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Messages - Wildfire

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46
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: November 03, 2013, 02:28:16 PM »
Varshya sat back under the boughs of the tall pine trees away from the celebration. Since her early years it felt awkward to her to celebrate. Her young life was overshadowed with war and the destruction of her home city of Crusindiar during the Shadow War. The Shadow War had been a war between The Kingdom of Vychia and the Empire of Xanthakos with the elven homeland of Kaaryn’ Zyth as a large part of the battlefield. The elves suffered numerous losses and many settlements has been destroyed. Since then Varshya had been distrustful of nearly all races- especially humans- though other fey were offered a modicum of kindness. Her suspicion of all those that were not elves always tinted her outlook and attitude in all of her relations. She often admitted to herself that it wasn’t fair or just but nevertheless it was there. It was a perspective she wanted to let go of and somehow could not. She felt that perhaps she had grown too comfortable with her anger and found that she didn’t know how to release it.

She took solace in Mahiya. The ways of the Mother-Father made sense when so much didn’t. There were no pretentions, no opinions, no ulterior motives, no good or bad with Mahiya. There was only the purity of life and the cycle of it. To her that was the most sacred thing of all. She took the passing of knowledge to her acolytes quite seriously as it was though she was rearing her children though she had none of her own. She worshipped life yet to celebrate it with overt joy was not in her nature. She smiled at the irony of that.

Yarlia approached Varshya with a plain, dark green, ceramic goblet. “Master? I’ve some Dalewine her for you if you’d like some.” Varshya had watched her acolytes partaking in the festival. They danced and frolicked as though it was their last night alive. Yarlia was certainly no exception. On more than one occasion Yarlia had expressed nervous anticipation at contributing to the Veneration of the Life Cycle. She had never before been to the Grove of Needles and despite the stories told to her, didn’t know what to expect. A few possible consorts had caught her eye but still the night was young.

Varshya nodded and accepted the goblet. “Thank you Yarlia. I see you’re having fun. “Tis good. Keep with it for Mahiya smiles upon those that honor life with joy.” she said. She felt nakedly hypocritical at that moment for she could not celebrate in that way. She felt envious too.

“Won’t you join us? Oh please come dance with us! You can’t always be the reserved master.” Yarlia pleaded.

“I celebrate in my own manner Yarlia” Varshya stated firmly. She had this conversation many times in the past and she was not enthusiastic about trying to justify her stance on the matter yet again. “Now please, be off and keep a watchful eye, always. Soon we will hear the droning and the fires will be lit. Tell all of your brothers and sisters to be mindful as well.” Varshya felt that of all of her acolytes Yarlia would most likely be the warden of the Vallenbrush. She showed great promise even in her young years. “Oh and Yarlia” Varshya said with a wink “Do enjoy the Veneration…but don’t appear too eager. Patience offers greater rewards.”

Yarlia was always seeking approval from her master and truly appreciated it when she got it. With a wide smile Yarlia bounded out to fire and quickly became another wispy dressed silhouette against the fire.

47
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: October 22, 2013, 08:56:15 PM »
Maragarn sat on a fallen tree outside of the Grove of Needles. He could hear the reverie but had absolutely no desire to participate-an unusual thing for his usual celebratory manner. He was content to stay beyond with his falcon companion Akaria- which in the Druid tongue meant Spiritwind.

The vibrant scent of the late Sythus forest that he would normally take deep joyous breaths of had no interest for him. He had also lost his appetite days before and had not eaten during his entire journey to the Grove. He was numb to life. It was an insurmountable feeling that overwhelmed him such that the full emptiness he felt consumed his every thought. Every part of him hurt and his soul ached. It felt as though the feeling would never diminish no matter how much time passed. He closed his eyes and took a necessary breath.

He heard a whispering rustle of the brush to his left. He hoped it was Mahiya come to claim him. Rather it was a rabbit that seemed to have a particular intent. It came right to him and gently crawled upon his wooly goat-like leg. It looked at him expectantly with it’s long ears perked up and it’s whiskers twitching. Maragarn of course could not ignore the rabbit and shooing it away was unthinkable. Still, his demeanor was not in such a way that he wanted to entertain the purpose of this rabbit’s visit. Akaria made no motion to predate on the vulnerable rabbit and that certainly was remarkable.

Unexpectedly the rabbit squeaked and thumped it’s foot on Maragarn leg. It’s ears flattened out and it squeaked even more. It jumped from Maragarn and ran in a circle then stopped in the middle and stood on it’s hind feet, looking at him with whiskers still twitching.

“Akaria, I do believe that Shankaria is requesting our presence. Though I wish to be alone…” the falcon cried out in protest, “…with you…” he continued with a slight smile “…we have our obligations. The others must know regardless of how they’ll feel.” Reluctantly Maragarn stood and followed the rabbit to the festival leaving his fallen tree behind.

____________________________________________________

Cailyder had little trouble finding Bal-Jhor and Eswarth. They were surrounded by a crowd of cheering onlookers at yet another test of strength. In this challenge they stood side by side facing opposite directions with their hands locked. Each was trying to force the others arm back past the half down position. Eswarth had clear advantage of height in this contest though Bal-Jhor was never one to submit so easily.

With a firm but inoffensive hand Cailyder parted the crowd and entered the contest circle with a musing look on her face that was shadowed with seriousness. Bal-Jhor glanced over to see who had come so close the arm wrestling behemoths and that’s when Eswarth made his finishing maneuver to pin Bal-Jhor.

“Aye Cailyder you cost me victory over noble Eswarth here! Ha-ha! Good match my brother.” He said slapping the centaur on the arm that beat him. Such a slap would have sent a human or even half-orc sprawling, but to Eswarth, from his chosen brother, it was only enough to make the centaur reposition a rear leg. “What brings you to the circle my sister? Do you wish to try to win over Eswarth in a match?” the goliath asked her.

“Me? I would never challenge Eswarth for fear of embarrassing my brother in what would surely be a humiliating defeat for him.” She teased playfully and winked at Eswarth who smiled slightly with the knowledge that in the manner of some combat skills she would indeed humiliate him. It was widely known that few could best Cailyder with a bow. In other tests, though, he would do no less to her.

"I thank you for your kindness, dear one." Eswarth said formally, inclining his shaggy head to his little cousin. She inclined her graceful head in kind.

“Shankaria bids you to Grumbar’s Fire so that we may begin the reverie and the joining of the five." She said to the centaur, then turned to the goliath. "Bal-Jhor, Shankaria asks that you find Varshya so that she can conduct Istisha’s fire. After we're ready, you are to begin the Drone.” Bal-Jhor placed both palms on his chest and bowed to Cailyder, accepting his charge happily.

Looking out to the crowd Cailyder then spoke in a forceful voice, “the rest of you, gather around for the Grove of Needles meeting of Gnarcheon!”

As soon as she finished calling them to order Cailyder immediately scampered off to find Maragarn. She looked to the groves edge and called for her two faithful partners, Grubar - her boar - and Koth - her wolverine. She dispatched them to search the perimeter to find her friend and brother.

Far to her right in the glow of one of the cook fires she saw a rabbit scurry out from the underbrush into the clearing. She immediately ran in that direction. Just after the rabbit emerged so did Maragarn who instantly spotted Cailyder. They stopped just before embracing and looked at each other. They looked to each others eyes both with tears welling up. All he could do was close his and lower his head.

48
In Character Discussions / Darkening Shadows
« on: October 18, 2013, 03:38:36 PM »
Gibble raised his eyebrow and nodded. He then took another sip of his whiskey. Casually he walked to his desk and filled his glass with more. “Have a sip. You won’t regret it.” Gibble took a deep breath. “I believe that the Black wolves are somehow involved in looking for you. I also suspect that Copper was murdered because they confused him for you. The Black Wolves may have hired some of Lasher’s flunkies to case The Half Pint looking for you since Copper obviously isn’t you.”

Gibble went to a chest and pulled some clean clothes for Laren to wear. “You were smart enough to foil their efforts and make them soil their pants in the process.” Gibble took another sip of his robust spirit and said, “Now, this is all just my guess based on what we’ve seen. Theirs is a way to be sure though. You could speak with the Inner Eyes. They’d be able to lift the shroud on some of this. Though the information may not come cheaply.”

[Wildfire’s Note: Be sure to review Laren’s Kurr Contact Guidesheet to find out what Laren knows about the Inner Eyes. You rolled a 28 on a skill check so Laren knows some juicy info!]

49
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: October 18, 2013, 02:40:01 PM »
Dread washed over Ashe. Maragarn’s forest was near Threshold. It was also a surprise to him that Maragarn was guardian of a Vallenbrush. In all the conversations he’d had with the jovial satyr never once did he mention it. Of course if he had his ability to guard it would be in question.

This revelation concerned Ashe a great deal. He had seen the ash rings with Maccabeus and Kym not too long ago. If the minions of Zyxu had discovered the Vallenbrush it could well devastate it, possibly beyond redemption if it was still alive.

Ashe wondered to himself if he should send Istian to see the satyr tribe and offer any protection. The great bear was guarding the dryad Whisper and the Goldleaf Grove from any further harm. If he did send his companion it would leave the dryad vulnerable. He couldn’t risk it. The Vallenbrush was sacred but so too were the Goldleaf Trees. The Goldleaf trees were also sick with a pestilence that only a Vallenwood could cure- a mission that Maccabeus and others had embraced. He wondered how Maccabeus, Wolf, Bastion, Hafaveral, and Dale fared on their quest. He hoped their journey was peaceful and saw no harm. Then he realized that their quest would take them past where Maragarn’s tribe is…or was.

In his distress, Ashe hands wanted to begin their jerky dance. He successfully stifled the shakes and ticks of his hand- a residual affect from his days as a seer, one that would never go away. He cursed the evaporation of his pleasant mood from his fascination of Cailyder.

“Shankaria? Maccabeus may be in danger.” He said with notable anxiety. “It’s too early to tell based on our information but not too long ago it was discovered that there was an ash ring not too far from Threshold [Wildfire’s Note: See Wolves on the Hunt Page 6 http://griznuq.com/index.php?topic=6853.50]. It could well be that the source of the trouble for Maragarn is the creators of that ring…and the defilement of the Ring of Mists before it was saved. They are currently in that area of Maragarn’s kin.”

Cailyder’s eyes closed and she whispered a prayer to Mahiya “Blessed Mother-Father, may your everlasting life and wisdom protect our brother and child. May your earth offer strength, your waters healing, your wind clarity, and your fire comfort.” Cailyder knew only too well that if Ashe’s fears were fact then Maragarn would need a sister such as her. No one else would understand his anguish in the same way.

Ashe nodded to Cailyder, “Shankaria, it’s rare that I want to be so wrong as I do now.”

50
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: October 18, 2013, 01:39:33 PM »
Glad you like it! I also recommend Darkening Shawdows as it's a tale of intrigue, decepetion, and routing out villany in the underworld of Kurr...Laren style.

51
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: October 09, 2013, 07:33:28 PM »
Cailyder playfully blushed at Ashe’s enchantment of her. So busy was she defending her home that there was little time for any social life or even family life. She took it as a compliment that despite her subtle scars and wear that her natural beauty was still captivating. Her many lessons in the ways of Mahiya taught her that there is beauty in everything even if it’s outward look did not show it. Still, the doe in her- that primal instinct that was just Cailyder and nothing more- loved the attention that she could garnish on her looks. It allowed her to be away from her daily battles and think of herself.

Ashe was completely taken in by the hybsils exquisiteness. It was a silly thing part of him thought. Cailyder was no more or less enchanting than Whisper. Maybe it was the scene about them or the natural energy the grove had. Maybe it was the various wines and spirits that were in his head. He didn’t know and didn’t much care either! That is, until a wee voice, or what he perceived as a wee voice, echoed beyond and he felt a tapping on his arm.

“Oh! I…ah…Me? Yes, my name is Ashe Clearwater.” he stammered. He took a great bow then offered his hand in greeting. “And your name is Cailyder. I am honored to finally meet you. My father knew your kin well many years ago and I’m saddened that I’ve not met you until this day.”

Cailyder took his hand and rather than shaking it in a typical human fashion for a greeting kissed the palm of his hand. “That is how my clan greets. For us it honors the work the other does in the clan. Your father was in many ways a father to all of us. We owe him a great debt. The thought that we owed him anything would be an insult to him.”

He felt the tradition of shaking hands quite inferior at that moment. The shaking of hands, as Ashe came to know it, was rooted in showing the other that you had no weapons or tricks literally up your sleeve. A display of  trust born of distrust. Honoring the work of another seemed a far more friendly acknowledgment…at least among those familiar with each other. He wasn’t sure how a greeting such as that would pass in the larger cities especially when knowing what one has up their sleeve is a good thing in a place filled with deceit.

Cailyder turned to Shankaria, who she suspected enjoyed the whole exchange that occurred, and asked, “Have any of the other Grenvardaien* arrived aside from yourself and Eswarth, Shankaria?”

52
In Character Discussions / 07.25.2127 - A Boy with a Key
« on: October 04, 2013, 09:00:21 AM »
Is that Dray Pirate Roberts?

53
Out of Character Discussions / Hey!
« on: October 04, 2013, 08:59:06 AM »
Hell yes!

54
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 27, 2013, 08:51:56 PM »
Cailyder murmured back to the venerable druid, “I did. I was quite pleased to see your little messenger.” She stood upright from the cozy hug (for while Cailyder was no match for Eswarth’s height, Shankaria was shorter still) and smiled. Speaking at a near whisper she continued, “It pleased me well to pick the berries. It offered my fronds hope that our woods, our home, is not beyond a verdant salvation.” Ashe could sense and feel a tired desperation laced with unwavering faith in the hybsil. The years of conflict and relentless loss to the ever growing Wasteland would have been more than many could endure. Yet it seemed, to Ashe, that Cailyder would maintain her composure and grace if only to offer her kin the strength of her own belief.

Ashe’s awareness came around from his cursory psionic analysis of Cailyder upon hearing shouts and cheering from the circle of eager witnesses to the test that Eswarth and Bal-Jhor continued to press each other with. Again the gentle voice bewitched him.

“And who is our human friend that honors us with his…illumination?” Cailyder asked with a charming almost flirting manner. Her pleasant demeanor was counter to the pair of notched sickles, well worn patched leather armor, and ivy covered longbow. It was the bow that caught Ashe’s attention. The ivy wasn’t just covering the bow but was actually growing from the bow! He wondered what that was about and secretly wished to see it in action. He suspected that not only was it a gift from Mahiya but that it aided her greatly in her conquest to keep the Wasteland at bay. Ashe wisely calculated that Cailyder was not one to get into a rough and tumble with.

55
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 23, 2013, 08:23:19 PM »
Ashe knew well the joy of seeing kin reunite. He had others in his life that were, to him, as brothers and sisters and yet others that were actually his children. It was a joy and comfort that only family (blood related or not) could know. Though it was obvious that Eswarth and Bal-Jhor were not blood related nor even of the same race they respected each other as true brothers.

Ashe looked down to see Shankaria’s blissful smile stretched across her little face. She was exactly where she wanted to be, he thought. Despite the turbulence surrounding his life, Ashe was where he needed to be. The moment was a living metaphor and a Vallenwood whisper of wisdom in it’s ancient prose. It spoke that even in a raging ocean of chaos there are islands of joy and serenity to be found. There is no map to find them and very often when you seek them they are then most elusive. Oh, the moments do creep upon you! If you let them they shall cradle you when you need them the most.

As soon as Ashe sensed a new presence he heard a melodic and flowing voice in an accent he’d not heard in decades. “And what of the sisters my sister?”

Ashe turned to see a creature similar to Eswarth but much shorter. Rather than a body comparable (for centaurs loathed being called half horse or man horse) to a horse it was not unlike a deer. She was a hybsil. Ashe knew well of the struggle her kind endured. The Wasteland of Archea consumed the dense forest that they had long ago claimed as their homeland. He always admired their tenacity at trying to reclaim their legacy.

In his bold examination of the new arrival it struck Ashe as being out of place that this female hybsil would have antlers. Then again, he thought, they weren’t half deer they were hybsils! As such they didn’t grow like deer nor were they bound by the gender distinction of antlers. Gender distinction came in other, rather obvious, ways.

Cailyder giggled at Ashe’s intrigued expression and she continued, “Will it be good to see your sisters again my love?” she asked as she analyzed the aged (and still remarkably handsome) human before her.

56
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 12, 2013, 09:57:35 PM »
“It wouldn’t surprise me if he was busy in the circle. He always was to sort to partake in the fertility ‘dance’” Ashe stated guessing that Eswarth knew well the reputation that Satyrs had. A smirk crept across his face at thinking of the meaning and pleasure of such an event.

There was another natural pleasure that inspired the various folk across all parts: food! The cook fires were surrounded in a cloud of delightful aromas and made Ashe’s belly grumble with hunger. There were a variety of forest animals being roasted and all manner of forest gatherings from the multitude of plants available. Mahiyas bounty was truly magnificent! Gathered apart from the general feast were the signature profferings of food from each of the societies that came to the feast. It was a sign of binding community between them to share their culinary dishes and few were ever shy about trying new things.

Of course, no fey celebration would be complete without ales and wines. Apart from the cook fires was a ring of various barrels, skins, and jugs of beverages harboring Feywine to Pine Brandy to Acorn Bitters to Tinglewater and more. Ashe had no doubt that all of the vessels would be drained by morning. He silently wished he had brought some Dizzysap made from the Goldleaf Trees as it would no doubt be coveted by all that drank it.

“So my friend, where do you suggest we begin our feasting?” Ashe inquired. He suddenly realized that Eswarth may have dealings with others here and may be anxious to seek them out. “My apologies Good Eswarth. I presume too much. If you need to find others here it will not insult me if you choose to depart my company.”

57
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 12, 2013, 08:35:16 PM »
As they followed the smell of food both could hear the musical pipes, the beating of drums, and the plucking of strings playing together to form an undeniably intoxicating aria. Silhouettes danced in front of the fire and laughter echoed among the trees. On the outskirts of the grove among the tall pines, fireflies twinkled amidst the underbrush. This was a scene that only the fey folk were truly capable of creating and Ashe felt blessed to be among them this night and in this moment.

“I…um…” Ashe stammered trying to break his gaze from the enchanting dance. “Yes…rather…no. I wasn’t looking for anyone in particular.” Ashe replied to his tall companion. “Now that you mention it though, I wonder if my friend Maragarn was privileged to join this festivity. He also dwells in the mouth of the Valley of Mist.” Ashe looked up at Eswarth, playfully jealous of his height at this moment, and asked, “Do you see a jovial Satyr dancing with a ring of feykind?”

58
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 11, 2013, 08:43:35 PM »
When Eswarth took Ashe’s hands in greeting Ashe understood just how truly massive this Slayer of the Dead really was (and was relieved that he was not among the ranks of the undead being in the presence of the mighty centaur). His hands disappeared under the thick fingers of his new friend. He quietly chuckled at his recollection of Maccabeus’s hands being subjected to a similar situation when Ashe’s took the young Dale Gnome’s hands in his own greeting. He smiled thinking about a greeting between Maccabeus and Eswarth! Would they even be able to shake hands? It seemed that one of Eswarth’s fingers would suffice just fine were they to shake hands upon meeting.

As Ashe listened to Eswarth speak it conjured up a fleeting feeling of dread within the aged druid. While Eswarth was honored to meet him and spoke kindly of his deeds- and Ashe had no reason to doubt his intergrity in saying so- Ashe was regretful of some of the things that he had actually done in the past. He had always been regretful of them but in meeting a member of the circle he wished that some history was unavailable to be known. Ashe had never been proud of the blood on his hands regardless of the circumstances by which it came. Did the noble centaur know such things of him?

“I will be among you through the night good Eswarth” Ashe replied to his question. “I bring news both lifeless and verdant from Threshold in the mouth of the Valley.” Ashe was less than subtle in his intimation of the news to come. “And it’s news all of the Vallenbrush wardens will need to know.”

Ashe’s thoughts went to Maccabeus and the others heading into the Valley of Mist. He desperately wanted to know how Whisper was doing and he considered tapping into his Seer capabilities. He regretfully refrained from such action as it would leave him open for the temporary madness to creep in and he needed to be as sharp as he’s ever been for this night. Whisper was quite strong and had survived so far and she had Istian, his dire bear, with her. Still time was melting away and her life and the life of the Goldleaf Grove was in the balance. He mused at how hot her temper would be the next time something tried to defile he trees. The Abyss has no fury like a dryad defending her trees.

“Where are my manners? Are you thirsty Eswarth? Shall we share in the delight of a drink? Perhaps some food?” Ashe said trying to be pleasant after his personal thoughts.

59
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 10, 2013, 08:37:36 PM »
Ashe was relieved to know that his guess had not led him astray to full embarrassment. He took the centaur’s broad hand with his right and covered the embrace with his left. To Ashe this was always a warmer greeting as it offered a trusted vulnerability to the other.

“I am Ashe Clearwater of Threshold.” Ashe said with pride as he looked to Eswarth’s eyes and then completed his sentence with a nod of his head. He wanted to add a title to his name so Eswarth might have more definition of Ashe’s role in the circle. Having lived a very long time and done much he wasn’t exactly sure how he would define himself. Was he a guardian of Threshold? Yes, as were a few- namely the Protectorate. Was he a teacher? It seemed he was but he felt he was more than that. Perhaps a name and current origin were all that was necessary in this instance and that Eswarth may know of him just the same. At this point a title didn’t much matter as the time for stating such had passed. To speak of one now would only serve to be awkward.

“I trust your journey was filled with pleasing sights and little hassle?” Ashe asked him. “To my recollection the Tumbling Plains are in full bloom this time of year. An inspiring sight to be sure.”

60
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« on: September 07, 2013, 02:38:24 PM »
Ashe was both giddy and anxious. Never before had he been to this meeting. There were many secretive meetings of druids concerning all manner of things in the vast world of Mahiya. While Ashe was the son of Zachary Clearwater- he who carried the mantle of Zebulon- and an accomplished Hierophant in his own right, it did not afford him special privilege to be involved in all of that which was occurring in all of the circles. He often admitted that condition was best and likewise a relief. “Let the fire burn and the water soak” he thought. It was an old saying among druids. It was a reminder that one individual can’t, nor should, do everything; that each thing has a specific purpose. Perhaps that was why he was here at this meeting. He smiled at his epiphany and a tingling comfort came over him as though Mahiya itself had spoken to him.

Across the grove apart from the ripening festivities Ashe spied among the pine boughs an individual that could only be interpreted as a centaur. He could not see any details as the shade of the trees surrounding the grove were shielding the waning light of Kossuth. The silhouette was unmistakable. It had to be the Vallenbrush steward Eswarth from the Tumbling Plains. That was the limit of Ashe’s knowledge on him. It seemed a good time to diminish his ignorance and introduce himself.

As he drew closer he could see the great sword strapped to Eswarth’s back. He found it odd that he had not seen it when he first noticed him but that may have been a trick of the light. Ashe kept a respectful distance from Eswarth so as to not offer surprise upon introduction. He was a tall and imposing figure and it seemed to Ashe that he also had a majestic integrity about him.

“My greetings to you…Eswarth...?” Ashe stated and asked all at once. He instantly realized how bumbling and clumsy he sounded and could not help but cringe ever so slightly at his foolishness. Naturally his very act of cringing gave him the sense that Eswarth too took him for a fool and may have even been insulted. “Let me start over if you will.” And Ashe cleared his throat. “Eswarth I presume?”

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