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Messages - Phineas

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In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 01, 2006, 07:38:34 PM »
Sayer smiled and bowed humbly.  "You are kind to say so, and I thank you for indulging my disquisition on furniture."  He was a bit embarrassed for rambling, and while he received Laren's compliments with graciousness, he found himself remaining guarded around the halfling.  He remembered his training from the royal court: Focus not on prose and praise, but on the motive it conveys. What was Laren trying to gain from him?

"Let us begin.  Those three candles there: please bring them to the reading table and light them."

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 03, 2006, 07:48:52 AM »
Sayer looked up from the table.  His attention drifted from the pouch to Laren's trembling hand.  He was silent for a moment as he chose his words.  "Laren," he began in a soft, reassuring tone.  "It is not a requirement for you to show me anything, or tell me anything.  You may do so if you choose to do so, but it will not impact the reading.

"With respect to the reading," Sayer continued, "our goal is to discuss some options that you have at present, including those options which are available to you that you may not be aware.  As you choose which option to follow, you take one step closer to your goal.  How you reach this goal is ultimately under your control, but it will be based on a number of smaller choices that you make.

"Do you understand?" Sayer asked, smiling warmly and his tone lightening.  "You choose your own decisions, and you choose your own destiny through those decisions.  You and I shall discuss the best choices to make."

It was clear that Laren was fearful.  Sayer hoped that his words would put Laren at ease.

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 07, 2006, 08:49:02 PM »
Sayer's eyes lingered a moment on the pouch that Laren held forth.

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 08, 2006, 09:01:24 PM »
"Yes, yes of course."  Sayer gestured welcomingly to the only chair in the room.

Sayer stepped to a clay pitcher and removed the thick cloth draped over the mouth.  "Perhaps some water may refresh you."  He poured the water into a small mug and held it out to Laren.

"There is a small, symbolic ritual that commences and closes the reading, and it is preferable that you stand during these ceremonies.  We may begin when you feel ready."  Sayer paused, his hairless brow frowning with concern.  "How do you feel, Laren?"

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 11, 2006, 08:58:20 PM »
Sayer studied Laren a moment before responding with a slow nod and a smile.  Although he had taken several deep breaths, Laren still seemed tense.  It was clear to Sayer that the halfling was under a lot of pressure.

Sayer gestured to the reading table.  "Allow me to explain what to expect from this reading," he said in his soft, silky voice.  "As previously mentioned, there is a short ritual that precedes and succeeds the reading.  The rituals are very short and very simple and I will talk you through the actions.

"After the opening ritual, we will then do the reading."  Sayer held up a small, worn leather sack.  There was an earthy clattering sound as Sayer reached into the sack and withdrew a pebble from it.  He turned the stone over showing carvings on both sides of the pebble.  "I use rune stones as a medium to offer advice.  Some oracles read palms; others read cards.  I read thrown stones.  You shall be the one to cast the stones, and I shall be the one to interpret the casting.  Again, I shall talk you through the actions to take.

"After we discuss the casting, we will end with the closing ritual.  And then," Sayer smiled, "you shall walk forth into the future bearing the Shield of Wisdom."  Sayer's smile faded as he paused to read Laren's face.  "Do you have any questions about the process of the reading?"

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 12, 2006, 04:31:40 AM »
"Then let us begin."

Sayer stepped away from the table, allowing access to its edges.  "Our futures," he began, "are shaped based on the choices that we make.  You've heard the phrase 'being at the right place at the right time'.  You've also heard the phrase 'being at the wrong place at the wrong time'.  We do not arrive at these places by chance, but instead we arrive by choice.

"We shall begin with having you make some simple choices.  If you look closely at the candles -- do you still have them? --  you will notice that each candle has a slight tint in the wax: the red candle represents the Earth, the blue candle represents the Moon and the yellow candle represents the Sun.

"Please choose and occupy one of the four edges of the table.  Once you have done so, please choose and light one of the three candles and place it at an unoccupied edge.  Repeat this process for the other two candles."  Sayer paused.  "There is no right or wrong order.  There is only choice."

Please describe the order that the candles are lit and where it rests on the table: the left edge, center edge or right edge.

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 16, 2006, 09:05:08 PM »
Sayer did not look at the candles nor did he acknowledge their placement.  His full attention was on Laren.  "You have put things the way that you think they should be, but this was not your first thought," Sayer said after a moment's silence.  "This arrangement was not your first choice.

"I noticed that you hesitated," Sayer said, moving slowly towards the table.  "A hesitation is a disagreement with a part of oneself.  You see, there are three parts to a person: the mind, which controls our thought and understanding; the spirit -- sometimes known as the soul or as the heart -- that governs our feelings and instincts; and the body, our physical self.  When we hesitate, that means that one part of us disagrees with another part.  We have experienced a time when our heart told us that danger lurked behind us, but our mind disagreed and ordered our body to ignore that feeling.  We have experienced a time when our mind told us that we have chores to do, but our body disagreed and dictated that a nap is more important.

"What I am trying to convey," Sayer continued, his voice lowering, "is simply to listen to yourself.  Agree with yourself, and agree with your choices.  My advice will have little value to a person who doubts his own advice."

Sayer held Laren's gaze a moment when Sayer suddenly looked to the table as if he forgot something.  "Ah, the candles," he said, glancing at their placement.  "Yes, yes...very nice.  Are you comfortable with their placement," Sayer said smiling, looking again at Laren, "or would you like to adjust their order to your satisfaction before we continue?"

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 18, 2006, 08:57:14 PM »
Sayer bowed slightly in acknowledgment as Laren finished speaking.  He did not comment on Laren's words, but instead placed the worn leather pouch containing the rune stones in the center circle of the reading table.  "Let us continue.  Clear your mind."

Sayer held his hands up, leading Laren to copy Sayer's exaggerated motions.  Sayer spoke in a strong, clear voice.  "We shall clap three times: once to awaken the attention of the mind," -- clap! -- "once to awaken the attention of the spirit," -- clap! -- "and once to awaken the attention of the body."  Clap!

Sayer turned to Laren, instructing him that they face each other.  "You are my Querent, and I am your Counsellor.  Our relationship is symbiotic.  We bow, showing our respect."  With fluid and practiced movement, Sayer bowed deeply from the waist.  He waited for Laren to hold his bow before motioning to stand up straight again.

Sayer then turned to face the reading table.  "These are the tools that will assist us in our reading.  We bow, showing our respect."  Again, Sayer bowed low, waiting for Laren to follow his lead.

As he lead Laren through the opening ritual, Laren's words were repeated in the back of Sayer's mind.  My future, at least until my task is done, does not have room for my own self preservation. It cannot be allowed to influence my decisions.  This troubled Sayer.  There were two schools of philosophy among diviners: the Fatalists, who were the traditional majority, believing that all events were predestined and that divination merely gave us glimpses of the inevitable; and the Volitionists, a young, radical minority who believed that all events were consequences of choice and divination gave us a glimpse of the possible.  Sayer was a strong proponent of Volitionism, and Laren's comment only reminded him how deeply rooted -- and accepted -- Fatalistic thought was in this society.  Could not Laren achieve the goal of his task AND achieve self preservation?  Could not Laren's future hold both possibilities?  Sayer believed that it could, but only if Laren chose the proper choices.  Laren would have to be convinced of this possibility. It must influence his decisions.

Sayer stood straight and remained facing the table, gesturing to raise hands.  "We clap one last time," -- clap! -- "awakening the attention of the stones."  Sayer paused, his voice returning to a softer, conversational level.  "And that," he smiled as he turned to Laren, "concludes the opening ritual.  You will now make another choice: please face the center of the table and raise forth a hand to draw the stones."

Please raise your left or right hand.

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 19, 2006, 11:45:05 AM »
"Clear your mind," Sayer said in a hushed voice.  "On the center of the reading table is a pouch containing 24 rune stones.  You shall choose six of these stones for your casting.  You shall not use your eyes within this selection process: as you touch the stones, listen to your spirit, for it will sense the stone to choose.  Listen to your mind, for it will know the stone to choose.  Listen to your body, for it will feel the stone to choose.  Once you have chosen six stones, we will then perform the reading."

The only light in the room was from the small candles.  Sayer turned, resting the fingertips of one hand lightly on the reading table.  He now stood profile to Laren.  "At the moment of your choosing, please place your raised hand into the pouch and chose your stones.  Please keep your hand in the pouch until all six stones have been chosen.  Once you are satisfied with your choice, conceal the chosen stones within your fist and then remove your hand from the pouch."

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 20, 2006, 08:02:55 PM »
Using the hand resting on the table, Sayer reached over and removed the pouch.  "Please hold your fist so that your palm faces down over the center of the table.  Hold your arm straight out so that your fist is about six hand-lengths above the table.  As you hold the stones, focus on your question.  Focus on the question that brings you to this table."

After transferring the pouch to his other hand, Sayer once again rested his fingertips lightly on the reading table.  He looked briefly at the ceiling, watching the numerous shifting shadows cast from the small candles.  He paused a moment, drawing a slow cleansing breath.  When he spoke, he did not look at Laren.

"At the moment of your choosing, release the stones."

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 22, 2006, 01:37:01 PM »">

Not to scale. Stones enlarged for legibility.

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 22, 2006, 06:06:14 PM »
Sayer was tense and stood motionless, breathing in short gasps through his open mouth.  He was frightened.  He briefly looked at the stones before looking up at the halfling.  "Laren, are you all right," Sayer asked with concern.

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 22, 2006, 11:03:06 PM »
Sayer stepped around the side of the table.  He had regained his composure, but his breath was still rapid.  "Laren," he breathed, his voice low and slightly strained, "earlier while we were downstairs, you had mentioned that you were in possession of an item: a magical or psionic item -- I believe those were your words -- that becomes linked to the individual who touches it."  Sayer motioned to the pouch at Laren's side.  "Was this the item that you held out to me?  The item is in that pouch?"

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 24, 2006, 08:54:46 PM »
Sayer stood motionless.  His short breathing became halted as his eyes locked on Laren.  Many moments passed before Sayer finally repeated the words.

"The Eye of Portence," he said hollowly.  "You are in possession of the Eye of Portence."

In Character Discussions / You don't say
« on: August 30, 2006, 09:14:28 PM »
Sayer studied Laren for a moment before responding.  He named the gem so casually that Sayer had wondered if Laren truly understood what was in his possession.  Sayer had sensed its power within this room.  It had focused on the reading; it was cognizant of the casting.

It was cognizant.  A chill of fear spread through Sayer as he came to this realization.  The legendary Eye of Portence was here in this room, and it was aware of us.  Did it listen to our words?  Did it watch our actions?  Sayer recalled Laren's exhibited uneasiness and nervous chatter throughout the evening; perhaps Laren did understand what was in his possession.

Sayer realized that he had been staring at Laren, who in return had been staring expectantly at him.  Sayer blinked, then rolled his head to look at the table surface.  After confirming that all six stones were on the table, Sayer  noted the rune types and their placement in relation to each other.  He then began tracing imaginary paths between the stones with his eyes.  As he appraised stones, Sayer was reminded of the comments that Laren had made throughout the evening: his desire to destroy the Eye; his acknowledgment that there were those who wished to obtain the Eye for themselves at any cost; Laren's commitment to completing this task; and his willingness to sacrifice his own well-being to complete this task.

Sayer turned casually away from the table so that his back was towards Laren.  He took a moment to compose himself and tried to conceal his alarm.

"You dwell upon the past," Sayer began.

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