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91
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« Last post by Johan on December 26, 2013, 07:02:28 PM »
There were two surprises for Bal-Jhor this year...perhaps there were more yet to come.

Year after year it was clear that no other Gnarcheon in the grove truly understood what was happening during the Drone. This year was different. This year there was a half-orc that Bal-Jhor had never seen before, who understood. While every other Gnarcheon there was uplifted and happy when the Drone started, this half-orc was truly moved, and Bal-Jhor didn't need to see the wolf spirit at the half-orc's shoulder to know that the half-orc was a spirit friend. But the half-orc was clumsy with Mahiya's tongue...he had not been taught Her ways by anyone, and yet was here in the Grove where only Her servants were allowed. Bal-Jhor knew that the half-orc was no threat; he would bear watching.

His second surprise was Varshya who, in her role in the ritual was transformed from her lonely elf into a beautiful embodiment of Istisha. Perhaps, the goliath thought, Varshya wasn't quite so isolated as she seemed. Of course, outside of the ritual, even the spirits spoke a different story.

The Drone continued to fill the grove, taken up by joyous voices. It moved northerly towards Akadi's fire, and it moved southerly towards Grumbar's, leaving a bubble of sorts in the middle of the grove, where Mahiya's fire burned brightly. That middle ground would be filled only when all of Mahiya's children's fires were reaching to the sky, like Istisha's was. Istisha's green tendrils lifted on the energy of the Drone and Varshya's song like a green current following the path of a river, both lights and voices searched for Akadi's fire and Grumbar's fire.

At Akadi's fire, while voices joined the drone, Mirriam set tipper to bodhran and beat a rhythm full of life, adding dimension to Varshya's song while to the south, Eswarth reared high and brought his feet down impossibly loud upon the earth at Grumar's fire. Eswarth's enormous forehoofs began to stomp in a slow, methodic rhythm that complimented Mirriam's more rapid one, the both of them carried along with Varshya's song, the three continuing easterly to where Cailyder awaited the coming of the Drone and the currents of the three rituals for her to add her own to.

Blue fingers reached up from Akadi's fire to mingle and join with Istisha's green, the two dancing as though alive, intermingling before moving towards the orange fire that was Kossuth's. To the south, the ruddy fingers of Grumbars fire pulsed into the sky with Eswarth's stomping. Leaping up those ruddy fingers of light grabbed hold of Istisha's blue currents and lent the strength of Grumbar. The two searched onward towards Kossuth's beacon.

Shankaria felt the drone vibrating in her little body and watched the lights grace the sky one by one, all the while keeping an eye that saw, but did not fully understand, upon the sad satyr that stood beside her.
92
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Wildfire on December 24, 2013, 04:45:07 PM »
*(Ref. Session 12- Death to Dannobar) Book in what we can assume to be Melzak’s Room.
*(Ref. Session 19- Beloved) We’re told it was a book on human anatomy that was incomplete.
OOC: What ever happened to the book?


*     *     *

“We wouldn’t have to be worry’n  if’n we be knowin’ where he went off to.” Zurn replied. “Las’ we saw his sorry hide he wus asking fer a book* that we lifted from his place in tha’ caves…jus’ before we brought Dannobar ta’ peace.”

Zurn did not expect to be saddened so suddenly to mention the once wayward Dannobar. Though the priest had lost faith in Ehlonna she had not lost faith in him. To Zurn’s mind it was a story folks often hear about but until one witnessed such divine grace it was impossible to measure the lasting impact of forgiveness such as that. Ultimately it was Ehlonna’s mercy that lead to Dannobar’s redemption and that, in Zurn’s thinking, was the splendor of his matron deity.

“I be wonderin’” Zurn asked glancing towards Belwar “if’n it was losing tha’ big book o’ nasty tha’ got Melzak into deep demon dung with his Master.”
93
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Chassic on December 23, 2013, 08:19:52 PM »
“Melzak!”  Faznar jumped to his feet in anger.  “Do you have any idea how many times I’ve been mistaken for that … that … spriggan fellator?”  Faznar angrily kicked at the dirt.  “Got me run out of a fair number of places and nearly got me killed here.  That Master guy is not a fan of Melzak.  Pretty sure he was working for the Master and messed up really, really bad.” Faznar gave Zurn a smirk.  “I don’t think either of us will have to worry about Melzak for long.”

Faznar huffed and looked a bit embarrassed.  “Um, sorry about the language.”
94
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Wildfire on December 21, 2013, 09:36:21 PM »
“Ye bein’ a gnome mage of sorts yer lucky we dunna jus’ be separating yer head from yer neck truth be told…ne’ermind yer sqeakbox. The last gnome finger wiggler we had company with was a traitorous pain in the rump. Went by the name Melzak. Tha’ dunna ring any bells does it? Not seen him for a spell o’ time.”

Zurn had asked in a long shot that Faznar might know their old enemy. It’d been a while since he’d been seen and Zurn didn’t trust that he wouldn’t be seen again. Especially since Melzak and Dannobar knew each other and Dannobar had links to the gargan in this valley.
95
In Character Discussions / Gnarcheon's Festival at the Grove of Needles
« Last post by Wildfire on December 21, 2013, 08:38:29 PM »
Varshya could feel Bal-Jhor’s drone before she heard it. It came about as a tingle in her bare toes. She closed her eyes and concentrated on the ritual drone. Memories flooded her mind and passed through as birds flying among trees. So many came and went. They were memories of joyous times, saddening ones, angry ones, regretful ones. They blended together as colorful leaves in Rynnyx; blended together until they were one white light. Then nothing. It was just her and the warm feeling in the heart of her mind and mind of her heart. Her soul was touched at this moment and she had no sense of herself. She could feel the ritual taking her.

Her eyes slowly opened and she rose from her resting place. She moved with a posture of  fluid strength toward the green fire and loosened her clothes as she went. She was a steward of Istisha and shedding her clothes was symbolic of birth and rebirth. She whispered, “As from the water was I born, to the water shall I sing.” Her body was consumed in green light and quietly she began to sing in the brethren cant:

Mahiya is the life, Mahiya is the breath
Mahiya is our knowledge, Mahiya is our death
We rise above, we sink below
We unite as one, as one we know
Istisha we drink, Istisha will mend
Istisha is peace to our hearts will it send

The song started much as the drone did, quietly at first but picking up in volume as well as tempo until it found it’s own rhythm and pace. It was a beautiful but stark contrast between the two voices: Bal-Jhor’s masculine bass complimented by Varshya’s feminine soprano. Varshya alone sang the hymn and despite the drone being carried by the surrounding onlookers, it did not drown her voice. She stood at Istisha’s fire free from everything and lost in the ritual.

Yarlia in her training thus far had never seen Varshya so open. Her master had unashamedly shed her clothing in front of all of these people and was singing at a fire for all to hear. At that moment she felt inspired by her master’s unification of all that she was with all that was Istisha. She saw Varshya not just as a living spirit of her race but of Istisha itself. It was such an inspiring sight to her that Yarlia, while partaking in the drone, shed tears of revelation. She would never be the same after that moment.

Bal-Jhor could sense the peace that Varshya had found in the ritual and saw well the multitude of spirits that had surrounded her.

Across the camp at Mahiya’s fire Maragarn listened to Shankaria’s direction. He wanted to protest and refuse his part in the ritual. He hadn’t earned the honor this year. He wanted an alternative. He knew right well that Shankaria would hear none of it. The only way out for him was through. He realized that may have been Shankaria’s unspoken wisdom- one of many in her decision.

He nodded his acknowledgement of his part in the ritual. With sad eyes he looked to Shankaria for some release of the void within him. He wanted that emptiness to fill with something…anything to mitigate the ache of his loss. Time was too slow.

He could sense the wispy threads of darkness that began to tickle his thoughts like a snake’s tongue as he walked to the fire. Ashe watched as the satyr approached. He knew the path that Maragarn was going to take before anyone else did- including Maragarn. Ashe was once a legendary Swamp Seer and could sense such things. Maragarn would either be liberated or destroyed by his choice. There was no middle ground.

The drone continued to carry across the camp.
96
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Chassic on December 19, 2013, 12:43:19 PM »
“Oh, I’ve always got some place to be going” replied Faznar, “and usually in haste and under pursuit!”  Faznar laughed at himself.  “Yeah, I think traveling with you folk is the best of my rather limited options.  If you’ll have me, that is.  Many folk won’t.  Or won’t for long.”  He turned to Belwar and flashed a meek smile.  “I’ve found my sense of humor clashes with that of most dwarves.  Well, honestly, with all dwarves that I have ever encountered … eventually.”  He sighed a sad little sigh before continuing, “I am, however, an absolute riot amongst other gnomes and also children of most every race!”  Faznar’s eyes absolutely twinkled with joy when he spoke of children, an effect that Zurn thought must have been magically enhanced.

“I have other talents, too. Aside from the obvious magical talents, that is. I happen to be an excellent cook. Also, I am a master at the gnomish squeezebox!”  Faznar moved his empty hands back and forth while wiggling his fingers.  The not-so-subtle sound of gnomish polka music drifted softly through the air as his hands imitated the motions of playing the unusual instrument.  “It’s been a while since I have actually played, though.  My squeezeboxes tend to get smashed to bits.”
97
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Wildfire on December 15, 2013, 09:10:43 AM »
Zurn shook his head a humming chuckled at the gnomes continued prestidigitation. No doubt that fate was one of a long list of things that Belwar would find to be an agreeable end for Urguth. Zurn measured Faznar as being the sort that survived by guile rather than raw tenacity. Both means had merit but neither were absolutes for every situation. Given that, this gnome could well make a strategic, and humorous, addition to The Forest Keepers. Zurn cinched another bandage on the slightly built gnome.

“So what’s yer plan from here? Ye got anoothah place to be goin’?” Zurn cast a look back to Belwar. “Suren’ we ain’t gonna kill ya it seems ta me tha’ the safest way of goin’ anywhere is with us.”
98
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Chassic on November 27, 2013, 12:01:59 AM »
“Hmm,” thought Faznar aloud.  “My folks moved around a lot when I was growing up.  I still keep moving around a lot now that they are gone.  Can’t really say I am from any one place… or headed to any place for that matter.”  Faznar’s attention was still focussed on his illusion.  A frying pan appeared under the Urguth-pike. “Ah! No!,” it cried as flames burst to life under the pan and the fish started to sizzle.  “Must. Save. Myself.” The Urguth-pike flopped about, flipped through the air, and landed right in the fire.  “Ahhhh!  Damn it," the dwarf-fish screamed.  "This is an even worse situation than I was previously in!”  Faznar snickered and ended the illusion in a puff of smoke that smelled of fish soup. “Crap, now I could really go for a nice hot bowl of fish chowder!”
99
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Griznuq on November 25, 2013, 10:29:31 AM »
...He decided he'd wait though, until Zurn was done (diplomatically) talking with Faznar.
100
In Character Discussions / Gnomenclature
« Last post by Griznuq on November 25, 2013, 10:28:48 AM »
Belwar wanted to be angry, but he had to admit the illusion was clever. He didn't bother saying that he wouldn't have known what his mother had smelled like anyway.

The urge to cleave the little bastard was there, but not nearly as sharp as it would have been only a few short weeks ago.

I must be getting old, he mused to himself.

It occurred to Belwar then, that he ought to share his story with the group, if only so that they knew the kind of person they were up against.
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