A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

40th of Vhalar 721

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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

~~Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. ~~
Robert A. Heinlein
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Looking around the cabin, Faith was unsurprised to see the dragonling there, and she was happy to let it sniff her, holding out her hand for it and making sure that it was content. When Adalsteinn handed over the book, her eyes lit up with delight. "This will help!" Faith flipped through the pages and, having found one, she looked up at Adalsteinn. "Þakka þér fyrir" she said, hoping that she was saying thank you. He spoke, but so quickly that Faith could not make sense of what he said and, of course, although there were ways of pronouncing the words, she still couldn't translate from his language to hers and so she rummaged through the book to do what she could.

"Við sjáum glöð Adalsteinn," she said. She hoped that she was saying that they were happy to see him. She hoped, also that she wasn't getting it wrong and suggesting that they baked his mother in an oven or skinned his toes and added salt. That would be bad. Slowly, looking through the book some more and spoke hesitantly. "En ... mikil ... þörf .... heimsækja" here, she pointed to the word as she mangled the pronounciation. It was a child visiting an adult. " með .. Frosvinndur." Things like "very" and "important" were just not there, so she kept looking until she found something to do. "Stór svangur heimsókn Frosvindurr." She hoped she'd just said that it was important - they really were desperate to see Frosvinndur.

Thankfully, there were words in here that helped her. "við sá" that was a picture of a saw, the kind one would saw wood with. But Adalsteinn had already given her another word, which helped. "sá með augum ... með augum... dreki tveir" She glanced at Doran and Varlum and Padraig. "I think and believe that I've just said that we're happy to see him, but that it's important that we see Frosvindurr, because we've met another dragon." A ghost of a smile flickered across her face. "I hope. Or maybe that a tree has fallen and I want to saw a log. I'm not entirely sure."

Looking at Adalsteinn, she motioned to out there, down the mountain. "farðu núna tími, elskan takk" She smiled at him. To the others, she said. "I think I've said "go now, please, my friend. But these people are hugging, so I've used that word." She gestured to the book. "I may have just proposed."

But Faith was keen to get on down there and get to Frosvindurr. So, if she had proposed, then Adalsteinn could live with the disappointment. She gave Padraig a glance and smiled, then waited to hear from their host.

40th Vhalar, 721
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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

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Adalsteinn let Faith muddle through the words and managed not to wince too much at her pronunciation, though he did give her two very odd looks, the first when she said she was hungry for Frosvinndur, and the second when she used a term that indicated a much different relationship than what they had. He looked at the book, then nodded and looked up. "Vinur, ekki elskan." he said, smiling slightly. "Faith og Aðalsteinn eru vinir. Faith og Padraig eru elskan." he said, before shrugging slightly. "Að minnsta kosti í því samhengi." he said, before nodding at her. "Ég skal fara með þig til Frosvinndur. Eltu mig." he said, gesturing out of his cabin. This time his Kaldvind followed them, and he led them to the platform with the big raccoons and the pulley system. All along the pulley, there were platforms, and two were at the top with the group.

Adalsteinn approached the platforms, then paused and looked at the group for a bit before nodding. He gestured Faith, Doran, and Varlum onto a platform, then pointed them to some seats. There were also what looked like belts built into the seats and he sat in a seat briefly to show them how to buckle the seat belts. Then, he turned a few pages in Faith's book to point out certain words to her. "Of þungt. Ég og Padraig verðum niður bráðum. Þeir fara með þig í Frosvinn um leið og þú kemst á botninn." he said, before stepping off the platform and closing it. Then, he stepped over to the raccoons and stroked one that was slightly bigger than the others just behind the ears. The big furry creature shuddered slightly, then started pushing on the bars in front of it and walking forward, with the others doing the same. Once this started, the cables they were on began to move, taking the platforms with them. It appeared this was how they were getting down the mountain this time.

Adalsteinn turned to face Padraig and made a slightly rueful face. "Það mun taka smá tíma áður en við getum byrjað á leiðinni niður. Fyrirgefðu, leitandi." he said, as the platform the others were on left the top landing pad and started down towards the village where they had met Frosvinndur last time. Once the trio were in the air, they could more clearly see the cliffside, and they might be surprised to see these cliffs were rather far from barren. In addition the likely expected birds and goats, there herbivors and carnivors both that lived on the sides of the cliffs in this place. If they looked, they could even see animals that resembled deer or wolves, but were very clearly adapted for this terrain, with more articulated paws for grabbing and hooked claws for non hooved animals, and goat-like hooves for the deer and such.

When they got to the bottom, they were met by a woman with long brown hair, dressed in clothes that looked to be mostly made up of fur and rough sewn cloth, for all that it was clearly a uniform of some sort. She stepped forward to open the platform so they could get off, once they'd unbuckled the seat belts, then reached up and tugged on a wire that sent a chime running up through the cables once the trio were off. Then, she looked at them with a curious look, especially in Varlum's case, then gave what was a clear customer service smile. "Get ég hjálpað þér að finna hvert þú ert að fara?" she said, her tone polite.
 ! Message from: Basilisk
Quick post to respond to Faith. In addition, Padraig's player asked that he be written out of the thread, so now he is. For the sake of brevity, we'll assume he's generally a step or two behind the rest of the party for the duration of this visit. Lemme know if y'all need anything from me.
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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

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Doran furrowed his brow barely noticeably when Padraig mused that time might not be as linear as it was back home and furthermore stated that they hadn’t seen anything like those raccoons during their last trip. He found it hard to believe that time might move at a different pace in the lands behind the barriers – this was still the same world, after all, which suggested that at least the most fundamental laws of physics, such as those that governed time, were the same.

On the other hand, he had experienced a number of strange events that had forced him to reconsider the way that he perceived reality over the course of his life. The Forging, and how he had temporarily lost track of that period of time came to his mind, for example.

There were ways to find out if time moved at a different pace here, he realized, by taking note of how much the people here had aged compared to the people back home, for example.

For the time being, he decided to focus on Adalsteinn and their conversation though, although he did briefly cast a glance at Varlum who had decided to simply follow along quietly, in part due to the fact that he wanted to make sure he was alright. The memory of how Faldrun’s son had suffered during their journey to the barriers was still fresh in his mind.

The cabin that Adalsteinn took them to was surprisingly cozy. He inclined his head in a gesture of gratitude as he entered and let his gaze sweep across the interior. He immediately noticed the things that hinted at the (occasional?) presence of children – Adalsteinn’s children? Was the other man a father? How many generations of people had already lived behind the barriers?

Upon seeing the Kaldvind, his blue eyes widened slightly in surprise. When the Dragonling – although he didn’t know that that was what it was, of course – walked over to them, he smiled in a friendly way and inclined his head once more. His posture was calm and relaxed. When he realized that the Dragonling wanted to sniff them, he slowly extended a hand and lowered it slightly in order to make it easier for the creature to do so.

He wished he knew the words to ask Adalsteinn about his companion, but for the time being, he could only watch, listen and wait. He did understand that the book that the man brought over to their group was meant to help them teach his language though, in spite of the actual words that he said remaining a mystery. “Thank you”, he remarked, slowly, smiled and inclined his head, so that the other man would realize that he was being grateful.

“Þakka þér”, he added after hearing what Faith had said.

When Faith flipped through the book, he looked over her shoulder – provided that she was alright with him doing so – and eventually took a look at it himself. Faith did an admirable job at speaking Aldasteinn’s language, everything considered, he decided as he listened to her. Upon hearing her muse that she might just have proposed, he smirked slightly before he turned to face Adalsteinn and attentively listened to what he said.

He still struggled to understand more than a word here and there – one didn’t learn a language within a trial – but he realized that the man had decided to take them to Frosvinndur after Faith had told him that she had seen another dragon – which meant that the offer of food and drink (there had been pictures in that regard in the book) was a moot point. He agreed that the matter of Faith having met a dragon was of the utmost urgency.

The dragon in Quacia was not the only one though …

“Adalsteinn”, he said as they prepared to leave the cabin, in a firm and polite tone of voice that hopefully made it clear to the other man that there was something he should know before they went to see Frosvinndur (His heart beat a little faster at the thought; he had heard and read about dragons – and he had seen the paintings of the war in the Shrine of Fei – but hearing about dragons and actually meeting one were two completely different things.)

“Faith sjá dreki tveir … með augum Faith”, he spoke, trying very hard to get the pronunciation approximately right. He didn’t know the appropriate possessive pronouns – the book, being a picture book, didn’t explain the grammar – but hopefully, attaching Faith’s name to “augum” which either meant “eye” or “eyes” would make it clear to Adalsteinn that he was trying to say that Faith had seen a second dragon with her own eyes.

“En Það er margir dreki, ekki tveir“, he continued in a serious tone of voice and quickly leafed through the book, looking for a certain word. “Heyra”, he said and pointed at his right ear in order to let Adalsteinn know that he had heard something. “Margir dreki koma”, he told him, remembering what he had heard during the Council meeting - several dragons had appeared – and let the others know what he had just said before he followed him to the platform with the big raccoons.

“Vinur?” he asked and briefly looked at the creatures, hoping for some sort of explanation as to what they were. From Faiths and Adalsteinn’s previous conversation, he had the impression that “vinur” meant either “friend” or “acquaintance”. Were the raccoons friends?

A moment later, he stepped onto the platform that the other man had indicated. He made sure to watch closely as he showed them how to buckle the seatbelt before he took a seat, making sure that he was as safe and secure as possible. He checked the seatbelt twice in order to make sure that it wouldn’t come loose again at the most inopportune of moments – he had no interest in meeting his end by being smashed against a rock.

When Adalsteinn and Padraig didn’t join them, he cast a questioning look at them before he faced forward, taking note of his surroundings as they made their way down the mountains – he hadn’t understood what Adalsteinn had said, but assumed that he would follow in a few bits. “Were those animals here the last time you visited?” he whispered to Faith as he took note of the birds and goats – and what resembled wolves and even deer.

When they got to the bottom, they were met by a woman with long brown hair. Her clothes resembled a uniform which made him wonder if she was here in some sort of official capacity. He unbuckled his seat belt before he approached her. “Þakka þér”, he said in a polite tone of voice, thanking her for helping them. What she said was a mystery to him, but considering the circumstances and her uniform, he was pretty sure that she more or less wanted to know what she could do for them. With that thought in mind, he began to speak.

“Faith, Varlum, Doran”, he said, introducing his companions and pointing at himself before he paused for a moment in order to give her the opportunity to state who she was, provided that she was willing to do so. “Við heimsækja Frosvinndur. Tala með Frosvinndur. Hjálpaðu, takk?” he asked in a friendly tone of voice, aware of the fact that his words were lacking.

He wanted to ask the woman to please help them find (or visit, or see, or look for – he didn’t know what exactly “heimsækja” meant) Frosvinndur, but he had no idea what the word for “please” was or if there even was one in this language. There were languages that didn’t have such a word and where people said “thank you” to everything instead though, so, he’d decided to go with that.

“Thank you” instead of “please”.

Coupled with his tone of voice, it would hopefully sound like a polite and very friendly request rather than an order.

“I asked her to help us, at least I think that I did. We are looking for Frosvinndur”, he informed his companions.

Having spoken, he cast a glance at Faith. She had been here before. She had met these people before. She likely had a much better idea of what they were like and what to say to them – and how to interact with them.
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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.


While Doran and Faith attempted to understand the language, and Padraig was pulled aside to talk about things, Varlum found himself looking over the mountains. His eyes traced along the environment, catching a glance of wolves and deers with the adaptations to fit this place. It was fascinating to imagine, to wonder what else might be different here, even just small things and details, creatures that might vary from the standards in Idalos. Even the races, how they might change and adapt. Science was never Varlum's strong point or interest, but this was something else. A whole world out here that could differ from the one he was used to, with other life and places to go. Scientist or not, it was a fascinating realization.

For a moment he caught Doran's glance, the professor looking back at him. The Ithecal gave a small, reassuring nod. Now that he was touching the land he was ok, the feeling of the Earth at his feet. Truth be told, he didn't much want to talk about the boat journey here, or even the trials that had happened before them. Even through his healing, the time he spent with Vega and the work he had put into Scalvoris, there was a dark feeling that lingered in his mind. He'd never really stopped moving, never stood still and stopped fighting. But the moment he had, the moment it all caught up to him, it had come crashing down. So much so that even seeing Faldrun dead had felt unsatisfying, the man he had wanted to kill for a long time.

He hoped the feeling would fade with time, but he knew there would always be a weight to what he had seen and done. All of the fighting and violence, the lives lost, innocent and guilty alike. He would continue to fight for as long as he could, or at least he believed so, but after the events of Valtharn's ascension, he knew nothing would be the same. It had been a breakdown he'd never anticipated having. At least now he was away from it all, for a time. Being beyond the barrier was almost an escape, and a chance to be with people he cared about deeply, people that had given him the world.

His deep thoughts were broken when Faith mentioned that she may have proposed, eyes glancing to her with an amused expression. "And you thought the top of a freezing mountain was the most romantic place to do that?" he teased, bringing out a chuckle that he hadn't let loose in a while. It was a good start, as was being out in the world again. With that he followed alongside Faith and Doran once the platform arrived and stopped, listening as they talked to the woman at the bottom.

"Let's hope you didn't propose by mistake" the Ithecal replied to Doran, as he mentioned asking for help. "Frosvinndur doesn't seem the marriage type" he grinned.
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When Doran said that Faith had seen more Dragons and they had heard of more, Adalsteinn nodded, his expression serious. When he asked about the giant racoon like things, though, he shook his head. "Verkamenn. Þeir láta trissurnar fara." he said, his tone slightly amused. If anyone tried to get close to the them, he'd very firmly not allow that, pointing to their mouths. "Skarpar tennur og þeim líkar ekki að vera snert af ókunnugum." he said, shaking his head. "Góð leið til að missa hönd." he said, before buckling them into the lifts. Once they were down and talking to the woman at the bottom, her eyes widened when they mentioned the need to talk to Frosvinndur, before she looked back and forth from Faith to Varlum to Doran. "Ó! Þú hlýtur að vera hópur Leitarans! Já, Frosvinndur ætti að vera kominn bráðum fyrir þig." she said, before gesturing to a large creature that looked like a bipedal bear, except in the same type of uniform she was wearing.

The bear walked over to the group and they would notice that he was very nearly Varlum's size, being only a few feet shorter. The woman chattered rapidly at him in the local language, and then the bear turned towards the trio. "
Komdu með mér. Frosvinndur hittir þig á bæjartorginu að þessu sinni." he said, making the near universal gesture for "follow me" before he turned and started lumbering into the village. Assuming the trio followed the bear, they would soon find themselves in a large open area next a large fountain. The bear took a seat on a large bench and looked up at Varlum, before patting the space next to himself. "Hér er það metið til að halda mikið af Stroldinum. Þú munt hafa það gott." he said in a deep rumbling voice. There was also room on the bench for the two humans, they would be quite short compared to Varlum and the bear.

Shortly afterward, there was a massive beat of wings above them as Frosvinndur flew overhead. The Dragon circled the square three times, giving the people below them plenty of time to move before he came to a halt above the square, his wings beating as he lowered himself to the ground. Despite his size, there was only a light thud as the Dragon landed, though the air that came off him when she shook himself was not only pleasantly warm, it was strong enough to knock over anyone standing too close, as another one of the bear people found out with a surprised snort. Frosvinndur turned and uttered what sounded like an apology mixed with a light chiding as the bear picked itself up before he turned to look at the group.

"Welcome back, Faith and Varlum. Adalsteinn sent word that he and Padraig will be delayed. A heavy wind hit the top of the cliff and it's not safe to use the lift up there right now." he said, before looking at Doran. "You, however, are a new face around here. My name is Frosvinndur, and it is good to meet another from beyond the Barrier." he said, lowering his head as a greeting. As he spoke, the Dragon lowered himself so that he was laying on the ground, still radiating a warm, gentle breeze. "I see you've met one of our Stroldinur. I have reason to suspect the bear folk are unique to our Barrier, so I expect they're a new face." he said, before speaking a few words in the local language to the bear, who nodded and got up before taking off at a light jog.

"He's going to get you all something to drink. The rest of Idalos is not as cold as we are here, whatever the season." he said, chuckling slightly. "So, how have your researches been proceeding since our last visit?" he asked, his tone curious.

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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

~~Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. ~~
Robert A. Heinlein
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Adalsteinn's expression told her what she had suspected was true - and then he explained what she should have said. As far as she could tell, she'd just called him her husband since he spoke of a different word for her and Padraig. So, she tried again. "farðu núna tími, vinir takk? " She repeated her previous phrase, but changed the offending word. There was very much a question in her voice and she looked at him as she asked, wanting to check that she had done it right.

They got to the contraption which would take them down and Adalsteinn used the book to explain. She thought that what he said fundamentally said that there was too many of them to go on the platform together, so he and Padraig would take the next one. Faith glanced at her husband, making sure that he was happy with that and then she nodded. Making sure that she used the right word for their relationship this time, Faith spoke to Adalsteinn. "Þakka þér vinur minn," with a smile. "Be safe," she said to Padraig and briefly touched her hand to his. "Don't go getting into trouble."

But then, they had to get going and so she moved on to the platform with Doran and Varlum. As they descended she looked around in fascination, noting the animals and the landscape, looking for what was new, what had remained the same and comparing what she saw with the world they knew. Similarities were as important to know as differences, and Faith observed with a medic's gaze; when treating someone, it was important to know the full story both what was expected and what was not. Doran asked if the creatures had been here the last time they were here and Faith shook her head. "We didn't see them," she said. "But we didn't use this platform last time, we flew down." Smiling at Doran she could sense his excitement as much as her own. "It's amazing, isn't it? The enormity of what we've done. A new land."

When they got to the bottom, Faith was glad to not be trusting their lives to something someone she didn't know had built, and she unclipped herself quickly. She smiled politely to the woman who came into view. A soldier, maybe, considering that she seemed to be wearing a uniform - or maybe they had rangers or medics who wore uniforms, Faith thought, it was impossible to tell. Doran's ability to pick up the language impressed her and she nodded. "Good work," she said, glancing back up to where Padraig was making his way down. She didn't like being separated from him, but time was important here. When Varlum mused that he hoped Doran hadn't inadvertantly proposed, Faith shot him a grin. "You're cheeky," she said, good naturedly.

And then, there was the bear. Not just a bear, but a bipedal bear. Not just a bipedal bear, but a big, burly, bipedal bear. Faith watched, intrigued, and followed him (him? was he a big burly bipedal boy bear, she wondered. How would one tell?) where he led. He led them to a fountain and open air area and Faith looked around in interest. The bear invited Varlum to sit on the bench - but Faith remained standing. "I'm standing up," she said with a smile and gestured to herself, "and you're sitting down," here she gestured to Varlum and the bear. "And still, I'm shorter than you." She put her hand on her own head, and then moved it towards them.

And then, Frosvinndur arrived. Faith genuinely believed that she would never get used to the sight. The dragon landed and Faith smiled at Doran and Varlum. "It's good to see you again," she said to him. He explained that Padraig and Adalsteinn had been delayed and a slight frown crossed her brow. She felt worry clutch at her, but she knew that potentially their time here was limited, so she had to focus. Frosvinndur spoke of the Strolindur - the bear people - and Faith nodded. "We've never seen those, no. It's fascinating." And then, Frosvinndur, asked how things were going.

"We've made a number of discoveries," Faith said. "These are in two areas, basically. I'll deal with the least contentious first. Padraig, Doran and I have been working to make it so that Mortalborn like him and Varlum can survive here longer. Here, ether doesn't replenish and so, we've created an injection which all of us have had, which means that we will replenish our ether. It should work, I believe." Months and weeks of work, summed up in a few sentences. "You could look at us and see what the problem was for the mortalborn, last time we were here" she said. She thought that meant that Frosvinndur could look at Doran and know he was Mortalborn too, but in case he couldn't Faith said nothing about that. It wasn't her story to tell, after all. "If so, I'd appreciate you having a look. If over half our party are on a time frame, it might be important to know." She smiled and then reached into her bag. "I've written down all the research, and I've brought you a copy. Also, a sample of the treatment which we've used. It's all here." She had a dossier in her hand, detailing all the research step by step and also summarising it at the front. As an when Frosvinndur looked at it, it was meticulous.

She waited then, and answered any questions he had. Then, she spoke again. "But the second thing, is more difficult. We've discovered other dragons, in our world over on our side of the barrier." She smiled slightly. "I'll give you all the information, but I've also written it down, here," another dossier. It did not do to rely on memory, Faith knew.

"Padraig, Varlum and I were teleported to a place called Quacia," she said softly. Tapping the second dossier, she added, "there's a map in here. The history of Quacia is bloody and brutal and there's a strangle-hold government called the Theocratum, who rule by fear and blood sacrifice. They worship a creature called the Wounded God." Faith watched Frosvinndur as she spoke, trying to ascertain if he had heard of any of these words before. "It transpires, the Wounded God is a slumbering trapped dragon called Deabrotoa. We have re-imprisoned him, but how long that will hold, I do not know. There were these," she said, and brought out the corpse of a Lethe, preserved and ready to be roasted whole but she didn't mention that bit. "My understanding is that we were not the only ones to encounter dragons and there are reports of sightings of them in a few parts of our world." She gave a slight smile. "I believe your people have returned to Idalos. Varlum has more information from his investigation of the Dragons and the Ithecal and Doran is an alchemist of highest renown who has been fundamental in the development of what we' did. We felt we had to come now, in light of the re-emergence of dragons."

And then, because she was fairly sure that there would be a lot of questions, Faith paused.





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~~ Beyond The Barriers ~~
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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

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When he asked Adalsteinn about the raccoons and wanted to know if they were friends, the other man shook his head, Doran observed, and pointed out that that they were something called “verkamenn”. He looked at Adalsteinn questioningly for a moment before he inclined his head and smiled in order to let him know that he had understood what he meant. In the picture book, the pulley system had been called “trissu”. “Verka” reminded him of the Common word “work” and “menn” sounded a lot like “men”.

“I think Adalsteinn just told us that the raccoons are workers that operate the pulley system”, he explained to Faith and Varlum and furrowed his brow very lightly before he continued, “From what I have been able to observe so far, there are a few similarities between Aldasteinn’s language and ours – which could be a sign that there is a common parent language or that the two languages used to be in contact once upon a time”, he added and asked in a curious tone of voice, “Do you know where Adalsteinn’s people come from? Did they always live here, separately from our humans?”

By studying a people’s language, you could learn a lot about them, their origin as well as their culture, Doran had come to realize over the course of his engaging in matters of linguistics. Sometimes, you could even learn things that they weren’t aware of, or only tangentially aware of, at most. Of course, there was also the matter of false cognates, for example (which was why he had emphasized the word could). He decided not to go into detail about the theory behind languages at the moment though – this was not the right time.

Those similarities were something that was definitely worth pointing out to him; talking to Frosvinndur and sharing that most concerning news with him was most important right now though.

What exactly Adalsteinn said next in regard to the raccoons obviously constituted some sort of warning, although Doran didn’t understand the meaning of the words themselves. He had no interest in trying to touch the raccoons anyway though. Touching unfamiliar creatures in an unfamiliar land was foolish and pretty much an invitation for disaster in his opinion, and he planned on staying in one piece, thank you very much.

Varlum’s statement about hoping that he, Doran, hadn’t proposed by mistake on the other hand caused him to smirk slightly. It constituted a moment of greatly appreciated lightheartedness in a situation that was quite serious, in spite of how utterly fascinating this new land was – there seemed to be nearly unlimited opportunities for research to him.

When Faith complimented him on his good work – he assumed that he meant his trying to explain things to the woman in the uniform – he smiled and inclined his head. “Thank you”, he said before he turned back to the woman. He did, again, not understand what exactly she was saying, but considering the nature of his request, he assumed that she had either said that they would be taken to Frosvinndur or that Frosvinndur would be here soon which was why he thanked her again, with the limited means that were available to him.

A moment later, the bear appeared. Doran was used to bipedal, talking animals – cadouri had become a common occurrence over the course of the past couple of seasons – but the bipedal animals that he knew were small mammals, hamsters, mice or cats, for example. He didn’t think that he had ever seen a bear cadouri before – unless panda bears counted – which made him wonder what exactly that bear was. He was fascinated, he had to admit.

It fascinated him that the lands on both sides of the barrier had bipedal animals. Here, they seemed to have developed without Saoire’s influence though. There were so many things that were similar, but at the same time, there were great differences, and what more, these lands seemed to have undergone great changes since Faith and Varlum had last visited (Or maybe, the raccoons and the bipedal bears had just been somewhere else back then?).

He was just trying to list the similarities and differences he had noticed so far, in the hope that doing so would allow him to arrive at some sort of conclusion, when the bear approached them and started to speak. When the bear told them to follow him, he inclined his head once more. “Takk”, he said politely, thanking him for leading them to Frosvinndur – he was excited at the prospect of meeting a dragon, he had to admit, and his heart began to beat a little faster – before he began to walk after him, to the square with the fountain.

The bench there was big enough for beings such as the bear – or Varlum – to sit comfortably which made him wonder if bipedal, talking bears regularly gathered in the square.

He just wanted to take a seat next to Varlum when he suddenly heard the beating of massive wings. He instinctively raised his head, and his eyes abruptly widened. He was utterly in awe – and grateful for the fact that he had been given the opportunity to meet such a great being. Frosvinndur was older than the Immortals – and probably older than the Originals. For a moment, as he thought about the things that the dragon must have seen and the wisdom that he must possess, he was nearly breathless. Did Frosvinndur know more about the Great Song and those that had first sung it? Did he know of the world before?

He had been wondering what meeting a dragon would be like since the decision that he would be joining the others on their trip behind the barrier had been made, but it was different from everything that he had imagined. It was an utterly fascinating experience.

He did not move.

When Frosvinndur greeted them – it surprised him that the dragon seemed to know their language - Doran told him in a friendly, polite and utterly respectful tone of voice, “It’s an honor to meet you, Frosvinndur. I am Doran, an alchemist and a scholar of history, and I have joined Faith, Padraig and Varlum on this journey in order to help them”, he added when the dragon remarked that he was a new face around here and inclined his head deeply. Unlike Faith, he was not particularly worried about Adalsteinn’s and Padraig’s delay. They had done something very reasonable and decided to wait until the wind was over. With any luck, they would be joining them all before long.

“Thank you”, he said when Frosvinndur explained that the bear would be getting them something to drink before he briefly turned to Faith, waiting for her to answer Frosvinndur’s questions. When she talked about the ether-replenishing potion that they had created and asked the dragon to have a look, he remarked in a calm tone of voice, as it might be relevant, and he had nothing to hide, “I am the same as Padraig and Varlum – mortalborn.” Having said that, he waited for Frosvinndur’s examination.

He was not overly worried for the time being. If the effect of the potion turned out to only be temporary, they might be able to simple take more – or even brew more potions.

Besides, his wondering about the fact that that they might be operating on a limited timeframe soon took a back stance when Faith informed Frosvinndur about the return of his kind. He waited until she had finished speaking – he furrowed his brow very lightly when she showed Frosvinndur the corpse of the Lethe – before he addressed the dragon in the same calm and respectful tone of voice as before,

“There are indeed reports of sightings of dragons in other parts of the world. There are reports of a dragon in the Rynmere Labyrinth – Rynmere is or was a kingdom on our side of the barrier – that sent thoughts into people’s minds, for example. A hive-mind was mentioned in that regard”, he added and gave Frosvinndur a few moments to consider that that before he continued, “Another dragon was reported to be in the far south, near Desnind and the caverns of Augiery. His name is Kuvarakh, if I remember correctly. The return of the dragons happened around or at the same time as a conflict between a few of those that we call Immortals, around a device called the Ascension. Several of them perished in the process”, he finished repeating what he had heard during the Council Meeting.

He wondered what Frosvinndur would make of it.

The circumstances surrounding the return of the dragons might be almost as important as the return of the dragons itself, so he considered it prudent to mention them.

He wanted his report to be as complete as possible.

“Faith, Varlum, Padraig and I are not the only ones who came here this time”, he continued after a moment of silence. “An entity called Brother Chuckles accompanied us. He helped me and my companions that have remained behind the barrier save the world. He is thousands of arcs old and knows of the Great Song, the world before the Immortals, and, I believe, even the Induk of Idalos. I asked him to accompany us in order to advise us – and because some of the things he knows might be of interest to you as well. He might be able to shed more light on what happened since the barriers were erected – as well as certain events that took place before”, he spoke before he paused again, very briefly, and glanced at Varlum and Faith.

“Brother Chuckles is a flame entity, but as my companions can confirm, he is helpful and never caused any harm”, he continued, calmly. “I hope that his presence here does not constitute a gesture of offense or disrespect – it is not my intention to offend or disrespect, but only to help and facilitate an exchange of knowledge. There are certain aspects of the relationship between spirits and similar entities and the other beings that inhabit this world that are still unknown to me. Brother Chuckles currently takes the form of a rock which seems to be his preferred form of travel, but if you are interested in talking to him, all I need is a flame in order to bring him here properly”, he spoke and waited for the dragon’s reaction.

Provided that Frosvinndur agreed, he would do what was necessary in that regard.
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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.


During their first visit beyond the barrier, things had been strange. There was no doubt about how unusual this place was for someone used to Idalos, so much that was undiscovered and unknown. But this time, coming here, they had already seen so much more than before. Giant animals with some level of sentience, creatures similar to those in Idalos but with differences to adapt to this place - so many things he couldn't have imagined until now. Until recently, even the Dragons had been believed to be mostly beyond the barriers. Though after recent events and Faldrun's plan, that wasn't as true as it had been before.

Upon seeing the giant bear and noticing that it seemed to be talking to them, and even gestured for Varlum to come and sit beside him. The Ithecal respectfully bowed his head and did so, sitting down on the bench beside the bear. It was a curious sight, but it didn't draw too much attention from Varlum. People had looked at him as if he was an anomaly for Arcs, even before his magic had coated his skin in stone and magma. Giant sentient bears weren't something he had seen in Idalos, but something about them seemed almost similar to the Ithecal in a sense. Perhaps people viewed them here the same way many viewed Ithecal back home.

Shortly after sitting, and a bit of time passed by, Frosvinndur arrived. Varlum respectfully stood for a moment, bowing his head. "It's an honour to see you again and be back here" he greeted the dragon, allowing Doran to take in the moment and introduce himself to Frosvinndur. It was a moment of awe that couldn't be described with words. Something so majestic and powerful, even by the standards of Idalos, landing before you and speaking in your own tongue. It almost felt alien, like something that shouldn't be able to exist.

Faith and Doran spoke first of what they knew, Varlum remaining quiet for a moment until it was his time to speak. Once the others had said their part, the Ithecal stepped forward. "Unfortunately I don't have much to add to what Faith and Doran have told you, about the Dragons in Idalos. But after our last meeting, I had something to discuss and share with everyone" he admitted, directing his focus primarily on Frosvinndur. It would be the dragon that would likely want to hear what Varlum had to say.

"When we last spoke you told me you felt some connection to me, faint but there. I talked to Ethelynda, the Immortal that made my people" he explained, glancing to Faith and Doran, knowing it would be their first time hearing of this too. "The Ithecal were created arcs ago, after the war between Dragons and Immortals, as a means to ensure the Dragons souls weren't lost if the other Immortals went looking for them. So a small few gathered together, and Ethelynda created my people with the souls of Dragons. My ancestors, far down that line, are you and your kind."

There was some pride in his voice as he said that. Having a soul of a creature like Dragons was not something Varlum took lightly. It meant something, to him and hopefully to the Dragons too.

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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

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Frosvinndur chuckled slightly when Faith confirmed that they had no Stroldinur outside the barriers. "Just as we have no Ithecal here. It appears our closed ecosystem has led to different results than what happened out in Idalos proper." he said, his voice amused, before he turned to Doran as the other man returned his greeting. "A history scholar. That is a long profession you have chosen. The glories and failures of the past are well worth studying, but even here in our little hideaway, they are vast." he said, his tone calm.

When Faith began to speak of their discoveries, the Dragon listened intently. "Mortalborn? I don't believe you explained this to me on your last visit, though it is possible I have forgotten some details." he said, his tone curious. "Ah yes, this connection to the Formless Chaos that was so hazardous to Padraig and Varlum." he said, nodding slightly. "Very well, let me take a look and see how this medicine of yours has affected you all." he said, turning his gaze to each of them in turn. "It is...interesting. You seem to have used my own blood in this tincture. Dragons have no inherent connection to the Formless Chaos, but you appear to be using my blood to replicate the effect." he said, his tone musing. "It appears to be regenerating their own energy supply." he said, before shaking his head. "But it's doing it too well and too fast. I would guess the effect would only last six Breaks at the most, and if you were to try and harness and utilize that energy, it would be far more hazardous than usual. It is progress, but more will need to be made." he said, his tone calm.

When Faith pulled out a dossier, however, he looked at it for a moment, then looked up at her. "I appreciate the effort, but there is no one here who can read that. I can understand you, and you me, because we are all of Idalos and things that are of Idalos can understand a Dragon and vice versa. But it does not extend to the written word." he said, his tone gentle before he looked down at it again. "Plus, my claws are entirely too big and unsuited to human sized paper." he said, his tone more amused now. When she spoke of Dragons on their side of the Barrier, however, he did not look particularly surprised. "I am not surprised. There should be ten Dragons outside the Barriers." he said, his tone calm.

Then she explained the nature of the meeting between her and the other Dragon and he let out a low, angry growl. "Deabrutoa, you thrice-blind FOOL!" he growled, his voice rising in a so-far unseen anger. "Small surprise his arrogance ended in wounds and imprisonment, but to go so far as to demand blood sacrifice and worship!" he said, his voice still laced with a great deal of anger. "It is not meet that a Dragon should claim a throne, we are protectors, not rulers or gods." he said, before shaking himself out of his anger. "It is good you re-imprisoned him, but be warned. Deabrutoa is crafty and vengeful in equal measure, and he will not take kindly being resealed, nor will he be idle in his imprisonment." he said, his tone sincere. Though when Doran showed him the Lethe corpse, he just gave it a long, slightly miffed look. "I'd forgotten that his Dragonets are edible and apparently taste good." he said, his tone calm.

When Doran spoke of the Dragon with the hive mind, however, Frosvinndur let out another deep growl. "Artere. The Dragon of the Hive Mind has ever been a manipulative and craven sort. That one being loose is nothing but trouble, especially if the Composer is no longer taking an active role in the worlds affairs." he said, his voice stressed. He shook his head at the other name, though. "Kuvarakh is a new name. One of my kin must have perished and been reborn. When that happens, we take on new names, new personalities. It is an oddity of our design, but the Composer said it would the Dragon who perished rest while the new Dragon took on our duties." he said, his tone somewhat saddened. "I have never heard of the Ascension, however, and the Immortals are still unknown to me." he said, his tone regaining its calm.

Frosvinndur listened quietly as Doran spoke of Brother Chuckles, then nodded. "I would indeed like to speak to this Spirit. There is materials for making a flame beneath the bench. Bring him forth, and let us hear what he has to say." he said, his voice calm. Then he turned to Varlum as the Ithecal shared what he had learned from Ethelynda. "So, the Immortals were once an enemy to my people." he said, sounding largely unbothered. "Much has happened since these Barriers were erected indeed. But if one of them saw fit to try and bring back the fallen Dragons, then I see no reason to let old wars influence current relationships." he said, his voice cheerful.

"So, Varlum, it appears that our kinds are indeed connected, by soul as much as by blood. A new breed of protectors for a new age." he said, giving the Ithecal a respectful nod of the head. "I welcome it, truly, for it is ever the way of things to change, and new troubles will always require solutions both new and old." he said, his tone calm, before he let out a rumbling laugh. "Though I don't think my kind will be content to retire and spend our days lazing about the skies while your kind does all the work." he said, his tone amused.
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Re: A Theoretical Impossibility: Again.

~~Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. ~~
Robert A. Heinlein
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When Frosvinndur said that no one could read what she had written, Faith's eyes showed her surprise at the thought - then amusement at the realisation. "Well, now I feel foolish," she said with a self-depreciating grin. "I was so busy being organised that I simply did not consider that." She smiled at him. "If you wish, though, I can read it to you?" If they had a spare hour or two, that was. Faith found it hard to believe that she had not thought of that - so wrapped up in thinking of everything that she had totally over-complicated.

His warning about Deabrutoa was received with a nod. "I'm thinking I'll go back to Quacia soon," she said honestly. "Make totally sure that all is safe." Frosvinndur then spoke of Artere, and Faith's eyebrow raised. "The Composer?" She asked.

Things moved on in terms of the conversation, but Faith was clear what the agenda here was, what the reason for coming here was. "I've been thinking," she said, at an appropriate moment in the conversation. "With the release of your peers into Idalos, would you want us to look at lowering this barrier? I ask because I wonder what would happen in terms of what we are experiencing. I can work on the antidote more, especially with that information," Faith said. "We can slow down the reaction within the blood. But, should we be working on that, or on lowering this barrier?" She asked that quite calmly, but she couldn't help but feel excited at the prospect. "Because at some point we would have to find out what would happen to one of you, over on our side. That will be a question we need to answer. Since the barrier is separating two areas which, naturally, want to be together, I wonder whether it will actually just right itself. Have a balance that doesn't exist in either place, right now. Certainly, your peers are moving about happily and there has been no ill effect on Padraig's companion," she said, of the Dragonling which had accompanied Padraig for some arcs now.

The "Brother Chuckles" conversation was interesting to Faith, but it wasn't something she knew a lot about, so she kept largely quiet. Her mind was ticking over, trying to work out whether the barrier could be reduced, if it was doable by them or whether it would need a combination of Immortal and Dragon or some such. Bottom line for her was to find out where their next priority was and then, they would work towards it. Her thoughts turned to Padraig, and she hoped that he was safe. The sooner he was back here with her, the better as far as she was concerned.
40th Vhalar, 721
~~ Beyond The Barriers ~~
word count: 482
This PC is dead. See this thread for details.
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