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  #101  
Unread 9th of February, 2008, 05:06
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"He was after me the whole time."

Her grey eyes are staring straight ahead, at the closed door, as if they could bore through it. Shade has an unfocused look, as if her mind is somewhere else, and the hand Juni holds is likewise listless.

"At first I thought maybe it was you he wanted, or that maybe he was from the guild. But it wasn't right. He was too serene, too unconcerned."

Shade's voice is a monotone as the words drone out. She believed him. Not just because he had healed her, either. There was something about him . . . something true.

"He is from the church of Pelor. They say . . . they say I stole something. Some relic of the church. And they want it back."
  #102  
Unread 9th of February, 2008, 06:36
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There was a time when Cadrius was more than this, better than this. His shoulders were not as steeped with sorrow’s burden, and while he has always borne the mantle of duty, it did not weigh upon him as heavily as it does now.

His life had been one of privilege. As the eldest heir to his father, the duke, he was to inherit the lands of his ancestors. They had ruled for centuries, claming their land at the fall of the high king and the birth of the hundred duchies. What had once been rolling hills and farmlands grew to hold villages and forts. They named their family keep thus—Harcourt, the fortified farm.

During the rainy days of spring, his father had him sit in the library tower and study the familial history and lore of the Vanes. The heavy tomes were rarely used and dust and time sat thick upon their covers. Once upon a time, his family had been minor nobility, landless under the high king’s rule, who rose in prominence in the aftermath of his fall. They leaned up their allies and used what money they could purchase sellswords and turncloaks. Adalius Vane had been a shrewd negotiator and a skilled warrior and through silver tongue and strong arm he had forged a small bit of order amid the swirling chaos. He had dedicated his family’s triumph to Heironeous, promising not only his devotion, but the service of all his sons to come. Since then, each generation has served the will of the Archpaladin. Their family’s legacy was one of loyalty and every son joined the order, pledging themselves to the church’s code. In his old life, his former life, Cadrius had been a good knight and a dutiful son and brother. He even had a love, beautiful as falling snow.

All of that is gone.

He cups his hands and plunges them into the stream, savoring the brisk water as he splashes it against his face. It chills his skin and droplets cling to the whiskers growing across his cheeks and neck. He stares down at his reflection, muddled by the current. The water is swift here, rushing onward out of the rocky foothills and down toward the forests and plains of the south.

Fear, an all too common feeling for him now, lingers, leaving an acrid taste in his mouth. The hamlet full of the peaceful dead had sent him flying. In his younger days, he would have stayed and dug graves for each and every one of them. He would have spoken a benediction over each body before laying it to rest. But those were the old days, when the brush of divinity still shrouded him.

The Order of Heironeous went by many names. The men-at-arms in his family’s keep always called them Fists on account of the holy symbols they bore. A visiting emissary from a southron land had called them Lightning Lords. But in truth, Cadrius sees him and his line as just another means to an end for the church. They were a marcher duchy, and were needed to maintain order. When the dukes were not squabbling among themselves there were often bandit kings and barbarians probing the borders for weakness.

While the bureaucracy of the Order did not directly run their estates, Cadrius’ family was often in lockstep with the Order’s goals and agenda. In turn, they provided men and arms for the Vanes. Each son becomes a page, and then a squire, learning firsthand what it means to be a knight. He had been squired to Sir Cargyle who taught him of horse and lance. His father’s master-at-arms, a gray knight named Sir Talbot, had taught Cadrius all he knew of swordplay. Yet the Order also sent men of learning, priests and Heironic scholars, who tutored the Vanes in the realms of history, religion, and mathematics.

Yet the greatest gift came not from the clergy, but from Heironeous himself. The knighthood of the Vanes is more than just rights and property granted, it is a bridging of two worlds. The paladins of Heironeous become mortal vessels that carry the merest spark of divinity within their chests. He had not known what to expect during his sacred ceremony. There was no fanfare when it was complete, just a solemn acceptance into a brotherhood most would never understand. He almost didn’t notice the difference within himself. It manifested itself is a sense of warmth and security and pride. It was like getting an approving nod from his father.

But while the divine connection was not overt in its manifestation, it still conferred a host of mighty boons. Cadrius no longer knew fear. Nothing could conjure it within his breast. Any danger or threat was calmly assessed, without terror’s hysterical voice screaming in his ear. The peace it granted him had been exquisite, and he regarded death with a pair of fresh eyes. It wasn’t the going that would be hard; it would be the leaving others behind.

But all of that changed a few years later when he was cast out into exile for the most despicable of crimes—kinslaying.

Cadrius looks at the man staring up at him. He wants to blame his fate on the gods, but cannot. This is his doing. He has dug his grave, now it is time to lie in it. He cannot atone for his sins, cannot change the past, but he would give anything he has left to see his father one more time before he dies.

Steel and leather scrape and creak as he rises to his feet. The village is a half mile behind him, full of dead bodies. They might have passed in peace, but they would not rest without a proper burial. In the old days, Heironeous’ blessing would have protected him from any lingering pestilence. He would have easily gone about his work without a care. But he’s learned in the long years since his fall that it is through fear, and only fear, that a man can ever truly be brave.

Cadrius turns on his heel and walks back toward the village. He has work to do.
  #103  
Unread 11th of February, 2008, 09:04
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"Pelor?" Lynn asked in dry disbelief from where she looked out the window into the city. "What's valuable enough to steal that you'd risk a temple's wrath?"
------------------------------

As the stranger leapt into action to sooth the crowd, Nicos stepped back into the background to observe, slipping into the seat at a table already occupied by an elderly man getting an early start on his drinking. The stranger - either a Mage posing as a priest a truly a holy man of Pelor - was doing an admirable job of distracting the crowd. It was different to the way he would have handled it, each flash of gold, splash of drink and hurried conversation - not to mention the calling on his god to perform magical healing! - was adding fuel to the story that would spread quickly and linger for weeks. But it was a story of an eccentric cleric that would neatly brush over an trace of he or his companions, and wooed by the food, drink and conversation, the crowd shifted from outrage on the verge of violence to an uneasy acceptance.

Smiling, the bard leant back, ordered a drink and wondered where he could find a holy symbol without drawing the ire of the religious. After all, the moment you stop learning new tricks is the moment you die.
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  #104  
Unread 13th of February, 2008, 00:04
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Shade frowns at the question and averts her eyes. Lynn was no fool and in this case the truth was implausible, yet no more believable lie comes to mind.

"I don't know."

She had no reason to be ashamed. They all knew enough about her past to know how she once made her living. They had been through enough together to call each other friends.

"I have no recollection of the theft."

The admission burned just the same.
  #105  
Unread 13th of February, 2008, 04:20
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"You don't remember? How do they know it was you?" Juni tries to make sense of Shade's words. It shocks her that the other woman seems willing to accept that the thing is true even though she recalls nothing. What convinces her? Something the priest said?

"Shade, that still doesn't explain what happened to your hand. Unless ... "

A holy relic. What would happen to a thief who stole from the Church of Pelor?

"Oh."

A curse!

That would explain some things about Shade's recent behavior. Almost, Juni feels relieved to hear it. A curse is better than slowly being consumed by Shadow, isn't it? A curse has a cure. Return the relic and the Church will be satisfied, surely. They'd remove it and that would be that.

Except if Shade does not remember stealing the relic, then she likely has no idea where the relic can be found.

"Do you think the guild - your guild, the one you used to belong to - had something to do with this?"
  #106  
Unread 14th of February, 2008, 00:33
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Shade looks at Arjuna, a semblence of her former stoicism apparent in her eyes, and nods slowly.

"I think that I was used."

She leans back, unconsciously shifting her blades to a more comfortable position. What did Isac know? What would he tell her?

"But I don't know anything for sure yet. Maybe there is some way to make this whole thing just go away. But I need to talk to the priest."
  #107  
Unread 27th of February, 2008, 23:20
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Dozens of minutes pass in the inn room as Lynn, Juni and Shade wait for Nicos and the cleric of pelor to arrive. When the pair arrive, Nicos firmly ushured Isac through the door and closed it behind him.

"We're fine for the moment," the bard said. "What's happening?"
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  #108  
Unread 28th of February, 2008, 12:01
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Shaking the rain from his eyes has he steps inside, Blarth looks around the common room of the Copper Maiden for signs of his companions. Not seeing any, Blarth wanders over to the barkeep to order a drink and enquire after them.

"What have you got to slake a working man's thirst?"

"If you're thirsty, then you'd probably best go with the ale," the bar tender replies, drawing a mug and setting it in front of Blarth.

Thanking the man, Blarth proceeds to drink half of it down quickly. Belching in appreciation, Blarth draws some dirty looks from some of the other patrons and he decides that he'd better slow down.

Damn humans have no sense of manners.

Looking around the common room as he drinks, snatches of conversation float to Blarth's ears.

"...there was this light and my knee felt right as rain.."

"...bought me a drink he did. Right generous fellow..."

"...I wasn't here but my lad said..."

"...gave Old Man Sedgwick back his sight, he did..."

"...came to see for myself..."

"...probably tired after all that..."

"...Pelor, I think. He had this sun medallion..."

"...glowed like the sun..."

Hmm... Wonder if that priest I saw at the docks is staying here?

Finishing his first mug, Blarth calls the bartender over to get another, and to ask him a few questions.

"I was supposed to meet some friends of mine who are staying here. Arjuna and..." wracking his brain, Blarth tries to remember the name Shade told him to ask for her as.

"Samantha," the bartender fills in, "I'm afraid you missed them. They checked out just before lunch. Hey! Gram! Did those two ladies who checked out this morning leave any messages?"

"Nope. I think they had lunch with that priestly fellow though, Moore I think his name was. He's staying in room 6. He might know where they went."

Nodding his thanks to the barkeep, Blarth leaves a couple extra copper as tip and drinks his ale as fast as he can without belching. Putting the mug down, he heads upstairs to knock on the priest's door. His knock, however, gets no response and after several minutes Blarth wanders back down to the common room.

"...was going to give this fellow back his arm last I here..."

"Nicos!" Blarth remarks, suddenly reminded of who might know of Shade and Anjura's whereabouts.

"No, don't think that was his name son. Izik or something like that."

"Sorry," Blarth responds to the man whose conversation his exclamation had cut off, "I wasn't talking about the priest. Your comment about a missing arm simply reminded me of a friend of mine who I need to go find."

"Ah, well, if your friend is missing an arm he should find this Izik fellow. He cured my son's broken leg just this afternoon, and I bet he could give your friend his arm back."

"Yes, thank you, I'll tell him that."

Excusing himself, Blarth heads back out into the rain to head for Nicos's lodgings. The down pour, however, manages to get Blarth turned around when he misses a turn without realizing it and before long he ends up in a part of town he doesn't recognize.

"Stupid orc looks lost."

"What do you expect, it's not like they can read the street signs."

"Ah, come on Thunn, I here some orcs are real smart like. My cousin in Liman says they train up better than dogs."

Laughter ensues as a group of thugs emerge out of the rain to continue mocking Blarth.

"Bah, that ain't smart. Dogs sniff their own buts so being smarter than them just means that orcs can tell a good smell from a bad one."

"Yeah. Monkeys, now they're smart. Saw this one once that could pick a skinflint of his last copper."

"Like to see some orc do that. He'd probably leave a gold behind to replace the copper so the skinflint wouldn't notice the change in the weight of his coin purse."

As the thugs laugh again, the name Thunn clicks in Blarth's mind.

"Thunn?" he asks looking at the thugs.

"You know this orc?" one of the thugs asks another.

"Don't think so. Maybe he works for my uncle lifting rocks or something. What do you say orc? Did my uncle send you?"

Guessing that whatever Shade and Anjura had been going to try hadn't worked, Blarth decides to settle things his way for once. Saying nothing, Blarth lets Thunn draw his own conclusions, hoping that the rain will prevent his face from giving anything away.

After a moment, Thunn looks at his buddies and says, "Go on, scram. I'll catch up with you just as soon as this is done."

Looking between Blarth and Thunn, the other thugs leave one by one, clearly not willing to challenge their leader's orders, regardless of their feelings about Blarth.

Once they're gone, Thunn snears at Blarth, "So what does my uncle want now? And why the hell did he send a fist maker like you?"

Looking around to confirm that they are alone, Blarth steps up next to Thunn and whallops him one in the gut, doubling the man over.

"Your uncle didn't send me, but you've been bothering a friend of mine. This needs to stop, now."

Using his knee to smash in Thunn's nose, Blarth continues, "You're going to leave the nuns alone. If you don't, I'll find you again."

Recovering himself after the surprise, Thunn lunges at Blarth, catching him in the midsection and momentarily turning the tables on him as the two men fall to the ground together. Blarth, however, draws on his racial strength and quickly pins the smaller human beneath him. Straddling him to pin his legs and spreading Thunn's arms out wide with his own, Blarth elongates his face into that of the wolf and snarls at the human.

"If you think your friends can help you, you'd better think about that again. I'll tear their throats out just as soon as I tear your's."

Snarling again, Blarth bashes Thunn's head into the cobble stones, knocking the man out.

There, that should take care of things.

Standing up, Blarth pulls his hood up to cover his altered face. He was going to have to stay outside until it wore off, which meant he was going to get even wetter.
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  #109  
Unread 29th of February, 2008, 09:23
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Gruumsh damned rain.

Still waiting for the effects of his power to wear off, Blarth was really beginning to regret having used it to scare Thunn. So long as it remained he couldn't exactly go inside looking for Nicos, at least, not without scaring the shit out of some townsfolk and probably getting the guard called on him. Humans seemed to have this innate fear of wild animals that would set them off at a moment's notice. Plus, being mistaken for a werewolf generally wasn't much fun since it usually meant a solid month of captivity and being forced to eat that horrible belladona root.

So Blarth stayed out in the rain, wandering the streets and not really paying much attention to where he was. Just enough not to get lost.

His inattention, however, missed something else.

* * *

"You see his friends anywhere."

"No, but Thunn said they stayed hidden until well after we left."

"They're probably waiting for the orc to find another victim."

"Okay, enough chatter you guys. We'll follow the plan and wait for Thunn, Reg, and Billy to take on the orc. If his friends show up we'll deal with them, now shut up so you don't give us away."

* * *

Roaring in pain, Blarth collapses to the ground as a knife snakes out of the dark and severs the back of his leg. Blinking the rain from his eyes as his hood falls back, Blarth looks down to see the water washing red away from his leg. Gritting his teeth, he tries to stand, but the injured leg refuses to support his weight.

"Not so tough now, are you orc. No friends to help you this time."

Looking around, Blarth makes out three shapes, one close by and with a knife in hand, the other two further back but similarly armed.

"Come on Thunn," one of the further shapes says, "his friends could be here any moment. Just kill the damned thing and be done with it."

"Oh no," Thunn replies, "I'm going to make him pay dearly for what they did to me." Squatting down to put his knife in Blarth's face, he lowers his voice so that only Blarth can hear him, "Besides, we both know there are no friends out here to help you."

Yelping in pain, Blarth instinctively flinches as Thunn's knife scrapes across his nose, the pain amplified by the power that made it extra sensitive.

Laughing, Thunn stands up and turns around to face his friends, "See, we caught him just like I said and his friends are too cowardly to face us all. Add to that the rain that's keeping everyone off the streets and we'll be able to play this game all night."

As Thunn speaks, a low humming, hidden at first beneath the rain begins to be heard. It continues to buzz at everyone's ears, however, as Thunn continues.

"Reg, take your shot. You've been itching for a chance to get back at the orcs for your uncle in Gundar. Here's your chance."

Looking around hesitantly one more time, Reg steps forward, his confidence growing with every step. By the time he reaches Blarth he's grinning in anticipation, even as he swats at his ear, brushing away the bug that the buzzing says is there.

Wait, a bug, in this whether?

With a very wolf-like growl, Blarth lunges suddenly at Reg, his mouth closing around the poor man's throat. With a startled gasp, Reg tries to draw a breath, but his windpipe is crushed by Blarth's extended jaws and his eyes only go wide with the effort.

"Billy, call the rest of the boys over. It seems we have a fighter here."

At a call from Billy, three more men emerge from the shadows and move to form a ring around Blarth and Reg as the rain keeps pouring down.

"The orc's leg is cut so he can't get up," Thunn declares, reassuring the men who are looking at each other, "Reg got too eager and careless. Keep track of his arms and good legs and you'll have no trouble with him."

"Which one is his good leg," one of the newcomers asks.

"The one that's not bleeding, stupid."

"It don't look like either of them is bleeding to me."

"Rain must be washing away the blood. Just watch to see which leg he favors."

Moving forward, Thunn grins evilly at Blarth, his knife in front of him.

Blarth releases Reg and the man falls to the ground, his breathing more of a gurgle as he drowns in his own blood and the rain. Growling at Thunn, Blarth shifts his weight around as he remains prone, to get a better angle on Thunn's line of approach.

"There, you see? Now, your turn Billy."

"Ah, come on Thunn, you're closer and it's your revenge here."

Turning to face Billy, Thunn ignores Blarth for a moment to reprimand his underling.

"When this filth and his friends attacked me, they attacked all of us. We're all going to teach him a lesson here. What?"

Seeing Billy's face change from one of shame at having questioned his orders to outright fear, Thunn turns around to find Blarth on his feet, both legs clearly supporting his weight.

"Surprise."

Two practiced steps close the gap between Blarth and Thunn as the half-orc snaps at the man's leg in an animal imitation of the move that had brought him down just moments ago. Thunn, however, is clearly more practiced at the maneuver than Blarth as the half-orc manages to do little more than draw blood and make Thunn stumble a step or two.

"You'll pay for that," Thunn declares, throwing his knife at Blarth and drawing another.

Shrugging gently, Blarth barely flinches as the knife swerves unnaturally in the air. Using the moment of astonishment that brings, Blarth snaps at Thunn again, forgoing any attempts at fancy maneuvers and simply trying to take a chunk out of the man.

"Attack you fools," Thunn yells, as grimaces in pain and slashes at Blarth with his knife. Once again, however, the knife's trajectory is unnaturally altered and it does little more than rub the flat along Blarth's arm.

"He's protected by devils!"

"Don't be a fool. His friends must be using magic from hiding."

"Either way, I'm out of here!"

As the Billy bolts from the scene, the others hesitate, but only for the moment that it takes for Blarth to bite at Thunn again, this time clamping down on the man's knife arm hard. The sound of bones breaking beneath the force of Blarth's teeth destroys any morale Thunn's followers had left and the flee into the rain and the night.

Now screaming in pain, Thunn finds his eyes locked with Blarth's as the half-orc steps in for one last bite on the man's neck, cutting the scream off.

Breathing heavily, Blarth releases Thunn who's heart tries mightily to keep him alive, but which in the end only serves to pump his blood out onto the pavement that much faster.

Spitting, Blarth growls, "I've tasted pig that was better than you."

Looking around, Blarth sees no sign of Thunn's men. A good thing, as it turns out, because that's the moment when his facial power finally wears off.

"You should have waited a bit longer," Blarth comments as he steps over Thunn's body and away from the scene of the battle. Both men were clearly bitten by a wolf-like animal. With any luck, the guard wouldn't discover them until after the rain and even then they'd be looking for a wild animal in the city, not an assailant. Thunn's men would probably set them straight eventually, but there wasn't much Blarth could do about that except to leave town before that happened.

"Better find Nicos quickly."

Stopping at a rain barrel, Blarth carefully washes the blood of Reg and Thunn off his face and shirt. The water was cold, they way it should be for a proper cleaning.
  #110  
Unread 1st of March, 2008, 05:46
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Shade hasn't moved from the spot she had taken when they first entered and her ears detect the sounds of feet in the hall before the door opens. Steel grey eyes fix on sea green and do not waver as Nicos speaks. Shade is expressionless, motionless - predator poised for the kill or prey paralyzed by imminent doom. Her world was never so black and white, always shades of grey like her cursed vision and haunted with ghosts of the past. The moment seems to last forever, the weight of this night's happenings pressing down like mountain upon them. She knew the source of her hesitation, her fear: there was no easy way out. To speak was to make it real.

To stay silent was to die without a fight.

With a slight twitch of her shoulders Shade breaks the spell that pins her, fear of helplessness outweighing fear of the unknown. Her cold, hard eyes stay upon Isac though they both know it isn't his fault.

"What's happening is that my past has come home. I'm going to need to leave here, soon."

That much she knew. The rest she didn't want to know, didn't want to talk about. She takes a deep breath and lets it out slowly.

"But first we need to figure out what is going on, don't we Isac?"
  #111  
Unread 4th of March, 2008, 01:14
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"Lynn," Nicos said, waving the woman over to one side of the crowded room, then leaning close to speak in a hushed voice. "I'm pretty sure I'm heading out of town soon."

"Worried about -" A glance at the others "- our friend from the other night?"

"Amongst other things, overall I'm starting to get the feeling that it's time to make a quiet exit. If you want to ..."

"I've invested too much in keeping you alive to walk away just yet," Lynn retorted. "Besides, romance of the open road? Sounds like fun."

"You’ll get over it," Nicos said. "If we leave we won’t be coming back anytime soon, how long would it take you to quickly pack some things up?"

"I don’t know … 30 minutes maybe."

"Thirty Minutes?!" Nicos exclaimed before catching himself. "Shit. Okay, you better go head a head start. After you’ve finished head over to my place – you know where it is right? good – and grab the bag under the bed, it’s already packed. Throw in everything that is in the bottom draw next to the bed and then come find me. I’ll either still be here or I’ll meet you 5 minutes past the south gate."

"I’m packing your stuff too am I?" Lynn retorted, not pleased.

"For as long as it takes you 30 minutes to pack you are, now go and hurry."
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  #112  
Unread 4th of March, 2008, 03:44
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“Actually, first we need to get moving. The longer we stay, the more we endanger your friends, and anyone else that gets caught between you and…her.”
  #113  
Unread 5th of March, 2008, 04:57
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There had been no word from the little voice in her head for quite a while now. And it seems that Shade and Lynn are preoccupied with their own thoughts. So Juni sits quietly on one of the beds, waiting and thinking.

It occurs to her to look through her bag and order her things while she waits. She carries almost everything she owns (except for her other set of clothes and Vywodor's sword) in a leather pouch tied about her waist. She spills the contents of the bag out onto the bed beside her and begins to look through it.

There's a nearly empty coin purse, a comb, some hair pins, a needle and thread, and an egg-shaped stone wrapped up in a spare handkerchief. There's also another, smaller pouch of black leather that had belonged to Vywodor. Juni doesn't open or look through that pouch. She feels rather guilty still for taking it, and she doesn't know what the things inside - a couple of vials, a ring, and some small bits of stone and wood - are for anyway.

She reorganizes, packing everything back up neatly into the pouch, except for the egg-shaped stone. It's more of a crystal than an ordinary stone. She looks at, glittering like a lump of blue ice in the palm of her hand. Oddly, it feels warm to the touch. She closes her fingers around it and notes with satisfaction that it seems to fit her hand perfectly.

Good. Have it strung on a chain and wear it around your neck. I can do you more good if you keep it out in the open.

The voice is stronger now, and as it 'speaks' inside her mind the stone seems to vibrate ever so slightly in her hand.

Now it makes sense! A psi-crystal! Juni remembers that her father had given her the stone and said that she'd understand why later. She must have finally become attuned to it! Vywodor had taught her that psi-crystals are stones that hold a part of a psion's personality within them.

So, she really had been only talking to herself all this time! Well, talking to a fragment of herself that had broken free and taken on a life of its own inside a specially prepared crystal.

Is that what you are, a psi-crystal?

Well, I guess you could put it that way. But I'm NOT the stone - I just exist in the stone. I hear all your thoughts, and I see what you see. But out here I can also see what the stone 'sees'. If that makes sense to you. And I can help you focus much better on using your power.

Oh. That's handy. I get distracted sometimes.

Yes. You do. Now, open your hand.


Juni opens her hand flat so that the psi-crystal lies in her palm.

Try to see what is on the other side of the door.

Clairvoyance! That's a hard one for me. Vywodor always tried to make me spy on the servants. I hated that.

Nevermind about Vywodor. We just want to see what's outside in the hall. I'll help you concentrate. Close your eyes if it makes it easier. I'll still be able to see what's happening in here.


It is easier with her eyes closed, and soon Juni has a view of the hallway, almost as if she had opened the door and stepped outside. It is odd to look down and not see her body standing there. She almost seems to be floating in mid-air!

You are not paying attention - look around!

I am looking around. Down is a valid direction to be looking. That's where my feet should be! This feels so weird...


Juni imagines that she can hear her psi-crystal sigh.

All right. I'm looking all around. I can't move at all, but I can see in any direction. I can hear things too. There are footsteps coming from the stairs. Someone is coming!

Who is it?

I can't see anyone yet. Should I tell Shade? Oh wait, it's Nicos! And Isac is with him.


The one-armed bard strides purposefully down the hall. Juni feels as if he is about to collide with her, and she jerks her mind's eye away and back into her body. She looks at the door just as it opens and Nicos and Isac step through.

That was... disorienting, she thinks, but she is immensely pleased to have mastered this useful new trick.

Unfortunately, she can't share her excitement with anyone. The expressions on all the faces around her are too serious, too worried. And of course they have a right to be. Juni remembers Shade's hand blackened by a curse, all because of a missing relic. She gets up from the bed and goes to stand by her friend's side.

"Actually, first we need to get moving," Isac says. "The longer we stay, the more we endanger your friends, and anyone else that gets caught between you and… her."

"Her? Who do you mean?" Juni asks. She still holds her psi-crystal in the palm of her hand.

"I don't know who is persuing Shade, but I'm fairly sure I know what is pursuing her. She's a patoh girak kree, in common it translates loosely to Sister of the Jade Eye."

Juni blinks. It's not a who, it's a what. Sister of the Jade Eye. Curious name.

"I don't understand..." she says, shaking her head. "But whatever it is, it's dangerous, that's what you're saying. And we can't stay here?"

Isac nods, his voice growing distant. "She is drawn to the curse that is eating its way through Shade, and will follow her from now until Judgement Day. The real question is why. What could someone have possibly done to draw the wrath of the Goblin witches all the way from the Forbidden South?"

Last edited by Kelemyn; 5th of March, 2008 at 10:31. Reason: Re-worked the ending.
  #114  
Unread 6th of March, 2008, 09:07
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The power that distorted his face finally ended, Blarth no longer walked aimlessly through the rain, but made for Nicos's flat with a purpose. Hopefully the bard would be in, or at least Saphrina might know where he was performing tonight, and Blarth would be able to connect with him quickly.

Fate, it would seem, had related, but not nearly the same plans. When Blarth got to the flat he found it deserted, and Sphrina had no clue where Nicos was that night. Dejected, Blarth was on his way out when he ran, quiet litteraly, into a striking young woman who looked familiar.

"I'm very sorry, miss. I'm afraid I was kind of lost in my thoughts there and didn't see you."

Where have I seen her before.
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Unread 12th of March, 2008, 02:08
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She is drawn to the curse that is eating its way through Shade

The words fall on her as a wave of remembered pain shoots down her arm. She steels herself against the doubt that assails her, finding once more the rocky solitude that is her refuge. Death could only find her once.

"You got rid of it."

She holds up her hand as proof, knowing it for the falsehood it is.

"I'm fine. No need for anyone to pack. Isac is going to tell me what I need to know and then I'm going to go and take care of it."
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Unread 12th of March, 2008, 03:55
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"I cannot stress enough how much danger you are in right now. There is no "getting rid" of the curse, only a postponement of its effect. Eventually it will consume you, transforming your body into an eternally rotting prison for your mind," he sighs wearily.

"I don't know what it is you think I know. It appears that I have been used by the same people within the church that wrote that message. I have no idea what it is that you have taken, but it appears that both this Council and the Sisterhood want it."
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Unread 12th of March, 2008, 04:14
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"You know more than me," Shade snaps back, anger finally making a return. "You know the council, you know something about this sisterhood, and you know what is after me. I don't even know what it is I stole.""
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Unread 13th of March, 2008, 06:36
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"Blarth, right?" the woman asks, confirming the half-orc's suspicion that he's seen her somewhere before.

After Blarth nods in reply, the woman continues, "I'm Lynn, a friend of Nicos. Are you looking for him?"

Another nod.

"I've got to grab some stuff from his room for him. If you'll help me carry it I'll show you where he is."

Nodding again at this fortuitous circumstance, Blarth turns around and follows Lynn up to Nicos' room where she grabs his backpack from under his bed and rather uncerimoniously dumps the contents of one drawer into it.

Finally connecting the dots that the young womans own travelling pack should have already tipped off, Blarth asks, "So, then, Nicos is planning on leaving town?"

"UmHmm," Lynn replies, "Probably. Some things are coming to a head that it really wouldn't be good to stick around for. Not to worry though, I know where to find him if he has to get moving before we reach him."

Grunting an acknowledgement, Blarth quickly learns that "helping carry something" means "carry it for me" as Lynn hands him Nicos' bag and then leads the way out of the flat, into the rain, and across town.
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  #119  
Unread 14th of March, 2008, 05:13
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"Yes, Isac," Juni says soothingly and with a sharp look at Shade to chide her for her outburst. "You do know more than the rest of us about all this. Explain about the Sisters of the Jade Eye, for instance. They're goblin witches? How do you know that one of them is pursuing Shade?"
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Unread 14th of March, 2008, 10:57
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"I know of the Sisters because I spent twelve years as a Harappan slave, and I know that one of them is pursuing Shade because when I healed her, the curse opened my mind to the one that is here and now..." Isac bites back his words and takes a deep breath. Shame and anger at his past flushed his cheeks. He takes another breath letting his emotions cool.

"Look, I'm sorry," he says at length. "I shouldn't have been short with you, and I apologize. I will happily regale you with all of the political minutia of the Hegemony later. Right now what you need to know is that a very powerful spell caster is coming here to find you. If you are still here when she does, she will not hesitate to kill every living thing in this city to get to you. That is why we need to go now."
  #121  
Unread 14th of March, 2008, 20:05
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Nicos had no clue what was going on. It was exciting.

"We-e-ell if we're going to go," Nicos drawled, slouching against a the door. "We should get moving. They don't close the gates so we can leave tonight."
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Unread 19th of March, 2008, 15:28
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Moving quickly, the group were soon walking out past bored gate guards and into the hills to the south of Enderin. A short time later Lynn and Blarth joined them, were caught up on what was happening. Together, it was decided that more information was needed and they set out in search for such.
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