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  1. - Top - End - #2191
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Miraqariftsky's Avatar

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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    There, on death's edge, she'd hung
    On her sword's cross, she'd clung
    Rico's wracked flesh unheeding
    She'd twitched and groaned
    Vainly struggling

    Though their best they tried
    One after the other, her friends fell
    Smote by the foe, nigh-died
    Toyed with, by a beast from hell

    Her strength, little availed
    When all had failed
    Prayers but bloody gurgles
    Silent scramed into the smoke of the pit
    Unseen heavens seeming to care not one whit
    As the valiant Ranger dragged her away
    As Setsuna knelt, broken, fey
    As Sirus lay, throat gurgling
    As Taladron crouched,
    Crumpled, crying

    Rico's fingers feebly clenched upon her hilt
    Her body wracked and riven with burns and
    Hoarse and choking voice rasping, gasping, cursing
    Wordless, tearless wept
    For Red and Fox
    Still bleeding
    Still staring

    Then came the miracle
    Relief and strength and vigour flowed
    Even as the smoke spewed, the blood sprayed

    And fair Fox laughed, beaming
    Radiant, triumphant

    And suddenly falling
    Not like a drunk man stumbling
    Not like a warrior on ragged exhaustion

    But an puppet with its strings cut

    Falling
    Falling into her arms

    Still smiling, still warm
    But limp, limp as broken Red nearby

    Sailors' tales, old saltdogs' tales come flooding back
    That on such an errand of doom,
    They'd lost but two
    Count it a mercy

    That miracles always have a price

    Still... Rico fumbles for a potion
    Some healing draught
    A teardrop in
    An ocean

    First to Fox' lips, then to Red's
    Then again,
    And again

    Leaden hands pump in vain above their hearts
    Panic-laced breaths upon their mouths
    In imitation of what she'd seen
    Some shipfolk do for drowners

    No wounds remain
    Yet no breath returns

    Her efforts grow feebler
    Until Rico's sobbing echoes
    The fire-pit's unearthly crackling
    While she rocks Red and Fox upon her breast

    When long at last, she comes to her senses
    She takes the silvered sword
    From the stone floor
    Hacks off the demon's head
    Spits it upon the blade
    Nods at Shalelu
    Passes the hilt
    Says to her,
    "Hold my... trophy, ma'am."

    To Sirus and Setsuna and Taladron,
    She says as she hauls
    Her friends' bodies
    To her shoulders,
    "Let's go home."
    Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
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  2. - Top - End - #2192
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Sirus

    Sirus walks, limping, to where Rico is cradling Fox and Red. He limps not from wounds, but from grief and from exertion. He is still crying, tears in his deadpan face. Slowly, he crouches next to Rico and hugs her. He looks at Setsuna and beckons her near.

    Some things can only be shared wordlessly, and by people who have faced death together. And he cries, silently, still in an embrace.

    A minute before Rico he stands up and helps her up. It is not so much strength given as comfort shared. At Rico 's urging, Sirus heads back home. He will come back later. He will tie loose ends. But he has to think.

    Sirus finally turns to the elven mage.

    "You fought. To the end. It has been. An honor. Please. Join us."


    And then, seeing that Setsuna is also wounded, he gets hold of Taladron's arm and walks back.

  3. - Top - End - #2193
    Titan in the Playground
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    Feb 2010

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Setsuna

    The tiefling intended to join in the combat with the divinely empowered returned cleric, but found herself entranced by his swiftness and unable to move until after the final blow was struck, ending Nualia for good.

    Seeing the peaceful look on the barghest's face, Setsuna can't help but feel a sense of relief that, just maybe, it was a sign that her efforts weren't completely in vain and that Nualia, at least at the end, stopped suffering. There isn't time to wish her soul on however, as the returned spirit of Cipriano gives his little joyful display before collapsing once more into a far more contented death.

    Seeing Rico do her best to revive the bodies of their fallen companions, Setsuna opens her mouth to say something, but stops and merely puts a hand on the half-orcess' shoulder in an effort to let her know that not everything is lost, but that there's nothing to be done for them. When Rico moves to behead the monster, Setsuna makes no move to stop her, but instead takes up Red's fallen kukri and places it in Red's not-yet cold grasp and starts weeping once more at the injustice of it. Nualia and Cipriano, even if only temporarily, returned to this world, how was it fair that the little human that was brave enough to fight a demon to protect her friend couldn't be granted the same chance?
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  4. - Top - End - #2194
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Nov 2012
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    Denial

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    GM post

    Ever the stoic, Shalelu's eyes remain dry, though she lingers at Rico's side, using the edge of her thumb as best she can to wipe the faces of the dead clean. Looking around the small circle of mourners, she sees your grief and for a moment, the hardness in her face softens as she strokes your shoulders in silent commiseration. When Rico gives the command to go, she merely nods, accepting without complaint the spitted barghest head.

    "Aye. Home... sounds excellent. I... I'll go see where that warchanter has gotten to. Hopefully it hasn't run off... into something nasty." Shalelu's voice is hoarse despite herself and when she turns to go, her slender frame at odds with the massive bastard sword and the head impaled upon it, it seems to those of you watching that the elf's shoulders are bowed with the burden of some unseen weight many years in the forming.

    *****

    As you all prepare to trudge back to the surface of Thistletop, Sirus's eyes alone see the bright flash of light above your heads, signalling the presence of Pharasma's servant from earlier on.

    The ravid's eyes gleam like winter ice as it hovers at the chamber's roof, its body coiling and uncoiling snake-like. You have done well, Sirus of Taldor. You and your companions have thwarted Lamashtu's purpose and sent her paladin on her way. You grow in spirit and strength, both of which will serve you well in the dark time yet to come...

    Gliding solemnly through the uncomfortably warm air, the ravid pauses where Red lies - her head lying against Rico's broad shoulder, as if only resting. The Lady does not usually grant such favours. But this was the final wish of your companion, Cipriano, chosen of the Lucky Drunk, and the Lady has seen fit that it come to pass. Mortal life is but a flower quickly fading, a wave tossed in the ocean. Cherish it, waste it not. For none will escape judgement at her feet.

    Extending its great talon, the ravid brushes a claw against Red's cheek before once more fading away from sight.

    Spoiler
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    Ravids are creatures from the Positive Energy Plane. These bizarre entities imbue creatures with energy by their touch and animate lifeless objects around them.
    Not a bad power for a servant of Pharasma to have, eh?


    *****

    "...Mister Fox... no."

    Those on the alert catch the sudden rise and fall of Red's breast, whimpering as her fingers twitch and quiver, trying to grasp something - or someone, before lying still again, breathing in the deepest of sleeps.

    Somewhere ahead of you, Shalelu calls back down the corridors. "Damned goblin's gone and scarpered. We better hope it had the sense to run back upstairs and not deeper into the dungeon, blast it all."

    Red is no longer dead. But she remains unconscious and cannot be roused for now.
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    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
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    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  5. - Top - End - #2195
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Sirus

    Sirus again looks bewildered as Pharasma's Chosen appears again. He looks wild eyed at the others.

    Have they seen? What to tell them?

    His face unusually flushed, he says

    "That was. Pharasma 's. Will. I. Saw it. I know! I have. Many things. To tell you.

    Home. Let us. Go home."

  6. - Top - End - #2196
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Miraqariftsky's Avatar

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    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    On her shoulder, Rico suddenly feels
    And hears that slight rustle
    That slight beat

    She stops and stares
    Struggles to be careful,
    And then checks Red's vitals

    "She's! ALIVE!"
    Comes the exultation
    Coming almost at the same time
    As Sirus' unseen and unheard revelation

    Nods at him excitedly
    Hope revived, grief dimmed
    For but a while, for but a while
    Rico struggles to maintain her stability

    Nods at Shalelu,
    The standard bearing
    "There's farther an' deeper still?! Good gods..."

    "Ma'am? Reckon taking out
    Nualia and the barghest was enough?"

    Pointing with her lips at the sword and the head
    Rico adjusts her shoulders and her arms
    To better carry Red and Fox
    Back upstairs, and out
    Into the land of light

    "SANDPOINT! WWAAAAAUUGGHHH!"

    Then gasps, pants,
    Sighs a mist
    Squints

    And smiles into the sun.
    Last edited by Miraqariftsky; 2013-12-16 at 12:37 PM.
    Avatarcred: HELL YEAH to THE Oneris! Ma'am, thank you, ma'am.
    Previous Avatars: by Dr Bath, Strawberries, zimmerwald1915

  7. - Top - End - #2197
    Titan in the Playground
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    Feb 2010

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Setsuna

    Unable to not smile at the sound of Red's breathing and the sight of her chest rising and falling with her breath, Setsuna says a silent thank you to Pharasma when Sirus says it was her will that caused the miracle.

    Agreeing with the others about the need to go home, the tiefling leaves the chamber without looking back, but pauses at Nualia's real body. Trying and failing to close her left hand, the tiefling realizes she can't carry the fallen aasimar alone and looks to her companions. "Please, help me take Nualia-san too. She was Lamasthu's victim as well, we should at least give her a proper burial away from this place."
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  8. - Top - End - #2198
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Nov 2012
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    Denial

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    GM post

    Part 1: The Exposition Bit

    None of you volunteer to help Setsuna carry the body. Eventually, Shalelu returns to see what the delay is all about.

    Upon discovering that the cause is only the question of what to do with Nualia's corpse, the elf's eyes narrow in scorn, her lips twisting downwards in irritation. She is about to make a scathing comment when she catches sight of Setsuna's face - hopeful as ever. Sighing aloud, the elf holds out the barghest spitted sword to the tiefling. "Take this," she mutters sourly, kneeling and gathering Nualia's body in her arms with all the brusque aplomb of a harassed mother. "Gods know, she doesn't deserve t... Woah. Is she breathing?"

    Amazed, Shalelu gawks at Red, who is slumped over on Rico's shoulder, shaking her head in disbelief. "Glory above. You lot have some kind of luck. Someone big out there must be really looking out for you."

    *****

    Rejoining with Mandraiv and the watchmen at the top of Thistletop island, you fire the signal for Ceyleth to approach with the boat. The goblins, most of whom were hoping for all of your demises in the depths and who had expected as much once the errant warchanter fled back wailing about fire and smoke and a great hairy monster, are notably disappointed to note that only one longshank had perished. Still, they are quite suitably awed and impressed by the barghest head that Setsuna wields, such that when Rico orders her new subjects to remain on Thistletop to await her orders, none raise any protest.

    While Vachedi volunteers to lead the horse you have found out through the thicket hedge, the rest of you scale back down the cliffs for the journey back via boat. It takes some clever maneuvering with the ropes, some driftwood from the goblin stockade wall, and the use of a tarpaulin to get all of your gear down, but eventually, you all manage to get all passengers and loot on board safely.

    The sun has passed its zenith by now and it blazes mercilessly down overhead as Ceyleth and the other sea-elf set the prow of the boat towards Sandpoint. Your journey back is a sombre one, the presence of Cipriano's body, wrapped in Shalelu's cloak at the bottom of one of the boats notwithstanding. You all have achieved what you set out to do and more. The goblin threat has been quelled. Nualia and her gang will terrorise Sandpoint no more. You have discovered valuable Thassilonian ruins and slain an ancient threat. You have even rescued a new companion from what would have surely been a slow and lingering death. And yet, over what ought to have been sweet victory, a shadow weighs heavily. You all have triumphed - but at what cost?

    You are brought home by a swift wind and the haunting cries of gulls wheeling overhead. The grin dies on Sheriff Hemlock's lips, however, once he beholds the shrouded bodies as the boats pull into Sandpoint Harbour. Ameiko, having begun waving in greeting to Shalelu, starts counting the number of heads and once she realises that the shocking auburn of Cipriano is missing, slowly raises her hands to her lips in shock, tears forming in her eyes. "Oh no. Father Cipriano... not you too..."

    *****

    The rest of the day passes in a blur. For those of you who are awake, there is little time to rest. Mayor Deverin, Sheriff Hemlock, and Father Zantus are brought up to speed over a lengthy debrief in office at the town hall. A detachment of guards is sent to Thistletop over land to keep an eye on the goblins. Another group is dispatched to form a line around the Garrison to prevent curious townsfolk and other idlers from loitering - even in death and clad in heavy armour, Nualia's silver hair is recognisable from afar, and the news of Father Tobyn's daughter returned spreads quickly throughout the town. By the time Taladron is able to slip away to his home and the rest of you to the Rusty Dragon, it is late at night, perhaps late enough for some of you to even refuse the dinners that Ameiko has kept warm for you.

    The next day is no less exhausting. You wake up to find that a team of Magnimarian guards and local Watch under the command of Captain Uriana have left to sweep through the dungeons below Thistletop and to clear the place of any further traps. Meanwhile, a missive is sent in the care of a fast courier to Magnimar to inform Cipriano's next-of-kin and the head priests of the Sanctified Alehouse of his fate. Father Zantus, having spent the previous night preparing both Cipriano and Nualia's bodies, is hustled off to Thistletop to see what he can do about reconsecrating the Lamashtan chapel there. Brodert Quink, sprightly old man that he is, nearly swoons in excitement when told that the Thistletop goblin lair was likely once an outpost sacred to Runelord Karzoug. (It is nearly all you can do to persuade him to wait for enough guards to be freed up in order to provide him with some security.) Then there are still the horde of gossiping townsfolk clustered outside the Garrison to deal with, a considerable number of whom are demanding for Nualia's body to be brought out and burnt. It takes a furious Mayor Deverin, her otherwise gentle grey eyes like flint as she delivers an impromptu but stunning reproach to the lot of them for their hypocritical behaviour, to shame them into going home.

    There is more. Word still needs to be sent to higher qualified personages to help purify the caverns below Sandpoint, Tsuto and Lonjiku's funerals have to be dealt with, and the goblins are refusing to take instructions from anyone except Rico. Some of you might wish that like Red, you too were unconscious and sleeping in your room in the Rusty Dragon, though the fact that the rogue has not woken up yet is rather worrisome...

    TO BE CONTINUED...
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2013-12-18 at 12:39 PM.
    Avatar by the awesome Strawberries.

    MINE:
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  9. - Top - End - #2199
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Denial

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    GM post

    Part 2: Almost Finished


    Day 8: Rova 29, 4707

    Taladron

    The sky is still streaked with rich purples and soft ambers, the early dawn air crisp on your cheeks as you step out of your house. A shovel borrowed from a neighbour rests on your shoulder and Light Feather's body is nestled in your satchel. There has been precious little time since your return to attend to your own affairs, and you intend to escape today for some private time to give your only true friend the farewell that he deserved.

    This early in the day, there are few other townsfolk about to hinder you or ask you awkward questions - just the way you like it. You walk down the street you live, the uneven cobblestones comforting to your aching feet after so many days of smooth prison floor, accompanied by only the rhythmic hammering of the smith's forge and the occasional waft of someone's breakfast on the pot.

    Just as you are about to slip out Sandpoint's North Gate, one of the guards on duty there coughs lightly to gain your attention. Pushing back her the hood of her cloak, Shalelu Andosana regards you serenely, taking in the manner of your dress and the shovel on your shoulder before bowing once, speaking in Common for the benefit of the other watchmen on duty with her. "Master Taladron. If you intend to head out, allow me the honour of accompanying you. There might still be marauding goblins out there. Moreover, if it is a quiet place that you seek, I might be able to assist you. There are none who know the woods around the Lost Coast better than I do."

    *****

    Sirus

    Your request last night to enter the Boneyard in order to contemplate and commune with Pharasma had surprised both Father Zantus and Brother Vosk. While Sandpoint had its share of Pharasmins, meditation among the dead was hardly a common practice. Nevertheless, the two holy men had acceded, with the only condition being that you not disturb any of the graves and that you inform Vosk before you leave.

    The Boneyard, neatly swept and kept, bears no traces of the theft that took place barely a week ago. It is a peaceful place when undisturbed, with small birds peeping and twittering softly amongst the tree branches, and the low burble of the Turandarok River not too far away. A short distance away from you is the Sandpoint Cathedral, where Cipriano's body lies for now. Father Zantus had held a short service last night, the church surprisingly packed with mourners and other townsfolks come to pay their respects. Despite having only been in town a few scant days, Cipriano's generosity and kindness had not gone unnoticed, and the people of Sandpoint had turned out in force to pay tribute to the Caydenite cleric who had caught their attention or touched their hearts in one small way or another.

    Tonight, we honour our brother, taken from us too soon. May he find mercy at Pharasma's seat and everlasting joy in the halls of the Lucky Drunk.

    Behind you, the bells of the Cathedral begin to toll, flinging out broad over the countryside the coming of day. It is the seventh hour.

    *****

    Setsuna

    You have had quite enough of the Garrison in the past few days and Rico had recommended the stretch of beach at the end of the Water Street by the harbour as a good place to practice. So at first light, having made sure that Bethana had left a saucer of raw fish out for Kitten as she'd promised, you make your way to the beach, carrying only your sword and a flask of hot tea.

    The black sand is cool under your feet as you remove your waraji and pin up the hem of your hakama, a strong breeze blowing from the ocean that fills your lungs with bracing sea air. Unsheathing Maethilur, you take a moment to quieten your spirit, listening to the wash of rolling waves, holding the blade out before you before you begin your exercises.

    Your hand is still weak from your exertions, but it seems stronger this morning, gripping the tsuka a little tighter than before as you go through the various familiar kata that you have learned since childhood. Form after flowing form is completed and by the time you are done, the sun has risen over the horizon, steam rising from your skin as you wipe away sweat from your brow.

    Maethilur has not spoken to you since Thistletop and her voice breaks the morning calm, perhaps startling you with its lack of ceremony.

    You have given me no reply, Setsuna Yuki. Maethilur's voice is sorrowful even as she chides. Have you not found an answer? Or are you avoiding my question?



    *****

    Rico and Red

    Red cracks open her eyes to find herself staring up into the rafters of her room at the Rusty Dragon, sunlight filtering through the chinks of the window shutter. At her side, holding court in a chair that is far too small for her bulk, Rico snorts, mumbles indistinctly, then continues to snore loudly, unaware that the paperwork she has brought with her into the room has escaped from her grasp and is flapping merrily along the floor.

    Roaring flames leaping to the ceiling, glacial teeth tearing at her throat, falling through darkness, alone in swirling mist, footsteps just on the edge of hearing, wandering, stumbling, calling out into the emptiness... Red closes her eyes, shivering, reflexively curling her body on its side. She'd died, hadn't she? She remembered that. Stabbing the wolf-thing, right before it'd crushed her wrists and then bitten her... Immediately, she yanks her arms out from under the rough woolen blanket, gazing mutely at her hands - whole, unblemished - flexing her shaking fingers one by one.

    So that hadn't been a dream then. The dragon-snake creature with eyes like ice, eyes that saw right through you. It'd told her that Cipriano had given his life for her and that she was going back instead. And she'd told it no, because that wasn't fair, but it hadn't listened and it'd pulled her screaming back into the darkness...

    That meant that Cipriano was dead then. Because she was here, wasn't she?

    She could feel her stomach churning. She was hungry. She was cold. But she was alive. And Mister Fox, he was...

    A choked sob escapes Red's chapped lips, her vision blurring as she covers her eyes with the crook of her arm, her teeth bared as she tries to hold back her tears. He shouldn't have done it. She was only Red. Nobody very important. He didn't know her. They'd only met for a short while. Why had he done it?

    She doesn't know how long she lies there in trembling silence, hot tears burning her cheeks and forehead. But eventually Red ceases to weep, turning bloodshot eyes towards the snoozing Rico. Poor Rico. How long had she been here? She must be very tired.

    Reaching out, Red rests her hand lightly on Rico's knee, half-shutting her eyes in the simple tactile pleasure of knowing that her best friend was near and had stayed, waiting for her.
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2013-12-18 at 12:42 PM.
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    MINE:
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

  10. - Top - End - #2200
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Jun 2012
    Location
    Athens, Greece
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    Male

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Sirus

    These have been trying days. Never has Sirus heart, body and soul be in such disarray. From making reports to dodging locals to recuperating to checking on Red, Sirus feels drained. He needs to recenter himself.

    Sirus enters the cemetery when it is still noon. It is peaceful and quiet. It is a holy place and Cipriano is, in a strange way, nearby. How Sirus longs he could talk with him. Only just now he realizes that Cipriano has been the only clergyman who he had opened his heart to.

    I had things to ask you, my friend. I saw too many things. But you made the ultimate sacrifice for your beliefs. I only hope I can match your strength if I ever need to. But it would help me to have your example. And it is good to know that, in the Other Side, I will see you again.

    Wait for me, friend. We will have stories to tell. Intervene for us, in the Other Side.


    Sirus finds a nice spot and sits cross-legged. If he was to continue his work, he needed to contemplate, to meditate, to focus. Silently, easily, he starts to control his breathing. Then, his heart. And the he dives deep inside his own skin, seeing his chakra and feeling the flow of his ki.

    Everything is in disarray. Like a patient streetsweeper, he starts to mend.

    First is the breath. Then the heart. Then the spirit. Again. My breath follows my heart follows my spirit. Again.

    It is night when he opens his eyes again. But he does not see. Like a blind man, seeing nothing, he starts to move. The Leaping Tiger follows the Climbing Ape follows the Shredding Boar follows the Sleeping Dragon follows the Dodging Snake. The ground gets filled with patterns, but wherever Siris walks or jumps, the dust in not disturbed. His body goes through the motions while the mind clears. Soon, there is only silence inside, to match that of the graves.

    Pharasma, accept my devotions. You delivered me in my hour of need. You gave me guidance again. You graced me with your presence.

    I am your mortal hand, my Lady of the Graves. Shroud me in your silence, so that I can pursue your goal. Bless me with your wisdom, so that I can discern your path. Clear my eyes, so that I can see the future that you want to bring about.

    And when the time has come, accept me in your Spire as your servant.


    Sirus opens his eyes. It is now almost dawn. His body trembles from the exertion, but it is now whole again. His mind and body are again one. Giving a nod to Cipriano, he leaves as he came, silent.

  11. - Top - End - #2201
    Titan in the Playground
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    Feb 2010

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Setsuna

    Caught off guard by Maethilur's sudden question Setsuna takes a moment before replying. "I am...not sure what I can or should do."

    Taking a deep breath and putting words to what has been on her mind since leaving Thistletop the tiefling continues, starting out unsure of herself but steadily gaining confidence in what she's saying, "I can not even say that I would not do the same thing again. I know I should not have gone down alone, I was not thinking, but if I was then I may still have tried. I know that my actions have consequences and I make mistakes, but I have to try to make the choices that are the best for everyone. I will do everything I can to protect my friends for as long as they will have me, I owe them that, but if we are fighting another lost soul like Nualia-san then I can not just kill them and be done with it without even trying to help them."

    She pauses for a moment, starting to become anxious about the blade's reply, before finishing, "I am sorry. I know that is not the answer you wanted, but it is the only answer I have."

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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  12. - Top - End - #2202
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Nov 2012
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    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    GM post

    Setsuna


    And what is the answer that you believe I would have you say? You speak from your heart. That is well. I would rather you be honest with me. I am your blade. If the warrior cannot trust her blade, then she is no warrior at all... Maethilur's sigh fades into the sea breeze.

    For a moment, there is only the eddy of waves on the shore. Then Maethilur sighs again. Your fallen comrade spoke true. Your heart is kind. Perhaps too kind. In another life, another time, you would have made a fine princess to lead your people. But this is not that time.

    I did not say you were wrong to have extended the hand of mercy to Nualia. It was a noble deed. But a forced repentance is no repentance at all. You saw into her memories, how she raged when her father forced her to bend her knee to Desna. Who among us wishes to be told that she steers false when she believes herself the true captain of the ship that is her mortal soul? Did you not consider that the more you urged her to turn from perdition, the more earnestly she would desire to prove her worth by running headlong into Lamashtu's embrace? Whether you could have saved Nualia, I cannot say. But one must be willing to accept help before help can be given...

    I will be content with your answer for now. Only remember that one comrade has already paid for your decisions with his life. Do not let his sacrifice be for naught.
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2013-12-19 at 02:14 AM.
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  13. - Top - End - #2203
    Troll in the Playground
     
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    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Taladron nods to Shalelu and follows her out of Sandpoint. "I am looking for a grove of trees. Preferably one with new growth." He says to her then lets her lead the way.

    On the walk Taladron is mostly silent and lost in his own thoughts. He only gives the briefest answers to any questions Shalelu may ask. His thoughts inevitably fall on Light Feather and the recent trouble Taladron and the others narrowly escaped from. Light feather had been with him for years now and was as much family to him as his own parents or his aunt. He knew he had the skill to summon another familiar, but somehow that felt like a betrayal. It reduced Light Feather to just a pet or a tool of his trade much like his spellbook.

    In time, they reached a grove that meets his requirements. He finds a sapling whose trunk is just about a hand span wide and about as tall as Taladron himself was and begins to dig near the base. It isn't long before the hole is filled with the roots of the sapling. Taladron kneels down and carefully parts the roots leaving a hole just big enough for Light Feather to fit in. He pulls Light Feather from his bag and lays him in the small grave, replacing the roots as he does so. He doesn't talk during this and waves Shalelu away if she tries to help. He fills in the grave and just stands there for a few moments saying goodbye. There are no tears, he already grieved for Light Feather in the dark hours of his imprisonment, this is just a goodbye.

    Before leaving, Taladron reaches out and touches the trunk of the tree a few feet above the grave a quick word and a gesture with his free hand leaves a silver mark the shape of a raven feather on the tree. He reclaims the shovel and nods to Shalelu that he is ready to return to Sandpoint.
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  14. - Top - End - #2204
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    Setsuna

    Setsuna's thoughts turn eastward, her mind on home after Maethilur's words and wondering if the blade was right. Those thoughts quickly change to ones of memories for her fallen friend, who died saving her and the others not so far from where she was standing. Not one for dwelling on could-have-beens, the tiefling quickly shakes her head and returns to the shores of Sandpoint as Maethilur brings up a vital point that she hadn't fully considered before.

    Hearing that she might have inadvertently caused Nualia to turn even further from the light brings a momentary panic to Setsuna's face that fades as the specter of a smile that she saw on Nualia's second face at the end comes to mind. Taking her time to think of a reply, the tiefling finally nods her head and concedes the point without arguing, realizing that if their roles were reversed and Nualia had tried to tempt her then she would have likely acted similarly.

    "You are right...I had not thought of it that way."

    A silence follows as the tiefling gathers her thoughts before continuing, "I swear, I will not let Cipriano-san's sacrifice be in vain. But if I am going to protect the others I need to be stronger than I am," pausing, and accepting the fact that her sword simply knows better than her on occasion, she looks at Maethilur, "Will you help me? Is there anything you can teach me?"
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    Setsuna by Kymme | Desril by Wolfshonor | Eruvia (no background) by Oneris

  15. - Top - End - #2205
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Denial

    Default Re: (PF) Rise of the Runelords: Burnt Offerings IC

    GM post

    Taladron


    Shalelu thinks for a moment, pursing her lips before bobbing her head. "I do know of such a place. Come."

    Sensing your mood, Shalelu tactfully opts for silence as she leads you into the low hills directly east of Sandpoint, limiting herself to simple hand gestures that either point you in the right direction or indicate that you should look out for loose gravel and the like. She keeps just ahead of you, matching your stride, holding aside branches, her keen eyes picking out a path where few would think to look.

    Your climb, though winding and long, is not a difficult one - perhaps Shalelu has chosen a path more suited for a scholar's delicate feet. The hills are ragged and broken, rising above the Tickwood forest and festooned with isolated clumps of eucalyptus and pine. None interrupt your path, save for a few circling wild birds and a swift flash of bright orange fur through straggly hill grass that you know to be a fox on the hunt. It at the top of one of the tallest hills that Shalelu halts and points towards a patch of young evergreen pine that has wrested their roots deep into the dry ground. Taking a deep breath, Shalelu looks up, gazing directly at the vast sky and the birds overhead.

    "These hills are called Ravenroost, so named by the early Varisians settlers for the birds of legend that nested here. I believe your friend will be at peace here." Shalelu remarks quietly and without ceremony. As you bury Light Feather, she remains considerate enough to take a seat on the ground nearby, resting her chin on her hands as she contemplates the birds overhead, her hard green eyes following their flight as they dive and wheel in search of food.

    Finally, nodding once in acknowledgement of the mark you have left on the trees, Shalelu escorts you back, this time making a note aloud of landmarks that would help you should you wish to ever retrace your way to the pine grove. As you all reach the town gates, she offers you a rare smile, tinged with sadness at the edges.

    "You are the first mage I have known to treat his familiar with such respect and honour. Many would not have bothered. I only hope that you do not leave your heart in the hills with your friend and that when the time comes, your spirits will soar in joy once more." Bowing deeply to you at the waist, the elf lowers her gaze and withdraws into the gate house, holding her silence about her like a shield.

    *****

    Setsuna

    Maethilur's laugh is gentle, even as the sea breeze musses up your hair in play. Only this, Setsuna Yuki. That you trust your friends. Listen to them. Treasure them as they are. See them as more than others to be protected, learning from their strength and supporting them in their weakness. For as long as you choose to live here, you are no lone traveler on a distant road. Cipriano knew this. Follow his example and do not let his spirit die.

    *****

    THE END OF BURNT OFFERINGS

    TO BE CONTINUED IN 'THE SKINSAW MURDERS'...
    Last edited by maggie_mcknife; 2013-12-20 at 02:33 PM.
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    RotRL: Burnt Offerings IC - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Skinsaw Murders IC I and II - COMPLETED
    RotRL: Hook Mountain Massacre IC and OOC

    Seraphina "Red" Allin, fighter-rogue of double kukri slicey death

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