A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Welcome to the new IC thread. Previous parts:

    Toes In the Water IC. IC II.
    Knee Deep IC III. Knee Deep IC IV.
    IC V Against the Current
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    IC V Against the Current IC VI Stormy Seas.

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    Default Re: IC VI Stormy Seas

    "Wait! Stormy seas?" Mithril reached out to try to stop Avaralynn, but stumbled forward instead as the woman disappeared. She ran a hand through her hair, trying to figure out what to do. So much news had reached her in this day, but she understood the last message. She was to go to the dwarves.

    She found a quiet spot to study her spells, meditating on the words to help herself calm and focus.
    Moved my stuff over to HERE!

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    Shiny sighs slowly as Natalia finishes her speech, and takes a long pause. When he finally speaks, he speaks as though he is changing the subject.

    "The Battle of the Early Dusk... I do like to think that's what the bards will call it. I always liked the bards, especially the singers; they can make anything sound romantic. When you hear a lutist sing of a great battle, you don't imagine the sweat and blood and loud, messy death... a good bard can make a battle sound like a harvest festival."

    Shiny looks down at his hands. "You know I've never killed anyone myself," he says suddenly. His face doesn't betray any lie, but then it never does. "Sometimes I wonder what it would be like. The only thing I know is that it wouldn't be like the stories. The warriors in the stories always sound grand and proud... and I don't think I'd like it at all."

    "But that's the thing about stories," Shiny says, his fingers idly scratching at the stone he's sitting on. "They don't exist to hide the truth, they exist to create it from scratch. How many men went off to battle because of the stories they heard sung? Perhaps because they'd heard how grand battle was, they even came to enjoy it themselves."

    Shiny turns to Natalia. "There's no doubt that they'll sing about the salvation of Soshima. They won't know you by name, but they'll call you a hero. They won't talk about what it was like to hear the screams and cries of orcs as they burned alive, and they won't blame you for the Crusaders marching in."

    "Isn't that what Shiro said, that by now he prefers the stories to the truth? Maybe the easiest path for you is to do the same: just start believing the stories. Sometimes the truth isn't good enough."


    He sees Kurt coming along the riverside path, and nods to Natalia for them both to stand up. As he does, he sighs a quiet mantra in Gnome, one that Natalia barely catches.

    "<Gnome>It's not your fault.</Gnome>"
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    IC V Against the Current IC VI Stormy Seas.

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    "Stories...Henry died for stories. Pretty stories, but...don't see editing underneath, only final draft. Pretty stories, no screams, no swart, no blood no Nuts or fire. No failures, only gains. And all so simple."

    She shakes her head; Shiny's words helped her a bit, but there's yet another thing on her mind, doubly clear as Kurt approaches. "Died for me. Died because me. How...how to protect, how to save?" wheb I have these doubts.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2013-08-05 at 02:19 PM.

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    Default Re: IC VI Stormy Seas

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    Reposting this here.


    Just as Shiny and Natalia's heart to heart comes to a close, Kurt comes into view, looking relieved to find the two of them sitting together. "Shiny, Natalia, I need your help! I have to go and decide on whether some people are trustworthy or not and I am...well, bad at it. Can you spare some time? It's ah...to do with deciding what to do with the slavers we captured."
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    Previous avatar courtesy of CoffeeIncluded - of Kurt, from the Toes in the Water Knee Deep Against the current Stormy Seas campaign.


    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Default Re: IC VI Stormy Seas

    Truth is harsh, but truth is true. It's real and it needs to be shown, because she knows deception, and deception doesn't help anyone. Deception isn't helping Soshima, deception nearly got them killed, and just what is Soshima hiding with the Crusaders? What is Shiny hiding, what truth could he be running from?

    Natalia looks up when Kurt comes over and says, "Honest. Trust, true...yes. Help."

    She scrambles to her feet. "Help what I can...As much as I can."
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    Natalia follows Kurt to wherever he's leading them. She asks quietly, playing her spindly fingers against each other, "Kurt, can you...forgive? Against ogres? Where..."

    Where I was selfish and didn't care for you, only my own hide when you needed me more? Where I failed to protect you? Where Shiny died for me and you died because of me?
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2013-08-06 at 10:21 PM.

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    Kurt looks over at Natalia in surprise at that. "Forgive you for what? You did fine, I thought?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Natalia slowly shakes her head, and the plea is clear in her voice. "No. Didn't. How fine, when failed you? When...when...died...because me."
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    Kurt stops then, turning to her with a frown on his normally happy face. "Natalia, no. My death was because of what I did. I decided to chase down the last ogre, not you. I won't have you taking blame for what I did when it had nothing to do with you. It was my choice, not yours."
    Last edited by Cavelcade; 2013-08-07 at 07:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    "But could have helped," Natalia says, hanging her head--and it's clear that the guilt's been eating at her for sometime, gnawing through the back of her mind to the front. "Could have shot, could have stabbed, instead...drank potion didn't need. You needed more."

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    Honestly I feel a little guilty about it too; I feel I could have gotten in a couple shots against it, but didn't.

    Cavelcade, do you want to do full conversations or just summaries if it's too much for Admiral to do? I'm cool with just summaries but honestly I'm eager to get going.

    Oh, and Achinca's coming back today!
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    I'm going to wait and see what Admiral does - he's been busy, so I'm going to leave it up to him.


    Kurt shakes his head and starts going. "And I could have hit harder, or cleaner. Or better yet, not risked our lives at all! Ifs and buts will eat you up, what's done is done. I learned something important, then, and I hope you did too, leave it at that. You cannot know you would have done anything - maybe you would have died, maybe we'd both have died. We don't know and we can't know...only the gods might have any idea."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Natalia follows. Kurt's words ease her, though not as much as she'd like. "You...different Kurt. Calmer Kurt.

    You...right. Can't know. But can do more. I...want to protect you."
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    "I don't think so - I've just found a focus for myself." Kurt shrugs again and grins. "I don't blame you Natalia. We all want to do more, I hope. That's what we're off to find out."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    "Thank you," Natalia says. "And...yes. More. Chance to help, chance to show selves...strong. Hope strong to help, protect."

    She then asks, "Why change from axe to sword?"

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    i can't recall, does Natalia know about Kurt's past?
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    Kurt doesn't respond for a few seconds as he considers the question. "Because the sword is the weapon of my god." He says this casually, as if that should explain everything, summing up all the subtleties he doesn't like to express.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Natalia just tilts her head, confused by Kurt's choice of words. "Miriam's lessons?" Kurt never struck her as particularly religious. Unless he had something happen when he died?

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    Kurt, Natalia and Shiny walk over to the town's jail. To their mild surprise, the jail is built into the side of the stadium where they had been competing a few days earlier and where the Shiro School was hosted- most likely because it is the only large stone structure in a town structured mostly of bamboo and ricepaper.

    The magistrate greets them at the front desk- an elderly, pale dwarf wearing a red belt. As he stands they see that his white beard does not cover all of his face: his left cheek bears an old burn that reaches back to his ear. "General Roper sent word of your intentions with the prisoners. Our cells are small and crowded; if you seek to speak to each of them in private you'll have to take them outside."

    He glances down at the parchment in front of him. "The names they gave me upon their arrival were Hilton, Axel, Rocky and Karn. They've done little of consequence since they got here, though the skinny one- Axel- keeps trying to get my attention. Which do you want to speak to first?"


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    FYI, Hilton and Axel are rogues, Rocky and Karn are rangers.
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    Natalia looks to Shiny and Kurt. "Axel jumps line...oblige?"

    She winces when she sees the burn and wonders how he got it.

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    is he the one who "seemed" most eager for Kurt's ideas? And I'm curious to see how they'll receive us.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2013-08-07 at 10:11 AM.

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    "We'll go in that order I guess, Hilton first, then Axel, Rocky and last Karn." Each one he takes out to where Natalia and Shiny are waiting. He lets them go first, and keeps his hands off his sword hilt.

    As each one comes out, he says the same thing to them, to start off with, before he lets them have their say.

    "Okay, I promised I'd speak on your behalf when we got here, and I did. I've...convinced them to give you a chance, and this is what it is. We are riding to the aid of the dwarven mine of Deldon, and you are going to ride with us. When we get there, we're going to be aiming to break through the orcs to deliver supplies, and then help the dwarves break the siege completely. Until we get there, you will ride with us, and camp with us, but you won't be given weapons or armour...until we ready to attack. Then you'll be given weapons and armour to help us. If you betray us - my life and freedom are forfeit. I have given my sworn word on this, and I won't break it...so you must convince me that you will be true to yours, for whatever reasons you hold dear. If I'm convinced, you'll come with us, otherwise...the samurai of Soshima will give you their justice. They think you aren't going to be helpful in this - but I think you deserve the chance to prove them wrong."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Hilton is the man who had earlier, under Shiny's enchantment, given up the information about the slavers' camp. He speaks with a coarse accent Kurt can't trace, but that reminds him for some reason of a sailor.

    "So say I go with you to this dwarven mine, and I fight with you, and let's say I survive," he says carefully. "What happens next? I lose my head there instead of here? I keep followin' you around like a loyal hound until I die in some other battle?"
    Last edited by Admiral; 2013-08-07 at 10:32 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cavelcade View Post
    "We'll go in that order I guess, Hilton first, then Axel, Rocky and last Karn." Each one he takes out to where Natalia and Shiny are waiting. He lets them go first, and keeps his hands off his sword hilt.

    As each one comes out, he says the same thing to them, to start off with, before he lets them have their say.

    "If you betray us - my life and freedom are forfeit. I have given my sworn word on this, and I won't break it...so you must convince me that you will be true to yours, for whatever reasons you hold dear."
    Natalia looks to Kurt in alarm as he says this. What the?! She shakes her head and says to the slavers. "Kurt's life, but not mine. No word from me, and here for my friends." who would have thought shed be playing the bad cop here?

    When Hilton speaks, she shakes her head but doesn't elaborate. It's Kurt's plan and she doesn't trust herself to say it.
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2013-08-07 at 10:56 AM.

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    "No, at that point you've earned your freedom. I won't tell the dwarves anything except that you chose to come and fight to save them." He frowns for a moment, then shrugs. "If you decide...that what you want, is to return to the slavers...I won't even stop you then. Or I can ask the samurai to take you back, and you can join the defense here if you want. I think you deserve a chance to help them, but it's up to you."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Now Natalia looks at Kurt in utter shock. Just let the slavers return to being slavers? Turning their life around is one thing, but just up and letting then return to harm others because of their greed? When they can stop it?

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    The prisoner breathes in a bit when Kurt mentions gaining back his freedom, but his eyes dart to Natalia. "Doesn't look like your friend likes your plan," he says slowly. "Can't say I much expected to get any mercy. Even pretending I trusted you to keep her word, how do I know she'll keep it too?"
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    Here Natalia speaks. "I keep word...unless you break yours. Know trust, know loyalty, know second chances. Live free with given word. Go own path, but not back to slavers."

    She can't help it, to be slightly hurt by the fear she instills. That implication that she's a weapon to be let off her chain. Then again, she is the bad cop here. Heh...
    Last edited by CoffeeIncluded; 2013-08-07 at 12:44 PM.

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    "I can't stop her, anymore than I can stop you from going back to the slavers, if that's what you want. If I ever saw you again as a slaver, I wouldn't have mercy a second time - and Natalia knows that about me, too. I believe in letting people make their own choices, even if I think they're wrong - and I'll make mine."

    Kurt stares at him, chewing his tongue for a moment as he tries to think of what to say to convince him. "What do you want out of life? What would you want out of a second chance like this?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    The prisoner breathes out slowly as he thinks. "Didn't think you got second chances for being caught in the trade," he says in an almost thoughtful tone. "I reckon I never made any such plans."

    He looks back to Kurt. "I wouldn't head back to Cutler's gang, not after what I told y'all back on the trail. I know what they do to failures and snitches. No interest having the Firm hear about me and snatch me up either, so I don't think I'd stay here. I guess I'd catch a smuggler's ship out of the western coast and travel to another continent- one Cutler doesn't have his hooks in. Don't reckon I could go back to the trade even if I wanted to."

    "As for what I want-" he looks Kurt dead in the eye- "there's them that can make their own way in life, and there's them that are only good for takin' it from others. And I know which I am."
    Last edited by Admiral; 2013-08-07 at 02:53 PM.
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    "Then I hope you live long enough to do that. You can come with us - stay here and be quiet while I talk with the others, please. But remember this mercy when you're deciding what to do there." Kurt shakes his hand firmly, leaving him with Natalia and Shiny as he goes inside.

    He nods at the red belted magistrate to bring out the next one, thanking him as he does.


    As each one comes out, he says the same thing to them, to start off with, before he lets them have their say. He takes Axel outside and repeats the offer he made Hilton.
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    I'll put it here, for clarity.
    "Okay, I promised I'd speak on your behalf when we got here, and I did. I've...convinced them to give you a chance, and this is what it is. We are riding to the aid of the dwarven mine of Deldon, and you are going to ride with us. When we get there, we're going to be aiming to break through the orcs to deliver supplies, and then help the dwarves break the siege completely. Until we get there, you will ride with us, and camp with us, but you won't be given weapons or armour...until we ready to attack. Then you'll be given weapons and armour to help us. If you betray us - my life and freedom are forfeit. I have given my sworn word on this, and I won't break it...so you must convince me that you will be true to yours, for whatever reasons you hold dear. If I'm convinced, you'll come with us, otherwise...the samurai of Soshima will give you their justice. They think you aren't going to be helpful in this - but I think you deserve the chance to prove them wrong."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craft (Cheese) View Post
    The irony comes in when we use "Orcs are a metaphor for human savagery" to rationalize human savagery.

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    Now Natalia gives Kurt a smile. That's almost exactly what she was thinking.

    "Second chance. More than most. Use or waste?"

    kurt is right. He and Shiny got a second chance. So did Miriam and I, in a way. Still, I'm not sure if what they did can be forgiven. Not all things can be forgiven, can they?


    She listens closely to whatever Hilton says next.

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    just tell me when to make the rolls.

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