After a long day’s flight – only partially in the air, but all fleeing – you have found a cave that seems to have some potential.
Jessaila: “Ah, hiding in caves. Just like old times.”
The main opening is fairly wide, but there’s a rear chamber with a narrower opening (and an apparently bottomless pit, if you need to hide any bodies)
Seiankornai: “It’s not as nice as my cave back home, but it’ll do.”
You figure yourselves at least a few hours ahead of your pursuit, by virtue of having spent the day desperatly locating any terrain horses can’t naviage well and going over those exact spots. Also, you’re hoping you’ll be hard to track on account of having flown the last leg.
Thurirl: “I would suggest a light meal before battle preparations. We should sleep in shifts, and lightly, as it is likely we will be followed.”
Several members of your party are ready to collapse in exhaustion, notably Malaina (whom Vari is hovering over like a mother hen) and Emelgard (who did more running today than in the last ten years combined)
Jessaila: “It wouldn’t be a wise idea to get trapped in this cave.”
Jessaila: “Especially if there’s no back exit. We could get beseiged and starved out.”
Seiankornai: (tsk, tsk, poor spoiled elf child :P )
Isabis: “At least it’s reasonably defensible.”
- Isabis casts “glow” on a rock and drops it down the hole, but does not see or hear it land.
Thurirl: “A fair point. Perhaps after some food I shall go out and find a proper place from which to educate any potential students.”
Isabis: “…lets be careful about that ledge. It’s a long fall.”
Seiankornai: “So noted. Probably wouldn’t have enough room to maneuver, flying.”
Jessaila: “Yeah, not fun times.”
Your cave is in the side of a steep hill covered in weeds and loose stone (difficult terrain), part of the long ridge overlooking the lake from before.
There’s a good flat road between the cave and the lake itself, you are currently north of it.
Seiankornai: “So these are the elves you had spent quite a bit of your life with, Jessaila?”
- Thurirl helps with the distribution of food so no one will be either too hungry or too full.
- Jessaila nods at Seian. “About four years, yes.”
Seiankornai: “Hmm, so what are they capable of, do you think? Do they know much about what happened to cause the great desert?”
- Emelgard talks around his food: “Barely a’ eyeblink”
You whisper to Jessaila: The gaunt don’t know themselves, though they have assorted legends.
Jessaila: “Unfortunately, probably true.”
Jessaila: “There are legends, but not much more.”
Jessaila: “Nothing solid.”
- Emelgard humphs at that
Seiankornai: “Ah, pity.”
Emelgard: “Are so.”
- Seiankornai looks wistfully out in the desert’s general direction, “..perhaps what we found may shed some light on things…”
- Emelgard finishes his portion and lays down
Jessaila: “No, Emelgard – legends.”
Isabis: “That would be nice, although I have to admit that besides Figment’s nest we didn’t find much of vast magical import.”
- Emelgard mutters something half-asleep
Seiankornai: “Figment and.. its nest, is what I was refering to.”
Jessaila: “Logair looked into them all.”
Jessaila: “Say what you like about him, he didn’t shirk his research.”
Isabis: “He’s not the only one. The college has no less than 14 works that tear apart every rumor and legend the elves, gaunt and otherwise, have ever recalled in human hearing.”
Isabis: “One of them is three volumes!”
- Isabis shakes her head
Thurirl: “An impressive volume, no doubt.”
Isabis: “Makes a fine doorstop, but not so good if you want to know what DID happen back then.”
- Thurirl takes up a position near the mouth of the cave, surveying the potential battlefield.
Seiankornai: sigh “I do for one, as do many other drakes.”
Malaina goes to sleep, recovering her strength for the battle probably to come; Emelgard snores beside the fire.
Jessaila: “It would be nice to find something more provable, for sure.”
- Thurirl casts a glance at Malaina, but otherwise just looks out the cave mouth, quite silent and unmoving.
Isabis: “Well, lets see what’s in this… Figment, may I read your nest?”
Isabis: “Er, right, sorry.”
Fragment: “Chores are for doing, food is for eating, dust is for sweeping, books are for reading.”
Isabis: “Hmm. As poetry it lack something, but I’ll take it as a yes.”
- Fragment removes himself from the book so Isabis can open it
- Isabis hmmms to herself as she begins translating
Seiankornai: “That is an interesting creature we have acquired.”
Thurirl: “It is fascinating, yes. Such a strange thing has never been mentioned in my homeland.”
Isabis: “Hmm? What, Fragment? I don’t know as we’ve acquired him, you make it sound like we bought a horse. He’s just tagging along, right Fragment?”
Seiankornai: “Hess, you should’ve travelled a bit south. I understand that the Janno’s capitol is home to the greatest of these, and it selects their king.”
Fragment: “Libraries…classrooms…hidden places…”
- Fragment gives a sort of airy sigh
Fragment: “Inkorret rises from the library of kings. All hail inkorret.”
Jessaila: “Fragment would love Logair’s library.”
Isabis: “That’s the really big korret that Seian was talking about.”
Seiankornai: “It chooses a man or woman of the city, and the rest recognize them to be king or queen. For they also command the city’s greatest defenses, a hundred elemental guardians.”
Thurirl: “A formidable title. But it does put one in full view of many potential foes.”
Seiankornai: “It’s not too surprising that you haven’t heard of them. There hasn’t been an In’Korret and Raven king, that’s the human’s title, for many years. However, another In’Korret, or perhaps the same one as before, no one really knows, has arrived a few years ago and is presumably searching for someone to bond to.”
Thurirl: “I feel I must confess my ignorance on this matter. I am not quite as scholarly as our friends here.”
Thurirl: “My preferred interests lie more in… practical applications.”
- Isabis whistles “How’s this for functional poetry? ’This book bears the blessing of the shining moon, her power rising as a boon, once for destiny and once for desire, and twice for the will of the high.”
Jessaila: “Of the high what?”
Isabis: "I don’t know. That’s all it says. “High,” like it was a noun.
Jessaila: “Can I see?”
Isabis: “…in context I suppose it could mean Moru… here. See what you think.”
- Isabis passes the book over
- Jessaila looks.
The poem scans better in Kamil, although the final rhyme is still awfully forced.
- Seiankornai mutters to himself, “I really ought to learn that language.”
Seiankornai: “I know all the others, just not that one.”
The word “high” has fancy scrollwork around it, as does the word moon, bracketing the upper and lower corners of the poem. The symbology, if that’s what it is, is different in the two places.
Isabis: “Hey, Thurirl, you know how to detect auras right? Come see what this book looks like, will you?”
Jessaila: “It’s… almost like they’re using High as a name.”
Thurirl: ((hang on; phone)
Jessaila: “And I think in… the oldest dialects of Kamil, this might sometimes be translated ‘Highest’… I’m not sure.”
- Thurirl walks over to try and detect an aura on the book.
You whisper to Thurirl: Shade your eyes lizard man, that’s one magical codex!
- Thurirl blinks and stumbles back.
Isabis: “Everything all right?”
Thurirl: “…there… is a rather unusual amount of magic upon that volume.”
Thurirl: “A moment, please. I need to recover my vision.”
Seiankornai: “Your visiion?”
Thurirl: “I would need to make a more thorough examination. The magical aura is quite impressive.”
- Jessaila raises an eyebrow.
Isabis: “Hmm. Well, it says it carries a blessing. Maybe it’s a really /big/ blessing.”
Thurirl: “That is likely a safe assumption, yes.”
Seiankornai: “I think we shall be paid rather well when we return to the college.”
Thurirl: “Shall I attempt another look to uncover its secrets?”
Isabis: “If you want. Otherwise, we can try reading it and see if that tells us.”
Isabis: “That’s the nice thing about knowledge – you can take it and still get paid to deliver it elsewhere too.”
Thurirl: “I think it might be best to preserve my vision for any and all battles forthcoming. The knowledge would prove of little use if we all have our throats slit.”
Jessaila: “Can we make a copy for ourselves?”
Isabis: "Well, we can maybe copy the text…I dunno about making a copy of the “blessing of the shining moon” though.
Thurirl: “It would be ill advised to attempt a replication of a spell that we know nothing about. It may even be divine in nature, and the gods, those that exist, are not known to be fools.”
- Thurirl mutters something about “still can’t find me” or similar.
Isabis: “What, you think the gods can’t find you?”
Isabis: “Surely you jest.”
Thurirl: “I am certain you are hearing things. I said nothing.”
Isabis: “…if you say so.”
- Thurirl ignores the exchange as if it never happened.
Thurirl: “It would prove fascinating if this was an actual case of divine intervention, and not simply an arcane construct of great power and skill. Perhaps it would even be favorable to us and our goals.”
Fragment: “A book of learning, a blessing for learning. Treasures, treasures in treasures…”
Jessaila: “What if we gave the scholars the copy?”
Seiankornai: “Hmmm, hey Fragment, do you think gods exist? (I know the Dragons Kings do)”
Thurirl: ((brb; gonna go greet sis))
Fragment: “Dragon Kings live on the Mountain of Smokes, Stars live in the skies. The Mountain Builders live in the earth, and Rebells live wherever they hide. Soreg, they hide in the twisted lands, and Ruul live by the seas, and Lyss hide among those who listen to them, and the Insia hide ’mong the trees.”
Fragment: “The wardens of power live each in their place, and passes down his decrees. But sad is the state of foolhardy elf who never looks higher than these.”
Thurirl: ((argh; brb; sis is gonna D/C us!))
Jessaila: “Higher than… the wardens of power?”
Fragment: "Jeshalaam Forthrunner, 718 – (living) "
Jessaila: “Who are the wardens of power?”
- Fragment tucks his head under one wing, shy after this long quotation
Seiankornai: “And who is this Jeshalaam?”
- Isabis rummages in her pack
Isabis: “Notebook, notebook, gotta write this down..”
- Isabis scribbles in her notebook
Isabis: “Quite an answer you got their Seian. I think that’s the longest speech Fragment’s made yet.”
Seiankornai: “But really, Fragment makes it sound like this Jeshalaam is still alive and knows things…”
Isabis: “Oh. I bet Jeshalam Forthrunner is whoever wrote that. See, when you write it down it looks like an attribution, like when someone puts a quite inside a larger work.”
Isabis: “He was alive whenever the book Fragment was quoting was written.”
Jessaila: “Fragment, who are the wardens of power who we don’t look higher than?”
Seiankornai: “Ah, hmmm.”
Thurirl is disconnected.
Thurirl is disconnected.
- Fragment “eeps” softly, but doesn’t uncover his head, and sidles around behind one of the sleepers
Seiankornai: “IT was very nice, Fragment, thank you.”
Isabis: “Heh. He reminds me of that shy kid that kept breaking the curve in ’histories of the northlands.”
Isabis: “Give him time, he’s still getting used to us and his friend is asleep and all.”
Isabis: “Or, in his bottle anyway. I assume he’s resting.”
Thurirl has connected.
- Fragment whispers something about “gratitude…manners…” from his half-hiding-place
Seiankornai: “So what shall we do after this? Once we’ve returned these things to the college?”
- Thurirl ponders the idea of “looking higher than these”. Strange words.
Dragonhawk: ((marking the fire there))
Dragonhawk: “Hmm. Well, I’m planning on reading them all before we get there. Maybe that will suggest something.”
Isabis: “Hmm. Well, I’m planning on reading them all before we get there. Maybe that will suggest something.”
Isabis: “If not…well, we are Sunchasers, after all. Find the nearest sunpool and wade in, I say.”
Seiankornai: “Hess, how true.”
- Jessaila glances at Isabis. “I think that has some bearing on our… hypothesis.”
Thurirl: “We follow the path before us, wherever it leads. So long as I am able to hone my art and teach new and eager students, I am content.”
Seiankornai: “Aw, tsk, new and reluctant students are far more interesting to teach your art to.”
Thurirl: “Perhaps. Yet an eager student might pose a challenge, and I myself may learn something from my students.”
- Isabis nods at Jessaila
Seiankornai: “What hypothesis?”
- Isabis looks uncomfortable
- Seiankornai flicks his tongue at her
Jessaila: “Should we tell him?”
- Jessaila glances at Seian. “Do you want to hear?”
Isabis: “I dunno…he’s a priest of some kind, aren’t you Seian?”
Seiankornai: “Of the lower order, and In trainging, yes.”
- Jessaila looks thoughtful.
- Thurirl raises his eyebrow.
Isabis: “You probably don’t, ah… well….maybe you do /want/ to hear, but it could get you in trouble. It got me in trouble.”
- Seiankornai humphs, “I can not get into trouble just for hearing things.”
- Isabis murmurs, “…speak of things the gods can’t find…”
Thurirl: “You would be surprised.”
- Thurirl manages to surpress a sly smile. Barely.
Seiankornai: “Well, we drakes have such loud voices and keen hearing, so there’s not much wrong with hearing anything in our society.”
Isabis: “Yeah, OK, but what about /saying/ things that other people don’t want to hear?”
Jessaila: “It’s more a matter of hearing something potentially unpleasant or unacceptable.”
Isabis: “I want to stay off your menu, thankyouverymuch.”
Thurirl: “I seem to have managed staying out of many a drake’s diet.”
- Seiankornai looks at her oddly, “What makes you think your kind was never on? We just don’t because we, and the drake king in particular, like you.”
Seiankornai: “Now rocks and trees and Soregg are off the menu.”
Thurirl: ((what’s a Soregg?))
Seiankornai: ((a choas demon thingy))
Isabis: ((evil spirit kind of thing that likes to twist living things.))
Seiankornai: ((decay and corruption))
Seiankornai: ((“the Soregg offer terrible strength to those who embrace vile power — right up until their final, inevitable dissolution into a pool of filth”))
Isabis: ((as a non-evil swamp dweller, you should know the Sorregg and probably hate them implicitly.))
Seiankornai: ((so yeah, not (m)any drakes would consider soregg to be edible))
- Thurirl hisses at the mention of the demon.
Thurirl: “A disgusting creature. One of the few things I truly hate in this world.”
Seiankornai: ((and most drakes are probably too proud in their draconic nature to seek power from them either :P ;) ))
Isabis: “Sensible attitude.”
Isabis: “Soregg are nasty in every concievable sense of the word.”
- Isabis embraces distraction
- Jessaila doesn’t.
Seiankornai: “Anyway, you can tell me what your hypothesis is.”
- Jessaila coughs.
Seiankornai: “I promise you I won’t act on your menu-ness anymore than I would if you hadn’t brought it up.”
Jessaila: “We believe there’s a higher being than Avva and Moru.”
Isabis: “And Avva is his servant. Whoever he is.”
Isabis: “Avvists don’t LIKE people talking about Avva being a servant, for the record.”
Jessaila: “We don’t have ironclad proof, but we have evidence that demands a verdict. Or maybe an investigation.”
Isabis: “One piece is a very very ancient hymn I discovered, an almost pristine document that miraculously escaped a serious systematic burning.”
Jessaila: “And when I was with the gaunt elves, I found a poem which dated before the Cataclysm.”
- Thurirl finds the idea fascinating.
- Seiankornai is now intrigued
- Jessaila quotes from memory a poem in Kamil.
Thurirl: “Fascinating. A higher God that has escaped detection all these years?”
Isabis: “Do you want to hear the song?”
Seiankornai: “Hess, he must be your god, Thurirl.”
Thurirl: “Perhaps I am to be the student to his Art…”
- Thurirl gives a small smile.
Thurirl: “It would be nice…”
- Isabis translates
Isabis: "We praise you God, Creator, and offer gratitude
for Avva in his courses, directed there by You
We praise you for the heavens, and thank you for the care,
In sending mighty Moru to raise her lantern there.
We praise you God, creator, and offer up our praise,
For Firey mountain glories that glow on dimmest days.
We praise you for the oceans, for Sasha’s might tides,
For sending us Torrnu’s rains and Rodon’s mountain rise.”
- Thurirl realizes what he said and shuts up.
Thurirl: ((nice poem; who wrote it?))
Isabis: ((this particular plot thread is not from the published material))
Thurirl: ((nicely done; has a bit of that old Psalm feel almost))
Isabis: (( Thanks ))
Thurirl: ((I recognize TGU’s “Wardens” idea, yes =P =) ))
Seiankornai: ((it makes fantasy “gods” so much easier to deal with, doesn’t it?))
Thurirl: ((I agree))
Thurirl: ((such a clever way to deal with it))
Isabis: ((yes. Although in this case I decided to let everyone start believing what the narrator in the Adventurer companion believes and make an actual plot point out of it instead of just ammending the starting point.))
Isabis: ((Anyway, TGU didn’t come up with it ALL by himself; CSLewis did somethign similar in Narnia))
Thurirl: ((I remember))
- Isabis took Thurirl’s “it would be nice” as a request for the song, and looks at him for his reaction
- Thurirl is relieved but doesn’t show it, smiling and nodding in approval.
Thurirl: “If there were such a God, such a hymn would be appropriate. Though it does not explain where the others came from nor why they have tolerated worship for so many years.”
Isabis: “You can see why some priests don’t like it when I bring it up… Avva is directed? Moru is sent?”
Isabis: “But if they are, well…it cries out for investigation, like Jessaila way saying.”
Jessaila: “You can see why I was so curious in response to Fragment’s poem.”
Jessaila: “The wardens of power live each in their place, and passes down his decrees. But sad is the state of foolhardy elf who never looks higher than these.”
Jessaila: “Is Avva one of the wardens of power?”
Jessaila: “And ought we to be looking higher?”
Isabis: “I don’t know…I don’t suppose /you/ ever heard of this Forthrunner person?”
- Isabis thinks “Or of anything higher up than the sun?”
Thurirl: “It does bear further investigation. Discretely with little notice.”
Isabis: ((thinks and then adds out loud, that is.))
Jessaila: “And what about what’s in that book – ’This book bears the blessing of the shining moon, her power rising as a boon, once for destiny and once for desire, and twice for the will of the high.” Who is the ‘High’?"
Thurirl: “I am happy to assist in the endevor of keeping heretical secrets a secret.”
Isabis: “Thanks. I appreciate it. If it gets back to the Avvists that I’m telling people about this, I won’t be able to walk around the city without them harrassing me again.”
Thurirl: “…perhaps you would care to be one of my ongoing students?”
Isabis: “…what, me? Ah, I’m not sure…your other students tend to experience shortened lifespan. What did you have in mind?”
Thurirl: “Ah, but an ongoing student has some beneficial, shall we say, ‘perks’ the others do not.”
Seiankornai: “Actually, it does make a sort of sense. We drakes have one king, one ruler, and his word is law. You humans have many kings and rulers, and you all fight each other, either in word or even sword. Why should it be any different for your gods?”
Seiankornai: ((*our gods))
Thurirl: “It is, after all, considered bad form for a teacher to kill his favored pupil.”
- Isabis chuckles
Isabis: “I’ve always preferred to be on good terms with my teachers.”
Isabis: “As for the book and the poem in it…I guess we all read the book and see what kind of blessing, ah, comes third?”
Seiankornai: “There ought to be one ruler, for things to work well.”
Seiankornai: “Even among the Dragon Kings there’s the First Flame who directs the others in matters of disagreement.”
Isabis: “Hmm. A point, yes. And Avva is leader of the Lights, eh? The stars, and suchlike.”
Thurirl: ((and thus, the Bat Saurian acquired his first pupil… the Masked Sparrow!))
Isabis: ((LOL ))
Thurirl: ((I’m dead set on making him this world’s Batman XD it’d fit so well))
Seiankornai: ((Masked Sparrow?))
Jessaila: ((As in Batman and Robin.))
Isabis: ((her battle cry can be “cheep!” said in about the tone of Fluttershy’s yay ))
Isabis: ((…I suppose I’d better make sure to put a few more points in ‘sneak’ next level, if she’s going to be studying under Thurirl ))
Seiankornai: “Hmm, it is getting dark out, and the fire could be visible. It might sadly be time to put it out.”
Jessaila: ((“A sonic rainboom, yay!”))
Isabis: “Maybe we could make one in the inner cavern?”
Seiankornai: “The ambiant light could still be seen, perhaps.”
Isabis: “Ah. Oh well.”
Seiankornai: “But it is worth trying.”
- Thurirl tilts his head in thought.
Thurirl: “If we had the proper time and resources, we could turn this cave into a hidden base. It would require some clever redecorating and a suitable camoflage for the entrance, preferably non-magical… draped curtains on the inside to hide the light or diffuse it…”
The snores of the other party members echo in the quiet.
- Thurirl looks around the cave, imaging how he would change it.
Seiankornai: “The cave is nice, yes, but I doubt it’s location, and particularly the neighbors, would make it suitable.”
Seiankornai: “There are many such and nicer cave in the Black Peaks.”
- Seiankornai grins
Dragonhawk: “And it’s not large enough to hide an army. Scouting parties, maybe.”
Dragonhawk: “Ah well. It looks like one of us will have to take first watch. I’m willing, I want to read more of this.”
Dragonhawk: (( ^ Isabis ))
Jessaila: “Just be careful that you’re on watch and not reading, Isabis.”
Thurirl: “I do not require an army or even a whole party. Perhaps a cave in a secluded area, though close to a town for resupply, with enough room for one or two occupants and their gear…”
Thurirl: “…my apologies. I am prone to bouts of impulsive planning and imaginative dreams of my future. Surely you understand?”
Seiankornai: “I’m sure you’ll find your perfect hide out someday.”
Dragonhawk: *Isabis nods
- Thurirl raises an eyebrow.
Thurirl: “Hide out?”
You set the watches, and everyone else goes to their rest by turns.
The night is surprisingly uneventful, considering.
Seiankornai: ((good session :) ))
Thurirl ends up on watch at sunrise as part of the emphasis on making sure casters get their rest
Dragonhawk: notice check please, vs. 40
Dragonhawk: the enemy just rolled a crit success, you don’t see him.
Seiankornai: ((vs 40?! O_o ))
Seiankornai: ((I couldn’t even make a 30!))
Jessaila: ((Uh oes.))
The wind whispers, the weeds rustle, and Thurirl turns away to wake the party.
Dragonhawk: ((and with that, we’ll pause the game until Jan.))