• Solo • Purpose

Sabine approaches the Thunder Priestess faction.

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Sabine
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Timestamp: 15th of Zi'da, 716
Location: Harpy Inn

Thirty-seven… thirty-eight… thirty-nine…

Sabine released an exasperated sigh and fell back on her bed with a thud. The straw mattress rustled beneath her as she raised her arms towards the ceiling and dropped them, criss-crossed, over her face.

Never before had she felt so bored.

When she had followed Vincent to Rharne, she hadn’t thought about much past the initial trials. They would land, seek out the owner of the mysterious black tavern coin, and return to Rharne without anyone so much as realizing they’d left.

She hadn’t considered the possibility that their investigation might take more than a few trials. She hadn’t considered the idea that they might be here for seasons, maybe even an arc, as they chased ghosts down dead-end streets. Really, she hadn’t crafted any plan beyond “follow Vincent and find the coin”.

Follow Vincent and find the coin.

That had sure worked well.

Vincent had started their journey by leaving her stranded on the boat to Rharne in order to chase an Immortal into battle, and then wasted an entire season trying to make amends. She had barely thought about the coin during the entirety of Vhalar, and the few attempts she’d made to search for it at the beginning of Zi’da had proven fruitless.

She was still continuing the search, of course, but it wasn’t enough to keep her busy. With her family and her job back in Rynmere, she was beginning to feel restless. Her fingers refused to stay still and and her leg began bouncing every time she dared to sit.

It wasn’t as if she hadn’t tried everything she could think of to keep the madness at bay: visit her childhood haunts, take extended walks in the Stormlands, trail Vincent around the city, drink herself into a stupor… None of it had worked.

So instead, she was reduced to counting the number of wooden floorboards in her claustrophobic room at the Harpy Inn.

“…fuck!”

The word reverberated off the walls. She groaned and rolled over to bury her face in her pillow. Damn it. At this rate, she would lose her mind far quicker than she would solve any mystery.

She needed fresh air, and soon.
Last edited by Sabine on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:29 pm, edited 2 times in total. word count: 397
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Sabine
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Sabine pulled her cloak closer to her slender frame as the afternoon air nipped at her skin. The drab clouds that hung ominously in the sky matched her mood, eliciting a wry smile for a mere trill before her lips tightened and withdrew. While leaving her closed quarters at the Inn helped her breathe easier, it did nothing to relieve the weight on her chest.

What the hell was she going to do?

She knew, instinctively, that Vincent didn’t expect her to devote every waking hour to helping him solve the mystery of his past, but she still couldn’t help but feel a bit resentful. She had come here for him and, in doing so, had given up so much of what was important to her, of what made up her identity.

Her job, her friends, her family.

Her father.

Immortals, her father was rotting in the mines or at the Andaris estate as a slave, and here she was flouncing about Rharne, discovering nothing and making absolutely no impact on anyone’s life, including her own.

At least she’d been able to affect people’s thoughts as a journalist – even if the majority of her articles were about parties or cake or the latest trend in silk dresses. The Gazette had given her something to strive towards, something to work for. Now? Here? She was striving towards someone else’s goal, someone else’s dream.

Sabine pressed a hand against her forehead. She wasn’t trying to sound heartless. Vincent wanted - no, needed - revenge, and she would do everything she could to help him. That’s what she’d promised him. Regardless of everything that had happened during Vhalar, she wasn’t about to give up on it or on him. It mattered too much.

But she needed more.

There has to be more than this.

Loud shouts broke her train of thought, and she blinked to regain focus. Just steps ahead lay Rharne’s Earth Market – a busy marketplace filled with squawking vendors, bartering customers, and goods of all shapes, sizes, and smells. Brightly coloured cloth hung atop the outdoor stalls, and beyond those sat the indoor market with its doors thrown open and countless bodies flowing in and out.

Rather than venture into the chaos, Sabine headed for the safest spot she could find that still gave her a good view for an old habit. People watching wouldn’t solve her problems, she knew, but it might take her mind off of them - at least for a little while. She hopped up onto the back of an abandoned wagon tucked next to a cluttered booth and dangled her legs off the wagon's edge, eyes wide and ears alert for interesting conversation and interesting people.

People much like the small group of Thunder Priestesses who were weaving their way through the crowd.
Last edited by Sabine on Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 486
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Sabine
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The women were easily identifiable by their purple robes, but even if Sabine had not grown up with any knowledge of Rharne’s most famous faction, she would have taken note of the way people nodded their heads and held their breath as the Priestesses passed by. It was almost as if they believed Ilaren herself could see through the women’s eyes.

“Show your love for the Great Mother,” the women called out as they wove through the crowd. “Join the Thunder Priestesses! Protect your friends, protect your family, protect Rharne. Ilaren needs you!”

The shouts, which began in unison, began to break apart and become more sporadic as each Thunder Priestess spotted a woman in the crowd who seemed interested – or perhaps just eligible – to join their faction. Sabine watched from her wagon perch as the Priestesses branched off like a river to spend a few bits speaking to their chosen women before joining together to once again take up their chant.

“The greatest gift you can give Ilaren is your servitude!”

“Fight against Faldrun’s attack on mankind!”

“Find a higher purpose as a Thunder Priestess!”

‘Find a higher purpose…’ The sentence resounded in Sabine’s mind like the twang of a bow. Purpose. More than anything else, it was that word that rang most true. Until that moment, she hadn’t understood the emptiness she was feeling, the desperation, the lack. The boredom had been overwhelming, yes, but she hadn’t been able to pinpoint exactly what she needed to do to solve it.

Not until now.

Sabine’s spine straightened and the fog in her mind began to shift as she was drawn into her memories, back to a time when her family was still in Rharne.
“Raaaaaaaar!”

Sabine rushed forward, carrying a small stick in one hand and swinging it wildly at her father. Her brother, Kyler, waddled along behind her, waving a worn stuffed toy in the air like a flail.

“Oh ho ho! What’ve we got here?” Her father scooped her up and held her high in the air as she bonked him on the head with her makeshift weapon. “Are you a little Lightning Knight?”

Sabine’s horrified gasp could have been heard for miles. “A Lightning Knight?!”

“Oh, honey.” Sabine’s mother shook her head as she watched her husband’s expression morph from amused to confused.

“What? I thought she was a Lightning Knight!”

“I’m not a Lightning Knight,” Sabine growled, bonking her father on the head once more. “I’m a Thunder Priestess, papa!”

“Thunder.” Kyler hit his stuffed toy against Ulryk Qu’azour’s leg.

Ulryk set his daughter down and ruffled her hair, much to the young girl’s chagrin. “My mistake. Look at my strong little Thunder Priestess.”

“Tell him why you’re a Thunder Priestess, Bean.” Elise Qe’azour’s words were lined with pride.

“Because!” Sabine said. “Because they’re smart and brave and they help Ilaren beat up the bad guys!”

“That’s right, baby.”

“And they get to drink lots of wine.”

“Oh no, that’s-“

“So much wine!”

“Sweetheart, no. You’re nine.”

Sabine’s eyes flashed open. She wasn’t nine any more, and she wasn’t playing. This was real. She could really make a difference now. She could find a new purpose.

All she had to do was take the first step.
word count: 575
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Sabine
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“I’d like to join.”

The words had left Sabine’s mouth before she was even halfway off the wagon. She’d thrown her hand into the air and was waving for the nearest Thunder Priestess’ attention in what some might have seen as a desperate and unseemly display. But grace had never been Sabine’s strength, and she wasn’t about to throw away what might be her only opportunity to join the faction simply because a stranger might think poorly of her.

And so she waved and shouted her way through the crowd until, finally, she found herself in front of a purple-robed woman wearing a bemused expression.

“Wouldn’t you like to know more before you sign your life over to us?” the woman asked dryly.

Sabine shook her head, paused, and then retracted her disagreement with a nod. Regardless of how strongly she felt about joining in this moment, it was still a big decision – one that would impact both Vincent and her family back in Andaris, whether she liked it or not.

“Yes… please,” Sabine said, holding tight to her impatience. “Tell me, then. What do I need to know?”

“Well, first – I’m Nathalia.” The woman stuck out her hand and looked pointedly at Sabine.

“I’m Sabine.” She grasped the woman’s hand. “Sabine Qe’azour.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Sabine Qe’azour.” Nathalia motioned to the road that lay just beyond the Earth Market. “Come, let’s take a walk.”

As the two women passed through the crowd, Nathalia began to speak of the faction that Sabine had earlier been so eager to join. “As you no doubt know, the Thunder Priestesses are Rharne’s shield. We protect Rharne, and the Immortal Ilaren, from those who might wish to harm them. Should you wish to join us,” she continued, “you would begin as a Novitiate. That means you would spend your time in the Lightning Cathedral, building your knowledge and skills so that you can better serve our sisterhood.

“Now, this is not something to agree to lightly,” Nathalia warned. “You must work hard. It takes time and commitment to be a Priestess, you understand?”

Sabine nodded.

“You would become our sister, and we would become yours. Upon becoming a Priestess, we would give you the same loyalty that you might already have from your bloodline – but, in return, you must give your loyalty to us.” The Priestess put a hand on Sabine’s shoulder to keep her from continuing forward. “Now, tell me exactly why you want to join our sisterhood.”

“Tell you why…?” Sabine hesitated and bit her lip, the fire in her eyes brightening as she turned inward to search for the words to explain the visceral emotion she’d felt just moments earlier.

“I… I supposed I’ve always wanted this,” she began. “Ever since I was a young girl. I grew up in Rharne, with the stories of Ilaren and her Priestesses told to me almost daily. They – you – were always so brave. So smart, so strong. I wanted to be that way. I’ve… I’ve wanted to be that way my entire life. To not have to rely on anyone but myself. To be able to fight against what’s wrong in this world. To be able to protect myself, my family.”

Her expression darkened. “I haven’t always succeeded. But… that doesn’t mean I should stop trying. And I think now’s the time. I feel… I feel lost, Nathalia. And when I saw you and your sisters weaving through the Market, something inside me snapped. I could picture myself with you, with Ilaren, and it felt more right than anything has in a long, long time.”

Nathalia looked at Sabine thoughtfully. “I understand how you feel,” she said. “I felt that way too, once upon a time. But remember, Sabine: we will never be so independent that we don’t need to rely on each other.” But that was all she said on the subject before her focus shifted back to the reason she was there in the first place: recruitment.

“I want you to think over your decision some more. Really think about whether or not this is the right path for you,” Nathalia said. “If it is, come to the Lightning Cathedral just before dusk on the thirtieth. It’s there we’ll do our induction ceremony.”

“The thirtieth,” Sabine repeated.

“The thirtieth. Don’t bring anyone else – this is for you and you alone.” She smiled. “Well, you and the other girls we manage to convince.”

“I’ll be there.”

“Make sure to think about it, Sabine.”

“I’ll be there.”
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Sabine

Overview

I very much enjoyed this thread! I love some of the imagery you portray - things like the dark and ominous clouds matching her mood. Really nice images there. I loved the imagery of the memory part, too - very nicely done. My favourite part though was Sabine's clear realisation, and admittance, of just how she's feeling. Lost but determined! I look forward to reading the next part in her story!

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XP: 10

Fame: +5

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Knowledge

Skill Knowledge:
Detection: How To ‘People Watch’
Detection: Signals of High Status
Persuasion: Appeal To Emotion
Persuasion: Be Clear About What You Want
Tactics: Be Loyal To Your Allies
Rhetoric: Tell A Story To Explain Your Position

Other Knowledge:
Location: Earth Market
Immortal: Ilaren
Faction: Thunder Priestess
Thunder Priestesses: Rharne’s Shield
Thunder Priestesses: Ilaren’s Sisterhood
Thunder Priestess Rank: Novitiate
Thunder Priestess Rank: Priestess
Nathalia: Thunder Priestess
word count: 162
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