he decided not to say anything as he couldn’t be absolutely sure that his old acquaintance had really initiated Elisabeth. Instead, he turned to listen to what the Albarech said about the matter of magic. Once upon a time, he might have agreed with her – power, of any sort, was a tool in mortal hands, but not something that defined you. Magic did define you though, and most of the time, you just thought you were in control.

He did, again, keep his opinion to himself for the most part though.

There was one thing that he did comment on though. “You spoke about balance before, Miss Angelus”, he remarked in a calm tone of voice and looked at Elisabeth for a moment, raising an eyebrow ever so slightly once more. “Do you know what Flaying is? Do you know what it does to the soul, and how those that have flayed hunger for more? There is no balance in that”, he pointed out. He still remembered how Llyr had told him that he had flayed another mage’s soul with the utmost clarity, and that his lover had been worried that he might do the same to him if he stayed for an extended amount of time.

He had already known something about magic before his initiation – he had not been uninformed – but that did not make it right, or in any way better. It was another thing that he had misjudged. Subjecting yourself to a procedure that resulted in death for most in exchange for an arcane parasite and the mutation of your soul seemed like a questionable thing to do to him nowadays. If he had already known what he had learned now, he would never have done it, although his conviction that not all mages were the same remained.

Everything else aside, flaying was the end of hope, the end of everything though.

Hearing Chuckles and Jacien talk about it cemented his decision to get rid of his magic as soon as possible even further. What they said greatly aligned with his own suspicions and his own feelings in that regard.

With that thought in mind, he turned to listen to what Chuckles had to say about the Brothers of Flame and those that had been Forged. “You said that there are many Brothers of Flame”, he remarked in a polite and respectful tone of voice. “Who are the others of your kind? Where are they?” he added, momentarily thoughtful as something occurred to him. Chuckles had mentioned brothers. Were there no Sisters of Flame, did Chuckles’ kind not have a gender like mortals, or was “Brother of Flame” simply a name, a title?

He decided not to ask, but focus on something that had far more relevance in regard to the matter at hand instead. “It seems as if we also need Song and Soul Forged in order to balance the flame. Eckman and Praetorum became Ice Forged when Ishallr was freed. The two of them were given a choice though. What happens if all of Sweetwine and Scaltoth refuse?” he wondered. He did not think that they would be so foolish, but a small risk of things going wrong in the last moment remained.

The White Eagle

The son of Ziell had not thought that there were a lot of things that would surprise him left, not after Cassion and Daia had entered the Glass Temple, but his eyes widened for a moment when the white eagle appeared and transformed into a woman. He bowed for a moment – even before she revealed who she was, it was obvious to him that she was important – before he proceeded to listen to what she said about the matter of Slag’s Deep.

He had thought that the place had been taken care of by Cassion and Daia, but it seemed as if it might still constitute the cause of considerable concern. “Drainglass”, he remarked as she held out a piece of glass, making sure not to touch it or even get near it. “Is a type of glass that drains ether, marks and magic alike, and is extremely volatile. The effect can even be felt when you just touch it”, he explained to the others as they probably didn’t have any idea about it yet. It was especially important that Praetorum and Elisabeth who he knew to be mages were aware of what that type of glass could do.

“You said that you only found bodies, my lady”, he remarked to the woman, Arlo’s sister. “You did not mention the Warden or his daughter though. Were they not among the bodies? Is anything about their current whereabouts known?” he wanted to know. That was something that had immediately attracted his attention. If the Warden and his daughter were dead, the woman would likely have mentioned it, rather than lumping them together with all those mages that had suffered what sounded like a terrible fate.

“I mentioned that ether usually doesn’t just disappear before”, he spoke. Kura had been there when they had researched the Drainglass, but the others had not. “It is possible to transfer it or redirect it. Ether is fleeting though. It doesn’t last outside the body which led to me theorizing that that is the reason why Slag’s Deep needed so much glass. Was the ether from those prisoners used for something? Professor Raelmis”, he remarked and turned to his colleague that had helped him with the Drainglass before. “Do you think that someone could absorb it and take it into themselves or power something with it? Xiur mentioned that the daughter gains power from the mages in Slag’s Deep”, he remembered and furrowed his brow.

“It seems unlikely to me that those prisoners agreed to being drained of ether. Few people would just allow themselves to be killed”, he murmured. “Were there any signs of a fight, any signs of resistance?” he asked the White Eagle.

“I hope that the Warden isn’t still at large”, he remarked and looked at those around him. “But if he is, and if his daughter is, and if they did something, we need to prepare. The possibility of some of the mages being free worries me as well. Do you have any ideas in that regard?” he asked Kura in particular. As the Albarech, she might have some sort of plan.

The Two Groups

After the news about Slag’s Deep, the fact that Sweetwine had found the Chainstones was especially reassuring, and the son of Ziell breathed a slight sigh of relief as a consequence. That relief soon made way to concern again though as the report from Scaltoth arrived. He had already thought that there was something strange about what they had found before; he hadn’t been able to tell what exactly it was though. In hindsight, the answer was obvious though. Scaltoth had already seen the ocean once before.

When the golden Peacock delivered Woe’s message, he found his conclusions confirmed. “I do believe that something is pushing the grave of Fei upwards”, he spoke to the Diri – and to the others because they needed to hear it as well in his opinion. Xiur told me about his mother’s grave and Chrien’s fury and that what happened acted like a stopper on a bottle. He mentioned that the cork would pop if the Warden’s daughter were released. Cassion mentioned that only one of the seven seals that were created to trap the daughter is still unbroken”, he added.

“I think this is what is happening now. The cork is about to pop. It sounds to me as if the Grand Fracture of Fei is causing miniature fractures to appear now. It wouldn’t surprise me if we begin to see more of them in the breaks to come, provided that balance is not restored first. You are likely in one of them, in a breach in reality. I do not know if becoming lucid will take care of the blackness”, he admitted, briefly looking to his fellow researchers in order to find out if they had any thoughts on that matter. “But it is paramount that you make haste now and free the Induk of Scaltoth. Did anybody ever take a look at the vines, by the way?” he added. It sounded as if they had mostly focused on the expedition.

Professors and Horatio

“I think it would be a good idea to tell Horatio what is going on”, Doran remarked – the Cadouri seemed to be largely unaware – before he turned to Professor Fridson. His statement that there was no evidence of any archaeological dig in Scaltoth served as further confirmation of the fact that Scaltoth was currently stuck in some sort of fracture.

There was one thing that he was curious about, nevertheless though.

“What happened during the expedition in 717, the one that Mister Augustin took part in? Did they discover anything important?” he wanted to know from the researchers. “I’d also like to know if lesser fractures such as the one we might be seeing in Scaltoth are permanent and if there is anything that can be done about them, apart from freeing the remaining Induks. What shall we do if one of them appears here?”

He did not rely solely on his colleagues in order to find out more about fractures; he would take part in the research himself once more. Nowadays, he was capable of intuitively linking anything that he had ever learned or read and connect the dots. Perhaps, he would find the solution, to the fracture problem as well as some of the others.

Jacien:

What the White Eagle had said about the mages in Slag’s Deep, and what was happening in Scaltoth were not the only pieces of bad news. Jacien’s return and his observation that the Beneath was in chaos, constituted a cause of considerable concern as well.

“Sweetwine has found the Chainstones”, he replied when he asked how the two remaining groups faired. “Scaltoth has made some progress, but they seem to be stuck in a dream-like state in some sort of miniature fracture now”, he added, frowning.

“If ghosts and other entities show up here, we need to be prepared”, he murmured and stepped away for a few moments in order to check the books, and ask his fellow researchers to do the same. “Apart from having access to the anchor, copper, salt and bells, especially funerary bells, are ways to deal with ghosts.”

“We need such things, as soon as possible”,
he stated. “I’d also like you to see if you can find more of U’frek’s necklaces, after all, or items that have a similar effect. The necklaces also render the wearer invisible to dangerous spirits”, he explained before he turned to Jacien once more.

“Do you have any other advice in regard to what we should do if ghosts and other entities become a problem? How should we handle this matter in your opinion, apart from telling Scaltoth to hurry up?” he wanted to know. As a Blessed of Famula, Jacien likely knew much more than everybody else, and thus he was inclined to defer to him in that regard.

“I do not want to draw Famula’s or Ashan’s ire and handle this situation in a way that displeases them”, he remarked. Some of the other people here, he realized, might not care about going against Famula’s will, they were nearly as ambivalent about the Immortals as he had once been; he did not wish to anger Jacien’s and Faith’s patroness though.

“Having other Zuuda, or a Loshova, or several Loshova, here might be a good idea”, he remarked and asked the people in the temple, “See if you can find any Blessed of Ashan or Famula that might be willing to support us here. And what about the rest of Scalvoris?” he wondered. If the Glass Temple fell, or if the remaining groups failed, Scalvoris would change, even if it would likely not fall anymore. It made sense to put a special focus on them for that reason; but the rest of the island shouldn’t be ignored.

There were hundreds of thousands of people out there.

Furrowing his brow slightly, he approached Ru, in order to check how the girl was doing. Cassion had said that Audrae was gone. If nothing seemed to have changed since then, he would exchange a few gentle words with Hart’s daughter, provided that she was conscious, in order to reassure her and retrieve his necklace. He was aware that she would be more susceptible to ghostly influence without it; if he wore it and was thus invisible to dangerous spirits, shadow creatures and similar entities, he would be able to protect her, as well as the other people in the Glass Temple, much better though.

And besides, it was likely that more help in regard to the possible ghost problem would arrive soon.

“Mister Creede might have some information on the ScalvFlame”, he remarked as he heard Jacien’s final question, momentarily glancing at Cassion’s son (and at Darius with his new companion that was the source of some fascination). “And his wife shared her own experience in that regard with me”, he added and summarized what Vega had told him when he had visited her on Faldrass before he turned to Elisabeth,

“Would you be willing to share what you know as well, Miss Angelus?”

It irritated him somewhat that he could not be of more help in that regard, he had to admit, but he was not alone. That was something that was important to keep in mind. There were other people by his side, people that might have important information to share. And besides, there was always the possibility of more research.

“Let’s see if we can find out anything more about the mountains”, he asked the researchers. “Chuckles, do you know anything else that might be able to help us?” he asked the flame entity, aware that he might not be able to answer, or that he might not answer in a way that was easy to understand. He knew the most out of anybody though.

Eventually, he joined the researchers again in order to help them find answers in regard to the mountains and the flame. It was just then that another thought occurred to him.

“What if the Warden has left Slag’s Deep and plans on targeting the Glass Temple or the Scalvoris Mountains, for example? The tunnels provide access to the entire island”, he reminded Kura. “And does anybody know what happened to Maxine’s Diri that caused problems last arc? Is it stil out there?” he added as that might pose another risk, a minor risk compared to fractures, a host of ghosts and other entities that might appear from the Beneath in the near future, and possibly the Warden and his daughter, but a risk, nevertheless. He really didn’t need a destructive diri on top of everything else right now.

A lot of events of the past couple of arcs, and even decades and centuries, were connected. Faldrass and the destruction of Smooglenuff Manor played an especially important part. It would not surprise him if more aspects of that event returned to haunt them.
word count: 2733

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Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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Darius Baer Bottom
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Arc 721, 30th of Ashan
Ledas the tiger and Baer (oh my!) entered the Glass Temple. Alongside them were Praetorum, Arlo, and Eckman, and all bore the effects of their time on Ishallr. As soon as Darius made his way into the building, the adrenaline that had fueled him on Ishallr seemed to drain away. His legs suddenly felt heavy, and despite what they had achieved, he felt as though the weight of the world was resting upon his shoulders.

Inside the Glass Temple, much was the same, and yet, much had changed. The structure itself still stood tall and proud, refusing to bow to the pressures of time. Light still streamed in through stained glass windows in every direction, the towering ceiling watching over them as it had from time immemorial. The old building had seen much in its time; this was just another chapter in its long Scalvorian history.

But it did not feel like the solemn place of worship that it usually was. Darius had not often stepped inside, but the hubbub that he had encountered prior to going to Ishallr was not how he had remembered it. Nor was it now, with a smaller - but no less focused - group, who were working hard to bring Scalvoris back from the brink.

It had become a hub of activity, rather than a sanctuary of quiet reverence.

Darius knew, as he entered, there were conversations happening around him, but he initially paid them no heed. He was weary and hungry, and, aside from Kura's greeting - which was duly acknowledged from a distance with a simple nod and wave - his eyes were downcast for the first couple of bits.

Horatio B. Thunderbussel III was the first to draw his attention back to the present. Darius had met the cadouri during the Cylus Dusk festival, and he appreciated the dose of familiarity as The One Who Does Not Fight's assistant offered him refreshments.

"Thank you, friend," he replied, taking a plate and gratefully filling it with food. "I suppose this means Saoire is willing us to succeed?"

As he asked his question, a sudden movement caused him to shift, and it took all of his reflexes to prevent his food spilling onto the floor as he ducked, dropped down onto one knee, and looked up. His meal was saved just in time for the Scalvorian to see a giant white eagle fly overhead. And then it landed and transformed into a woman!

Disbelieving dark grey eyes stared down at Darius' plate, as if wondering what he had ingested that might have caused him to hallucinate, even though he hadn't eaten anything. As he lifted his gaze towards the woman once more, he froze when he caught sight of something even more frightening: Chuckles. The flaming figure was fearsome to behold, but the casual nature in which other people were talking with him - as opposed to, say, screaming and running for their lives - told him that he was an ally.

Taking a few trills to compose himself, Darius eventually caught his breath and realised that it would be best to take a proper look around at his surroundings, lest there be any other unexpected surprises.

It was then that he noticed Elisabeth, whose presence lifted his mood immediately. The brunette was a dear friend, and seeing her caused a lump to form in the Scalvorian's throat. He had been assured that she was alive, but that didn't shake the fear that had accompanied her failure to join him in the cave. It was a sense of dread that he had suppressed at the time, but he felt it run through him in that moment. He had lost Yeva before; he didn't want to lose another friend. Tears threatened to well up in his eyes, but he fought them off. There was still work to be done.

Darius forced himself to find his feet once more and, his plate of food still untouched, he crossed the room to where Elisabeth was. That meant getting closer to Chuckles, as well, who he nodded politely to but he tried to keep his distance all the same. Ledas followed quietly behind him, his giant paws sending tiny clouds of icy particles with each step.

"Thank the Immortals you're okay," he breathed a sigh of relief to Elisabeth as he approached, while also noting that 'okay' was a relative term, and he turned to indicate the tiger behind him. "This is Ledas."

The ice tiger bowed his head in greeting. With introductions done, Darius held out his plate of food, offering it up to the Videnese.

"Have you eaten?" he asked her.

The bearded blond realised he had lost his appetite, and yet despite that, his legs were becoming less weary. Knowing they were part of the way towards saving Scalvoris was giving him a surge of energy.

Shortly afterwards, Jacien approached Kura nearby. Before he knew what was happening, Darius was among those being addressed.

The Scalvorian did his best to remember any key details from what he had experienced: that they had needed three chainstones, rather than the four they'd needed for Faldrass; that the chainstones couldn't be touched without something from the environment to shield the bearer's skin; that the statues had not been able to ask for help, but they could accept it; that the three men had had to offer up the chainstones in unison, so that balance could be maintained.

In summary, though, he admitted that he wouldn't have been able to reach the chamber of statues had it not been for Ledas. He could only hope that the other groups had equally helpful guides.

"Is there anything more I can do?" he asked Kura. "How are the other groups progressing? Do they need assistance?"

Darius could barely believe the words as they left his mouth, but his lips were moving and his ears definitely heard his own voice speaking.

"Do you need me to join one of them?"

So much for not being a hero!
Inventory
  • Average quality studded leather gambeson, leggings, and boots.
  • Average quality longsword.
  • Average quality dagger.
  • Waterflask.
  • Ledas (ice tiger).
  • Ledas' lantern.
  • Joelle's fortune telling card: the boatman.
  • Mirror with magic healing ability. Your mirror functions as a normal mirror - but it emits a constant warmth along with the constant glow. It will function as a camp-fire if placed on the ground and keeps the person carrying it in a constant state of warm - summer or winter!
  • Saoire's box of chocolates. A small box with 10 8 chocolates. They are, frankly, beyond delicious and taste like your very favourite thing. You find yourself unable to more than 1 on any trial. But each one provides the following to whoever eats it for the next 6 breaks: "Saoire's domain of Gifts is not merely one of physical goods, but of the happiness and joy that comes with both giving and recieving a well meant gift. This ability allows the Blessed to give both themselves and anyone they're with a feeling of joy and good cheer, banishing negative feelings like sorrow, anger, and fear."
  • Cassion's book. Cassion has given Darius a book in which to write things.
  • Other winter equipment provided by the Elements. (Spare clothing, rope, crampons, rations, etc.)
  • Vega's skill bonus. This skill will be directly linked to the focus Vega has so - if it is in a camp preparing for battle, for the soldiers it will be a combat skill - but the cook for that camp would gain a bonus to cooking for the troops. No more than one bonus per day can be given. (Chosen skill: Field Craft.)
  • Vega's flag bonus. PCs who are working towards the goal of the clan are given more support, more help. Things happen quicker and more efficiently for that reason. PCs who are actively using skills which benefit the "clan" and are doing so with NPCs / PCs of the "clan" - may assume that the task is less difficult and by everything going smoothly and people helping, everything falls together more easily. This allows the task to be easier / a stroke of luck /teamwork to mean that the task is completed in 50% of the time OR to 2 levels higher a standard than they could otherwise achieve.
word count: 1398
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Elisabeth Black
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Arc 721, 30 Ashan


Kura, Doran, Chuckles, Jacien
Elisabeth noted the entrance of the Ishallr group from where she was, immediately looking over each for signs of injury or anything that might need attending to, smiling in relief as everything seemed in order. They were being greeted, congratulated, and questioned and she had no desire to disrupt the business at hand.

The young mage smiled and nodded in response to Kura’s comments. Thoughts were coming in from all corners and the moment Elisabeth had opened her mouth regarding magic, she regretted it. The simple need for the others to understand her experience with magic had turned into something else.

Chuckles explained what he knew of magic, and she listened, tucking all the information away. Jacien and Doren jumped in as well with comments more directed at her. To Doran, she nodded and confirmed that she knew. “Yes, Professor. I’m aware.” Explaining her personal thoughts on flaying wasn’t going to help matters and only serve to prolong the study into magic and sparks that they seemed to be having, which she wasn’t sure was helpful to the mission.

Jacien was a different matter. He was obviously anti-magic, something she quickly surmised by the comments floating back and forth. She listened, giving him her attention as he spoke, doing as she always did and tucked the information away for processing at another time. Both he and Chuckles had given her much to think about. Nodding to him as he finished, she watched him leave.

In part, she was grateful for the experience because it was leading her thoughts down a path she had considered before, about putting too much of herself out for people to see. It was an experience she could learn from.

Chuckles as well had information for them on Death-Forged. One Elisabeth – two Death Forged – her and Vega. Arlo was Life-Forged and then the other four Forged groups. Quickly scribbling notes as Chuckles explained how things worked, it seemed as though six Forged – one from each group – would be required to balance the ScalvFlame. Within the Temple, they had four, making the work the remaining groups were doing that much more critical. Not only did they need to release the remaining two Induks simultaneously, but at least one member of each group also needed to consent to becoming Forged. Before she could speak though, Doran vocalized similar thoughts, prompting her to reply. “Would it be beneficial to tell Sweetwine and Scaltoth what we know? The more information they have, perhaps the better.”

Smiling gratefully to Professor Friedson, Elisabeth rose and went to chat with what appeared to be a small cooking tri-pod. His delivery was dry and direct, which she appreciated and soon she had the information she needed.

The Groups
Sweetwine seemed to be in good position, but the Scaltoth team was having some challenges. The young woman listened to Doran speak about the blackness and dream-like state of part of the team. It triggered a thought, which she relayed to him.

“Professor, Woe and I shared a dream once. I was non-lucid to start but he made me lucid by grabbing me. I know that they are in two different locations but if what he’s trying now doesn’t work, it’s possible that him communicating to Nir’wei something shocking or challenging him might possibly do the same thing and make him lucid? I feel compelled to say that it’s just a guess but might be worth trying.” Elisabeth wasn’t an expert and didn’t wish anyone to believe otherwise, but it felt like they needed some options.

The White Eagle
An eagle flew into the Glass Temple and Elisabeth immediately thought of Cassion and her experience on Immortal’s Tongue with an Eagle. Thus, she wasn’t surprised when the eagle transformed into a woman. As the woman spoke, Elisabeth tried to put pieces together of what she knew and what they were being told. It wasn’t until Doran spoke that things started becoming coherent to her. Drainglass. It wasn’t something that she had ever heard of but it didn’t surprise her that there was something out there that could do exactly what Doran was expressing to them.

Doran’s thoughts were mirroring her own. Drainglass, emaciated people, and with the information from Xiur about mages and the daughter – it left only one logical conclusion to how and why the drainglass was used, but that wasn't the most concerning thing.

If the Warden and his daughter weren’t at Slag’s Deep though, where were they?

Her mind whirled with the possibilities. Again, Doran was ahead of her in terms of putting the pieces together. Nodding as he spoke of the Glass Temple and Scalvoris Mountains, she had to agree. “If they’ve had eyes on us, they most likely know the plan. The Glass Temple and the ScalvFlame are logical targets to do the most damage to that plan." In the case of the command center at least, the young woman had already considered the location a target when she arrived, but knowing the Warden and his daughter were unaccounted for?

The raven-haired mage's eyes shot around the Glass Temple, looking for anything that might be out of the ordinary, not wishing to be caught unaware if trouble was coming.

Doran, Ru, Kura
Elisabeth noted Doran walking over to Ru and Kura's wolf, speaking to her and retrieving a necklace from around her neck. Her experience with the child earlier in the trial, during the explosions at the Element Hall with Kura and Woe, had fostered a protective feeling towards the girl. Glancing at Doran, she waited until he was done speaking with Ru before softly inquiring to him and Kura. "Is she alright?" If Ru looked their way, Elisabeth would give the girl a warm smile, waving a gentle hand at her.

Darius
It was then that Darius found her. Trying to research one of the various topics that had been tossed at the researchers, Elisabeth was flipping through a book when he approached…with a new friend. Curious eyes roamed first to Ledas, inclining her head at the introduction. She wasn’t sure if the tiger could understand her, but she felt compelled to speak, just in case. “Thank you, Ledas. For everything you've done.” Simple words for an enormous sentiment that the young woman couldn’t even begin to unravel at that moment.

Cereluan eyes found Darius’ and she too fought tears back. There was so much she needed to tell him, but the words wouldn’t come, but something about what he said struck her - the word ‘okay’. Was she ‘okay’?

Nope. Not even close.

It wasn’t the time to go into any of that though. There was work to do. Giving him a smile, she fought back everything she was feeling, finding words that would work for the moment as she rose and hugged him tightly, although briefly and speaking softly. “ ‘Okay’ is a relative term, Ox. I’m just relieved you are all alright. I’m sorry I caused so many problems.” It wasn’t perfect, but it was a start, and she had no desire to have a heart-to-heart talk with the blond man in the middle of so many people.

His offer of food surprised her, mostly because she hadn’t realized she was hungry until that moment. From the moment she had arrived in the Glass Temple, there had been work to do. Eyeing the offered plate, she tilted her head a bit and gave him a small smile. ”Only if you eat too. We can share it. You may not be hungry now, but something tells me that we need to eat while we can. Besides, I didn’t follow you once totrial, and I lost you. Don’t think I’m letting my eyes off you for a trill now…” The smile she offered slipped into a friendly grin as she nudged him gently, grabbing a piece of cheese from the plate.

ScalvFlame
Kura and Doran both asked her about information regarding her visions and the story from Vega. Arlo had been physically there, so she felt he was the best person to speak to the situation, but sometimes a different point of view was helpful. Nodding, she gave them what she knew and thought, going through both visions from early Ashan, and then checking her notebook and relaying the information from the Haven meeting with Kura and Vega. "To be clear, I have no idea how or why the visions came to me. I reported them to Kura and she asked Vega to a meeting between the three of us on Faldrass."

Thinking back on the information, something struck her. Hadn't Doran spoken of vines in regards to Scaltoth? Having never been to a jungle, she didn't know what type of vines they had there, but it struck a chord with the first vision she had. "Vines. Professor, you said something about vines with the Scaltoth team. In my first vision, there were vines that glowed orange in the chamber with the ScalvHeart. I got the impression that they absorbed the lava I saw, and they could attack. Could they be similar to the vines the Scaltoth team is talking about? I just thought it an interesting coincidence but it might be nothing." Elisabeth honestly didn't know if it was anything important but better to say something than not.

word count: 1604
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Arlo Creede
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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With Lyova in her newfound form at his side, Arlo accompanied Darius and Prae into the temple. It was only then that was finally able to be shake off the lingering affects of the unnatural cold that they'd had to contend with for the last little while. The interior of the temple was a lot less crowded than the last time he'd been here. But with far fewer occupants at the moment, it nonetheless seemed to be buzzing with activity.

When the others who were already there looked up and offered greetings or words of congratulations, Arlo simply dipped his head in greeting and smiled. The last thing he wanted to do was interrupt the ongoing plans or streams of important, ongoing dialogue. As for a moment to get off his feet, he was grateful and took up the offer, as well as an opportunity to fill his belly. It was part and parcel to Cassion's blessings. He was always hungry, and could always eat. He could easily put away more than the average man of his size, and go back for more.

But while he ate, he watched and listened, and took it all in. When Chuckles, who Arlo was familiar with by now, began to talk of Wilma the Wonder Weed and the Scalvflame, he paused thoughtfully. It was familiar territory, after all. As for his own recent making as Life Forged, in spite of Chuckle's own explanation, Arlo was sadly no closer to understanding exactly what that meant. Definitely not in his wheelhouse. It was all about balance, however, and that he understood very well.

What he didn't anticipate was the arrival of the white eagle, and it's appearance startled him. As a blessed and mortal born son of Cassion, he knew of the white eagles and was familiar with them. But nonetheless, knowing and seeing, experiencing, were two different things and he couldn't help but to look on in awe when it transformed into a woman. Apparently, a mortal born like himself, and his sister. Interesting. Knowing his Immortal father's disposition regarding women as he did, lots of women by Cassion's own telling, there'd be bound to be siblings out there somewhere. But he'd never met one, until now. And he'd never asked.

She came bearing news of Cassion's ongoing part in all this, and while Arlo wasn't equipped with the sort of learning that would predispose him to fully understanding what she spoke of...drain glass, for instance, he remained sufficiently impressed by the grave nature of it all. There was no question about it. This business was far from over, and they'd best rest up while they could. He only smiled a little when the woman shifted back into her white feathered form, and nodded his head in farewell. "Sister."

As for the rest, having only just arrived, he remained hesitant to interrupt the flow. Except to say, "I'm not sure what more I can add in regards to the Scalvflame and Wilma the Wonder Weed, that Chuckles hasn't covered already. I can only say that I was there with Vega, and it was a very dangerous place to be back then." But as for firsthand accounts, for anyone who expressed an interest in knowing much more about that particular experience, if urged to, he'd go on to describe it in much greater detail.
word count: 578
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Kura Wolfsdotter
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Glass Temple 1

Kura didn't react to Chuckles explanation of what a Spark was, since it was information she was already more or less aware of. That Sparks were completely unnatural was something of a surprise, but she suspected they were Emean in nature anyway, which would make them unnatural to creatures of Idalos. When he turned to her and asked her how what she did was different from the Immortals, she considered it for a moment. "To an extent, there is no appreciable difference. I am actin' to oppose that which I cannot, in good conscious, allow to continue. However, on that score, I must also admit similarity to our foes, for they also act to end a state of affairs that they cannot abide. The key difference, of course, is the reasons we cannot abide that which we act against. I oppose the Warden, Delroth, and Audrae because I will not see any whom I can save enslaved to an evil master. Audrae opposes us because she hates a world that does not afford her an inherent supremacy." she said, her tone calm.

"However, I do not hate Audrae, Delroth, or the Warden for simply bein' what they are, but rather for what they do, whereas many of the Older Powers seem to hate Sparks, what you call parasites, simply for existing. Vri, for instance, ejected a man who tried to use Domain Magic to both save his children and save the peoples of Idalos from a potentially endless slumber, which I tolerated due to the necessity of seein' my task in that affair through, but cannot condone." she said, before shaking her head. "Do not misunderstand me, it is not that they take offense that I have issue with. It is when they let that offense endanger millions of lives because they cannot see past their own prejudice."

Then, after a moments pause, she shrugged slightly. "Some of the more...invasive of the Immortals also have an unfortunate tendency to believe they have the right to tell people what to do with their own intrinsic bein'." she said, before nodding to Jacien. "While I don't always agree with Famula, one of the things I greatly respect her for is that she never fell into either of these traps. She did not forbid the use of magic to aid her cause against Ellasin, who I admit provides a compellin' argument against Sparks. Nor has she ever tried to tell someone what they are or are not allowed to do with their own private soul." she said, before pausing a moment. "Barrin' perhaps her own worshipers, but worshipin' an Immortal inherently comes with acceptin' that they have some measure of authority over you, as relates to their Domains. I think it's part of why my mum hates bein' worshiped." she said.

Then her expression turned serious again. "However, I must dare correct you on two points, Chuckles. The first is that if Domain Magic did not exist, we would not be facin' this threat. Audrae is evil, and worse, she is intelligent and patient. True, we may not be dealin' with this precise situation, but we would still be dealin' with its like. If she had not had access to Domain Magic, she would have found another means to enact this plan of hers." she said, before rolling up the sleeve of her coat to show her Fracture Scar. "The second is that Domain Magic has a danger to it that no other has. This was caused of the powers I was born with. If I overuse them, they'll consume me as much as Domain Magic will. But the truth is, they aren't any different from any other power, mundane or not." she said, rolling her sleeve back down. "Any power will consume you if let it. Politicians can grow to care only about their own station, soldiers can start to kill because they can, doctors can believe they have power over life and death. Domain Magic and Mortalborn powers just do it more overtly than others, is all."

When Chuckles explained the balance between the Life and Death Forged compared to the four Forged, she nodded. "Somethin' for the other four to hang off of, after a fashion. Logical as well. Life and death are the beginnin' and end of all things." she said, shrugging slightly.

The White Eagle
When one of Cassion's Eagles entered the room, Kura turned to it and frowned, then watched as it turned into what appeared to Cassion's daughter and started explaining what they found at Slags Deep. When she asked for numbers, Kura reached over to the table and picked up a piece of paper. She looked it over for a moment, then rattled off two numbers to Cassion's daughter. The first was number of reported prisoners in Slags Deep, the second was the number of reported staff in Slags Deep. "Though I expect both numbers are incomplete. The Warden was also active in the slave trade under the name Sparrow, and probably was even before I declared war on him and Faith outlawed slavery here. He's also unlikely to have been honest about how many people were in Slags Deep. Some of the people known to support the Warden have also come up missing since then, and may well be in the prison. I'll send one of my people out that way to see about gettin' a look at them." she said, her tone calm.

When Doran asked about taking power from Drainglass, Kura spoke up. "Probably they can. During the War with Ellasin, we secured a number of Wells, I think from when we captured one of her bases. Wells can be used to contain Ether outside the body of a mage, blessed, or Mortalborn, so they can be used for a secondary source. I would guess that Drainglass has similar properties, but is more of a trap than Wells seem to be." she said, her tone thoughtful. "But what could he be powerin' that needs all that Ether." she mused. When he asked her if she had a plan to round up any escaped mages, she nodded. "Take advantage of current situations. If we can't use magic, neither can they. Send in good solid soldiers to round legally incarcerated mages back up and see the illegally kidnapped ones get themselves some medical attention." she said, smiling slightly. "And if conditions change, use the Flame Elements. Dealin' with rogue mages is rather their job description."

The Two Groups

When word came that Sweetwine had their Chainstones, Kura looked at Chuckles. "If we free Sweetwine now, this instant, how long do we have to free Scaltoth before the imbalance becomes a serious problem?" she said, hoping to get a clear answer to that this time. Whatever Chuckles said, she'd relay the news to Sweetwine. As to Scaltoth, she didn't have much to add to what Doran said on the subject, barring one thing. "Nir'wei, you might be served by lettin' the wolves try to navigate. They're part of Velduris, so they may not be as affecting by Emea as Mortals and Mortalborn are." she said, her thoughtful. "And that dream-critter you've got may also be helpful there." she said.

Professors and Horatio

Kura looked at Friedson as he mentioned that there were no records of an expedition into Scaltoth like the one that had been found. "Look for expeditions into caves that went under the island, rather than into Scaltoth. They probably found an expedition that accidentally wound up in or close to Pyke, rather than one that went rootling around in Scaltoth." she said, before looking over at Elisabeth as she asked about Ruari. "She is for now. Audrae was usin' her, but we got rid of that with some help. Phelan'll deal well with any physical threats, and that crow she's playin' with is like to be a match for most anythin' else, if even half the stories about her are true." she said, looking at Labrae.

Jacien

When Jacien walked back in and gave his report. "About what we figured, then. Good to know it's not any worse, though. And yeah, I'm aimin' to have all this under control as soon as we possibly can." she said, before letting Doran report on Scaltoth and Sweetwine. When he started talking about dealing with ghosts, though, she gave the professor an amused look. "Given Jacien's patron, I'm rather less than concerned about ghosts attackin' us. I'm more worried aobut Cally gettin' caught in the crossfire there, frankly.

When Doran asked her about Maxine's Diri, though, she shook her head. "I haven't heard hide nor hair from it since. It'll be near to powerless right now though, with Ziell's enforced peace. It seemed to be a Destruction Diri, and there's not much destruction to be had at the moment. It could be juiced up in Slags Deep, I suppose, but I doubt Daia or Cassion are goin' to have much trouble with one cranky Diri, especially if Ziell's peace is keepin' it from attackin'." she said, her tone thoughtful.

When Darius asked if he needed to join one of the other groups, Kura shook her head. "No, you three just be takin' your rest for now. It'd take you three breaks to get out there, and I expect they'll be done before the current one is out." she said. "Sweetwine is about done, and I expect Scaltoth isn't too far off." she said, before turning to Arlo. "Anythin' you can tell us about the dangers there would be a lot of help." she said, her tone soft.
word count: 1639
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Praetorum
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death


Praetorum, newly Ice Forged, walked into the Glass Temple alongside his companions.

As he did he scanned the inside, eyes skipping over Doran, Horatio and Jacien, lingering briefly on Chuckles and Kura, before finally landing on Elisabeth.

Ignoring everything else, he closed the distance between them in a handful of strides. “Are you still injured?” He asked quietly. “What happened to the ghost and the emeyans?” He did not feel guilty for trying to save her life, even if his attempt backfired, but he would not be able to relax until he knew she was at least stable. Her presence here seemed to suggest so, but he wanted to hear it from her all the same.

Around him, a debate on magic seemed to have sprung up. Praetorum said nothing, not being of the scholarly persuasion, but he frowned all the same at Chuckles words. What was so wrong about something not being of this world? In his mind, it seemed to him that the distinction between spirits and magic was like the difference between hot and cold—the two may not be compatible, but neither was wrong. And a careful mortal could make use of both, to great effect.

Jacien’s words too, struck him as unnecessary fear mongering about something the man did not understand. But it didn’t stop him from answering when the man asked the Ishallr group for anything that might help.

“Darius has covered much of it. On our end, the bench we encountered that teleported us to Darius had the same symbol Ledas bears on his head. I don’t know if that has any meaning?” Prae looked questioningly at the tiger, hoping he might shed some light if the symbol proved to be relevant.

With that done, he stepped back, and found himself an empty spot near Elisabeth to sit and rest for now. Still, he stayed on alert, keeping watch for anything out of place. Doran had said something about tunnels, and Prae didn’t like the sound of that in the least.
word count: 342
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

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

Arms

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

Misc

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

Surroundings

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

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The Glass Temple I
Chuckles looked at Doran, and thought about it. "We are like him," Chuckles said, pointing to Ledas. "He is of Ishallr, I am of Faldrass, originally. But I became a Brother of the ScalvFlame, and now I am of Scalvoris and serve all four." As to where they were, he considered that a moment too. "They are everywhere. Every flame and breath of wind, in the trees of Sweetwine and the jungle of Scaltoth, they are. But they are in the Heart, or in Ishallr or Faldrass or Sweetwine or Scaltoth. They are - we are - what we are and we are of Scalvoris" Chuckles hoped he was making sense.

As for what happened if they didn't have Song and Soul Forged? Chuckles didn't know and said so. It was all new to him, too, and he had no answer there. Then, he turned his attention to Kura as she explained. He nodded, listening, and more than happy to consider her words. "Audrae is not natural to this world, either," he said. "The Immortals were created and given Dominion by aliens who entered our land. They are parasites in a different way and their marks are as imbalanced as the magic their creators brought. They are all interlopers. Faldrun was created many thousands of years after Faldrass Induk existed. The shadows Faldrass creates predate Audrae. They play games with mortals, but they are not of this world. Parasites and interlopers, oppressors and frauds" Chuckles had no doubt it seemed, he was black and white in his reasoning. "It is none of it natural, none of it is the Song of Idalos." He looked at Kura and tilted his head. "But that is ancient history and I am glad that you were born." Even though he had strong feelings on Domain Magic and pretty much everything to do with the Immortals. It was an argument Arlo, at least, had heard before. Many times.

The White Eagle:
The woman listened as Doran asked her a question. "We have not seen the Warden or his daughter," she said to him. She listened as Doran explained what the drainglass did and she nodded. "That tracks with what we're seeing. I'm not sure that they knew anything about it, though," she said in reply. "There was no sign of conflict, it's like they were just going about their day and were suddenly drained of all moisture."

At Elisabeth's and Doran's concern that the Warden was still at large, the woman shrugged "We will keep looking for them, you do the same. I do not think you will see Audrae again. She tends to slink back into the shadows when she's discovered." But then, Kura spoke and the woman frowned. "Albarech, they're all dead. We have not found a single living soul in Slags Deep. If the drainglass drained ether, then the dessicated husks are likely to be the mages. Plus, there's literally no one in Level Seven, where the dangerous ones are. These numbers are about on tenth of what we've found, though. Either there's somewhere hidden which we have not yet discovered, or they've already left. If they've left, I suspect they've left the island." She said it matter-of-factly. "Cassion believes that the ether was used to create a portal or power some device which transported him and his daughter - and possibly his entourage - away. We'll keep looking."

Jacien:
Jacien shook his head at Doran. "I am Zuuda," he said, "I can take care of any ghosts, and indeed, Cally, if I have to perform a banishment, I apologise. But you will return to your anchor, so things will not be without hope." He knew that Kura was her anchor, he could see it.

And then...... :
As the reports came in, they knew it was happening. First Sweetwine (with some dancing and singing and storytelling in the interlude) and then Scaltoth did what they had to do.

And the world shook, just for a moment.

"This way!," Chuckles said and he pointed to a portal which it seemed he had created. "To the Heart of Scalvoris! "

Info & Rules

Ok - we're at that point. At this moment, you are entering the final phase of the event and this should / could / might be wrapped up within another two rounds. It is entirely your choice whether you go through or not. If you do not go through, please continue to post here. If everyone goes through, I will review this thread.

If you do go through, however, then please note that you are now going to one of two threads. Please post in the following thread:

Life Forged: Arlo, Doran, Darius

Death Forged: Elisabeth, Kura, Praetorum

In that thread, please split your post into 2. The first half, responding to this mod post - the second half, explaining what you do when you arrive. Thanks!
 ! 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 :)
Next Post: Sunday 11th July
word count: 901
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Re: [The Forging] Life & Death

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Your Review
Doran

Overview

Oh wow, what a thread! I am so impressed with Doran's actions here I can't begin to tell you. He's insightful and decisive and he surprised an Immortal or two, saved Scalv and the world. I love how consistently you play him, how really well-developed he is. I hope that you very much enjoy the rewards !!

Points

XP: 40 (you were in this thread while others were in 2 or even 3 threads)
Renown: 30

Loot

When you return from The Feast, you return home to find a beautifully carved wooden box. The contents of this box include:
  • Deathsong!: An ornamental doorstop-like figure. Made from what seems to be ice, this is the Deliroth-Goat that Doran saw. It can be placed at a perimeter or point where it will act as an alarm. When there is movement within a 40ft radius of it, Doran will hear an alarm. The alarm can only be heard by Doran and up to four other people he designates. He can remove access to hearing the alarm at any time, but can only give access twice a cycle.
  • Words! ~ A story book, entitled "The Princess of Fection" - it is the tale of a princess who traveled the world but ends up back home (in Fection.....). It tells of all the many different languages she has learned on her travels and the glorious food she ate and the many adventures she had. When you read this it imparts one language (your choice) to your pc. This language is at Conversational level and does not count towards your Linguistics maximum number of languages. You may assume that you have the base requirements for this language and may progress it as usual if you choose to.
  • Urges! ~ A beautiful and very delicate-looking decanter which, once a trial, will create pure, clear water. The decanter is actually very tough and will hold up to four servings. Those who drink this water will have any negative effects from tiredness, tension etc, washed away with the drink. It leaves you feeling refreshed and clear-headed. It does not, however, heal wounds etc and will not combat magical effects.
  • Successes and Failures! ~ A small chest of jewels and coins. Please add 5 WP to your total.
  • Malapropism! ~ The Very Pineapple of Usefulness. A small cut-glass pineapple which would fit in the palm of your hand. When placed on the ground it functions as a campfire in terms of warmth and providing a place to cook.
  • Fears! ~ A small bunch of 10 grapes. Each one is wonderfully sweet - eating 1 grape will heal you of minor injuries. This is cuts and bruises, scrapes and grazes etc. If you have moderate injuries (deeper cuts etc) then it will take 3 grapes. Major injuries take 6 grapes and someone can be brought back from a critical condition with 9 grapes. Please note, though - if you gave (for example) 1 grape to someone with moderate injuries, it would do nothing. You have an all-or-nothing grape situation.
Daia is pleased with your work here: You progress in your Favoured mark:
Inner Voice
Once activated, the Favored has the ability to make themselves heard clearly by any and all in a radius around the Favored, without having to yell or scream. If they do yell or scream, the radius doubles. This ability is active for up to one hour a day. The radius on this is roughly the size of a tavern at Favored, a village at Adored, a castle at Exalted, and a city at Champion.

A Dancer's Call
While dancing, the Favored can close their eyes. This lets them astral project themselves into the Grand Ballroom of Daia's Emean Domain. To onlookers, this changes nothing, nor will they notice anything beyond the closing of the eyes. The Grand Ballroom is filled with other dancing projections, and is always as large as it needs to be to accommodate.
All the projections are of people that are currently dancing, anywhere in Idalos. They don't know their projections are there, and the projections are simply dancing just as they are dancing. Should the person stop dancing, the projection leaves The Grand Ballroom.

The Favored is able to dance among these people, and can see them as they appear, albeit a bit transparent. Should the favored begin dancing with one of these people, the pair will begin sharing a sympathetic and telepathic connection. This can be severed by either party, at any time by stopping the dance.

During this connection, all thoughts and emotions are shared, but only that which is given. Thoughts and emotions not explicitly withheld will be shared. Nothing can be forced from either party. However, during this connection the Favored can establish the person as a Dancing Partner. If so established, anytime either of the Dancing Partners begin to dance, the other will know, often described as their legs yearning to boogie. This is a bond that lasts until the Favored wishes to break it. But in order to break it, there must be a dance off, with rules established by both dancers. Whoever wins gets to determine the fate of the bond. In the event that both dancers are marked by Daia, either can initiate a dance off.

Xiur, too is pleased.

Cloudy Armor
The Blessed is covered in a cloudy blanket that cushions or misdirects melee strokes and ranged missiles so they afflict only light wounds. A very skilled fighter or marksman can accomplish higher levels of damage against this armor. In game terms, this armor reduces the attacker's pertinent skill by one tier, so that the Blessed's counter skill is more effective.

Knowledge

Appraisal: Considering the properties of drainglass
Appraisal: Examining an old necklace
Appraisal: Examining the quality of books and information.
Caregiving: Looking after a child
Caregiving: Reassuring a frightened child.
Caregiving: Looking after the people working for you.
Cryptography: Deciphering code
Cryptography: Working out the importance of a name
Cryptography: Analysing symbols
Cryptography: Anagrams in a name.
Cryptography: Using history as a baseline for puzzle solving.
Detection: Noticing small details in a child's expression
Detection: Spotting important details of the wider environment
Detection: Seeking out differences in the well-known
Detection: Ensure that you look at big picture and small detail.
Discipline: Not losing your temper
Discipline: Ensure that you remain calm and in control.
Discipline: Not allowing your anger to overwhelm you.
Discipline: Focus on what's important.
Discipline: Do not allow yourself to become overwhelmed.
Etiquette: Speaking with Immortals.
Etiquette: Inviting an Immortal to Tea!
Etiquette: Surprising an Immortal.
Intelligence: Sources of information
Intelligence: Comparing information to ensure you have maximum validity
Intelligence: Use experts to give you information.
Intelligence: Compare historic and current information
Intelligence: Use all available sources of information.
Intelligence: Uncovering secrets is hard.
Intelligence: Ensure that your source is reliable
Intelligence: Multiple sources increase validity of information.
Investigation: Putting together multiple clues
Investigation: Investigating historical events
Investigation: Ensure that you ask experts for specialised information.
Investigation: Try to understand motives in order to understand behaviour.
Investigation: Riddles require some context to solve.
Investigation: Identify which is the key question.
Investigation: Question witnesses - and those who know the witnesses.
Investigation: Challenge assumptions
Investigation: Tiny details can make a massive difference.
Leadership: Give clear directions
Leadership: Give precise information
Leadership: Ask politely, there's no need to give orders.
Leadership: State what you want.
Leadership: Explain the risk
Leadership: Repeat information if it's needed.
Logistics: Organising a massive operation
Logistics: Coordinating disparate groups
Logistics: Identifying key resources
Logistics: Handling multiple reports
Logistics: Prioritising what needs dealing with in a crisis
Logistics: Organising relief efforts
Logistics: Ensuring that there are back ups for key personnel
Logistics: Consider the risks when bringing people to command.
Medicine: White Heat
Psychology: People need to be told things repeatedly in a crisis
Psychology: Working with disparate groups makes communication difficult.
Psychology: People panic when in a crisis
Socialisation: Talking to an entirely alien entity
Socialisation: Speaking Chuckles.
Tactics: Have a back up in case things go awry
Tactics: Sometimes you have to deal with things on the fly.
Tactics: Ensure that your command central is secure
Tactics: Identify the greatest threats to you.
Tactics: Co ordination is key
Tactics: People need information
Tactics: Making sure the right people have the right information
Tactics: The element of surprise.
Tactics: Thinking outside the box to surprise others.
Kura

Overview

I love Kura when she's like this. She's determined, focused, and such a good leader. Every time, she pulls it out of the bag when it's needed and she has more than earned the title of Alberach of Scalv. I think my favourite bit here was the tussle with Cassion - I feel like they both grew slightly in each other's respect. Fantastic writing! Enjoy your rewards! Please forgive me for using numbered knowledge for you - but I lost this post and had to re-do it and I needed to make it numbered so it got done! However, I'm going from the tally I had on the scrap of paper I have here, so I know it's the right numbers - and I will add in the words / name the knowledge if you'd like? Enjoy!

Points

XP: 40 (you were in this thread while others were in 2 or even 3 threads)
Renown: 30

Loot

You survived, and you saved your pack. This makes Karem happy.
Enhanced Senses
A skill that enhances the hearing, sight, and smell of the adored to the level of a typical wolf, though not quite to the level of their familiar. The adored gains sharper teeth and can eat raw meat without fear of being poisoned.

Form of the Wolf
The marked can seamlessly transition between human and spirit wolf form with only a break of concentration. There is no limit on how long the marked can remain in this form and some choose to remain this way for trials and even cycles at a time, hunting and building the pack relationship with their spirit wolves. The Marked is limited in this form insofar as they cannot dissipate themselves as the true spirit wolves, but do find their sense abilities heightened. They always take the form of a much larger, stronger wolf.

Raskalarn, too, is pleased at your authority and, it must be noted, the way you dealt with that irritating Delroth.
Conqueror's Aid
Those Blessed by Raskalarn tend to be warriors above the skill of the average soldier, mercenary, or guard. Conqueror's Aid allows the Blessed to aid these lesser warriors. Conqueror's Aid is the only Krorros ability that relies on other people for activation. Those truly loyal to the Blessed can call on their aid as long as they are nearby, and the choose to answer that call, at which point they will appear instantly at the callers side.

Conqueror's Resolve
A passive skill, this ability grants the blessed an inherent resistance to mental or behavioral modifications, such as blessings, potions, or drugs that induce fear, madness, makes one more susceptible to manipulations, or otherwise affects their behavior. This resistance is based upon the discipline of the wielder, with the resistance applying to incoming effects one rank higher than the blessed's discipline or lower. That is to say, someone with Expert Discipline could resist a mental subjugation drug created by a Master Chemist.

War Mount
The Favored of Raskalarn is rewarded with a powerful spirit to serve as their mount. This spirit of Conquest often takes the form of a horse or appropriate land-mount for the Blessed. It can be called from intangibility when the Blessed requires and is a mount that never tires once mounted. It is perfectly trained to handle battlefields of any kind and will always return to the marked if separated. If destroyed, an entire Cycle must pass before a new mount will be given to the Blessed. This mount feeds on victory and conquest and a Blessed who does not feed the spirit will find that it is unable to manifest when required. While somewhat sentient, a spirit of Conquest is a stubborn thing, always seeking ways to test its power and that of its chosen lord.

Knowledge

Caregiving x 5
Detection x 4
Discipline x 5
Intelligence x 6
Intimidation x 5
Investigation x5
Leadership x 10
Socialisation x 5
Elisabeth

Overview

Wow - you're in all the threads!! It's been a real treat for me, to review the threads and follow Elisabeth's journey from the glass temple to ishallr and back again. She's so determined and you write her really well. I was especially struck by how she spoke so little in the wake of Jacien. I think the thing that I admire most about your writing is just how true to her you are - and how beautifully you portray that. I hope you enjoy your rewards! Same thing goes for the numbered vs named knowledge as for Kura. If you want me to amend, just let me know and I'll re-write. Sorry about that!

Points

XP: 15
Renown: 15

Loot

Qylios is pleased with the courage Elisabeth shows here, and in the events preceeding.

"Hold the Line!"
The Favored is able to bolster the morale of any who stand with them. The call rings out and dispels fear in the defenders, whether mundane or magical. Those affected by the shout gain a small boost in stamina and the use of a shield. The effects of this ability last for ten bits, and can only overcome magical fear effects from other Marks of the same tier or lower. Any fear effects caused by Domain Magic can be overcome as follows: Favored can overcome Magic at a Competent level or lower, Adored can overcome Expert level or lower, and Exalted can overcome Master level or lower.

Guiding Light
The Favored is able to summon a free floating orb of light to brighten their surroundings. The color and intensity of the light can be controlled, though it doesn't get any brighter than daylight. The orb has no physical form and can't be touched. The light generated by the orb cannot be used by the Brilliant Weapon ability

Knowledge

Caregiving x 3
Cartography x 2
Cryptography x 2
Discipline x 4
Endurance x 4
Research x 10
Socialisation x 5
All Other Participants.

Overview

If you were here for 1 post, then you aren't in the "main" review, but instead you get the rewards here.

Points

XP: 10
Renown: 5

Loot

None.

Knowledge

Socialisation: Working in a large group can be very frantic.
Tactics: In times of conflict, you should have a central command.
Tactics: Communication is vital to good tactics.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this review - drop me a PM.
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word count: 2492
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