A Much Needed Talk

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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Kura Wolfsdotter
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A Much Needed Talk

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Kura raised an eyeborw as Faith said that the slavers weren't to blame for her family and marriage misunderstandings, though she remained silent until she finished explaining her viewpoint. "Faith, in some ways you amaze me. Not many who were slaves for so long come to the realization that the slaves aren't just part of the natural order so quickly. But you're a smart lass, and you've got an ever improvin' sense of the world, so allow to me help you grow a bit more." she said, before learning forward and looking Faith straight in the eyes, as unblinking as she always was when she was making a point.

"I'm going to make some not-so-wild guesses. You were trained in Athart, weren't you? That lot is on the Empress's priority hit-list for one, simple reason. Even by the standards of slave trainers, the trainers of Athart are utterly sadistic. Even Nashaki, with it's obscene obsession with lucre, or Yaralon with it's conscripted armies, neither of them are as cruel." she said, before narrowing her eyes. "You said you were told that you were given away when you were naught but a break old, aye? If it was the slavers who told you that, odds are good they were lyin' through their teeth. It's what they do, break down any self worth you might have, make it seem like they're doin' you a kindness by giving you some kind of life, instead of just throwing you to the sharks." she said, before growling, a sound that would have sounded more at home coming from Phelan's throat than Kura's.

"Your issues with family, marriage, they use things like to make you feel like you're less than a free being. Less than human, se'vryn, ithecal, raskithecal, naerikk, what have you. Slavers in most other regions, they allow slaves to marry other slaves, allow them to have interest of their own, all things you were denied." she said, before sighing and breaking eye contact, leaning back in her chair. "The Eternal Empire has slaves, and it's a problem of ours, I'll admit. But even there, we handle it differently. It's part of our criminal system, means they're still of use to society rather than rotting in a cell. Also means they have some skills besides whatever got them arrested as well, so when they're sentence is up and their freed, they aren't forced back into criminal behavior." she said, before pausing a moment and giving a shrug that looked sort of resigned. "That said, there's always a few who steadfastly refuse to take up legal occupations. After a while they get life sentences. Executing such has been debated, but ultimately it was decreed that if they won't willingly contribute, they'll be made too. Possibly not our most enlightened law, but it does help get the roads repaired in a timely manner." she said, her tone thoughtful.

When Padraig spoke, she turned her gaze to him and nodded. "Aye. Which is why the Empress has been trying to find a way to strike at Athart for the past century. Unfortunately, Nashaki is in the way. Ultimately, she decided to just take Nashaki on her way down to Athart, since Nashaki is one of Athart's biggest buyers." she said, before blinking at the thought of the pair of them going to Scalvoris. "They've a pirate problem, last I looked. If you do go, do your best to stay out of Almund, place has a bad reputation." she said, before frowning. "And avoid Viden if at all possible. I'm not sure how much of it is her general issues with most of the Immortals, but my mother purely hates Yvithia, the ruler of Viden. She says the place is, it's way, more dangerous than even Athart, which is...rather damning."
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A Much Needed Talk

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Faith looked at Padraig as he spoke his honest opinion in such measured, careful tones and she smiled a gentle smile at him. He'd kill each one of them singlehandedly if he had the chance, she knew. Kura spoke and was much more forthright. When she guessed about Athart, about what she had been told of her parents, Faith simply nodded. A deep frown crossed her expression then; Kura was right. It had never occurred to her, even now, to question what they had told her about her parents. What if it wasn't true? She looked at Padraig with a concerned expression. If she understood the realities of family so little that she couldn't even think of that? Rather than go down that thought process Faith looked down at her hand, held in Padraig's and nestled there in safety and comfort and the familiar security of him.

Her issues with marriage and family? Faith wished that she could deny that statement because this child needed her to be able to. Being free was complicated and being in love more so; she had no frame of reference for how this should all be but Padraig and she walked along together and worked it out. Kura was right, though, they had done everything they could to strip away her sense of self, her identity. Faith was terrified, truly terrified that she was going to fail at this, that she could not be a mother because the simple truth of it was she didn't know what a mother was. She lifted her hand and pinched the bridge of her nose, a technique she'd used a few times before to quell rising panic, breathed in and out again; she was trying to keep her equilibrium whilst still accepting what Kura said as the situation they were facing. She did have those issues and denying them wouldn't help.

"There are a lot of things I still don't question that I should. Ways I behave which aren't helpful. I do still think slaves are part of the natural order of things," Faith looked at the two of them, thoughtfully, before continuing. "In the way that laws are and teashops, castles and slums. Because people in power make choices and rather than question them, individuals take advantage of those choices to their benefit even if it's to others detriment." It seemed like a lifetime ago that she'd spoken to Padraig of what she and Nir'wei were going to do, the charity they were going to start. It was that passion though, which had been a rare thing then, which shone from her. Her emotions were already heightened and so she didn't have far to go.

"Slavery is inevitable in a society where only rich people can afford to train as doctors and then charge a lot of money for the treatments which help other rich people stay alive whilst the poor die around them, hungry, cold and ill." She was genuinely and completely adamant that she was right in this. She and Nir'wei would start that charity, she swore to Famula or by Vri she would set it up in remembrance of her friend. "You're right. They were sadistic, but that doesn't make Tristan's treatment of me acceptable because he was thoughtless. There aren't shades of right and wrong, inequality and injustice are diseases, and whilst we only ever treat the symptoms, we'll never cure them."

Faith realised, suddenly, that she was getting somewhat passionate and she smiled, shook her head and rubbed her temple. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to be argumentative." Putting her hand on her stomach she smiled. "Blame it on the pregnancy. I've heard tell that pregnant women can be moody. Thankfully, not me. Isn't that right, Padraig?" She was teasing, of course and she knew that she had been somewhat testy just lately. The fact that she was exhausted really didn't help it, not at all.

Viden was not a good place and they should avoid Almund on Scalvoris? Faith nodded. "We'll be able to keep in touch with you, wherever we are, thanks to the scroll. We won't leave till after the baby's born, anyhow and we'll let you know as soon as that happens." Kura would probably be able to hear the screams, Faith thought with a slight internal wince at the thought of it. Scratching the wolf with a smile she considered that it might be nice to get a wolf of their own. Especially one that could gnaw Aelig.
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"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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There was no question in Padraig's mind that the sadistic abuses and indoctrination Faith had been subjected to in her early arcs were horrific. And she wasn't unaware of it either. But he wasn't so sure he cared for her being reminded of it in such blunt, yet descriptive terms. She'd worked hard to distance herself from it, and had come a very long way. Not to mention that her emotional state had already been thrown for a loop by Aelig's appearance and the Immortal's meddling.

He knew Kura meant well, however, and wanted nothing more than to help. So at first he said nothing, only remained close to Faith and tried to offer what support he could by his nearness and the physical connection through the holding of hands. It required some effort however to modify his own reaction to what was said. Hearing what he knew already in large part, threatened to reignite any anger that had been there all along. But not just at those responsible for the early abuses. But at Tristan too. In Padraig's mind, though he'd been kinder, in principle his treatment of her was no better.

What steadied him however was the fact that he could sense Faith's own internal responses, and feel the stress and anxiety through their connection. She pinched the bridge of her nose, breathed deep and in response, he squeezed her hand. "Oh no. Never you. Not once," he quietly told her, and grinned when she referenced a certain moodiness come of recent events, and the child growing inside her. Still, he realized how exhausted she was, both physically and emotionally. "It's been a long trial," he said then. "I wonder if some rest might be in order?" he suggested.
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Kura listened quietly as Faith explained, in her view, the relationship between power and the slave trade, though she did smile when Faith said that people didn't frequently question the decisions of those in power. "A weakness of any political system is that a lot of trust is placed in those who hold the power, the trust that they will know what is the right thing and do it. Not all of them do, though." she said, shaking her head.

When Faith apologized for being argumentative, however, Kura just smiled again. "Discussion is the cradle of education, discovery, and invention. You don't have anything to apologize for." she said, before looking over at the scroll and nodding at Faith's words. When Padraig, spoke, however, Kura nodded. "Aye, it has been a long trial. And some rest for Faith is definitely in order." she said, before grinning at her friend. "You may not think it, but carrying that extra life in you will wear you out quickly." she said, taking the scroll as she stood up. "But I must return to my room and prepare for the night, as that's when I do most of my work." she said, before looking at Phelan. "Come on, Phelan, let's let these two have their alone time." she said, smiling. Phelan merely sighed, then looked up and licked Faith again before standing up...whereupon he immediately stepped over Faith to lick Padraig as well before following Kura as she left. "You two enjoy yourselves and I'll see you later." she said, before leaving the room and heading home for the night.
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Never her? She loved that he was prepared to lie so totally to her, but it was a lie and they both knew it. Still, her hand in his tightened in a silent thank you. He spoke about rest and Faith looked between the two of them as Kura agreed and she sighed slightly. "Would either of you believe me if I said I wasn't tired?" There was no way that she was going to be able to say that, because she was exhausted. It seemed like she was always exhausted at the moment.

"Thank you, Kura. Really, for everything." Faith meant it completely and she smiled her gratitude to the mortalborn woman and nodded her farewell to Cally. Phelan, though, she fussed and scratched behind the ear and she couldn't help but let out a slight chuckle when he licked Padraig's face too. She assured the mortalborn that, yes, she would rest, she would take care of herself and they would be in touch soon.

Once Kura was gone, Faith got off the bed and shook out the quilt which lay on top of it, making sure that there weren't stray wolf-hairs laying around."It seems strange to me," she said, thoughtfully, "how a place which thinks so little of monogamy would lead to a focus on marriage. Although in Rynmere, you can get married to more than one person. Unless you're a noble, that is. They can only have one marriage and the wedding must be in Saun. How they suffer." Her grin was ironic as she said that, her perspective on the world very different than it once had been.

That expression turned serious, though, when she looked up at him and spoke again. "I'm sorry. I really am. When I first came home, after he'd freed me, I said and believed things that weren't right. I knew you didn't want me to go to Tristan's house, but I went." She'd felt like she owed it to him, Padraig knew that and she didn't need to explain it to him again. However, there was one thing that it was important that she did say, that she did explain and that he knew. "You were right and I was wrong. Thank you for letting me work that out on my own, giving me the time I needed."

Looking down at her hands for a few trill, she continued. "I know it hurt you, that some of the things I said and did were just.. non sensical. But I wouldn't say or do them now, if that helps." It needed to be said, she thought, although frankly she'd be just as happy without dissecting it too much.

Once she had sorted out the bed, she looked at him with a level gaze. "I'm tired. I am, it's true. But so are you. You look tired out, Padraig. Lets just lay down together, get some rest?" If he'd join her, she'd lay down and curl into him, resting her head on his chest. "Padraig?" Her voice was sleepy and teasing all at once. "I really liked Phelan. I think we might be ready, you know," she draped an arm around him and pulled herself as close to him as she could get in her current state. When she spoke again, she was nearly asleep, "ready to get a dog."
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Padraig didn't have much interest in politics. Or any at all really. Science and logic didn't always square with what those in power did. And he couldn't have cared less about what personal motives they had. It was the results that interested him. And so long as the outcome for those they ruled over were to the good of all from top to bottom, then he hardly took notice. It was when they weren't and seemed more self-serving than otherwise, that he gave it any thought at all.

But slavery wasn't to the good of all, from his perspective. He'd seen that first hand after all. Or at least through Faith he had. But they wouldn't be changing that this trial. And Faith was tired, stressed, and needed her rest. He smiled and stood when Kura did, after getting a drenching from Phelan. He gave the wolf one last scratch behind the ear and escorted Kura to the door. "Thank you Kura. For everything. It's good to have friends. Someone to turn to, someone to talk to. And you as well Callie. Thank you," he said, not wanting to leave Kura's unseen companion out.

And when he and Faith were alone again, he smiled, turned around and helped her brush the hair off the bed. "To each their own I guess," he said, regarding differing views on marriage and monogamy. "What's ordinary for some will inevitably seem strange to others. And it's just as well I don't abide by the Rynmere tradition. I could only handle one of you," he teased.

"But you don't need to apologize, he told her then. "No one was wrong, and no one was right. Feelings and viewpoints are bound to evolve." Though he'd continue to believe that Tristan was an insufferable boob. "And I wasn't hurt. Not ever," he said, wondering that she'd ever thought he had been. "I only wanted what was best for you, and for you to work things out in your own time."

Encouraging her to lie down, he grinned and shook his head. "Lie down now and rest. You're becoming maudlin." Having said as much, he'd lay down on the bed beside her with a book to read while she slept, and he only grinned again when the last thing on her mind apparently was that they ought to have a dog. No time to ponder it however, he nodded off, book in his lap before he'd read just a handful of lines.
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A Much Needed Talk

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Rewards
Name:

Kura
Knowledge:

Business Mgmt: Supply and Demand of the Slave Trade
Fieldcraft: Learning How to Handle the Cold from the Natives
Psychology: Pregnancy can be a Shock
Immortal: Aelig
Aelig: Got Faith Preggo
Loot:Echo Scroll- Faith

Injuries:N/A

Fame:N/A


Story:[5/5/size]
Collaboration:5/5

Structure:5/5

- - -
Name:

Padraig
Knowledge:

Animal Handling: Familiars are not Normal Animals
Business Mgmt: Supply and Demand of the Slave Trade
Discipline: Making a Decision and Sticking to It
Aelig: Is a Bastard
Aelig: Illusion, Mimicry, and Chaos
Immortals: Are Limited to their Scope of Powers
The Eternal Empire: Law-breakers Become Slaves

Loot:N/A

Injuries:N/A

Fame:N/A


Story:5/5

Collaboration:5/5

Structure:5/5

- - -
Name:

Faith
Knowledge:

Self: Pregnancy Waddle
Aelig: Illusion, Mimicry, and Chaos
Immortals: Are Limited to their Scope of Powers
The Eternal Empire: Law-breakers Become Slaves
Business Mgmt: Supply and Demand of the Slave Trade
Discipline: Drawing on the Strength of Loved Ones
Discipline: Making a Decision and Sticking to It
Psychology: Surprise of Discussion of Weddings
Loot:Loss of the Scroll (as mentioned in thread)

Injuries:N/A

Fame:N/A


Story:5/5

Collaboration:5/5

Structure:5/5


Comments:

Jeez, you writers....

Well I made it through, and it didn’t seem nearly as long as I had thought it would when I started. There was enough drama to keep it going, and overall it was a well written thread.

If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thank you!
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