Author Topic: A Sticky Situation  (Read 1264 times)

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Offline Blackspear

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A Sticky Situation
« on: January 03, 2010, 11:13:11 PM »
After the battle with the strange human like arachnid, Dale and Maccabeus sat around the camp’s fire discussing the magical cloak that was found in the creature’s lair.   Dale had studied the cloak and discovered that it was a cloak of armor.   Once it was identified, both of them desired the cloak very much.    

Maccabeus was worried that the large cloak was too big for him and altering it might destroy its magic.   Dale was certain that the right person could tailor it to fit the little fellow and told him so.   However, Dale knew that he needed the cloak as much, if not more than the gnome.
Maccabeus suggested that they shoot dice for the cloak, winner take all.

Dale agreed and was greatly relieved when he cast his gaming dice for the high score.    Maccabeus was clearly disappointed but he did not complain.

Knowing that this was no mere trinket, Dale dug through his pack and pulled out an ornate wineskin.   The skin was made of a deer bladder, but what made it special were the beautiful carvings of a tree on one side and a long narrow leaf on the other.   Both carvings were etched in bronze.   They were clearly images of the bronze leaf tree from Whispers grove.

“Maccabeus, this is a wineskin that Whisper gave to me.   It contains water from the spring within her home.   I do not know its value, although I imagine that it is not as valuable as the cloak.”   Dale paused as if trying to make up his mind.  

“This skin is dear to me, yet I think that you may find it even more precious.   I would be honored if you would take it in exchange for the cloak.   It seems only fair that you should get something for your efforts today.”

Dale smiled at Maccabeus and extended the skin towards his little friend.
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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A Sticky Situation
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2010, 01:26:32 PM »
Maccabeus was indeed disappointed with how the game of chance turned out, but he also knew that it was no game of chance. "That is a kind gesture, Dale." Maccabeus answered his friend. "But I would be remiss to take something that Golden Whisper bestowed upon you." He hoped his refusal would not be mistaken. "Plus, we Gnarcheon pride ourselves on living within the generosity of Mahiya and Her Children - what we need, they provide."

"In rolling the dice, I like to think that we are in some part revealling Mahiya's will. She has ever been my armor (note: Maccabeus wears no armor of any kind) and I take my loss as an indication that She favors me yet." He leaned in close to Dale then, that others may not so readily hear, saying, "Additionally, from our earlier conversations I know you have great need to watch after your own hide, and this prize will help you, who have no other aid, to do just that."

"Keep that skin close to your heart Dale." He said. "The fey do not bestow such treasures lightly, and when they do, their gifts are suited to those who recieve them. That gilded skin was meant for you specifically. For the cloak: Wear it in good health, Dale." Maccabeus entreated.

"As for gaining from my efforts," he continued. "I'm on the literal threshold of seeing the Valley of Mists - Mahiya's cradle - the most Holy of destinations to we who serve Mahiya, and a place that I had long thought but a fantasy. This is a gift that few Gnarcheon get to see (I'll not sleep much this night, I can tell you!!). I've lived another day, acquainted myself with more of Mahiya's lands, and I've learned a thing or two of my enemies. This has been a profitable day indeed!"
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Offline Blackspear

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A Sticky Situation
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2010, 08:29:16 PM »
“Well, since you’re going to be up all night, maybe you can help me answer some questions.   During my visit with Whisper, we discussed an ancient mage named Valekai.   He discovered Sorcer ‘Nyx and the power associated with it.   During his lifetime he learned to channel the power, but somehow he abused it.   He wrote a treaty about it.    It is called "The Foundation of Sorcerers The Doctrine of Valekai".

In the doctrine he writes (Dale recites this from memory) "To understand the power I have come to understand you must be willing to accept the divine order that I have come to see as the truth.

"As night is to day, as the male is to the female, as the left hand is to the righthand, so too is the physical to the philosophical. They are very different, slightly alike, but each harbors equal power in our lives. There is a divinity that encompasses both of these aspects whom the ancients call Nyx. We are reflections of this divinity in that we are both physical and philosophical. In order that we may better identify with Nyx we must pass through the defined mediums of which we are made. The apparent physical aspects that Nyx is comprised of are fire, water, earth, and air.

"The ancients referred to the divine nature of these aspects as Pyrryn'Nyx, Syrryth'Nyx, Brothac'Nyx, and Venturric'Nyx. The philosophical aspects that affect us are Good, Indifference, and Evil. The ancients referred to these divine perspectives as Volendan'Nyx, Mhalvey'Nyx, and Cusyncuth'Nyx. These Seven Divinities and aspects are inseperable and are also individual.

"The Physical becomes Philosophical, the Philosophical becomes Physical. This translation is done by the power of the fifth child of the physical-magic-Sorcer'Nyx.

"Sorcer'Nyx spans the gap between the two sides of Nyx whereby we become the channel for the manifestation of the aspects of which we are formed. All aspects are inseperately joined. They are bound to move through the mediums of all others and should never be invoked directly.

"I have lived a darkness for my blasphemy against this principle. Question upon this principle for yourself. Know the truth of it. Allow it to scatter the darkness of the path I have taken before you take the path for yourself.

"I am Valekai-faithful servant of Sorcer'Nyx."

“When I asked Whisper about Valekai, she said that she was forbidden to speak of his power.   She did say that the wasted lands to the north and east of Threshold were destroyed by the power Valekai wielded.   Can you tell me anything about Valekai or the wasted lands or his power?”

Dale took a deep breath and looked at the gnome hopefully.
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2010, 09:48:05 PM »
"A wise man that I know - one who dwells in the Dale - is quoted as having been very happy to have been able to answer such a question with alacrity and accuracy: he said that he didn't know."

"I've never heard the name of Valekai, and I therefore can know nothing about his powers, but the power that created the Waste Land of Archea is the weapon of my enemy: that which consumes the life force, never to return it to the Great Cycle."
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2010, 10:21:40 PM »
“I understand that much.   Our enemy is abusing the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx.   But you said it yourself, that power is of ‘Nyx, which is Mahiya.   So the power itself is not evil, just those who are using it to destroy.   The power is a tool.   Much like a sword, it can be used to kill or protect.    

Whisper mentioned that Valekai lost his way and didn’t realize it until it was too late.   Then he destroyed others who were seeking to use the power for ill gains.  

The more I ponder this mystery, the more I believe that Valekai was very much like you…”    Dale looked Maccabeus in the eye to gauge his reaction to his next statement.   “I believe that Valekai was some sort of priest of Mahiya.   Only he didn’t serve Mahiya as much as he manipulated her power.   I think that when he strayed from his path, he studied and maybe worshipped only one aspect of Mahiya, Sorcer ‘Nyx.   In this devotion he may have failed to recognize how his power was taking from the other aspects of Mahiya.

It is my belief that the power of Sorcer could be used to help right the wrongs that have been done to the land.   At the very least, it could help balance the fight against the Ash Lords and their minions.”

Dale watched the diminutive druid for his reaction.   He fervently hoped that he had not offended Maccabeus.   He wondered if he was straying too close to committing blasphemy in the eyes of the druid.   Or maybe even worse, giving away his secret.   Would Maccabeus persecute him for being a mage?
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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A Sticky Situation
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2010, 04:53:48 PM »
“Easterly from the north-west-most finger of the forest that is my homeland, across the Dale of Wolves in the foothills there is a narrow chasm. The younglings in their bravado often will ride out to this chasm and leap across it; it’s their way of proving their bravery and thus consider themselves men grown.”

“It is not uncommon for a youngling to lose their life in this foolishness. The chasm is a goodly leap in distance across, but the jagged rocks at the bottom ensure that one will not survive should they miss their leap. This ritual is forbidden, but as we all know: the fact that a thing is forbidden rarely causes it to not happen. Indeed: there are those who tempt fate specifically because it is forbidden.”

“I don’t think that I would like to be the gnome who leaps across that chasm to demonstrate to other gnomes that it is not dangerous.”
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2010, 07:44:13 PM »
"We each have our calling.   If given the choice of righting a wrong by jumping across the chasm, or letting atrocities continue, I will jump every time.   I have watched too many people die, because they were afraid to act.   If the Xen Thakians, or others, dare to wield the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx, who will stand to oppose them?   It may be that the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx is the only way to stop them.   Would you watch Whisper and her grove die because you were afraid to jump?”   As Dale speaks, he becomes more and more animated.   When he finishes speaking, he stares intently at Maccabeus.   Realizing that his tiny friend is not the enemy, he sits down and draws a deep breath and silently wrings his hands while he waits for Maccabeus to respond.
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 09:13:31 AM »
Dale was in interesting fellow to Maccabeus. At heart, it seemed to the little Dale Gnome, this human was a good fellow, but it also seemed to Maccabeus that Dale had blinders on. He saw only what he wanted to see, and assumed much en route to his pre-concieved conclusions. Maccabeus hoped that he was wrong.

"You make fair arguments, but I'm not sure that you're hearing what I'm saying." Maccabues said, adopting a balanced posture and tone...inasmuch as he was able.

"Your argument assumes that use of the power of Sorcer'Nyx is the only way for us to defeat our enemies. History tells us that this is not true (as far as I understand history). They've been defeated in the past, and we can do as much in the future."

"Also, you take my example in only the shallowest turns; of couse we would all leap that chasm if it meant to save lives. But you seem to suggest leaping your chasm for the purpose of proving it can be done, and that's really a faulty reason in my thinking."

"You posit that 'if the Xan'Thankians use the power of Sorcer'Nyx'. This is an assertion that I do not know to be true. If you know it to be true - if you have good evidence - then I would hope that you would share that knowledge, especially with Ashe and Jullian."

"You also posit that use of that power would be the only thing that can defeat weilders of that power, but I say to you that fire does not put fire out. I do not toss burning branches into a fire to try to extinguish the fire; I use water to quench fire, or I rob it of its air; I might even smother it with earth. I do not try to stay an overflowing river by dumping water into it. I build levies of earth, I dig channels (again of earth). In times of dire need, and when I can, I might try to build a fire to turn that water into steam. It seems folly to me to think that I can use a power to destroy that same power.

"In the end, though, you're right: we all of us have our calling. We also all of us must ultimately walk our paths alone. Side-by-side, to be sure, but alone nonetheless."

After speaking Maccabeus retreated to the observant side of his mind, interested in every aspect of Dale's response. Dale had a way of appearing angry at the slightest provocation, and Maccabeus wondered if in fact the human was angry, or was it just an appearance.

From Dale's arguments, Maccabeus guessed that the human was already on the path that this Valekai had taken, and if Dale's tendency towards emotional response was any indication, the human might indeed be following in Valekai's footsteps towards losing his way and not knowing it.
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2010, 10:36:02 PM »
Dale tried to sit calmly as he listened to Maccabeus speak.  He tried very hard to keep an open mind to what the druid had to say.  Dale continued to wring his hands, showing the tension that he was feeling.   He was extremely nervous speaking to Maccabeus, a druid, about magic, even if it wasn’t directly about his own use of that power.

Dale put his hands on his knees and replied to Maccabeus.  “I have heard and understood what you are saying.  The power of Sorcer ‘Nyx is not to be used lightly.   It should be treated with great care and respect, just like all of the other powers of Mahiya.  

“As for evidence of its use, Whisper claims that Valekai abused the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx and as a result, the wastelands to the east and north of Threshold were created.   By all accounts, these wastelands are very similar to what we saw at the ring on the way to the arachnid’s lair.   The wastelands are supposedly the same, but on a much greater scale as what happened to the Ring of Mists.   We know that the Ash Lords created these rings of waste.   It is probable that they manipulated Sorcer ‘Nyx to do this.   I have no evidence that the Xan Thakians are connected to the Ash Lords, but it is not too much of a stretch.  Where there is trouble, the dark cloaks are not far behind.

“As for fighting fire with fire, the most important lesson that I have learned is that those who seek to rule others with power, will not respect anything other than power.   Even if fighting the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx with the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx is not the answer, we need to learn of this natural power.   Without understanding the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx, we can not hope to defeat it.”

Dale stood up and paced back and forth in front of the gnome.   With anxiety clear on his face, he continued.   “According to Whisper, Valekai destroyed his enemies who also used used the power of Sorcer ‘Nyx.   He used Sorcer to do it.

As Dale continued his thoughts, he looked the gnome straight in the eye.   The light of the fire highlighted the scar on his face in a most hideous fashion.   “Aren’t you even the least bit curious to find out about this lost facet of Mahiya?   What if it is no different than Istisha or Kossuth?   Should the use of the power of Kossuth be banished, because it can be destructive?   Fire can also start the process of healing and regeneration.   I would think that any facet of Mahiya would be both destructive and regenerative or protective.   Isn’t that part of the balance of Mahiya?”  

Dale stopped pacing and place a log in the fire.   Then he sat down and took a long draw on his waterskin while he waited for Maccabeus to respond.
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2010, 12:32:22 PM »
"You have more information that I do, it seems" Maccabeus conceded. "I would caution you though: when you say that Whisper said that Valekai abused that power and the Wasteland resulted, the suggestion that one draws from there is that there were no other influences that contributed to that result. I don't know the one way or the other of it, but I believe that Ashe does; he and I spoke on it shallowly once before."

"Tread carefully, Dale." He warned. "A large part of what I understand about your argument is that it wasn't Sorcer'Nyx that caused problems; it was the people who abused Sorcer'Nyx, but I'll tell you that not all powers are without sentience, and without goals of their own. This isn't a tool like a hammer, which will do ought but what its weilder tells it to. All aspects of the power of Mahiya are living and sentient, and it may be that the power will have you do what IT wants YOU to do, and not the other way round."

"Am I curious? Of course; I'd be remiss to not be curious. But I'm also highly wary; I leave it at this time to others, who are far wiser than I, to explore those realms. Mahiya has other work for me, and I attend that, as I believe it to be no less important than any of Her other work."
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2010, 08:05:54 PM »
Dale scrunched his face as if in deep thought when Maccabeus mentioned the sentience of Sorcer 'Nyx.   "Thanks for the warning."  
Dale hesitated for a moment and then, giving int ohis curiosity, asked a flurry of questions.   "Is the sentience of Mahiya's powers, a manifestation of Mahiya's will?   Or can they think independtly of Mahiya?   Can you give me an example of this sentience you speak of?   This idea fascinates me!"
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2010, 08:16:35 PM »
Maccabeus chuckeld lightly as Dale's rapid-fire inquiries. "These are among the  many questions of wisdom." He said. "And by and large, they need to be answered for you...BY you." This was an answer that Maccabeus had received continuously throughout his time with Shankaria; it had irritated him to no end, but now he understood better the power that was in it: there was no way that anyone would be able to answer those questions for Dale. His mnd and spirit would have to be ready for those answers, and only his mind and spirit knew when that might be.
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 08:43:01 PM »
Dale frowned in thought.   After a moment he decided to move the discussion in a slightly different direction.   "When you call upon Mahiya, do you call to Mahiya in general or do you call to the power that would best help you at that moment?   For example, when you want to use fire for your power, do you call to Kossuth?"
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...

Offline Johan

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« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2010, 11:10:01 AM »
Maccabeus became figety as Dale finished his question. The little gnome rocked a bit side-to-side as he sat and his feet moved about as if on their own. Wolf lifted his great head and gruffed quietly, looking at Maccabeus. Maccabeus shared a long stare with his wolf friend.

"It's good that you should be curious." Maccabeus said, still looking into Wolf's eyes. "And the nature of your questions reveals an agile mind." He at last turned to Dale again. "But these particular questions aren't so readily answered; the power of Mahiya and Her children isn't something that we command, and how they work through us is not something that can be explained. Many of my kindred walk the land for decades doing Mahiya's will and never are able to articulate the answers to the questions that you ask.  It's something that must be experienced to understand, and that path is long indeed."

Maccabeus stared at Dale, a somewhat blank look on the gnome's face.
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2010, 07:28:23 PM »
Seeing that the little gnome was getting tired, Dale stood up and said, "Well, thanks for your help.   Have a good night."  

Dale walked away from the fire more than a little confused by the gnome's strange behavior.   He had hoped to discover whether he could openly discuss his secret with the druid.   Based on the friendly responses that the gnome had made towards Dale's questions about Valekai and Sorcer 'Nyx, Dale had considered discussing his own magic use.    After seeing the gnome acting so strange, he realized this was the wrong time.  

Dale was quite sure that if the druid was paying attention, he would suspect what Dale really was.   Now it remained to be seen what Maccabeus would do about it.   Dale regretted sharing so much with gnome.   Now he would have to sleep with one eye open.
Blackspear
"My first encounter with a dragon was fortuitous.  I lost my mount, had the chain torn from my chest, and was pinned to the ground by a claw that pierced my leg.   I would limp for the rest of my life, but I never felt more alive...