Author Topic: A New Home  (Read 834 times)

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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #75 on: November 18, 2005, 12:10:31 PM »
"Is the stone circle an active place of worship?", asks Dale as he scratches his beard.   "Is it devoted to Mahiya?"
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"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 Wildfire

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« Reply #76 on: November 18, 2005, 11:39:03 AM »
"Heh...Lonely in paradise? I'm alone much of the time but I'm not lonely. I must admit though I do wish Mercer were still here. In nearly every way he was my brother...like you and Wolf are to each other."

"Anyway, Threshold is only this choked and busy during Sythus. After The Day of the Valley it thins out a bit. People still pass through of course and many that you see here will continue on to the Valley in a few weeks when traveling is sure to be safe weather wise. The mountain weather is very unpredicatble around here. Even this distance out of Venric a snow squall can whip up in the blink of an eye." Ashe explains

"Of course they pass back through on their journey home during Brak. When Rynnyx comes on you'll see the true population of the town. Which the trees around here are stunningly gorgeous. The town celebrates that with The Festival of Trees. Some travelers do come here for that but not like what you see now. During this time it makes me glad that I live where I do in the town. I do, however, get some people to my shop to buy spices and herbs."

"I'll be showing you about the town to some of the key places and bit by bit you'll come to know it if you let yourself. You might be interested to know that there is a stone circle in the middle of Threshold..."
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #77 on: November 18, 2005, 11:14:35 AM »
"If you don't mind me saying, it sounds like you're a bit lonely here in paradise." Maccabeus observed of his new-found friend. "And amid so many people; it seems to me that there are more people than there is room for in your town."

"What is it that entices so many to live in such close proximity to one another? I'd be interested to know a little of the history of your town? Who are the people that should be known? Where are the places of splendor? Where, for instance, would your dwelling be? Certainly not amidst this cacophony?"

Maccabeus tried to be as observant as possible as the small group traversed the bridgeway, but although his eyes alit on many different features, he saw very little. His senses were overloaded with sights, sounds, and smells; he placed a reassuring hand on Wolf's back as they trod onward to see what there was to see.
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #78 on: November 18, 2005, 09:57:22 AM »
"It sounds much like children taking care of their parents when they get to weak to care for themselves. In a way they transition from being member of on pack to members of another pack. That's a beautiful symbiosis." Ashe says.

"As for the Wildlanders, you're right. They do fight amongst the clans. Mostly it's the Bavaans in the eastern section against the Wildlanders. They are bound by the same heritage in many ways but the Bavaans are much more sadistic with craving for flesh. This of course sets the stage for many differences between them in attitudes and philosophy. I'm sure Maal could tell you something about the Bavaans if you were interested as every Wildlander grows up with that animosity. My friend Mercer spent much time with Wildlanders in his youth. They certainly made him one hell of a fighter!"

The road had passed quickley with the conversation and before anyone had a chance to calculate how far they had walked the three could see the Angelhawk up ahead. Wolf stuck his nose in the air and began to sniff. Towns smell so different from the wild.
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #79 on: November 18, 2005, 09:26:16 AM »
"Dale Gnomes (that's what we call ourselves) have a fair and favorable history with the wildlanders. Although I myself have never had to interact with them, I've seen them. Seeing Maal lent me some anxiety, but I think that I would have had that anxiety no matter who I ran into. I'm a stranger in a strange land; I've never been to a city, and until now I've never met a city-dweller. That said, I must admit to bias as I know the wildlanders - who are friends to my people - are at odds with the city-folk. Enemy of my friend."

"Even though wildlanders are friends with my people, they are nonetheless divided among themselves, and they tend towards irrationality. The large people are so divided, and so unpredictable ? so ruled by dark emotions at times ? that my people avoid them when they can. Once they bear friendship, they work well together, but the approach is fraught with trepidation."

"I've known clans of Dale Gnomes who came under attack by clans of wildlanders because the Gnomes had assisted that wildlander clan's wildlander enemies." He shook his head, sad and or confused. "One set of wildlanders might be friendly while the next might be hostile. You never really know what you?re going to get. It's a sad statement, but the Dale Gnomes are sometimes at odds with each other too. We are fortunate to have the giants as a common enemy to knit us back together."

"As for you treading among my folk, I think that you should do that if you get the chance, although leaving this marvelous place might be a challenge!"

"If the clans could distinguish right away that you are an agent of Mahiya, then you would be an honored guest with any of the Dale Gnome clans (honored just below the native servants of the Divine Mother)." Mac grinned at his huge companion. "If they could not tell, you might not be able to find them at all (although being who you are, I?m sure that you'd be able to make contact). The elder wolves that are cared for by the clans would help to identify you. As wolves get worn out, no longer able to survive in their birth-pack, they come to live with the gnomes. It's a matter of great honor for my people to house and support the elder wolves, returning to them the support that they have shown our peoples over the past generations."
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #80 on: November 17, 2005, 02:54:29 PM »
Ashe stared out in deep thought as he walked upon the road back to town. "Maccabeus, today you have taught me something. I had been to the dale but only in passing. I never had a chance to soak in the rich culture of your tribes. I wish now that I had had the time. Ones obligations often tear them from their personal pursuits unfortunately. Perhaps someday I can make my way there. Would I be seen as a friend or enemy in your tribe? I like to think that I'd be welcome with my knowledge in Mahiya's ways but I might assume to much. Actually, how are outsiders viewed? I know that you're close to the Wildlands and the clans there live a life close to nature as well. How are they accepted? For instance, when you saw Maal Brengain was she a comforting familiar sight or was she something else."

Before Maccabeus could answer Ashe laughed outloud and said, "Now I'm the one with all of the questions!! Great River! The finding of the Ring was truly a blessing! My mind is once again lit with Kossuth's fires with everything that's happened! My questions, like yours, are as many as snowflakes in a storm!"
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #81 on: November 17, 2005, 02:10:28 PM »
"Life in the Dale is by nature and need a nomadic one. Naturally, the wolf is the most successful animal in the Dale, and naturally, we pattern our families and livelihood largely upon his prime example." Maccabeus answered.

"We aspire to be as much like the wolf as possible. We protect our young as he does, and we exile the miscreants as he does. Tyranny can not work in an environment where survival so precarious. It isn't like in your great cities where people can live sequestered from nature and her teachings, and yet grow strong. In the Dale, if you do not live in nature you die outside of it." The little gnome shuddered visibly at this utterance.

"We have lived in the Dale for generations; we never really counted, but there are stories that tell of the wolves welcoming my people to the Dale and teaching our forbears how to survive: how to fight the giants; how to hunt the deer and the giant elk; how to evade predators and the winter chill. Those stories tell us that the Wolf Lords taught our people these things millennia ago. We are children of the wolf at this point, and we continuously look to his perfection to guide our growth."

Maccabeus absently stroked Wolf's back while he spoke. "This particular fellow" he continued, "would likely have been a Lord of his kind were he to stay in the Dale, but he and I have higher aspirations: we seek greater enlightenment under the watch of the immortals."

"You call us brothers, and friends, but the truth is that we're bound by something greater: a yearning in each of us to serve the Divinities. It was serendipity that he and I have found ourselves upon the same path, and we found a friend in each other at the same time. As I say: I'd rather be lucky than good!"
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #82 on: November 17, 2005, 01:26:02 PM »
"You have an unshakable passion about your pack brothers. It's much of who you are isn't it? Would you say that your tribes are much like the packs that roam the great dale? I must admit the two sound very similar." Ashe asks.
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #83 on: November 17, 2005, 12:50:05 PM »
"Of all of Mahiya's splendid creatures, the wolf is the most perfect." Maccabeus answered sagely.

"The wolf is tireless, able to sprint at top speed for as long as Kossuth rides the sky or his siblings the night. The wolf lives in a very close-knit pack. They have a specific order to that pack, and every member knows who is the first and who is the last, and where each memeber lies between the two."

"The wolf hunts in collaboration, able to take the largest of prey; loyal, honorable, fearless, intelligent, intrepid, social yet independant, the wolf, at the time of creation, was granted Kossuth's fire, Akadi's swiftness, Grumbar's strength, Istisha's unity, Paladine's honor, Saridor's tenacity, Takhisis' will, and Mahiya's independance. The wolf is the embodiment of the strengths of each of the Divinities."

As he spoke, it seemed that Maccabeus was reiterating an oath or a rhythm that might be taught to a child. He descended toward a somber and monotonous, but clearly convicted ethos, it appeared. Then, as suddenly as he had thus descended he ascended once again back towards playfulness and with a wide grin added, "Yes. They are honored in our clans. They taught us how to overcome the giants."
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #84 on: November 17, 2005, 11:57:51 AM »
"Great Grandtree! Where did you say you were from, Dale? Sounds like Xanthakos by your words." Ashe said with a tint of horror. "I do hope you find more peace here than in your homeland."

"Maccabeus, since you're from the Dale of Wolves do wolves such as your friend here have a special honor amongst your tribes? I remember passing through there some many years ago and they were everywhere! Giants too were seemingly common. It was the wolves though that were...ah...top dog not the giants".
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Offline Blackspear

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« Reply #85 on: November 17, 2005, 07:54:25 AM »
Dale chuckles loudly and smiles at the little fellow walking beside him.  "You have not offended me friend.   Your forthright nature has put me at great ease in your company.   My people's customs are quite different.  Every man, woman, and child fend for themselves.   The strong and cunning survive.   Friends exist only rarely and that is usually only as long as an opportunity to gain from your friend's downfall does not present itself.   Parents often try to protect and raise their children, but sometimes they do everything they can to destroy their offspring.   It is truly a vile and dangerous world.   Our traditions go something like this although its not a formal code everyone understands it:  If you can steal it, take it.   If you can gain advantage by killing your brother or son, do so.   Every opportunity to gain more for yourself must be taken.   If you show kindness, you in turn will be taken advantage of....    
Its a hard way to live.  You can never let your guard down.  You never know who will try to saw your face off when your not looking."   Dale's scar seems to jump off his face and come alive in new ways for the two companions he is walking with.   With a forlorn sigh, Dale continues.  "I am glad to be here.  This is a good place.  Everyone seems to help each other and aside from a few petty squabbles everyone seems to be in good harmony.   The evil of the area comes from outside the town, not from within.   In only two days I have met more trustworthy companions than I have encountered in the whole of my years.   The people here are good people.    Its great to be in their company.....   There is an aura about this place.   Something profoundly good and strong.  Vibrant.   I can't really describe it, but I can feel it resonating in my chest."  Dale pounds his fist over his heart to emphasize his feelings.    "I already feel drawn to this place and compelled to protect it.   It is truly a land of beauty and wonder, both physically and spiritually."  Dale's mind wanders off in thoughts, remembering some of the more darl periods of his life.....After a moment he begins to hope, to wonder if this is truly a place he will be able to call home.
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 #86 on: November 16, 2005, 02:10:34 PM »
"Customs are an interesting subject." Maccabeus observed. "I've spent my entire life up to this past Venric in the Dale, so it's hard to say what's different from other places."

He walked along a few paces before continuing. "For instance, in the Dale, we have a coming-of-age ceremony. I suppose all places have such a thing. But once you're considered an adult, which isn't always a matter of chronological age - some people become adults sooner than others (a matter to be decided at the annual festival or - on rare occasions - by your clan's five eldest women), you are no longer allowed to speak to children that you don't know. You can't be too careful; children are the future and need to be protected."

"Here's another one: let's say that you meet a chamen - what we call our young women - and you think that you might like to mate with her. In the Dale, you would woo her mother. Our clans are largely matriarchal, and although you might still be able to mate the girl without her mother's approval, it is a hard taming to be had."

"In some clans, they have a tradition where the hunter eats last. This is to symbolize the fact that it is the hunter that provides for the rest of the clan. They go and kill so that the rest of the clan survives. Of course, added to that is the etiquette that the rest of the clan is supposed to not eat the best part of the kill - that's for the hunter in appreciation for what he is willing to sacrifice for the clan. They do all eat together, but the hunter is not allowed to take a bite until the eldest woman has had her fill, and the rest of the clan has taken one bite. In return, everyone is given a small piece of the kill, and they all take their first bite as soon as possible so as to allow the hunter to eat."

"There's a story where one clan's greatest hunter was despised in his clan, so every day, one member of the clan would fast, thus never affording the hunter to eat. Knowing that he would starve while the rest of the clan would continue to be healthy, he was forced to abandon that clan. He ended up in a troll's kettle; it's really very hard to survive in the Dale if you have no clan."

"Our folk, however (brothers, that is) are welcome everywhere. One of the perks of being one with Mahiya. She gives our people life, and while all the clans revere her, those of us who are called to her service are regarded welcome by all clans, even if the one that you were born out of has a blood feud with the one that you've come to. You are not of a clan anymore; you are Mahiya's Gnarcheon - her favored child. To harm one of us is to invite Mahiya's wrath."

"In any event, those are the sorts of things that I'm thinking of. Like I said, I don't want to accidentally insult anyone. That should be done on purpose!" Maccabeus chuckled lightly to himself.

"Dale, if I have yet insulted you, it was not intended. I hope that I haven't crossed any of your customs either."
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #87 on: November 16, 2005, 12:57:58 PM »
Ashe looked up slightly and thought, "Hmm...observed customs...the only steadfast custom that I can think of aside from those at holidays are respecting travelers customs. There are many that come from all sorts of places as far and wide as I have traveled. They have certain traditions amongst their kind that might surely seem odd to any one of us. As long as there is no infraction upon anyone else their ways must be respected."

Ashe, Maccabeus, and Dale continued down the street. It was getting on towards late afternoon and the field workers were also walking the road to Threshold. "What sort of customs do your folk have, Maccabeus?"
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Offline Johan

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« Reply #88 on: November 16, 2005, 11:25:22 AM »
"Sounds like a win-win to me." Maccabeus accepted Ashe's offer of guidance. They trio finally arrived at the north-south road and angled southerly towards Threshold. Maccabeus used his sturdy staff as a superfluous walking stick as he trod along the road, walking almost shoulder-to-shoulder with Wolf (Wolf's shoulder, in fact was a bit higher than Mac's was).

"Tell me before I make too much an ass of myself," Maccabues asked. "Are there any specific customs that I should be observing? Any taboos or expectations here? I'd hate to inadvertantly make enemies so early in my residence." Dale and Ashe could see that the little gnome was grinning playfully again
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Offline Wildfire

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« Reply #89 on: November 16, 2005, 10:07:10 AM »
"I remember back when I was first learning the art", Ashe says "My mind was wide open to all of the things that Iwas curious about. My Uncle taught me the ways and was delighted at my enthusiasm but was frustrated with my impatience as well. It's no bad thing to want answers to your questions, Maccabeus. There are still answers that I'm seeking. I may be learned in Mahiyas ways but I still consider myself a novice at times. You two are only at the beginning of your path. There is still a great journey ahead of you...and me for that matter!"

Ashe continues, "If you'd like I'll continue Shankaria's lessons. You were chosen by Zebulon for a reason. I consider it my obligation to see that you will be prepared."
Wildfire

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