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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Benevolence (IC)

    Chapter One: A Mutual Father

    The funeral is over. The sun shines down on the field as the last few people sit on chairs outside at the reading of Aernac's will. The few remaining besides yourselves are relatives, some have already received their inheritance, and most that have have already left in disgust. (Aernac hated all his relatives). Standing in front of the chairs next to a now almost empty crate is Gebin Ginn, Aernac's cousin, and the only family member he actually liked. Gebin is also an older man now, standing in a worn pinstripe suit with slicked back grey hair. Similar to Aernac, he always cared little for his appearance and more for his works and studies, in his case mechanical instead of magical. The suit appears to have oil stains on it. He continues to read the end of the will.

    "...and to my sister Tia, who would always demand that I clean my clothes and wash after staying up for days on end doing research, I leave...my clothes."

    A tall thin older woman in 'mourning' black walks irately up to the front, where Gebin pulls out a shoddy hamper full of clothes. They appear to be dirty. Gebin snickers as she strides away scowling.

    [hr]
    Aernac's house is a quite impressive one. A somewhat large building with many labs, libraries, and studies. The building itself has fallen into slight disrepair, as he generally doesn't concern himself with such things. There are large windows looking out in all different directions. Some out over the savannah, and one from his main study where he spent most of his time looking out upon the huge old baobab tree in his yard. The long yellow grass sways in the wind as the last few people walk away from the reading of the will. They head towards the gate in the barbed wire lines hanging out in a thin circle around the house.
    Last edited by Icewalker; 2008-01-25 at 02:22 PM.
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    "Those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds...may then with the fair white wings of Imagination hope to soar further into the unexplored amidst which we live."
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Kel Narokan

    Kel stands at the front, his tall straight posture, is dwarfed by the dark cloak and hood that drifts down in a single piece to just above his ankles. A huge sword sweeps in a neat curve, sharp and powerful, its outline is clear underneath the cloak, it comes out the side and looks like its sheath was rigged to be accessed easily from its strange angle. Leather boots bind his feet, they look comfortable, like he went out of his way to buy just that pair. And a chain shirt that meet normal leather riding gloves come together to cover him. When he turned to watch the sister leave, his face was not visible through the cloak, almost as if light somehow evaded it.

    During the funeral he could be seen to shift almost impatiently, mainly from some unspoken frustration. He was not kind to the relatives either, often laughing audibly when a particular unkind gift was left from the will. He had served Aernac for a very long time, and seeing the mage finally being able to truly speak his disgust for his family in a way that no one could pretend was a joke, made him glad. He had been very fond of the mage, and now that his life was over, Kel was glad that he at least was able to see his last wishes be fulfilled.

    Truth be told, he was completely unsure of what to do with himself, the mages wishes had been his life, every step over the years had been taken to help this great man. It bothered him to realize how important the mage had really been to him, such a hole was not easily filled.

    I will make the best of it.
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    XVII

    XVII sits in a seat in the rear. The sun glints off of his gleaming body, with it's smooth curves and ornate etchings. His shoulders bear black enameled letters used to signify his place in the experiment: XVII. He wears no clothing, carries no gear. He is a study in perfect form, shining mithral covers most of his body, with rich polished wood and other, less obviously identifiable materials showing in a few places. His metal face and deep purple eyes give no indication what, if anything, is going on in the metallic head.

    Why am I here? Because Aernac wanted me here. So what? So he was important. But he is dead now, what does it matter? It is a sign of respect. Respect for a lump of no longer living flesh? No, respect for the man that flesh used to be. And what good is respect to him now that he is no more? I was requested to be here for a reason. And what reason was that? That remains to be seen. Will I learn my purpose? Perhaps. Perhaps? Perhaps.
    Last edited by fendrin; 2008-01-27 at 06:36 PM. Reason: added font shifts to thoughts

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    Default Re: Benevolence (IC)

    Virhan stood at the back of the crowd wearing his greyish-brown, threadbare shirt and pants, and an expression of glee on his face, contrasting oddly with his shaving scabs, stray whiskers and disheveled hair. He watched the proceedings of the funeral with all the rapt attention of a child at a carnival and furiously scribbled notes into a book with his surprisingly beautiful and almost microscopic handwriting.

    There was so much to take in! He had never been to a funeral before. He had filled up almost 3 pages in his book in just a couple hours. But it left so many questions. Why were all of these people so interested in Aernac's death? Dieing didn't seem that interesting. In fact, it seemed rather boring if you thought about it. Not much to see. And being in a box until it rotted away sounded unpleasant, stuffy, and probably fairly smelly too. He would have to ask Aernac...

    ...right.

    Virhan set down his pen in the spine of his book and stared off into space, his expression changing from joy to a small frown. He didn't really know what he would do now that Aernac wasn't here anymore. He had tried to hold down a job multiple times, but he had never really been too good at it. On top of that, he didn't really know anyone besides Aernac, at least not anyone he wanted to know. There wasn't anyone he could talk to anymore.

    Well, there was no use on dwelling on these sort of things. Virhan pulled at the crystal dangling on the necklace he kept hidden beneath his shirt, and walked up closer to the front of the chairs. There was more often than not a slight scent of magic on things that Aernac had owned, and it was always fun to attempt to decipher what it was from.

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    Gilgimesh

    Sitting towards the back in a corner is a gnome, wearing tan traveling robes and carrying a black quarterstaff. If you look closely it seems as though he is crying, which is understandable after such a great loss.

    I can not believe that he is gone. It seems like he would always be around for me and we could share adventuring stories. He was my inspiration for so many things. My study of the Art, traveling, learning, and living. My world feels as though it has been torn asunder. Why did you have to leave? Father...
    Last edited by Voth; 2008-01-24 at 09:56 PM.
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    Maq sits off in the corner of the assembly. His face is a mask of grief. Maq and his family had been very close to Aernac since Maq was just a child. Now that Aernac could no longer provide for him and his ailing mother, he knew he would have to find some work, and thoughts of his uncertain future and memories of Aernac Cloud his mind. He looks at the sky, the rays of the sun dance in his blue eyes. His unstrung bow and sheathed rapier hang from the back of his chair. A warm breeze rufffles his sea green tunic. He is gripped with a sudden urge to return to the sea and his home. he lowers his head without hearing, and the proceedings pass him by
    Last edited by VENNDOR; 2008-01-24 at 10:03 PM.
    Hasta la victoria Siempre

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    Daggoo is perched on the windowsill along one wall, watching everything with an unblinking eye. He subconsciously fiddles with the heavy black and purple robes of mourning, so unlike his usual loose and flowing vest and trousers.

    Da will be heartbroken when he hears the news. He must be halfway to the Shoal by now. He'll be so upset not to get to say good-bye. At least, I can represent the family with composure

    With a proud shake of his head to toss his deep purple dreadlocks off his shoulder, he squared his shoulders, determined to send off his mentor and old family friend with dignity and honor.
    Last edited by Stabby; 2008-01-25 at 03:04 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Benevolence (IC)

    As the last of the people leave, the six of you are left. This seems odd, as only those who were left something were invited to the reading of his will, which Gebin seems to be folding up and putting away. You only have a moment to puzzle over this however before he addresses you.

    "Aernac left something pretty special for the six of you." He said, reaching into his pocket to reveal an envelope. "This is for you: Maqarl, Virhan, XVII, Kel Narokan, Gilgimesh, and Daggoo Coolridge." He offers the letter forwards.

    ((Just as a note, I suppose XVII, when said, is pronounced as Seventeen. Not spoken letters.))
    Quote of the [insert timeframe here]: (Week? Perhaps! Year? Also maybe.)
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Kel

    Being close to the front, Kel took the letter and opened it, and began to read it outloud.
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    Daggoo took a step forward as his name was mentioned, a puzzled look on his face as he eyed the others named. He had encountered each of the others named before, though most only in passing in the hallways of Aernac's home.

    What could he have left for the six of us? What do we have in common?
    Last edited by Stabby; 2008-01-25 at 08:49 PM.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Benevolence (IC)

    The envelope reads as follows. You can recognize it as Aernac's handwriting.

    Although it seems Iíve left you naught,
    To my students I leave a riddle fraught:
    With what I will leave you to decide.
    And now I leave you this as a guide.


    Kel opens the envelope with a gloved finger, and unfolds the note inside. It is several more lines of similar prose.

    An old Baobab tree, overlooking my lands,
    Branches all over, just like spreading hands.
    The thrice forked bough will lead you to me,
    Travel until the broken pillar you see.
    An ancient place of ruins, in the land of the tree
    This is where your next corridor shall be.
    Quote of the [insert timeframe here]: (Week? Perhaps! Year? Also maybe.)
    "Those who have learned to walk on the threshold of the unknown worlds...may then with the fair white wings of Imagination hope to soar further into the unexplored amidst which we live."
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    XVII

    XVII stands and walks to Gebin. Placing a large, metal, 3-digit hand on the man's shoulder, he says

    "Aernac is gone, but we are still here. For now. Live, before you die."

    No sense in him just following his brother into death.

    He turns to Kel and listens.

    ((Ouch, XVII's low wis and cha means he sometimes says things that are just a bit off from what he means...
    Oh, and I'd guess that more knowledgeable people call him "Seventeen", while those who don't understand roman numerals will try to pronounce it. He will answer to "Seventeen", "Exvee", "Hey you", and many more things.))

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    Virhan closed his book, reached out and snatched the letter. He examined it for several seconds then looked up at the sky with a thoughtful expression.

    "Baobob tree. Adansonia. So, that just looks like we have to find an Adansonia, possibly at an elevated location, and find a branch that splits into three, and walk in the general direction it points in until we find a pillar in a forest. I would not imagine it would be that hard."
    Last edited by pseudovere; 2008-01-25 at 11:13 PM. Reason: grammar

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    XVII

    "No doubt Aernac refers to the tree outside his study."

    XVII walks around the house to the aforementioned tree, and examines it.

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    Virhan trotted after XVII with a befuddled look on his face.

    "...He had an adansonia outside of his study? That's not possible, I was in there... a lot. If it was, I would have noticed."

    [[Ah, low wisdom scores... good times, good times...]]

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    Gilgimesh

    "The old tree? You may be on to something XVII. Lets have a look" Gilgimesh says as he starts after XVII.

    Who are all these people? I recognize XVII as one of dad's projects, but who are all these others?

    [[Gilgimesh pronounces XVII as Seventeen just in case someone cares]]
    Last edited by Voth; 2008-01-26 at 01:23 AM.
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    Kel

    Kel says very little after reading the letter. He ruffles his shoulders a bit, when its snatched out of his hand, but he follows XVII towards the tree without any complaint.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    The four of you turn and head around the side of the house towards the old tree, presumably with Maq and Daggoo following shortly behind. Upon close inspection of the tree there is a branch split into three smaller branches, as you had guessed. It appears to be pointing about northeast, towards the forest.

    ((Gilgimesh: you would know Kel as well, see the PM I sent you on that))
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    Gilgimesh

    "It appears father has a journey for us to partake in. XVII, Shall we go?"
    Gilgimesh speaks softly to XVII why looking over his shoulder. Suddenly he spies a familiar face, Kel Narokan. It suddenly dawns on Gilgimesh that it was his voice who had read from the letter. Hurrying over to Kel, Gilgimesh waves him over and begins to discuss this "Treasure Hunt" so to speak.

    "Kel! I apologize for my delay in taking notice of your presence. It seems that even in death my father has a task for us, eh?" Gilgimesh chuckles dryly, still reeling for the loss of his father.
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    Daggoo follows the others like a shade, silently evaluating these whom Aernac put him with. XVII was a known quantity as was Gilgamesh, the others he had only observed briefly.

    Might I make a suggestion, if we are to be off poking about in an old forest ruins for an indeterminate length of time, can we pause enough to be sure we are properly prepared?

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    Kel

    "Don't worry about it, you and I both know that me advertising my presence does not always end well," he laughs a bit at that, but then continues, "Whatever Aernac had in mind for us, I'm not sure, but we should consider solid preparations, before we go gallivanting off into the forest."
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    Gilgimesh

    "I agree with you and Daggoo completely. We must properly prepare before setting out on this adventure." Gilgimesh says, a glint of excitement in his eyes.
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    XVII

    "I am prepared. I will wait here for you to return."

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Luckily, Aernac always insisted on pupils keeping a traviling pack in a practice room, I'll be right back.

    With a nod of his head, he turned and strode back into the building to change and gather his things as quickly as he could.

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    Intrigued but unsure, Maq followed the group to the tree. While everyone went around preparing, he picked up his rapier and strung his bow. He had a feeling he would need them.
    Hasta la victoria Siempre

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    As you all prepare for the journey in various ways, Daggoo heads inside to grab any supplies that will be necessary to sustain the group.

    Having all been caught up with the poem, nobody had noticed the extra PS on the bottom of the letter, now seen by Virhan, as he glances through it again.

    PS: To my faithful friend Kel Narokan, I leave the Shrouded Hood. Use it whenever necessary.
    Quote of the [insert timeframe here]: (Week? Perhaps! Year? Also maybe.)
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    Daggoo exits the building and joins XVII out by the tree. He is wearing his usual vest and flowing pants, adding a wide brimmed bolero hat atop his bandanaed head. A pack on his back and a light crossbow balanced out the dagger on his belt.

    As he stopped under the tree he dropped the sack of foodstuffs he had brought out of the pantry.

    Well, I'd offer to share the food, XVII, but you know how that goes. So what do you think Aernac had in mind when he set this trip out for us?

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    XVII

    "Aernac's mind was always closed to me. He made me for a purpose, but never told me what that purpose was. I fail to comprehend why he would send us to do something after his death instead of doing it himself."

    Yes, this must be my purpose. Perhaps, perhaps not. Surely this must be it? Perhaps I have no purpose. Then why would he make me and train me? Because he could. No, that cannot be. Why not? Because... Indeed.

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    Kel

    "Aernac could be leading us on a wild goose chase, but I doubt it, something about the way he addressed us in the letter, makes me assume we aren't going to be wasting our time. In any case, we should head out."
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    Virhan puzzled over what the "Shrouded Hood" could be for a second, but then decided that he would ask Kel- presumably one of the people in the group- what the hood thingy was after he got back from fetching supplies. He found the spare traveling supplies storage in Aernac's house, and picked out a waterskin, a bedroll, and five days of trail rations.

    He then walked to his room, picked up his backpack and walked back out to the tree.

    "Um, which one of you is Kel Narokan?""

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