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D&D Campaigns => Eberron => In Character Discussions => Topic started by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 06:35:36 PM

Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 06:35:36 PM
This thread continues on where  Investigation (http://griznuq.com/index.php?topic=9659.last) left off.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 07:06:53 PM
12.23.2132 - Back to the Future

It was a cold and a late windy afternoon in Shantytown. The snows from the previous days were gathered amongst the narrow streets, neglected by the poor citizens who didn’t want to perform the shoveling duty that the guards felt fit to do everywhere else in the city.

As Temmit and Leslie walked through the snow, both with heavy scarves and other such cold-weather gear, they didn’t stop to talk. The wind blew the light snow crystals around them in such ferocity that the pair had to turn their heads away from their path on many occasions. Luckily the heavy cloth wrapped around their faces and the thickness of the hooded cloaks were made for such typical Safe-Haven winters.

Passerby’s didn’t see the need to even look at them, much less bother the two kids as they walked through the heart of the poor district. And although the weather was despicable and the first workday of the week threatening the following morn, Temmit found the town more active than he would have assumed.

So as they reached the barren, rail-less porch of the Fortune Teller establishment, he said a silent thanks to the weather instead of cursing it goodbye. For tt certainly had kept people’s heads down, and their mouths to themselves.

Leslie took the lead and knocked on the door. The friendly rotund woman that Temmit knew as Aunt Deidra opened the door almost immediately and let them in.

“Temmit!” Deidra exclaimed as they entered the narrow corridor beyond. She had recognized his eyes above the scarf.

’...and most likely your endearing stiff posture.’

’Look whose talking?’

“And who is this little thing?” Deidra asked as Leslie pulled her scarf down and her hood back.

“Name is Leslie Ma’am, how do you do?” Leslie asked politely and put her hand out. Temmit noted that she didn’t use formal introduction.

Aunt Deidra leaned forward and shook it gently, the large woman appearing to be afraid to even get close to the little girl, lest she pull her into her gravity well. (OOC: hehe)

Slick, you bringing new customers bye for Mia?” she asked Temmit.

A sparkle gleamed in Leslie’s eye at Temmit’s new nickname.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 07:27:16 PM
"Good evening, ma'am." Temmit said, smiling as he took his scarf off. "When I was talking to Mia yesterday, she reminded me so much of Leslie that I thought that they should meet. Hope you don't mind?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 07:36:03 PM
“Of course not dear,” Deidra quickly said with a pleasant smirk. “Heck, I am just glad she has friends who are brave enough to walk through this Kaine-forsaken town.”

Leslie was looking at all the nick-knacks and crafted items on the wall. Thankfully she wasn’t close yet to the pendant, but Temmit suddenly feared she would discover it eventually, and perhaps with a yelp.

“I am just starting dinner in the kitchen and Mia is with a customer at the moment. You two can head on in when he comes out okay?” Deidra said, and walked into the kitchen.

Temmit knew the kitchen beyond the archway was not large, whispering to Leslie would be impossible unless some real ferocious sizzling started on the oven.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 07:38:09 PM
Temmit maneuvered himself to conceal the hunter's medallion from Leslie. "Thank you ma'am. Is there anything we can do to help you in the meantime?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 07:44:43 PM
The woman let out a hearty chuckle in the kitchen. “Looking for another good meal Slick?” she asked and he heard her shuffle back towards the archway.

Leslie stopped looking at the nick-knacks just long enough to wink at him.

Deidra stuck her head out of the archway. “I am just kidding. No dear, I don’t need any help, you two want some Bean-stuffed corn bread and bacon? Might take about a hand but if you two entertain my niece long enough it will be ready before you know it.”

Leslie, who had her back to Deidra as she crouched on the floor to look at stuff, looked up at Temmit with pleading eyes.

Temmit didn’t need to sense her hungry motive to recognize the waif’s answer.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 07:49:34 PM
"That would be grand, ma'am, if it's no trouble." Temmit accepted her offer.

"So we'll be here for a whole hand or more?!?

"You got anyplace better to be?

He turned his direction to Leslie then. "I told you she was a true Artificer."
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 08:03:52 PM
“Isn’t it the truth,” exclaimed Leslie, still crouching on the floor. “Some of this stuff you can tell she made when she was younger, but it’s really good.”

Leslie spoke as one who knew she was being overheard by a beloved family member of the person being critiqued. She did have genuine appreciation in her eyes though.

“She has a couple of boyfriends in her House that can’t stand the fact that she is so good with steel. They say that her teacher criticizes her for being super-slow, but then shows off her work when she is done.” Leslie said and stood up.

As she looked at the plaque with Mia’s grandfather’s name on it as sponsor, she said, “I heard she made a sword so sharp that you could cut yourself just looking at it.”

Leslie was then quiet, she put her hands behind her back and simply scanned the work. She didn’t try to look behind Temmit, but instead was content on looking at what she could.

Temmit could here a male voice behind the door, but for all the lack of good materials in ShantyTown, still couldn’t make out the conversation through it.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 08:10:38 PM
Temmit watched Leslie closely, enjoying the awe written in her pretty face. His ears, however, we as tuned as he could make them to the voices behind Mia's door.

The thought ocurred to him that Marcus himself might just come this way during his search for gifted youngsters.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 08:33:56 PM
For a few anxious turns, the possibility of Temmit’s fear became uncomfortable for him. Having both Mia and Leslie exposed was sure cause for concern. When the door opened however, a stranger came through and Temmit was very relieved.

The young man, although dressed up for warmth, was not in uniform. Temmit had a hard time guessing his profession or military service. He didn’t look quite young enough to be in school or old enough to be out of the service.

“Private Meeks,” Leslie said to the man in greeting as the man passed bye Temmit in the corridor.

“Hello Leslie,” greeted the man politely. “Come to get your fortune told eh?”

“Certainly,” she said. Temmit could tell from the girl’s mannerisms that she knew this soldier quite well, she seemed comfortable talking to him. “I hope the wind dies down before sunup tomorrow, you and Jones will freeze to the side of the Tavern if it doesn’t.”

“Meh, I am not worried Lez, your mother always hooks us up with that special warm brew of hers, we’ll be okay,” he said.

As they talked the Private put on his scarf and cloak and finally raised the hood.

“You sure you don’t need an escort out of ShantyTown when you are done here Lez,” he asked in concern.

“No thanks. I have a friend two blocks down checking out erm....a quick card game,” she said to him with a wink. “He promised to escort me out later. But don’t tell my parents okay?”

Temmit realized that the man had made no connection between he and Leslie standing there. And any plausibility of the fact was just erased with Leslie’s words, he just hoped now that Deidra wasn’t going to overhear and blow her cover.

“Alrighty then lass, have a good time! And don’t worry, I won’t tell your Pop,” he said with a nice smile and left.

Leslie turned back to Temmit and smiled, “he’s nice,” she said simply. Before he could say anything in turn, Mia came up beside him from her open door.

“Hello Temmit and oh! Hi Leslie!” Mia seemed very pleased to see her friend and before Temmit knew what happened, the three of them were sitting around Mia’s small fortune teller table chatting.

After many words between the girls about how the two of them were doing in certain classes and such, Leslie finally broached the subject of importance. As Leslie spoke, Temmit, as he sat, closed the door behind him with a gently push of his hand.

“Mia, Temmit brings me here on a special errand, so I think I will ask him to introduce the subject,” Leslie said, not yet revealing her involvement in Whisper.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 08:50:13 PM
Temmit picked up at Leslie's prompt, ignoring for the moment Smokey's story of his love affair that he shared with a large reddish rock.

"You will naturally recall our conversation outside from yesterday? He asked

"You've got to be kidding...was that only yesterday?!?!"

At Mia's affirmation, he continued. "Well, Leslie is one of our finest, and one of my best friends. I thought that it would be a good idea if you and she became friends. She could sort of guide you along our Clan, if you will."

He smiled then, laughing at himself. "Imagine my surprise to find that you were indeed already friends!"

"I had thought to brind Leslie over for an introduction, but turns out it will be more of a social visit."

"Oh, and by the way, your advice yesterday turned out to be spot-on."
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 08:55:56 PM
"Oh my really?" asked Mia. "I hope nothing bad happened?"

"Advice? What advice?" Leslie asked immediately.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 08:59:25 PM
"No." He assured her. "Nothing bad happened."

He turned then to Leslie and said, "Mia was good enough to tell my fortune when I visited on Saturday morning."

He then turned back to Mia.

"Stop it...I'm getting dizzy."

"I do hope that you've been making somewhat less accurate predictions?" He asked her. Then he brightened up a bit. "Mind if I ask what yours revealed this morning?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 09:06:20 PM
"About me or you?" Mia asked playfully.

Leslie chuckled. "How did you like that question Slick?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 09:08:37 PM
Temmit chuckled lightly, and he could have sworn that his cheeks got a little warmer. "You." He clarified. "You didn't actually inquire about me, did you?!?!"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 09:22:50 PM
It was Mia's turn to blush.

"I did. How could I not? I think that you...and the other girls had a profound affect on my future yesterday," she said smiling.

Leslie was still giggling quietly.

"Mine was 'Steel before the Pen makes a late night a polished finish' " Mia said.

Temmit gave her a raised eyebrow in question, and just like Leslie, the smart girl picked up on the unasked question.

"In my case, I was able to decipher it as I know me really well in regards to such cryptic language. And it has proven itself true with your entry." she said.

"It means that fun, which for me is represented by Steel or metal, before homework, represented by the Pen, should be done first today. So my homework this weekend I put on hold so I could stay here and earn more money and play. Following this logic, the prophecy seems to have worked out, as I will finish my homework late tonight in the dorm, but I will be in a happy frame of mind, a.k.a. polished finish."

"Get it?" she asked politely.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 09:28:28 PM
"Impressive." Temmit said. "I guess it would help to know your subject well - your subject being yourself in that telling."

"Here's a question for you: do you have to have your subject present for your telling? And do you have to know your subject well? Could your subject be far away and have no knowledge of your gift or of the fact that you're using said gift?"

"All right: that's a few questions." He laughed, but looked at her expectantly.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 09:40:58 PM
“Let me answer that question this way,” Mia started with a smile. “Your reading was as follows this morning, ‘The Knowing Servant shall step into the Den forewarned’[/color] “ she said.

“Does that make any sense to you?”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 09:47:36 PM
Temmit sat back in his chair as he considered that.

"It's talking about the fruition of yesterday's telling." Smokey provided.

"I think it does." Temmit answered. "I was certainly forewarned, thanks to you. And I certainly walked into a den."

"Is it tiring after a while? You seem to have to do this many times a day. I would think that you'd get a headache or just get tired or something."
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 10:00:26 PM
“I am glad you weren’t hurt. For awhile this morning I was considering going out to warn you, but I had no way of really contacting you of course,” she said.

“Sorry for...” Temmit began.

“No, no, no...it’s understandable,” she said holding out her hand. “But to answer your question? It’s not that hard to get a reading, drains me of no power whatsoever and I can ask about anyone I have been close too in the past 24 hands it seems.”

Leslie whistled in astonishment. “No power? There is no spell you must incant? No focus of your mind you must expend?!”

“Nothing whatsoever.” Mia stated.

It was Leslie’s turn to give Temmit an eyebrow.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 10:07:11 PM
"Impressive, eh?" Temmit echoed Leslie's unspoken observation.

"For most of us, we can only use our gifts a limited amount every day. Using them drains us a bit."

"So for your gift, as powerful as it clearly is, and there to be nearly no limit to your utilization of it, is impressive to us."

"Do you need the crystal tree to affect your telling? Perhaps that helps you to provide your focus?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 10:11:22 PM
“I do. I am not able to do the reading without it close to me,” Mia said as she looked at it.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 10:18:49 PM
Temmit looked about then, realizing how much of her time they were consuming.

"Feel free to kick us out at any time." He said. "I wouldn't want to interfere with your earning potential.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 10:44:14 PM
“Whah? We just got here,” Leslie exlaimed.

“Not to worry guys,” Mia said, “I don’t get much business on RestDay afternoons anyway.”

“What is my reading then?” Leslie asked a bit timidly. Temmit looked over at her and found that although the lass seemed interested in the process, she was actually a bit scared by it.

“Oh! Sure, we can do that,” Mia said as she sat up behind the crystal ball. “But let me show you two how non-theatrical the entire process can actually be.”

And with that, Mia simply closed her eyes, she didn’t put her hands to the side of the ball or anything.

After but a few moments, enough time Temmit thought for Mia to simply say ‘Hey, what is her prophecy today?’ and get an answer, Mia opened up her eyes and was ready.

“Ready?” she asked.

“I think.” answered Leslie, who looked at Temmit for assurance as a child might ask a parent to pet a large dog.

“Okay. Your reading for the next day is as follows...” Mia began.

“The next day?” interrupted Leslie.

“Yes,” Mia answered, “most readings have reflections on the next 24-hands.”

“Oh, okay.”

“Your reading is as follows ’The doppleganger enters your House a changed man’ [/i]” said Mia cryptically.

“That sounds creepy,” Leslie almost whispered. She then smiled, “can we change it?”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 10:58:47 PM
"Mia, do you have a piece of paper and a pencil handy?" Temmit asked abruptly.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 11:04:20 PM
"Um...sure, one moment," Mia said and got up to walk around the hanging silks. She pulled a shallow trunk from underneath her cot and opened it, grabbing a pencil and a blank of piece of paper after rummaging around its contents.

As she did, Leslie gave a look to Temmit speaking to her disbelief that she slept in such poor conditions. Temmit had to admit (to himself) that even his cot at the orphanage looked more comfortable.

Mia returned and placed the required materials on the table in front of him before she sat back down.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 11:12:20 PM
"Thank you." Temmit said. He took the pencil and the paper and slid them across the table to Leslie. "I'm going to do a little of my own fortune telling now: I think that before the few turns, you're both going to have a significant surprise."

He smiled cryptically. "Leslie, do you recall the symbol that we were told to be on the look-out for? The one from our meeting the other night? I'd like for you to put pencil to paper and draw that out."

He then turned to Mia. "Have you ever heard of the Outlands Patrol?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 11:19:59 PM
Mia froze in shock at the question.

“How do you know about the Outland’s Patrol?” she whispered timidly.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 11:29:43 PM
Temmit froze much as Mia had. But then he laughed. "I can't believe you know of it!" He said a little quietly. "I was so sure that I was going to befuddle you!"

He shook his head in mirthful disapointment at himself. "Leslie," he said, "no sense in finishing that picture, I think."

He then turned back to Mia, returning to his conspiratorially quiet voice. "One of the things that we've been looking for lately, is evidence of the Outlands Patrol. When I walked through that door yesterday morning, I couldn't believe my luck in finding just that. Then, after I spoke to you, I realized that my luck for yesterday was extraordinary indeed."

"Not only did we find such a good candidate for our Clan, but in your posession is the evidence that we were seeking."

"I can't believe that you know of it." He repeated, shaking his head.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 23, 2008, 11:39:36 PM
“Xander Prescott is my great ancestor,” Mia said.

“SHUT....UP!” Leslie said in amazed disbelief. (OOC: Temmit recognizes that this isn’t a command by Leslie for Mia to actually stop talking - or does he? - hehe)

“He was,” Mia answered, a smile appearing and her intrepedation slightly melting away a bit by Leslie’s enthusiasm.

“Why didn’t I make the connection?” Leslie asked herself. “Sometimes I am so daft I wonder why my parents even allow me out of the house.”

Mia and Temmit both laughed.

Leslie had sat up and was not fully entrenched in the conversation, her hands played speech antics over the table as questions flooded the room from her mind.

“Did he leave you any notes?”

“Did it describe where Balthier’s body was located?”

“What of the mysterious deaths of all the memb....”

Mia interrupted the girl with a raised hand. “How by the gods do you know so much about the Patrol?” She still looked worried, enough Temmit thought, that she might spring from the chair at any moment and run.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 23, 2008, 11:50:03 PM
"Pay attention to details, boy." Smokey scathed. "Did you catch her oath? By the gods? Plural?"

"It's ok, Mia." He tried to reassure her. "If it makes you uncomfortable to talk about, it, we can wait for some time. Weeks, if it helps you."

"You see, in our small Clan, we've been getting the feeling that the government isn't telling the people all the truth, and that there are things going on that we should know about, but that they're not telling. They have, for instance, told us that to go beyond the Holy Fire brings insanity and death."

"Then you hear of the Outlands Patrol, and they deny it ever existed. To find evidence of it is to reassure ourselves that they aren't being level with us. It reassures us that maybe, there's a life out there somewhere, somehow, where we aren't in danger of our lives by virtue of having a life."

"So for now, we're just looking to verify that it existed. Solid confirmation. As to how Leslie knows what she knows, we all wonder about that!" He smiled at his young friend.

"But again, we don't have to talk about it. Although it might be a good idea for you to take the medallion off of your wall." He suggested. "If I spotted it..." He left the thought hanging.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 24, 2008, 10:45:00 PM
"Wait a minute..." Leslie said, just catching up to the full meaning behind Temmit's words. "You actually have one of the medallions?!"

Mia still looked nervous, but Leslie's childlike enthusiasm, although intense, was infecting Mia with pride, and putting her at ease in the process.

"It is in the corridor behind you, about two feet away from my door, close to the floor, in a shadow-box," Mia said.

Just then Aunt Deidra came in, making Leslie jump.

Not noticing the skittish lass, she simply walked in and put a plate of fried potato planks on the table near the crystal ball.

"The bread won't be done for another half-hand, thought you three could use a snack," she said and turned to walk out. "Oh, and I put the closed sign up for you Mia dear, I figured you wouldn't get much more business before leaving for your dorm anyway."

"Thanks Auntie."

As Deidra walked out, Leslie got up and scooted along behind her. She came back quickly with the shadow-box holding the medallion behind a thin plate of glass. As an afterthought, she pushed the bedroom door with her hand and it shut behind Temmit.

As Mia watched her, Temmit watched the initial shock and nervousness, of being asked about the secretive subject, melt away from her features.

"So Leslie, how do you know about the Patrol? The government eliminated traces of their existence over a thousand years ago." Mia asked as Leslie fidgeted with the glass to get the box open.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 24, 2008, 10:49:18 PM
"Do you need to touch it, Leslie?" Temmit asked, balancing somewhere between curiosity and admonishment.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 24, 2008, 11:00:56 PM
Within a tenth of a click Leslie shot back to him in excitement, "It's a piece of ancient History Temmit!"

’Sounds like a justifiable excuse to play with it.’ Smokey judged sarcastically.

Mia giggled. "Push in the bottom of the glass Leslie for about two clicks, then let go," she instructed.

Leslie did as she was told. The glass pane, on some slow-acting spring, opened by itself at it's top hinge. Leslie didn't hesitate to take hold of the medallion and bring it up to her eyes for a closer look, her fingers caressed the medallion like it was pure gold.

"Leslie?" Mia pressed her former question.

. . .

"Leslie?"

"What?...ah, oh! Yes, how do I know," she said then giggled. She finally looked back at Mia and said, "I am a library rat. And as hard as the government tries, they can't cover their tracks in such a massive place of information. I put the story of the Outlands Patrol together just last week."

"And?" Mia asked. Temmit was impressed, Mia was clearly testing Leslie and perhaps both of them for some reason. She wanted to know what they knew before divulging any of her own knowledge.

“Well...” Leslie stopped, she looked at Temmit to see if it was okay for her to tell Mia what she knew.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 24, 2008, 11:05:20 PM
"We three are in a similar business." Temmit said, almost seeming to change the subject. "We are all brokers and guardians of information. It's all right, I think, Leslie. I'd be interested to hear you out as well."
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 24, 2008, 11:29:07 PM
Leslie gave him a smile that spoke volumes to her appreciation of him.

She turned back to Mia.

“What I know doesn’t add up to much I am afraid, at least not yet.”

“Outlands Patrol was formed in 846 ESH, about a hundred years before the Battle of Millenguarde...” as Leslie mentioned the fable, Temmit turned his eyes to Mia for any hint of a smirk at it‘s mention. It was something he typically did when Leslie spoke of her favorite epic to someone.

Mia didn’t smirk.

“...it was formed by the Council of Five itself. They sought volunteers from the entire Armed Forces of Safe-Haven and tested the hundreds of the willing men to narrow down the special unit to only eight. The Outland Patrol’s special mission? To attempt to covertly penetrate the Outlands and explore the ruins of the human civilization beyond. To seek other survivors like ourselves,” Leslie said. Temmit could tell this was simply fodder for another play, poem or song she would write some day soon.

“Only seven short years later however, the group, which had lost all of it’s original eight members in battles with the Karh’Thul was finally disbanded by the Council. Dozens and dozens of men had entered the Outlands Patrol while it was active, and many of them never survived.” Leslie said solemnly, and Temmit noted that she actually seemed sad for the men who died 1300 years ago.

“The next part of the story, which I just found last week, was what peaked my interest though. I found old census records (OOC: See below for note after) and crossed check them against the men who were in the Outlands Patrol when it was disbanded. I found out that all eight men died within a year of the unit’s discharge,” she said conspiratorially.

Temmit whistled.

“Yes, and consider this...each of the eight men was assigned by the council to work in eight separate sectors of the Outer-Rim Defense. Which doesn’t make any sense to me, why split up a group that obviously was trained to fight together?”

(OOC: Temmit from his knowledge gained in his house and it’s specific classes knows that Leslie is not telling the whole truth. No census records would be found in the library. The government may miss many things in the massive amount of information in the Library, but not census records. They guard records harder than they guard the Flame Barrier, within a locked up Census Bureau.)
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 24, 2008, 11:42:26 PM
"Were you able to find any indications of how they died?" Temmit asked, his curiosity piqued.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 24, 2008, 11:52:44 PM
"Each of the eight men died while on duty along the border, two were simply listed as 'accidental deaths'[/i]. Epitaph and full military records (OOC: Same note) didn’t mention a single word of their service in Outlands Patrol either. And let me remind you, they died only a year[/i] after the unit was dissolved. It's all very suspecious.” Leslie was in her element. Gone was the little giggly lass he so enjoyed, and instead he was talking to the Sage of Safe-Haven, a hundred years older than the 12-year old she played in real life.

“Balthier Von Rosenburg was the leader of the group of men when it was discharged in 853 ESH, he was a known friend of Xander Prescott, Mia’s ancestor,” she said and turned back to Mia.

“Indeed he was Leslie,” Mia began and shifted in her seat as one who was getting ready to tell a speech of her own. “Balthier, like my ancestor, was gifted...just like us.”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 12:09:03 AM
Temmit's brow knit profoundly as Mia spoke. "Wait...I thought that these sorts of gifts only began to appear in the last two centuries?" You're saying that gifts have been evident in Safe Haven since the beginning?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 12:14:32 AM
Leslie spoke up. “Oh no Temmit. In fact, her ancestor, Xander, was...” Leslie looked at Mia a bit sheepishly.

“It’s okay Leslie, it was 1300 years ago...I didn’t know him,” Mia said with a giggle as she anticipated what Leslie was going to say.

Leslie continued, “...Xander was hung for practicing sorcery.”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 12:19:05 AM
"And look how far we've come." Temmit observed, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 12:24:40 AM
Both girls laughed despite the dire truth of the quip.

“Mia? You know something don’t you. You know something about the Outlands Patrol, something you ancestors left behind I bet,” Leslie asked gently, her thumbs still caressing the edges of the medallion in her hands.

Mia looked back and forth between Temmit and Leslie.

After a few contemplative moments, she spoke. “I am going to have to trust my reading in that by telling you, I will end the day with a polished finish.”

“That medallion you hold in your hands Leslie?” she said in almost a whisper. Leslie looked down at it and said “yeah?”

“It hides the bearer. It makes them invisible to Karh’Thul.”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 08:36:33 AM
Both of the house guests stared at Mia in undisguised shock.

“My ancestor, Xander, was indeed very close with Balthier Von Rosenburg. When Balthier joined the group, via unfortunate attrition in 849 ESH, he had many great plans. Knowing Xander was a great artificer of magical devices, he commissioned Xander to make that medallion and seven more just like it[/i].”

“While Xander worked on his commission, Balthier spent years gaining the trust and confidence of his fellow Outland Patrol comrades. It was in the thick of battle, one day in late 852 ESH, that Balthier gambled. He used his own command of his sorcery, his gift with arcane magic, to save the Outlands Patrol from certain defeat at the claws of the Karh‘Thul.”

Temmit saw Leslie tense at the moment in the storyline. Revealing your gift was a last resort that no Whisper member ever wanted to face.

Mia continued.

“The gamble paid off, and all of the Patrol accepted his magic and didn’t turn on him. They instead made him leader of the Patrol and vowed to keep his power secret.”

“Very cool,” Leslie exclaimed.

“Indeed,” said Temmit. “I imagine that changed the group dynamic a bit?”

“Very insightful Lieutenant,” Mia complimented. Temmit was not used to hearing his actual Whisper rank from anyone in the guild, let alone a new recruit. He politely smiled back at Mia and nodded.

"He was in fact, made leader of the group."

Mia grabbed a potato plank and munched it down before continuing. As she talked, Leslie stood up and scooted around Temmit so she could do the same.

“For their friendship, and for the good of the mission, Balthier gave each of them one of the eight medallions after my ancestor presented them to him.”

Leslie looked down again at the medallion which was still in her right hand and said, “wow”, in a whisper. She stared at it, even as her left hand was grabbing potato planks for her little mouth to nibble on.

“In a small ceremony that Xander witnessed, each of the eight men donned an Outlands Patrol Shield[/i],” Mia nodded at the medallion as she revealed it’s name. “And the next day, they went back into the Outlands.”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 09:22:41 AM
"And only a year later, the Outland Patrol was disbanded. Less than a year after that, all the current members were dead." Temmit summarized.

"Do we know if those who were members when it disbanded were also those who were the original recievers of those shields? I just wonder if the members suddenly stopped dying after getting these shields."
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 09:53:56 AM
Quote from: Johan

"And only a year later, the Outland Patrol was disbanded. Less than a year after that, all the current mambers were dead." Temmit summarized.


Mia had a puzzled look at the statement and then looked apologetic. "Oh, I am sorry, as I was truncating the story a bit to get to the points of importance, and therefore probably confused you."

"It wasn't a year later...it was a week[/i] later (after they donned the medallions) that the group was disbanded." Mia said with some emphasis.

Temmit and Leslie both raised eyebrows.

"And this is another reason I whole-heartedly agree with Leslie's suspicion," Mia said as Leslie smiled with a closed mouth that was busy chewing a plank. "During that week, the Outlands Patrol succeeded significantly[/i] in getting beyond the border. They traveled out for dozens and dozens of miles outside it without incurring a single battle with the Karh'Thul! They only came back at the end of the week to report the good news and to get more supplies."

"Report the good news that magical[/i] medallions had saved the day?" Temmit questioned pointedly.

"No. It is written in Xander's journal that they had planned to tell the Council the following story,” Mia closed her eyes as she continued, and Temmit noted she was reading from her memory of the journal in her mind. “ ‘We have found a natural passageway just beyond the Outer-Rim. It traverses underneath the first layer of standing forces of the Karh'Thul around the kingdom’s perimeter. Because we escaped their initial detection, we therefore could use far more stealth in the Outlands than we have ever been allowed in the past. In affect, the demons congregate at our borders, but are very dispersed a couple of miles beyond it. This is the chance we have been waiting seven years for, this is the chance many of the Outlands Patrol members lost their lives for. We must be allowed to continue!’ "

“And of course, you know what happened,” Mia finished.

“They debunked them, but why?!” Leslie asked.

“Why indeed,” Mia returned. She looked back at Temmit, “so to finally answer your question."

"Yes."

"The original members who received the Shields were the very same ones that were discharged and placed back into the Outer-Rim Defense force, along with, I imagine, the very disgruntled Balthier Von Rosenburg”.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 01:11:19 PM
"All right." Temmit said, sighing as he leaned backwards over the back of his chair. He stared at the ceiling through closed eyes.

“In 846 ESH, a pretty significant effort was made to bring eight individuals together who could explore the Outlands in covert missions. These men were selected after a presumably thorough round of testing, and presumably having been deemed to be the best. There was presumably additional training, equipment, and all that goes with such a dangerous appointment.”

He pursed his lips a bit in thought. “Seven years of these missions continued then. There were plenty of men who died. We don’t know how many, I’m assuming, but the sad fact is that it doesn’t matter. The Patrol had the support of the government, and they kept going into what was a noble charter: finding other survivors, and penetrating the Karh’Thul presence.”

“So one day, they find themselves with the ability to press into the Outlands, effectively at will, and effectively as far as they want to go. They use magic to get there, but the point is that they get there, and achieve their goals.”

“They come back and report to the government…the church…whomever. The report leaves out the facts of the magic, but instead presents a laudable method by which we can now safely get through to the Outlands. Not only that, but they have apparently found a way to get past the Karh’Thul entirely. There’s a cluster at our borders, but not the sea of them that we’re led to believe would be there.”

“This news should be met with excitement, one would think. It should allow us to completely escape from the demons and be free forever, one would think.”

“BUT, instead, when this news reaches the ruling class, what we get is a disbanded Patrol, and soon thereafter dead patrolmen.”

“Makes one wonder what they found there, and why the government doesn’t want it known?”

“And if it was truly a case where the rulers didn’t want us to get away from the Karh’Thul, then they must have been working with the Karh’Thul to keep us here for some reason. This collaboration must go all the way back to the beginning. It’s not just Fresenius.” Smokey whispered.

“Indeed.”

“It also suggests that the government never expected the Patrol to succeed.” He continued. “They were perfectly happy throwing the best soldiers into the Karh’Thul lines to die. And the only benefit that they thought that they would get from that is the appearance of trying to act in the interests of humanity.”

“Not only that, but it served the dual purpose of taking the most dangerous of our soldiers and killing them very effectively. Details, boy.”

“Indeed.”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 01:41:51 PM
Mia and Leslie looked at Temmit with dumbfounded awe for a moment. Even though neither had heard the conversation between him and Smokey, they had been impressed with Temmit's presentation of the facts and awed by the portent of his words.

Mia was the first to break the awkward silence, her statement mirrored the unheard one by Smokey.

“If the story that Balthier gave the Council had any truth in it, especially in regards to the Karh’Thul being only populated at the Outer-Rim, it also makes you wonder about everything[/i] we have ever known. It was as if the Council doesn’t want us to be free of the Karh’Thul, as if the Karh’Thul are nothing more than jailors...” Mia stated incredulously and then looked at Temmit with a sudden epiphany “...for a dungeon in which the Councilors hold the key.”

The room was silent for a moment.

“For over two thousand years?” Leslie questioned in a choked whisper. The idea, as incredible as it seemed, also threatened to turn their world upside down, and Leslie was almost visibly shaking in fear of it.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 02:04:51 PM
"I was having similar thoughts." Temmit admitted to Mia. "And I'm sorry about the effect that these thoughts are having on your foundations, Leslie."

"But it's important to hang onto the realization that we're largely speculating right now." He hoped that this would help Leslie a bit.

"And as I think on the jailor model, there are a few discrepancies." He continued. "Why, for instance, do we now train our entire population to fight the Karh'Thul? Why also, are the jailers in the jail? If the goal was to keep us here, why give us anything at all? They could simply have thrown us in here to live in caves, never giving us weapons, armor, never giving us any education at all.”

He settled a bit deeper in thought for a moment then. “However, what’s up-most on my mind right now, is what did the Patrol find out there beyond their “tunnel”? Do the other medallions exist? Who are the descendants of the other members of the Patrol?”

He turned to Leslie then. “Do you think that you might be able to find that out by Spring End?”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 02:12:06 PM
With a shaking hand, Leslie wiped away the silent tears that had just begun to stream down her cheeks.

“Yeah...sorry,” she added, her cheeks a bit flush with embarrassment. “Just a lot to take in at once is all.”

She stood there, her slight form still shaking all over. It was if someone had come in and announced that a family member had died.

Mia for her part didn’t offer any further information, and Temmit sensed that she indeed have more to give.

’Perhaps she too needs to get her head around this eventful weekend? You may want to turn back to the other reason we came here, warn her about Marcus and all that.’ Smokey suggested.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 02:16:46 PM
"Good thinking. Thanks."

"I think that it's time to change subjects a bit. We need to digest these thoughts at any rate." Temmit said to the girls.

"I'd like to talk a bit about Marcus Faithborn. Do you know him, Mia?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 02:22:54 PM
“That’s supposed to be a better subject?” asked Leslie, but Temmit noted that she at least smiled.

“I didn't say it was a better subject. Only a different one.” Temmit said with a wry grin and a slight wink. She let out the hiccup of a giggle and returned her fingers to the potato flanks, sniffing back the remainder of the now diminished speculation.

He turned back to Mia who had been giving Leslie a look of compassionate concern. Temmit's original impression that Mia was just another aspiring actress had changed a bit. For Leslie and Mia truly were years apart in maturity, despite the only year difference in physical age. Mia had not lived the sheltered life her little waif friend had.

“I know do not. Is he in Whisper?” Mia asked.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 02:43:15 PM
"No." Temmit answered. "And for the time being, we're trying very hard to not let him know about Whisper." His coal-colored eyes had taken on a bit of a hard tone.

"It is my belief that Marcus is working for Fresenius right now, trying to uncover groups like Whisper - probably Whisper itself - so that Fresenius can eliminate us. I interviewed him for membership in Whisper, and he is a dangerous individual. So much so, and so much changed from the person that he was before Fall End, that I think he’s actually a different person.” He looked hard at the two ladies. “An imposter, that is.” He added for clarification.

“I am further concerned that the fortune that Mia told for you, Leslie, might mean that tomorrow might find Marcus in the Actor’s house. The doppelganger enters your house a changed man.” He repeated the fortune.

“Just be careful of him, and try to keep a bead on what he’s up to, whom he’s talking to. I have other plans to carry out to try to figure out for sure what he’s up to, but those will take time.

In the meanwhile, I was thinking that if I’m Marcus, and I’m doing what Temmit thinks I’m doing, one of the avenues that I might follow is that of the rising young fortuneteller in Shantytown.” He looked meaningfully at Mia. “If he shows up, don’t read his fortune properly. Feed him something like The Capitol Offers no Resistance.” He suggested. “When he was talking to me, he kept using the word ‘resistance’…it should resonate to him.”
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 02:58:43 PM
It was Mia's turn to be a bit shaken.

"What have I gotten myself into?" she asked, but a small smile revealed a slight intrigue.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 08:10:01 PM
Temmit sighed and smiled softly. "It's not a question of what any of us have gotten ourselves into, Mia. It's a question of what circumstances have gotten us into, and what we're going to do in response." He paused for a moment.

"I, for one, would like to grow old oneday, and live in peace."
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 08:52:15 PM
“And be a great actress on the stage.” Leslie added.

They all paused for many moments, each lost in their own thoughts. Mia grabbed a handful of potato blanks and joined Leslie who still stood over them as she nibbled. It appeared Temmit pretty much had the floor.
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Johan on June 25, 2008, 09:16:42 PM
"I think that's enough business for one day, ladies." Temmit said.

"Got any other questions, or any lighter conversation material?"
Title: 12.23.2132 - Back to the Future
Post by: Dray on June 25, 2008, 09:19:30 PM
Both girls looked very much relieved at the announcement, although for apparently very different reasons.

“So...,” Leslie began, “let’s talk about your new nickname Slick[/i].”

The entire weekend finished up next with the thread  12.23.2132 - A Night By The River (http://griznuq.com/index.php?topic=9829)