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  1. - Top - End - #241
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    "Yes," comes Melinda's response, distressed even in agreement. "Yes, that's right. I'm glad you're recognizing the same possibilities that I am, it means I'm not crazy..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Peridot
    If what you're looking for, Melinda, is a simple and direct expression of faith, I may be of less to you. ...
    At this, so slowly does Melinda gasp that no sound escapes her lips. "What?...Dot..." she fails to begin, after Dot is finished. Again she tries. "Dot, why should your opinion matter less to me for being heterodox? Everything we've done together has been heterodox, I don't know why...who..." She loses her sentence again. The bardess shakes her head, then takes a breath -

    - a breath she doesn't finish. "Whose beliefs haven't changed in the past few weeks, really?" she asks the room, clearly having lost a measure of self-control. "Whose haven't grown to embrace the fellowship we have? Isn't that what we're all here to do?" As if to answer her own question, her brown eyes narrow towards the Emissary with a tinge of anger, "Well, maybe not all of us. Maybe that means you've won, or something. But I don't think so." She lets that focus drop. "I certainly don't feel so.

    "I'll be the first to admit that these past few weeks have challenged the simplicity of my faith, and I think these experiences have made me stronger in spirit, not weaker." The bardess's gaze returns to her lifelong friend and mentor. "You could tell me anything, Dot. And I'm not deaf. I know you've been studying Nocticula recently. I know you don't study things lightly. So tell me if you're ever prepared to recognize the Queen of Night as your matron, for you will have done what I have not yet been able to bring myself to begin. And your experience will be all the more valuable to me for it. That we all should strive to grow into each others' faiths, that our Fellowship might be strong. That is the emotional work of preparing to receive the Trinity, that something truly and wonderfully new might emerge from the Union."
    Last edited by Kalirren; 2012-01-10 at 11:07 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #242
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Dot is clearly engaged and taking Melinda's point seriously - her brow furrows. She leans forward to think. When she responds, it is through the mental link of the rubies, to all of her colleagues.

    "I see your point, Melinda, of course. There are many aspects of Nocticula's faith that I find troubling. My business is founded on adherence to agreements, to plain dealing, whereas Nocticulans sometimes seem to revel in lies to cut corners, to get their own way. My apologies to those of you who follow the dark mistress, and please correct any false characterizations. But using words like 'deception' and suchlike is just window-dressing for lying and stealing.

    "My hope is that the Triune will find a way to embody a, a very broad portfolio. Love is a primal force, not easily constrained to one mode of behaviour. To narrow that focus is very difficult. Love is the seemingly chance attraction of two individuals, and the chaos that the unexpected sometimes brings. Love is the deep and abiding commitment of a group of individuals to each other, and to a common ideal. And yes, love is a dark and animalistic force, marked sometimes by violence, jealousy and other forms of silliness. I think that the united goddesses have the potential to represent, support and indeed celebrate all of them."


    Her focus wanders for a moment, and a half-smile forms.

    "At least, I hope so. I'd miss the kinky stuff."

    She shakes her head, returning to point.

    "None of us take this lightly. We worship who we do for good reasons."

    She pauses briefly, licking her lips.

    "It should no more be a surprise that I would not worship Nocticula, any more than our Emissary would worship Sabrina. Even if some of us might have difficulty in articulating exactly why our particular choice was made. It's deeply felt, and bubbles to the surface only with great difficulty for many of us."

    She sighs, rubbing her face as she loses focus.

    "Which is why I'm suggesting that the finer points of this kind of dialogue be left to the professional word-parsers."
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  3. - Top - End - #243
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    Daemon

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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    LILDORRINENE

    Lildorrinene transmits through the rubies. "Actually, Dot, to simplify what I've said, and what Lok' watered down ... we have job to do: the fulfillment of the prophecy. Any of the grandiose politics everyone (myself not exempt) has been considering takes away from that focus. Bring the Goddess to be, then show the masses to worship She. That's all. We can be mindful of plans and strategems and plots and such, but our primary focus is fulfillment of philosophy. All of this religious talk is just that ... talk secondary to the goal of investigating the prophecy.

    "Melinda, have our beliefs changed, if Dot's follow-on argument of our deep convictions holds weight? Just because you widen your focus of the interpretation of your belief doesn't mean the belief itself has changed, just the manner in which you carry it out in the world.

    "Again, we can have these conversations when we have time to focus on them, but we need to turn our heads to the Prophecy and recommit once more there. As Dot said, let those who enjoy that thing - who are not so engaged as we are elsewhere - bandy these points about. If it turns out to be us after we succeed, so be it."

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    If we want to use Retro-spoilers or something to enjoy continuing our philosophical diatribe, great. At a gaming table, those are fun, stimulating, engaging, and wonderful RP. Sadly, we are not at a table, so every turnaround of a conversation takes forever. That's why in my games, for prolonged RP that is not crucial for plot progression, we use Retro-spoilers/ Flashbacks. The conversation is fun, and I'm willing to pursue it on the side.

    But other than Ason's 're-establisment' post and a couple brief comments from Telasi, the same three of us are dominating the post, and I don't believe it's because the others aren't 'active' so much as they are patiently waiting for us to get-to-gettin' on the actual game.
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-01-06 at 11:12 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #244
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

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    You're right, this is the best way to move things along. I first learned PbP in an forum which had the convention of each thread having its own timestamp, so it hadn't occurred to me to do extended retro-flashbacks in a single thread. I apologize to everyone for my mismanagement of group time.


    "Dot has already made again the points I wanted to make and more, so I have little to add. But I do believe that the praxis of faith makes the difference between a living faith and a dying one." That quote came straight out of the teachings of Kiang Dehn-Sin. Melinda sighs. "I can't seem to get beyond that. I confess I place too little faith in the Prophecy itself, despite its having delivered us repeatedly, on its own initiative. I am due to ponder this, and until I've reconciled my own motivations and habits with our role in this quest I shall hold my peace in the matter." She closes her eyes and nods.

    "Now that we're basically out of location clues, Dot, you have our only other potential lead on the prophecy. Aside from that, I think we're down to open-ended research and divination," Melinda offers her evaluation. "You were planning on visiting Shandis's matron in Rennador at some point, and I think it might be polite and fruitful to take her up on it after we leave here. Keeping your connection with Shandis open can only be a good thing. Would Your Holiness have any advice for us if or when we head there? Does Your Holiness know who Shandis's matron is? Any specialties of the libraries there we ought to be aware of, any notable private collections to which we might explicitly request access?"

  5. - Top - End - #245
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    LILDORRINENE

    "I do ask, however," comes Lildorrinene's thoughts, "that we hold off a few days - to conduct whatever research and personal business we may have to prep ourselves for the next stage of our mission.

    "Tallesin, Darya ... anyone else, please ...you offered 3,000 gp before. If you could do so again, I shall purchase the wand of cure critical wounds as before.

    "Dot, I do not mind that you shall not contribute to this fund for your own reasons. However, you chided me that there are more effective healing measures out there. I've asked twice now what those measures were, and twice I've been ignored. If you know, please tell me. We all may have our personal agendas, but I am no less committed to fulfillment of the prophecy than are you, whatever you may think. With that in mind, please include my servant Lok-too-loo-baz in research; you will not want for a better assistant, and his different perspective may well serve you. I place him at your disposal for such purposes. Though an effective bodyguard for me, his main purpose here is to aid in research, not as a brute on the battlefield; that is a waste of his century of nearly ascetic study. He is not a Nocticulan 'spy' anymore than I. He is our servant and our sage.

    "Zanthia, as you yourself are a High Priestess, are you willing to offer at reduced 'donation' some measure of healing magic I may use for the group? If so, we give you our continuing gratitude.

    "Everyone, there will be more than enough left over for the 'nest egg' of 'church startup' when this mission is done from my funds. That said, I do suggest that we remember that only greater dangers lie ahead, so do not let your sense of duty be interpreted as ascetism on your parts. If there may be anything you think you can purchase that will aid yourself and the group, then by all means procure that. The money with which we may be too miserly will have been misplaced should we be ill-equipped for our next venture. Even if that is as simple as going over your spell lists and stocking up on an appropriate amount of 'ammuntion,' at least be sure to review.

    "As for myself, if Zanthia has nothing in stock to give to our group for an appropriate 'donation', then I shall purchase what healing magic may benefit us in town. That said, I, too, have my own business to conduct, and I am sure I will need at least three days."
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-01-07 at 07:03 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #246
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Zanthia draws a wand from somewhere in her robes.

    Casandra, Dalcar and I discussed this little matter at some length, and so we all pitched in a little of our power, and made this wand for you. It is a wand of cure critical and even more, the spells from it are maximized as per the metamagic discipline. Dont bother to ask how such power can be contained in a wand since no one else has been able to do so, we arent even sure ourselves. For the trinity, we give this for free.
    As for Shandis and her matron, here is the shortened version of Rennador politics. Rennador is a human nation, but has always been devoted to evil. By a quirk of fate, they are now ruled by a drow woman, Sascha Dorin and her two assistants, Alicia Kalinar and Shandis Altavar. Shandis could be described as the muscle of the group, while there are few practicers of the arcane arts that can match Alicia.
    As for advice, the only advice I can give you is that you are dealing with drow. Theres an old statement about drow, I believe Dot knows it as well "we have a name for people who trust drow...slave" While Shandis is a devotee of Nocticula, both Sascha and Alicia are not, and so their help will be limited. Hopefully the establishment of the Trinity can bring them into our group, but time will tell.
    Because you are going to see the rulers of Rennador, I have no doubt you are being given access to the Rennadoran libraries. This is only one other libary that can even come close to rivalling that of Rennador and thats Erandol. Even then, its a close call. I cant suggest exactly what to research, but safe to say, if you want to find something, then theres a good chance its there.

  7. - Top - End - #247
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    LILDORRINENE

    Lildorrinene accepts the wand, "On behalf of the Sisterhood, I accept this for the unselfish, unfettered, and freely given use of all of those in our group for this mission. Upon completion of this quest, should any power remain, it shall be returned to you, Zanthia. We thank all of our high priestesses for this mighty gift ... of magic, but of knowledge as well."

    And as simply as that, given her mobility ... and Lia's better rogue skills and nearly comparable pure power as a beguiler ... Lildorrinene's niche is now become the party's flying, healing machine.

    If there is nothing more, Lildorrinene will ask to be dismissed on business. However, she will not leave if there is more to do. In either case, she allots Lok' to Dot (including protection, if needed, though Dot may be more comfortable with her menagerie in that role ... and they might be more attuned to such service).
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  8. - Top - End - #248
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Zanthia gives Lil her leave to depart on whatever business she has.
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    This doesnt mean the party cant ask more questions and discuss anything, it just frees Lil to go about her other business


    For Lil
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    I know you sent a PM to Mikela sometime ago, if you could just send that to me again, I can look into what you are trying to find

  9. - Top - End - #249
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Quote Originally Posted by lostsole31 View Post
    LILDORRINENE

    "I do ask, however," comes Lildorrinene's thoughts,
    "Dot, I do not mind that you shall not contribute to this fund for your own reasons. However, you chided me that there are more effective healing measures out there. I've asked twice now what those measures were, and twice I've been ignored. If you know, please tell me. [/I][/COLOR]
    Dot pauses to consider, then responds mentally.

    "My apologies for not hearing your previous requests, Lil. You say so much, sometimes it's hard to keep track of everything. Before you go ahead and buy that wand, I would urge you to consider wands of Lesser Vigor instead, and perhaps a scroll or two of Heal for emergencies. Ten wands of Lesser Vigor will cure a great deal more than the wand you describe, and yet cost much less, and if you are concerned about healing in the midst of battle, scrolls of the Heal spell will do a great deal more.

    "Still, as I said, the decision is yours, and I wish you joy in your shopping. And as for Lok-too-loo-baz, he is welcome to join me, if you are vouchsafing his behaviour."


    Dot arches an eyebrow.
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  10. - Top - End - #250
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    [Wand discussion *ninja'd* by Zanthia.]

    Lildorrinene acknowledges Dot, "Well, that solves that, but it gives me something to think about. I think the power of the Tri-Priestess Boon will be enough though. Besides, I never was much for those druid healing techniques. Sure, some clerics use them, but still. They're great for out-of-battle overall recovery ... but terrible for emergent healing, which is what cure spells were meant to do ... heal in the thick of things. And yes, I can vouchsafe that while he may be idiosyncratic - what brilliant minds aren't - he will bring you no true shame in your company, nor shall he knowingly engage in any manner of ill that would bring disrepute on us."
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  11. - Top - End - #251
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Tallesin lazily leans on his cane during the large discussion, disinterestedly listening to the debate he accidentally provoked. As the conversation shifts to more practical matters, his posture shifts as well, and he speaks, "Good ladies, I had planned to donate a portion of my funds to the triune faith as well, of course. However, if you would be so kind, I would like to arrange its distribution myself. Melinda, I believe, mentioned a gift shop addition to the shrine, and the merchant that remains in me would be ashamed if I did not apply myself to its financial success. By your leave, Mistress Zanthia, I will discuss the details with your clerks and draw up a stout plan towards that end. Properly done, a boutique there could not only pay for the shrine but expand its missionary reach as well. I've seen it done before." Sheepishly, he adds, "My racetrack winnings may not be as large as the others', but it shall still work for the Trinity."

    "As for prophecies, as long as none of us are 'the one freed to die,' I support the group's decision. Rennador does seem an apt place to start, however, once other affairs are dealt with."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Debbie_D View Post
    Zanthia: "As for advice, the only advice I can give you is that you are dealing with drow. Theres an old statement about drow, I believe Dot knows it as well 'We have a name for people who trust drow...slave.'"
    Telepathically, Tallesin jokingly confides to the lone follower of Tishtina, "Sink me if I'm wrong, but I believe the drow are not the only ones who fit that description. 'Tis a pity, no?" (assuming the joke can be privately made this way; if it can't be private, the jest doesn't happen)


    OOC:
    Quote Originally Posted by lostsole31 View Post
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    But other than Ason's 're-establisment' post and a couple brief comments from Telasi, the same three of us are dominating the post, and I don't believe it's because the others aren't 'active' so much as they are patiently waiting for us to get-to-gettin' on the actual game.
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    I've stayed out of the debate for IC and OOC reasons. IC, as the token male of the PCs, Tallesin intentionally stays quiet during philosophical discussions for his own sake, interjecting only when absolutely necessary. He's a fop, but he's still a Sabrina-follower whose self-interest keeps him from risking his neck needlessly. OOC, I've greatly enjoyed reading the discussion, but it takes me a lot of time to properly analyze the situation and how Tallesin would react to it, so I've been too slow to get in a good reply.
    Last edited by Ason; 2012-01-09 at 11:57 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #252
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    "Well proposed, Tallesin," Melinda remarks. "I for one appreciate your offer of leadership on the shrine's establishment and consecration. I think it will be very good for our future for the first pilgrims to see an influential man championing what would otherwise be a women's quest."

    "I personally propose we get a few days of research done here before those of us who wish to depart for Rennador do so. I personally plan to use the library here to look into the possibility that the lightning sword and fire refer to Glendira and Ailena as we previously discussed with Her Majesty, focusing on past relations between the faiths and their champions. I'm all ears for other approaches as well, and if there's anything any of you'd like me to keep my eye out for in the stacks, let me know."

    "Your Holiness, if I might start my inquiry with your own exalted person? and solicit your worthy opinion as living History of whether Glendira and Her hosts would be more welcoming of the coming of the Trinity's advent than Ailena and Hers?"
    Last edited by Kalirren; 2012-01-10 at 11:07 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #253
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Dot nods curtly.

    "I believe that I'll join you, Melinda, and Lok, you are welcome to come. Perhaps to look further into references of a 'woman who is not a woman'. Although further juxtapositions of lightning and fire may also prove fruitful."
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  14. - Top - End - #254
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    LOK-TOO-LOO-BAZ

    Lok nods, following Dot while telepathizing, "I am honored. Of both subjects, I am more apt to study the former if I were on my own. To me, the prying of a mystery of deception is more interesting than raw elemental studies. However, I may prove more apt an aid to you regardless of what is studied, rather than simply upon my own.

    "I am curious, Miss Peridot, how is it you have come to have so many of my cousins in your continuous service? Obviously they are not summoned ... have they been called to service by planar ally spells? It is only the more curious to me, given that this many of their type would normally be at the call of a Nocticulan."
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-01-11 at 03:12 AM.
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  15. - Top - End - #255
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Dot

    Dot smiles and returns the telepathic banter.

    You are astute, sir. But the pragmatist works with all of the tools at their disposal. And demons have quick wits, bodies made strong by centuries of conflict."

    She glances over at Zippy, who is clearly not relishing the prospect of another night at the library. She turns back to Lok with a smile.

    "And you, sir? How did you come by your powers of prophesy? I would assume that anyone capable of seeing the future would be a greatly valued ally - or a greatly prized target - in the Abyss."
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  16. - Top - End - #256
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    ZANTHIA

    With a small beckon, Zanthia has two clerks attending her at once, and she briefs them on what Tallesin has proposed. He goes off with the two women, to discuss the arrangements for the gift shop to support the Triune.

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    Is the gift shop going to be funded by Tallesin alone, or does anyone else plan on giving to it. And does anyone plan on giving to the actual building of the shrine?


    After that is dealt with, Zanthia turns back to Melinda.
    Glendira and Tishtina were the closest of friends before and after their ascension. She never had much to do with either Sabrina or Nocticula, but given her relationship with Tishtina, she must have had dealings with them. And there is no recorded history of animosity between them, so I would imagine she is okay with it.
    Ailena, on the other hand, never had much to do with any of the faiths. She would probably be disinterested in the whole thing, neither supporting or opposing.
    Im curious though, if you are looking at Glendira for lightning and Ailena for fire, where does sword fit in? Neither of those two faiths have anything to do with swords.

  17. - Top - End - #257
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

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    Dot will quietly pledge up to 100K for the construction of the shrine, with the suggestion that additional monies go towards an upgrade of the barn to a stables for mounted visitors; the aforementioned gift shop; an interpretive/educational centre and signage guiding travellers to the shrine. The balance to be used as a legacy fund for the operation of the shrine.
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  18. - Top - End - #258
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    LOK-TOO-LOO-BAZ

    Continuing their discussion on the way to (or already at) the library, Lok teles to Dot,
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    "We have opened a vast, philosophical barrel concerning whether or not the dependence upon the continuing services of incarnately 'evil' (as moralists are want to identify) creatures serves the greater powers of 'Evil' while at the same time infusing more of that 'evil' into the world, regardless of the tasks assigned by a supposedly morally ambiguous controller. Or, I could simply note that you remarked on my declarative statement, while staying clear of both of my questions.

    "I am mainly curious of this, if not the mechanic - are they 'alive' wholly as their own, chaotic and individual selves that serve you out of conjured calling, bargaining, or negotiation? or, are they some form of manifest abrogation? Bar-lgura are reprobate thugs, as are most of my kin, but particularly among demons. They hate other demons, not just tanar-ri, and are desperate to live their existence solitarily but to hunt and enjoy carnage - despite a lack of a need to eat (though they are often to stupid to realize this). Death slaad are brilliant, powerful in magic and brawn, incredibly intelligent creatures of pure chaos; they are leaders among their kind. And succubi are not themselves if they are not social.

    "And yet, your 'menagerie' (as you call it, as if it were a zoo of animals, and not individuals), is listless, lifeless, shambling automatons - possessing their natural dexterity and grace and gait to mortal eyes, perhaps - but all a shell of what they are, who they are, and who they could be. Even their names - Clyde, Zippy, maybe Tasha - are as if 'slave names.' Hmmm, I guess that's it, isn't it? They are so completely dominated that they are but thralls. To that end, I pity them even as I admire your power in constructing this.

    "As for my powers of prophecy,"
    and here Lok gets a sly look, "did not my Mistress say that I have no such ability?"
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  19. - Top - End - #259
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Dot

    Dot shrugs to respond mentally, and leads the Vrock on into the library. She reflected briefly on the sheer extraplanar might assembled around her.

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    "If I wanted them as colleagues, I would treat them differently. Now, we are living out a bargain, and part of the bargain is that they don't speak without permission. Pity them as you wish. This state is a brief flash in the lives of three who could conceivably live for centuries. And...I confess that I have no idea what you mean by manifest abrogation.

    "And as for me dodging your questions, I would point out that you offered a similar evasion. They are indeed indentured into service by magic, but I would have thought that that that was clear.

    "Now, I didn't ask what your mistress said. You call yourself a prophet, and so clearly believe you prophesy - unless this is all some kind of act. So I ask again: how did you come by your powers of prophesy? And since you have asked as the the nature of my connection with my menagerie, I will ask in turn - what is your obligation to the Emissary?"


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  20. - Top - End - #260
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    LOK-TOO-LOO-BAZ

    As they get to the library, Dot's reply, though received, is shelved for several seconds as the vrock marvels at the sheer size of the place. Unconsciously, he says in Abyssal (because that is, after all, his default tongue), "It is as a whole forest fed the books, and a sea of octopi the ink."

    They continue to shuffle in ...
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    "It was strongly believed, and still only so, but I study what is true in relation to what is believed, or even directly perceived yet false. That is not a response when action is required, but I often cogitate on what is 'made clear', for history, science, and philosophy all lead us to understand that there is anything but.

    "I shall address your first comment, because it does bear on the difference between the relation you have with your thralls, and the one which I share with my Mistress, and such obligation. That, in turn, will give you what answer you will get for the middle part.

    "You are, by what I am able to divine from observation, a conjuror supreme. The knowledge of an entire race required to hold in abeyance so many of my cousins is well past the enchantments with which my Lady specializes. It is as if their entire core is bent to your will, not just their minds. In my humble research into magic, that's really only possible through various conjurative powers, mixed with abjurative defenses. Of course, not being any kind of a trained magician - my racial blessings excepted, of course - I can only speculate or read a short-shrift of those mechanics. I might have an excellent academic grasp of spell theory and mechanics and the arcane, but that no more gives me the ability to use the same than reading a treatise on Wensler's "Aesthetics and Architecture of Prelapsarian Celestial Structures of Occipitus" qualifies me to be a suitable architect.

    "To the point ... you are an overseer to a band of slaves. That's not a judgement, but an observation. The payoff to this arrangement is that you have excellent tools and protection at your disposal. What native intellect resides within them means there might be some semblance of cunning, but the control you exert - even passively - is enough to make them just that ... tools, objects, items of power that happen to be alive in the same way that contructs just happen to have an elemental spirit bonded within them, simply to create a mechanism by which they function. We shall return to this subject .... but later.

    "And that is the greatest point of departure between the relation you have with your 'menagerie' and the relation I have to the Emissary. In fact, that most demons have with each other. Slavery is a fact of life in the Abyss; servitude at least. What does not exist .... does ... not ... exist, is the form of mental negation practiced here. The strong rule through sheer power over the weak, because - and not just in the Abyss - that's the only true currency, power over another. Soft or hard, love or lust, subservience or leadership, top or bottom, use or cooperation ... it's all the same mint, just with different images on the coin. But even in the Abyss, it is seen as abysmal (forgive the pun) to exercise complete thralldom over another for such an extended time as ... how did you put it ... 'a brief flash in the lives of three who could conceivably live for centuries.'

    "You see, in the Abyss, in all of its beautiful or horrible horror, for all of its torment, for all of its self-destructive abnegation, we still have mental freedom. A slave can rage at the pains inflicted upon it by its master, but only creatures of such degenerate levels as a dretch - who do not possess true self-awareness - are at such a level as to not possess some manner of individual expression, some personalized measure of the knowledge that for all of their pain, they are demons, which means they have a soul that is far freer than ....

    "Devils. All of them, but most especially that race known as the ba'atezu. They are spirits, we are souls. They are animated flesh of tyranny, whose very form is to be exactly as you would of your thralls. They are nothing more than peripheral forms of their master's will, who are in turn the same for their masters, and so forth. And they are not happy with that. Not until the entire multiverse is crushed under their heels and hooves will they be happy, and not even then. This is why we fight the Blood War, that no one - Upper, Lower, Middle, or Prime Planes - will ever fall to that soul-death of Oppression that they offer. I, myself, have fought in three campaigns spanning a total of 85 of my years. I have shared drinks and names with more persons that have been obliterated by The Other than you have met in your lifetime.

    "Torture always effects its victims, and yet the torturer always wants to dismiss their blame somehow, to rationalize it such that they may continue their actions with total self-vindication. Humans are the worst, because their most precious currency is time. Because of their lack of it, they assume that those with a plenitude can afford to lose some because 'they have so much.' The thing that is not understood - or, more correctly, is consciously ignored - is that torture and horror exist outside of time. True, to continue to replay or reinvent it over a period of time is worse, but that's because it simply cements on an immortal psyche the damage that is deepening and destroying the soul. For example, to take three individuals, whose only blessing in their hateful existence is a sense of freedom, and to subject them to the only thing in the universe that even the gods did not deign to punish them with ... even the gods in the primordial creation of demons did not curse them in this way ... the inability to be self-guiding. Sure, to have to fight in their own way against physical torment of those over them, but with the hopes and self-awareness that they may be their own masters one day, and that unnatural - and that's saying a lot for incarnate constructs of philosophical ideals - that unnatural means beyond personality or strength itself cannot quiet them, but they choose - even if pain is the inhibitor - that they choose to remain silent.

    "No, Peridot. Better that you had devils enthralled, who are made to serve. I have never read one book nor heard one story wherein a mortal like yourself aspired to exert such control over demons, or even this mix of outsiders, wherein the conjuror or malconvoker was not destroyed or at the very least, corrupted by their own belief in their absolute detachability and forfeited their souls, all the while attempting to assuage their spirits of the ends justifying the means. The victor may rewrite history in the Iron City in the Hells, but not on the Abyss. That would simply take the fun out of the variance of folly. I am old, I am studied, and I read a lot, Peridot ... and I assure you, not one conjuror walks away unscathed ... not one.

    "Now, to bring it full circle. I serve Lildorrinene because I choose to. She may have the power to compel me, and my trust in my mistress is such that she knows when it is best ot chastise me for when I err. You may agree, you may disagree ... but loyalty gives her my service. Loyalty, not mind-numbing domination. Because of that, she gets the full weight and measure of all of my gifts at their full and inspirable use. Instead of you and your menagerie - whose mix of powers and abilities make you formidable, no doubt - their strength is added to your own, but you are a formation from which smaller satellites operate in your power. With loyalty - be it in the Abyss, on the Prime, or in a lover's bed - the bonds make a true aggregate, wherein the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts. With the leadership of my lady that I willingly acknowledge, I find I fight harder, am more focused, and am possessed of a greater ability to be me than if I were just me (grammar intentional). I am her aide-de-camp, her lieutenant, her vassal, and I dare to believe that I, in turn, through mere devotion and service, likewise impel my Lady with greater confidence in her own dealings.

    "So, as to what my Mistress said. Unless the tenets to which I give her my fealty should be betrayed, then it is not out of slavery but out of pride I say to you ... it is as my Mistress said. Yes, I am possessed of critique, analysis, and self-reflection, but her leadership is stronger than my selfishness, so I shall trust at least her request not to talk about any claim of prophecy I may or may not have.

    "My Lady says that I am not a prophet. Remember earlier I discussed an argument against what you 'thought was clear?' Well, perhaps I interpreted that I am prophet, and I must merely re-assess and study myself more clearly, to determine if there is some other force at work than 'prophecy.' Until that time, or as directed otherwise by my Lady and in deference to her wishes, I shall not discuss so-called 'powers of prophecy.'

    "And prophecy, my small Peridot, IS all an act. All of it. Life is conflict. Conflict is drama. Drama requires active participants. Those participants are actors. And in the act of fate that is referred to as prophecy, you are not the only one who is small."
    Last edited by lostsole31; 2012-01-11 at 09:06 PM.
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  21. - Top - End - #261
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Dot chuckled to herself as they entered the library, and responded mentally:
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    "I believe that we have a first here today, a demon who is morally offended by my actions. I'm not sure whether this should cause a complete reevaluation of my life choices, or a fit of laughter.

    "Ask the souls trapped in the walls of your frozen layers, or the playthings of your torturers, how mentally free they are. I believe you have a double standard at play, Lok-too-loo-baz. One for the demons, and one for the souls that you shape as you see fit.

    "Regardless, though, you have it all backwards. I have done nothing to their minds. It is only their bodies and their service that I require.

    "And we had both - all of us, really - better pray very hard that you are dead wrong about prophesy being all an act. After all, we're pinning some very large hopes on a certain prophet's words being true. Hence my interest in your own. But if, as you say, your status as a prophet is a mask you've put on and may take off, that is something else altogether."


    She turns and looks around the library.

    "As I recall, the records from three centuries ago and earlier were kept in a separate room, under supervision for safekeeping. Over there, I think. That would seem a reasonable place to start."
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  22. - Top - End - #262
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalirren View Post
    "Regarding the shrine, I promised the Rogans some time to think about it all," Melinda answers. "They seemed pretty secure in their intention to go through with it when we left, so I'm not worried. I expect some of us will be returning there sometime before the week is up to close the deal. And then we can start selling little Sword figurines to all of Belmont's children and teaching them about the Trinity, I imagine. It'll make us a pittance but it will be good work and get us some recognition.

    "The Rogans also asked for a priestess or three to take up residence and help them with the transition, and I would do it myself, but now I have commitments in Kroy, which I would incidentally beg some more of Your Holiness' time to talk about sometime soon. We need Elise to visit there, her divinations on that site will be powerful. But she's not available over the long term, since she has Erandol to run. Leanne, maybe?"
    Melinda shrugs. "Lia, you arranged for the shrine's first guardian. Do you have an opinion?"
    As Melinda asks for her opinion Lia give a slight shrug even as she responds, "The guardian I will bind to the shrine will be bound for the protection of the shrine and the home, and I expect that the binding should be ready to perform within the next day or two."

    "With regards to the priestesses chosen to take up residence and assist with the transition, they should be chosen primarily for their people skills and for the strength of their belief in the Triune. Perhaps our high priestesses might have suggestions?", and she looks towards Zanthia with a hint of a grin on her face.

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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Taleira Ulharvyth

    Tali digs through her bag a bit and produces a stack of coins, which she adds to the construction fund. "Any estimate on what building a nice shrine plus the necessary extras will cost?"

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    Add another 100k to the fund for Tali.
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  24. - Top - End - #264
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    "I was hoping Your Holiness might be able to shed some light on that, actually," Melinda answers somewhat sheepishly. "I confess that this idea started with a misreading on my part. I'd actually dropped the word 'sword' entirely, which left me with 'the lightning' and 'the fire' and led me straight to Glendira and Ailena. That word still doesn't fit to me, and if Your Holiness has no sense to make of it either, maybe I ought to simply abandon the idea in favor of what was actually revealed," the bardess remarks self-critically. But the approach that some of these persons or personas mentioned might be deities or demigods is still worth looking at. Perhaps even candidates for Ascension that have not yet completed their apotheosis?"

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    As a way of recognizing his initiative, Melinda will match 1:1 whatever Tallesin contributes to the gift shop and shrine.
    Last edited by Kalirren; 2012-01-15 at 03:35 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #265
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Well, perhaps further research will reveal what the sword is, or perhaps it wont. For now, we dont seem to be operating under any sort of time constraint here, so even if your research proves fruitless, it wont set us back at all. So my original assertation stands, when it comes to the prophecy, Glendira would likely support it, seeing as she was Tishtina's best friend, and since Tishtina wants it, Glendira would be okay. Ailena, who knows, the fire goddess was never an enemy or a friend.
    And on the topic of Ascension, that would seem a dead end, at least as far as I can tell. People can ascend under the rule of the new deities, Sabrina is proof of that, but since then, no one has ever completed the apotheosis, or even tried for that matter. I can think of a few people who would be close, Dalcar, Elinon, Casandra and Katarina would be the ones that come to mind, but none of them have shown the least inclination to attempt it.

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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

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    IC/OOC: Elinon and Katarina? Are these people whom Melinda would know of but I don't?


    "Then with Your Holiness' assent I shall continue upon this path, and let us hope that some appropriate sword is found upon it eventually. I appreciate Your inspired counsel." She bows in thanks.

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    Melinda's research backs up exactly what Zanthia said, Glendira was Tishtina's best friend, they worked on many quests together, and the tales of the Gods War see them working in tandem to defeat several gods. Ailena is also described as being not a friend but not an enemy, they just seemed to not connect with each other. As she continues her research, Melinda is also convinced that this line of the prophecy somehow has to be refering to these goddesses, at least in the terms of fire and lightning. Nothing other than Ailena is refered to as simply "fire", the same for nothing other than Glendira being refered to as "lightning". However, the sword reference eludes her.

    Dot's research into the woman who is not a woman doesnt get a lot of success. It is clearly some sort of riddle, somewhat like the most famous "when is a door not a door yet still a door", but the woman riddle never seemed to have been invented before, and so the answer is still unknown. However, in the course of her reseach, Dot does come across a very old, very small diary. Reading through it, Dot discovers that it is diary kept by a priestess from a long, long time ago, using the dates in it, she calculates that this priestess would have made these entries only 2 or 3 years after Sabrina attained goddesshood. This priestess made a hobby of studying the prophecy, however since Sabrina had just ascended, her work was largely ignored, mostly because if the prophecy were coming true then, Sabrina would not have any sort of influence on the result.
    This priestess seemed to be able to read one or two lines of the prophecy, how she did so is not recorded, so there is no help there. But one of the lines she was able to read was the 'two must be freed, one to live and one to die' line, and she has some rough notes on what she thinks of it. Her notes make a guess that the prophet herself must be one of the ones mentioned, she theorizes that this is so because it is not possible to contact the soul of the prophet, maybe it is being held by someone or something, and cannot go to its final reward. Her writings indicate that she had no idea of the one to live would be for the longest time, but right at the end, there is a letter H.

  28. - Top - End - #268
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Dot holds up the diary for Lok to have a look, and sends a brief mental note to the others via the rubies.

    "I hope you'll pardon the interruption. We're not having a great deal of success in the "woman who is not a woman" line, with all suggestions being that it's a riddle of some kind. A door is not a door when it's ajar, for example, but since women can be many MORE things than a door can be, it's significantly more complex. A woman could, for example be aloft, adrift, and so on.

    "But I'm not sending just to let you know of my failure. It seems that there was a singularly inventive scholar from the time of Sabrina's ascension, suggesting that the prophet herself is one of the "one must live and one must die", with the suggestion that the other might be a figure associated with the letter H, with the latter being the one to live. There is the further inference that our elusive prophetess's spirit is being held in some way, prevented from passing on - thus, 'one must die' might refer to her release.

    "I realize that this may not be immediately actionable. Perhaps Lok and I can do more research into the ways in which different forces have ensnared souls in the past, as a possible means of determining who might have an interest in doing so with the Prophet."
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  29. - Top - End - #269
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    "The letter H? How was the letter H connected? Is there a text? In this library? If you're still here, I'll meet you in a few minutes and have a look myself," answers the bardess. She starts running through her memory for famous H's of the time around Sabrina's Ascension. Her own memory failing, there would certainly be another few scholars around Varstok who specialized in the history of such a critical period in the development of the Sabrinite Fellowship, and she might know a few of them personally.

    "Unfortunately, in a few days, I haven't been able to come up with anything beyond what Her Holiness had to offer in a few minutes. Glendira and Tishtina were companions before their Ascension. Their rapport continues, so as long as Tishtina stands to gain from the prophecy, so will Glendira. There was no fellowship between Ailena and either of Them, though, so the Flame remains detached from the matter. So this partial interpretation of the 'lightning sword and fire' verse is consistent, if maybe yet incorrect. I've found no contrary indication other than the absence of a 'sword' referent. Of course, one word out of three salient ones counts for a lot. But I feel safe in calling this branch of research exhausted.

    "At this point, just in case Dot's first lead was actually true, and Shandis is the lightning sword, and the Fire refers to one of Shandis's companions in Rennador, I would check that out before I move that we approach Ailena and Her clergy for Her divine assent to our quest."

  30. - Top - End - #270
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    Default Re: Three Goddesses - IC (Thread #2)

    Lok would tell Dot (who can then pass on to) Melinda: "As a student of theology, but mainly in its historical and exegetical contexts, the period of the ascension is quite known to me. Though in ancient times, glottal "ch"'s were used @ beginnings of words, they have sometimes erroneously been transcribed as vernacular "h"'s by the historian of that following time. No, we are not looking for a transcribed error. The hhh sound we know was usually only used in the middle of words, at least by the majority of Daystorians of the time. Of all of the major players of which I am aware, none have an "H" or a hhh-sound @ the beginning of either given, family, or epithet names."
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