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D&D Campaigns => Threshold => In Character Discussions => Topic started by: Wildfire on December 12, 2005, 09:48:11 AM

Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 12, 2005, 09:48:11 AM
Duthash Zinnyas Voldyn (May 7th)

After making sure that Dale was taken care of at the Thornhedge, Ashe, Maccabeus, and Wolf made their way through town to Ashe's house. Maccabeus could see a sign hanging above the entry door carved with the Tree of Life and gilded in gold. Behind Ashe's house was a tall cliff at the top of which was the fantastic Goldleaf Trees from which the bronzsap was harvested. The trees were shining in the light given off by the Spike of Fire across the Fogveil. Beyond that on the highest point of Threshold was a massive stone statue looking out over the town as an eternal guard.

Ashe takes out his key and opens his door. Before walking in he says to Maccabeus, "My place has been busy as of late. It'll be nice to have a quiet evening...well, sort of."

He opens the door and before walking in Maccabeus could smell a blended recipe of what he might guess to be dozens of herbs. Ashe quickly lights a few lanterns and says, "Can I get you something to drink or eat? I know that we just stuffed ourselves but I figured I'd offer just in case."

Maccabeus looked around and could see what seemd to be hundreds of jars on several shelves filled with herbs and salves. Also in the room were 5 beds neatly made. On the far end of the room on the same wall as the shelves was a doorway to another section of the house.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 23, 2005, 11:51:13 AM
A-yeah.

Thanks for the time.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 23, 2005, 11:28:25 AM
[size=18:98997ff9d3]BRAVO! [/size]

End of ICD?
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 23, 2005, 11:23:55 AM
The warmth inside the elder's home accentuated the cool bite of the night air. Maccabeus pulled his cloak about him and trod northward. The road wended first through a short distance of dark, comforting, unpopulated distance, then, as the buildings began to appear in the dark, lights filtering out onto the path, celebrants clogged the streets. For a little way, at least. Maccabeus and Wolf padded still north, and off to his left was the Temple of Shadows, as Ashe had pointed out earlier. An odd purple light danced from within that shrine. "I wonder how one makes purple light?" He quipped to his furry companion.

After the Temple of Shadows faded behind them, the streets became truly congested with people laughing, dancing, and drinking. More than once Wolf had to gruff gently to let this or that drunken person know that the pair were trying to get through. Oddly, none of these people seemed to have seen a wolf up close before, as they invariably startled themselves out of the way of the two travelers. Maccabeus didn't even listen to their comments as he passed through; he just wanted to go back to the Ring and settle in for the night.

Looks like a wise decision to have had Ashe retain the Acorn. He thought to himself. Maccabeus was very excited at what the morning would bring, and the thought of planting such a precious brother.

It was difficult passing over the two spans that brought Maccabeus and Wolf to the north-bound road and towards the Anglehawk. Just beyond that span he turned eastward and stole a few moments to revere his favored Divinity: Istisha. The crystal fountain was a stunning site.

He wasn't truly certain how long he spent there, but Wolf had laid back down by the time that Maccabeus was ready to leave, and the duo walked north together back towards the Ring.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 23, 2005, 09:27:47 AM
"Sleep well soldier." Ashe replied

After closing the door to his house Ashe sat down in front of his fire and smoked his pipe. At length he says, "Zebulon, he's perfect for the task."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 23, 2005, 09:19:12 AM
"My thinking as well, especially given how new I am here." Maccabeus took up his sturdy staff and moved towards the door. "Are you coming?" He asked Wolf, who yawned, stretched, and rose, padding out of the door. "We'll see you in the morning, Ashe. Sleep well." He bade the elder a restful night.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 22, 2005, 04:15:27 PM
Ashe furrowed his brow a little and said, "I'll bring it with me in the morning. If you walk through town with that acorn people are bound to get curious and then who knows what they'll do. I can't wait to see it planted!"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 22, 2005, 04:07:15 PM
Maccabeus wrinkled his face quizzically as Ashe explained. Jolly heabalist? He thought curiously. Best to not ask.

"No, thank you. I've the blanket that kept me warm though Venric, and Wolf help a great deal as well. Will you bring the Acorn in the morning, or shall I bear it there now?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 22, 2005, 04:00:52 PM
"What I meant by that was to have priests returning after they died last Rynnyx. I wasn't sure how much longer I could keep up my ruse as the jolly herbalist." Ashe says.

"Will you be needing blankets or any such comforts? I imagine the Ring will take good care of you but one can never tell".
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 22, 2005, 03:19:51 PM
Maccabeus came up short at the elder's words. "Finally arrived?" He echoed curiously. "Sounds a bit like you were expecting me?" He let the question hang for Ashe to address.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 22, 2005, 03:14:48 PM
"Then I will see you then. And Maccabeus, I'm glad that you've finally arrived." Ashe says.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 22, 2005, 02:57:30 PM
"Too early?" Maccabeus was a little surprised, then realized that the elder must indeed have been jesting. "No, when all the Divine siblings grace the sky is the bestest time to dance to them. That way, they all see you and can appreciate your devotion. Of course, with these mountains on either side of us, it's a might difficult to perform for all of them, but honestly, Istisha has always been my most affinitive Divinity, so I generally make sure that I dance for her." He winked somewhat mischievously at the elder.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 22, 2005, 02:49:28 PM
"Maccabeus, Of course I'll be there. I'll plan on being there at daybreak...unless that's too early for you." Ashe said nonchalantly
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 22, 2005, 02:20:44 PM
"Naturally enough. I would rather be welcomed among this world's citizens than not. What else have we to speak about tonight?" He asked. "I think that my brain has had enough of this day, though. Perhaps it is time for me to return to the Ring, dress Wolf's catch and sleep. I'll dance to Mahiya in the morning and ask about where to plant this marvelous seed that you've introduced me to. You will, of course, join me for the planting of this seed, yes?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 22, 2005, 02:12:57 PM
"You make a good point. One that I have thought about myself on several quiet moments. The answer that I have reached for myself is that it may well be a greater balance, giving life and consuming it. One that Mahiya and the Void struggle to maintain. However, within that struggle I have chosen to be a part of Mahiya and therein I help maintain the balance." Ashe explained.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 22, 2005, 01:50:38 PM
"Is there no rejuvenating that bleak land?" Maccabeus asked. "Perhaps I can make that part of my life's work. It's not that far off, really, and perhaps if we crept up on it, revitalizing the fringes and driving the annulment back, perhaps over time we could breath life into it. It's worth trying, I would think, unless we were content to leave it there as a reminder to us?" He sipped thoughtfully at his tea.

"I wouldn't want to advocate that there is good to be had out of that particular incident, but we can all take a lesson, no? After all, without blights such as that, if all of Elsenban were as beautiful as this place, and as the Valley you have described to me, then those places would be less impressive; less cherished, one would think. How can one have a light without a darkness to put it in? The only true tragedy is that those souls were not returned to the Great Cycle, and - being largely ignorant as I am - I cannot even say that."

"This is what piques my curiosity with respect to that theory: Mahiya breathes life into the land, the Void sucks it out. There is balance there, is there not? How is it that we are assured that the Void doesn't feed that force back into Mahiya to breath it out to us once again?"

"Liken it this way: the less enlightened feel so confident that death is an end, whereas we are well aware that it is not. That life finds its way through the Great Cycle to return reborn and renewed. How can we be assured that in this way, as we consider the Void and Mahiya's efforts, we are not the unenlightened, and we think that the Void is the final and definitive end, meanwhile the Void and Mahiya are working in their own machinations to return what has been lost? I greater Great Cycle, so to speak?"

He sighed disconsolately. "I don't know. I'm just trying to find a balance; that's what I do. For every desert there is a sea, after all."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 21, 2005, 10:56:02 AM
Ashe smiled sadly and said, "Yes...there is. But that is some time away so you needn't worry of it right now."

Ashe brought Maccabeus's mug of tea to him and said, "The dead land you spoke of used to be a forest as thick and lush as the one around this town if you can believe it. That wasteland was not here 200 years ago. So, behold the power of and will of Zyxu Archeon. That Wasteland was created when in the last arrival of Zyxu he managed to reattach the Horn of Mahiya. Zebulon defeated him by tearing it back off. But in the time he had it Zyxu and his followers ate the life of that forest. Can you even imagine the amount of things that died in there never to have their spirits..."

Ashe's voice trailed off and Maccabeus could see that he was disturbed by the topic.

"Excuse me Maccabeus. Sometimes I just can't bear the thought of the treachery that happened."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 21, 2005, 10:37:04 AM
"You must refer to that unnaturally dead land north of here." Maccabeus replied. "We saw it. As we hugged the mountians on our journey south, that foul place was at times close enough that you could feel its silence. Hunting was poor on that narrow band of plain, so we stayed closer to the mountians. We even rode out that last blizzard in an abandoned city that hugs those mountains. Wolf was able to find a few head-butters in the mountains for us to eat while we waited. We were really quite comfortable there while the winds tore bitterly outside."

Maccabeus inhaled deeply of the Brimblesprig. "Very nice, and thank you. I realize that it might sound trite, but for all this kindness and charity that you've shown me, is there anything that I can do for you in payment?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 20, 2005, 02:05:21 PM
"hmmm...Tarrindor Root...you have fine tastes my friend. Let me get it ready for you and here..." Ashe tossed a man hand sized pouch to Maccabeus, "You can have that. It's full of Brimblesprig tabac. "

Maccabeus could see the pouch was soft black leather with a Tree of Life embroidered in gold and silver thread. The scent emanating from the pouch was heavenly.

Ashe ashe was preparing the tea he asked, "Just before you arrived to Theshold out in the wild did you see an area that looked like it was constantly covered in a cloud of grey fog?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 20, 2005, 01:45:41 PM
"I suppose that I must kindle a passion for Zyxu, then." Maccabeus answered wryly. "Right now, I have a disdain for him. I don't imagine that this is enough, though. I have to develop that deep, abiding enmity that begets the kind of raw emotion that I think I hear you talking about."

Maccabeus smacked his lips a little. "You know, all this talk and warmth is making me dry. How about some of that tea you proferred me earlier? Do you have any Tarrindor Root, by any chance? I've long since run out as that is my favorite, and I'm not usually very prudent in my rationing. Oh, and if you have any of that weed you spoke of for my pipe?" Maccabeus took his pipe from its temporary place at his belt and inspected it critically. "I'll have to come up with another of these." He said ruefully. "I've sat upon it too many times. Once more and I'll have no pipe, and that's a sad way for a Dale Gnome to be."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 20, 2005, 01:34:34 PM
Ashe nods his head, "You're eager to battle those of Zyxu...this is good. It's something that I can teach you right now. You have the ability you just need the training. I'll teach you as soon as possible as I think you'll need the skill that quickly. It invovles channeling your connection with Mahiya to the passion of destroying those of Zyxu."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 20, 2005, 01:15:58 PM
"For the most part, yes." Maccabeus answered. "As for the symbol, you noted that some power need be brought to bear to destroy them. Is that something that lay far down my road, or is it something that you might teach me sooner rather than later?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 19, 2005, 02:42:45 PM
Ashe says, "You have a good mind for anaylsis. The reason involves a bit of history. I will however, be brief. Zyxu Archeon, a minotaur, was at one time the highest agent of Mahiya as Zebulon is now. But he became infected with his lust for power. In his quest to dominate life he opened a portal to the Void. The Void was everything that Mahiya was not. In swearing his allegience the Void gave Zyxu the power to channel life energy directly to it. To meet his new masters demands Zyxu, who still had control of the Mahiya's forces as well, went to the Valley of Mist and stole the life energy from the Valley and put it in his left horn. After this occurred there was a rebellion from those faithful to Mahiya. Zebulon, who was the leader of this uprising, tore the horn from Zyxu's head banishing Zyxu to the Void. Zebulon became the new champion of Mahiya from this act. In doing so his essence and conciousness became one with the fabric of this physical and spiritual world. Now, the Horn of Mahiya remains in the Valley and when Zyxu invades from the Void, Zebulon returns to battle him. Does that make sense?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 19, 2005, 02:06:56 PM
"Such ornamentation, if such it be, could mean many things." Maccabeus supposed. "By your question I must suggest that there is indeed more to that design than aesthetic, and it might either be functional or indicative."

He considered a moment longer. "I have no real information to draw upon, alas, but if they are agent of the Great Void, what if this medallion were to indicate how far Zyxu's power had spread? The more powerful he gets, the more black spreads across the steer."

Maccabeus was on a bit of an erratic roll now, and his thoughts passed directly to his mouth without stopping for consideration. "But is that truly a steer's head? Why would that be his totem? Why would he have a totem, and why would that totem be any kind of animal? It makes no sense for Zyxu to have an animal totem, so it must not be a totem (or at least not an animal one). Why the odd shape? In my zeal to see a steer, did I overlook a different symbol? I know nothing of Zyxu except what you told me earlier today, so I have no history of it. And, by the way, metal is somewhat of a rarity in the Dale, so the medallion might be of two different materials entirely. One, as you say steel, and the other some other metal, but what kind? And what symbolism is borne by what races, or religions, or cults, or sects, or geographies, or legends, or Divinities, or whatever, based upon metal types? What if one of those metals is from a different world all together? Is it a beacon? It might perhaps be indicative of a marriage between two distinct and separate quantities, as his living agents are juxtaposed in marriage to him (why would any living being, aside from a loss of intellect, want to feed the Living Force into the Void? Are these creatures and agents not alive, then?) metal to non-metal is analogous to living to non-living."

"Blech - as I note, in the absence of information, all things are as likely as not. I would need some solid information in order to properly conjecture."

"In any event," he finished, "I took note of that point, but its meaning, and even whether it has meaning, is well beyond my grasp."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 19, 2005, 09:43:32 AM
"That was indeed Zebulon's voice that stretched across the land."

Ashe stood up and fetched a sheet of parchment and an inked quill. He drew the symbol of the defilers and said, "I asked you about the symbols because there is one thing that is odd upon looking at them. Something indicative of the past. It is important to note that the symbols were all grey steel but one of the horns, the horn on the right as you look at it, was black. What do you think that might mean?"

Ashe knew his question was cryptic but asked so that he could see the thought paths of Maccabeus.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 16, 2005, 04:53:45 PM
"So that was truly Zebulon's voice that rang out last year?"

"Why did you ask me what I noticed about the symbols of the defilers? Did I miss something?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 16, 2005, 03:20:14 PM
"After Liam got the Medallion and the Ashlords were defeated he put it on and that's when he became Zebulon and proclaimed that he has awakenend. He had to prove himself worthy. It was the courage to follow his heart by himself and continue against all odds and the resolve to fight at the expense of his own life that was the proof of his worthiness. He now presides in The Tower of Zebulon where he defeated the Ashlords."

Ashe took a sip from his mug and continued, "The Elemental Eyes are Gems that give tremendous amount of control over the element that it is dedicated to. When Zebulon was here last he used them to defeat Zyxu. He then scattered them out so their power would not be abused until he needed them again. As we speak the quest to retrieve them is underway. Three have been recovered but the Eye of Kossuth is in the control by the Witch-Queen of Xanthakos. It will not be easy but I keep faith in those on the quest."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 16, 2005, 03:01:41 PM
"Well," Maccabeus began as he tried to recall the specifics of the medallion. "It was metal - two-toned metal - shaped kind of like a bull's head, with two eyes in the middle. It was very pointy. I think that I recall that at least somewhere one of the medallions had red eyes, did it not? Maccabeus would recall this detail as for him it was only earlier this very day that he saw one, and yesterday that he saw all of them.

"It also tingled when I touched it. It was rather unpleasant." He shuddered as he recalled the sensation upon touching the foul medallion.

"I take it from your conversation that the agents of Zyxu had it, and that Liam wrested it from them. Is that when he received Zebulon's awareness, and is that when we all heard that mysterious voice of someone who had returned? What's an Elemental Eye?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 16, 2005, 01:51:58 PM
Ashe takes a draw from his pipe and says, "Little is known about the Medallion of Balance even amongst The Order of Zebulon. It is worn by Zebulon as an aid to keep the mortal part of the avatar from straying off his path. It's powers are unknown. How it acts in the hands of agents of Zyxu I do not know. I can only guess that they were using it to prevent Zebulon from reemerging. What I do know is that it is important to Zebulon to have the sacred Medallion. Once he gets the four Elemental Eyes he'll have power that Zyxu has not even fathomed."

Ashe turned his head towards Maccabeus and says very seriously, "The symbols on the defilers at the Ring, what did you notice about them?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 16, 2005, 01:34:43 PM
"Three days." Maccabeus echoed. "So close, but not close enough. I'd like to see that place one of these days - perhaps after I've settled in and can be comforted that there's no impending ill for the Ring. I'll await a sign from Istisha; she hasn't led me astray yet."

"What's a Medallion of Balance?" He asked rather abruptly, closing his eyes to drink the warmth of the fire.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 16, 2005, 11:33:45 AM
"It must be mind shaking to see and meet what you thought were and have known as legends and myths. Just so you know, the Valley is about three days south of here. That is why all of these people are here right now. They will all be traveling to the Valley to celebrate The Day of the Valley...the yearly date occurance of The Great Rejuvination. It's a special day to all Elsenbanians...City-States and Xanthakos alike."

Ashe stretched in his cushioned chair and continued, "It is said that after Mahiya created the Valley that the other Gods wept at seeing its' raw beauty. It's a place of wonder and magnificence that...I can't even really describe it. To see all of the Vallenwoods there is a sight that will stay with you forever. There was for a time, a long time, that the Valley was under an eternal night. It was a place of darkness and evil...if you can believe that. Then it was saved in The Great Rejuvination."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 16, 2005, 09:48:22 AM
"You mean to tell me that the Valley truly exists?" Maccabeus sat up again in surprise. "And it's here?!?!" He shook his head in disbelief. "How many more wonders are to be had in this marvelous place? It truly makes a person feel a bit inadequate, you know?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 15, 2005, 12:49:44 PM
Ashe set his feet back upon the hassock to warm his toes. "For many yearly cycles I have lived in the shadow of the Valley and feel blessed to have done so. I visit there on occasion when I feel the need. It's so accessable to me. Given the tribal life that you've had I find it of interest what your view of things is. To see the interpretation of a different culture is a special thing. Earlier tonight you were in awe of Zarion and Kym because they were decendants of what you know as a legend among your people. To me they're my friends that I've known for a long time. Do you understand my fascination? The similariteis and differences between us makes me dumb sometimes!"

Ashe groaned in comfort and stretched his legs and looked to see Wolf curled by the fire. "Perhaps a nap would be good."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 15, 2005, 12:24:11 PM
Maccabeus looked about rather sheepishly as Ashe spoke. "Do you think that we could relax a bit longer by your fire?" He asked. "Perhaps an hour or two nap would do us good as well. We've both been rather busy of late."

He let the question hang for a moment before addressing Ashe's direct question. "The Valley of Mist is a mythical place that's said to be the birthplace of Mahiya and a sacred sconce for the various Divinities." Maccabeus answered. "A cradle of the Great Cycle and piety, so to speak. Shankaria spoke of it every now and then. It sounds like a fantastic place. A little too fantastic, as legends tend to be. Why do you ask?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 15, 2005, 11:50:49 AM
"That sounds to me like it's a grand idea. And so it be that in the black of night that we go to the Ring to carry this seed to feel the way of action. The town is still rather active as it is only mid-evening." Ashe says.

"Had you heard of the Valley of Mist before arriving here?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 15, 2005, 11:40:20 AM
"Wisdom comes in the black of night." Maccabeus said. "Tell you what: let's take this youngling to the Ring, we can ask the bramble, and meditate upon it's planting. Perhaps the Divinities will let their will be known when we dance to them in the morning. No matter the event, we will have strength there to defend the Ring and the Vallenwood (along with her offspring). Perhaps it might summon allies as readily as foes."

He looked up at the elder and remarked "We are of a like mind, I think; this child shall be planted anon, Mahiya will it so."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 15, 2005, 10:41:50 AM
Ashe was silent for a bit and then said, "It could very well prove to be a beacon for the servants of Zyxu. But it is also a sign of strength for us. A shining banner to display our power in this land. To show the abominations of The Void that we will not give in or go quietly. It will show them that we will kick their darkness until it bleeds daylight!"

Ashe goes quiet for another moment. then shakes his head as if to clear cobwebs from himself. he then says, "From what I can recall, the tree that sprouts from this acorn grows quickly...at least for a tree. If it's planted at the Ring there's no telling how it will grow. I mean, consider the five founts that are there. A Vallenwood drinking from all four of those waters...With all of my wisdom I am unable to say what could happen. Perhaps we should find out, yes?"

Ashe had a guilty smile on his face as if he were the cat that ate the canary.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 15, 2005, 09:54:39 AM
Maccabeus gently received the great seed. It was indeed hefty, as he had surmised. It was warm and pulsed with vitality. Maccabeus could clearly tell now that he touched the acorn that the murmuring that he had heard was indeed coming from the acorn itself. It was more readily discernable, now that he was in contact with it, but still it wasn't intelligible. It was more akin to the murmuring of a child so small that it could not yet walk. It brought a profound smile to Maccabeus as he listened to it. He peered into the green luminance, as if he could see a creature there striving to live and grow.

"This should not be hidden in a trunk." He said softly. "This should be planted and reared. The Ring would indeed provide fertile soil for it, but I wonder if its presence there wouldn't be a beacon to every agent of Zyxu for a fortnight around? Would the site of the mighty tree that this is to become draw the fiends from every corner of this region to beset upon the Ring? The bramble is not so tall that this fellow could grow to strength without being seen. How quickly will it bear seeds of its own? How quickly can we nurture this and beget a stand of them, or a grove?" He looked up at Ashe questioningly.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 15, 2005, 09:05:48 AM
Ashe said in regular volume, "So you do hear it? No one is out front Maccabeus. It's the acorn whispering. It's difficult to understand it right now but as it grows it speaks with clarity. When you do finally hear it you'll hear the speech of our brothers and sisters. You see, it was the Vallenwoods that taught us our language. That's why we regard them with such great honor."

Ashe extended the acorn to Maccabeus, "Here, hold it. It's okay.."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 14, 2005, 10:53:50 PM
"Mamma-Mahiya!" Maccabeus breathed with his best East-a Boston accent. "What a marvel!" The "acorn" was indeed much like the seed of the great oak tree, inasmuch as it was a roundish, greenish seed with a crown that was brown and flecked with green.

But there the similarities stopped. This acorn was huge, and judging by the way the Ashe handled it, it must have considerable heft, Maccabeus thought. The green rhythm that pulsed out in waves of light mesmerized the little gnome; he put his hand up to it, but stopped short of touching it. From the little distance away from the acorn he could feel the life energies so vibrant in the seed.

"Hssst!" Maccabeus turned suddenly, hearing whispers of people just above his threshold of hearing. "Someone is out front; I hear murmuring." He spoke conspiratorily now. With all this foul business about, one could never be too careful. Odd that Wolf is not concerned by the voices that Maccabeus could hear so clearly (although he could not make out specific words).

He looked questioningly at the elder.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 14, 2005, 03:06:00 PM
"Hmm...I never really gave that much thought. I guess I call it an acorn because that's what I was told it was. It does indeed look like an acorn but it's...well, wait just a minute."

Ashe goes to a chest on the far side of the room and begins to shuffle through it. Quickly he says, "AH HA! Something like this is hard to lose. Ashe pulls out what looks to be an acorn the size of Maccabeus's head! It is much like an acorn in shape and with the crown but from the inside is deep green glow that seems to pulse and beat like a heart. Ashe rubs it soothingly and the glow brightens.

Ashe says, "I've had this for years and years. I've been trying to find a place to plant it but until just now nothing came to mind. Would you like to plant it at the Ring of Mists?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 14, 2005, 02:52:49 PM
"But of course!" Maccabeus replied. "That said, I think that we're both fairly comfortable here, and there's time anon. Do you call it an acorn because it's related to the oak more than other trees, or is that simply an affection?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 14, 2005, 02:04:49 PM
Ashe laughs at Maccabeus's joke and then says, "That's a good question. A Vallenwood is a type of rare magical tree that grows to enormous height and girth. They never lose their leaves rather their leaves reflect the season that they're in...like a normal tree. Except in Venric the leaves become white laced with grey and silver. There are vast groves of them in the Valley and in Kaaryn'Zyth. You might find one in the Wildlands if you're lucky. Most of them were cut down and hoarded as the power of the old Kingdom stretched from the northern coast south to the Dragonteeth Mountains. It's a great example of the horrors brought on by arrogance, greed, and a lust for power. I actually have an acorn of a Vallenwood. Would you like to see it?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 14, 2005, 01:36:47 PM
"Such things in the Dale are very personal. There are no real outward symbols that separate one clan from another. I think that such a thing would more tend to separate us one from another, while the prudent course is to merge with eachother to better ensure our own survival."

Macabeus closed his eyes comfortably as the two spoke. "I guess the closest thing that we get to a symbolic unity is whether you are shorter than this." He held his hand over his head for comedic emphasis.

"So what's a Vallenwood Mystic? Is there a Vallenwood forest, or was there a fellow named Vallenwood?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 04:33:06 PM
Ashe glanced sidelong at Maccabeus admiring his eye for detail. as Ashe began to speak he too stretched his feet towards the fire. "Oh the heat from the fire feels so good on my toes! That symbol is of the special order that Orion established during the old wars. Fittingly enough they were called the Warriors of the Wolf. All of the ancient Heroes of Elsenban created their own orders to establish a sense of unity among the people."

Ashe pulls out his bronzewood medallion of two crescents pointing away from each othe entwined by a circle ans says, "This is what you might say is the sister order to the Warriors which is called The Vallenwood Mystics. To this day the orders still survive but only among a few...mostly the decendants of the original founders. Does you kindred have any special markings or symbols that would indicate special fellowships?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 04:18:48 PM
"Fair enough." Maccabeus answered. "For more low-hanging fruit: what is that symbol that Zarion wears about his neck?" Maccabeus relaxed again, leaning against Wolf, and stretching his short legs towards the fire.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 04:03:54 PM
"You like that, eh?" Ashe said "Well, when I created the bridge the first time I spoke with the plants and told them that you were now the steward of the Ring of Mists and that by Zebulons' decree you were to be honored with safe passage. Since it was you that ultimately saved them from future destruction it is you that they will aid. Anyone that you claim that should have safe passage across the river by them will receive it. Anyone else will not. I, of course, have safe passage without your charge."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 03:49:39 PM
"I cannot yet see deeply nor keenly enough to be overwhelmed." Maccabeus answered. Seeing that Ashe was being weighed down by this conversation, he diverted the elder's attention to a hopefully lighter subject:

"So as for the bramble bridge," he began. "You told me that it was I who created the second one, but I did nothing other than set foot near the river. What has transpired that the shrubbery might accommodate me thus?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 03:33:43 PM
Ashe says, "You'll understand in good time. Come, let's go back inside."

The three of them walk back into the house and Ashe says, "Well, I haven't had proper time to study the founts but my initial answer is that the founts are what I might call the 'blood' of the four repsectively. It's indicative of the health of the area that they're in. When we drank of the founts the fluid passed to us a bit of the essence of what it represented.

The four have a timeless health in that they are simply the building blocks of life to be used in whatever manner is deemed appropriate by certain forces. Mahiya uses them to build and destroy to maintain balance in the cycles. The Void corrupts them to twist and abolish life to feed it's hunger. The founts as you first discovered them had been usurped to drain life. As for the divine four, they can never be unhealthy only manipulated to cause illness or promote life. It is through the four that the Void and Mahiya are forever tied and dare I say, opposing twins in constant struggle."

Ashe shakes his head, "Sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around this so if you feel overwhelmed by this twisted secret you're not alone."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 03:09:56 PM
"Nope." Maccabeus answered impishly. "Hardly a whit, to be honest. I have to assume that this is when 'I have returned' [Maccabeus stood on his toes and deepened his voice comically] rang out through the land?"

He fell into momentary silence, then asked his next vein: "So the waters in the founts: it is clearly connected to the Quartet, but in what manner? Are those founts a reflection of the relative health of the four? Only in this area? How are those founts connected to or with the four?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 01:56:42 PM
Ashe smiled a big wide smile, "Liam is my Grandson and student. He was always restless as a child but he had an amzing talent for our craft. After he had reached the point of 'hunting on his own', as he would say, he struck out last Sythus to follow his nose. He found his way to the ancient Tower of Zebulon, which is pretty close to your Dale of Wolves, to claim the Medallion of Balance. With the help of some...well, I would now call them heroes, he defeated Draxiar the Ashlord upon which Liam was then given the gift of the consiousness of Zebulon."

Ashe laughed full bellied and said, "I hope that all makes sense!"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 01:42:00 PM
"Bbbbbb...who's "Liam"? Maccabeus asked curiously.
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 01:19:57 PM
Ashe says, "Come with me outside, if you will, and I'll show you."

The two walked outside and Ashe pointed south towards the Valley. The three moons wer in their various phases and placed about the sky. Ashe pointed and said, "There, between the two cliffs and over the river. If you look close you'll see the The Blood Tear of Mahiya so our order calls it. It's an Omen of the coming of Zyxu. It's actually been in the sky for quite some time now. The emergence of Zebulon is also a sign of things to come. He's here to command his troops in a war that supercedes all other wars. I'm quite proud of Liam for answering the call and taking the throne to battle Zyxu. We all have our part to play."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 12:55:54 PM
Maccabeus frowned as he listened to the elder speak. Why would any power want to destroy all of life? He wondered. It didn't make sense, and for any natural creature to want to aid in its own destruction made even less sense. To be a King of Nowhere. He attended Ashe as closely as he could through his own crowded mind.

"Blood Tear?" He echoed the elder. "I don't know of what you speak."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 12:35:30 PM
Ashe nodded his head and began to frown, "The Void, as I will refer to it, is the opposing force of Mahiya. Mahiya breathes life into the unifications of the four. The Void is the absence of life. It eats life never to return it to the great cycle. I suspect that the defilers were there to turn it into a life eating temple. Think of what the Ring became after you channeled the healing of Istisha. It was full of life and music. Now think of what the Ring was like when you first entered into it. It was turning to dust and ash. The Wasteland of Archea to the north and west of here is testimony to the life eating power of the Void. The minions of Zyxu by their very existence suck the life from Mahiya and channel it to their master abomination. The Ring was very close to becoming a staging point for Zyxu."

Ashe's face and voice gets morose and he says, "We are on the edge of terrible times Maccabeus. The Blood Tear is a sign of that. Have you seen the Blood Tear in the sky?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 11:50:04 AM
"Why would the Divinities have used me for that effort?" Maccabeus asked. "If you were there, why not use you? I suppose that must have something to do with perpetuity, I suppose." His shaggy eyebrows lifted and dipped as he answered his own question.

"Well, then, on to what the Defilers were doing in the Ring. I mentioned that they were trying to still the waters of the founts, but you said that they were trying to do much more than that. What was their goal?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 10:47:23 AM
OOC: Yeah...I figured that was given.

Ashe smiled as he put his shirt back on. "It was me. Many of the soldiers take that form to deliver messages for the majesty. Ultimately one can choose any form he wants. The stag happens to be a favorite amongst us. Now, you might be thinking that all of the soldiers have the ability to take various shapes. That's not so. It depends on the path of what you feel is best for you to carry out your work as a representative of Zebulon. He's very open that way."

Ashe's tone gets more serious, "What you've seen and done these past days is no accident. As I'm chosen from a family line to for this so are you. You're grandsire that you spoke of earlier also became an agent of Zebulon along with Orion and the Antlered Giant. The Order of Zebulon has a rich history of exceptional members."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 10:19:44 AM
Just so that we're clear: this conversation is being carried out in the Druidic language.

Maccabeus smiled at Ashe's words. "My mind is rarely still." He noted. "But to be honest, it never occurred to me to reject it. I've worked for this life in the service of Mahiya; it wasn't so much of a choice that I made as a recognition that it is who and what I am. It is my natural path. So, the stag that I saw: other than to tell me that he was a servant of Zebulon, I know nothing of him. Was that you?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 13, 2005, 09:48:32 AM
Ashe pulled off his shirt. His long silver hair tumbled over his shoulders and Maccabeuas noticed that it had the slightest tint of gold at his temples. For an aged man Ashe appeared to have the healthy body of a young adult. Embazoned on Ashe's chest was the same mark that Maccabeus now had. It was four outwardly facing crescents the colors of the divine quartet.

"This is the mark given to the soldiers of Zebulon. I've had this honor as my birthright. It was destiny for me to be what I am...as it may be for you. You have the choice to accept or deny this path. Each choice has it's own sacrifices and rewards. I think I know which you've chosen but you must make the final choice in your heart when your mind is still. When Zebulon can hear you."
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 13, 2005, 09:24:42 AM
"Indeed, but where to start?" Maccabues relaxed into the cant of his brethren. "So much has happened of late."

"I have in fact so many questions polluting my mind that we likely do not have the time for all of them in one sit." As he spoke he assisted Ashe in rearing the fire.

"How about this: allow me to ramble for a moment. Many questions and thoughts will fill this room, and we can take them from the air in the order that makes most sense."

"I arrived in Threshold only yesterday. Serendipity or Divine plan brought me to Maal, and thereafter to Julius, and thereafter to the Ring. And a good thing it was."

"You mentioned that you had witnessed Istisha's utilization of me last night. Were you there? Did you actually see? There was an enormous, beautiful stag there as well who identified himself as a servant of Zebulon; are you that stag? If not, then who? Not truly a stag, no doubt. This morning, when we met on the road, you mentioned that I now wear the same mark that you do. What mark is that? Do you refer to this new mark that I've earned on my chest?" He bared his chest for Ashe to see the four crescents that echoed in his ruddy skin the form of the medallion that the giant stag had given him. "What it is? Outside of the obvious, I mean. Later, you noted that the defilers were trying to do more than to stop the waters of the founts in the Ring; what were they trying to do? What would stopping the waters have done? In part, I would think that this action would harm the Divine Ones. The obvious analogy would have me believe that the life of the Divine Ones was tied closely to these founts, but what?s the tail and what?s the wolf? Then there was the destruction of the foul Medallions (are they in fact the antithesis of the medallion that the stag gave me? Of what is now permanently imprinted in my skin?): how?s that destruction done? What sort of power need be brought to bear for that holy rite? What was the totem that Zarion wore about his neck? How is it that I was responsible for the creation of the second frond bridge across the river later this day? Am I to believe that this will happen always for me? Why? And how close to the Ring must I be for the standing ones (plants and trees etal) to aid me in this way?"

The little gnome seemed to run out of thoughts at that point. He sat on the floor, leaning against Wolf's broad side as his friend lay, gaining towards sleep in front of the new fire. "As you begin to see, my mind is ever in motion. Thoughts flitter along in unbridled succession. At times I need to speak them lest they retreat to the darkness of my mind and not return."

"So that seems all of my questions for the moment, but where to start? Low-hanging fruit or particular points of interest?" He stretched his arm up demonstrably. "How about this one?" He asked. "What is this mark that I now bear, and is this the mark that you implied that you too bear?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Wildfire on December 12, 2005, 01:29:25 PM
"No one...it's just me. These extra beds are for people that need to stay under my care. I like to use herbs to help the injured and sometimes they have to stay here and get their rest. I've been busy doing that lately, great grandtree! HAHA."

Ashe proceeded to remove his equipment from the days activities. Maccabeus boted that for a man of the wild Ashe had some very fine trappings that might actually be found on rich city folk. Of note Maccabeus could see that Ashe had a most peculiar looking scimitar that seemd to be carved from wood.

Ashe began to set logs into his hearth and began to start a fire. Whilke doing so he said, "As I recall you had some very interesting questions earlier this day, yes?"
Title: Secrets and Truths
Post by: Johan on December 12, 2005, 01:08:10 PM
Maccabeus patted his over-full belly meaningfully. 'No, thank you." He answered as he surveyed Ashe's home. "You've got a lovely location for your home." He remarked. "How many people do you live with?"