Author Topic: 12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude  (Read 3025 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2008, 09:09:39 PM »
“Yes my friend. I am violating an unwritten rule from the Warden Council in revealing their presence to you. But fear not, the leader of Whisper telling her First Lieutenant about the Council isn’t exactly punishable by death. I will just add it to the long list of disappointments Cyric has for me.”

She didn’t seem to regretful as she said it, but the idea of Cyric not liking Renee confused Temmit. For he knew of the man. Cyric was not only the leader of the ‘Warden Council of the Old Order’ but also the most faithful philanthropist on the Council of Five. So it was a surprise that Renee had misgivings about how she was considered by him. By all accounts that Temmit had heard, the man was fair and just. Just today he had learned of a profound example of Cyric’s humanitarian ways from Emma. She had told him that when her father had manipulated the Council in order to level part of ShantyTown to clear space for luxury homes to sell to the SafeHaven wealthy, Cyric, without permission of the council, redirected government funding for new low-income housing in Lakeshore for the displaced poor. So he was confused as to why a fair-minded man would find such a selfless and caring leader of Whisper in any way faulty.

She hadn’t spoken for a bit while he was lost in the thoughts on the issue. So he marked it as a future question but after a few more ticks, he cleared his throat to startle her, in case she had fallen asleep. She hadn’t, but had seemed to be thinking on how to reply to his questions. Still laying on her back under the warm blankets, she seemed a bit hesitant to restart, and he soon discovered why.

“Okay….this is really hard to simply summarize since first and foremost, I don’t know all the answers myself,” her eyes remained closed as she spoke, but her brow was cross. “Secondly, there is more political foolishness going on not only in the Council but everywhere else in the world then I understand. So I beg patience.”

“Perhaps the easiest way is to answer your questions directly,” she said. “I think your first one was, ‘is the Old Order comprised of Whisper Members?” she questioned more than stated.

Temmit gave a quick “yes”.

“The Old Order is an entity unto itself, however, it has been a safe-house for the Whisper Members for the past fifty or so years. Because of this, the Warden Council of the Old Ord…let’s just call them the Council…has become so involved[/b] with Whisper members plight that it has picked up its mantle and cause and made it its own,” she said then paused for a moment.

“Of the few hundred members of the Council in Shadow Keep, only a few dozen are actually gifted[/b] adults who were once[/i] children in our Whisper guild. I am to understand that the remaining members of the Council are all very aware of these sorcerers, wizards, clerics, mindbenders and what have you, are amongst them. Unlike the rest of our world, the Order embraces them and their talents as a hope for the future and not its ultimate doom like that bastard Fresenius does,” she finished, then looked up at him.

“So yes, to simplify, it is as you stated, the Old Order was technically a group of warriors who, half a century ago, started to adopt the Whisper Members and now keeps them safe,” she said and then upon seeing his nod closed her eyes again.

“The point I am trying to impress on you is the fact that the Old Order in a very short time has transformed into the ‘real resistance‘ group of Safe-Haven. Those gifted Council members don’t consider themselves any longer as Whisper per se, and this is why the members of Whisper are not to know about the Old Order. We…you, me and this guild we lead, are considering a holding pen. We are nothing but a group of gifted children to them. Children who may one day aspire to join their ranks[/i] if we prove ourselves worthy,’ she said with a hint of disdain.

“The Warden Council of the Old Order has multiple cells throughout the kingdom, almost one in every village and town. Each one safeguards gifted members, works against the government in semi-coordinated tactical operations, participates in decisions made by the guild overall, and is in line with communication. Whisper however? We are treated like the red-headed stepchild, one that isn’t trusted and told to remain ignorant as we sit at the very feet of the evil master.”

Although she was now speaking in a whisper, Temmit saw the emotion on her face behind the words was a pent up anger for what apparently was the injustice she was intimating.

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2008, 09:13:17 PM »
JOHAN

It may seem to you and any other Eberron player reading the threads between Temmit and Renee that I am dumping a HUGE amount of info on you. In fact, I am a bit, but only because its a convenient threads to do so from an NPC (Renee) who knows quite a bit.

Note this though. I am only setting the table, the seven courses that will be the campaign should keep all of your minds turning for quite some time.

So although it may seem you are getting a lot of information in a short time, in comparison to everything behind the scenes you aren't getting? You are starving.

=)

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2008, 10:56:04 PM »
Blah, blah, blah...

when are we at a table and rolling dice?
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2008, 11:07:44 PM »
"I hear your anger." Temmit ventured. "But as this is new to me, I can't say that I share it as yet. I mean, there are members among Whisper who I trust with everything that I am, and then there are others who I do not." He hung his head a bit then, having to speak of his own inner person.

"I don't trust easily anyway." He said quietly. "So perhaps my own suspicious mind can empathize with the notion that they can't let us all know about them. As you yourself mentioned, a half dozen years amongst the government military can make one ponder one's alliances. And then there's the accidental slips that one or another kid might make during their military career. Better safe than sorry."

He scoffed a bit too. "Even what you and I do with our candidate interviews is little more than determining (beyond whether there's a gift to be had) a candidate's worthiness."

He looked up then, aware of how much he had been saying...thinking out loud.

"I'm sorry. Please continue."
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #64 on: May 14, 2008, 06:52:08 PM »
You out there, Charlie?
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #65 on: May 14, 2008, 09:48:10 PM »
(OOC: Sorry about the wait....)

“No, I am the one who should apologize,” she said with a sigh. “I don’t mean to be so emotional or angry about the Warden Council. They are good people to be sure, and I will indeed aspire to join their ranks when done with my six years.” She talked with her hands as she lie on the bed.

“I just get frustrated that in these dangerous times that we…that I can’t be trusted more,” she finished.

“There have been more Karh’Thul attacks in the past six months than in all of the last six years,” she announced, and looked up at him.

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #66 on: May 15, 2008, 07:20:58 PM »
"Uhh....I, uhh...pssspthh..." Temmit stammered as he tried to follow Renee's conversational path.

"She's saying that she'd like to be trusted enough to be inducted into the Council earlier, rather than at the end of her six-year tenure in the military." Smokey provided helpfully. "Putz."

"You just have to go there, don't you?" Temmit scolded.

"That's interesting." Temmit mused aloud. "I wonder if they're all from the same quarter? What happened in that time that might have percipitated these attacks? Are they different from previous attacks (other than frequency)? Are there more in each attack? Do they attack with coordination? Planning? Tactics? Are they different at all? Are we losing soldiers? How are they crossing the Holy Light? Are torches going out? Are they being put out? Is there inside betrayal? Why? Are they suddenly better at crossing the flame? Can they put it out from their side? If so, why not just put them all out and attack in force, like in the play?"

"Open your eyes."

Temmit did as Smokey told him to, and found that he was standing in a corner in the small bedroom with his eyes closed, generating a multitude of questions regarding the emboldened Karh'Thul attacks.

He stared into the corner still, recalling another conversation that he shared with Renee only yesterday; "So that's what you meant when you said we could go and kill one at any time." He turned slowly...
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #67 on: May 16, 2008, 08:58:36 PM »
Kill one at any time?[/i] ..No, no, that isn’t what I meant. That’s an entirely different situation that may have even stranger implications,” she said sleepily. She had closed her eyes during Temmit’s rant and looked to be quite cozy under the two blankets.

“But first things first, we will get back to that,” she said. Now that she was warm, comfortable, and safe, her spirit seemed uplifted to Temmit. She seemed ready to talk, and perhaps, Temmit hoped, for a good deal of time despite the length of the day the two of them had endured.

She took a big breath, a familiar mannerism that spoke volumes to Temmit. He sat back down at the table, ready for the long diatribe.

“The attacks have been more frequent around the entire Outer Rim, but what really has the Outer-Rim Defense worried is that the watch dogs are now failing as a first line of defense and warning.”

“As you know, the trained war-dogs are leashed every 100 feet along the perimeter. This is because our Armed Forces simply doesn’t have enough soldiers to properly cover the 315-mile border. (OOC: One dog every 100 feet covers the entire border, this takes 16587 dogs). Anytime a Karh’Thul breaches the barrier it is the dogs duty to bark like crazy, and attack the Karh’Thul if able. Usually the soldiers assigned for the section can be at the breech location within turns, and then pursue the demon.”

“For almost two hundred years this has worked with measured success.”

“Until about six months ago. Now the dogs have stopped barking because somehow the Karh’Thul slip bye undetected, and no is yet sure why.”

“Perhaps they are using their black sorcery?” Temmit asked.

“I thought that as well, but why now? Why haven’t they used magic against us these past two thousand years? Except for the legend surrounding the Battle of Millenguarde, and within the very earliest of Kaine Scripture, there is no documented cases of the demons using magic,” she replied.

“I tried to submit my concern through my contact with the Warden Council and received only the reply, ’We are looking into the matter’[/i]” she scowled.

“But I digress," she said, and the continued.

“What’s far worse about these frequent breeches is that the demons are getting quite far into the kingdom and instead of killing citizens at random, they are only slaying those out in the Wild-Lands who happen to be unfortunate enough to cross their path. The demons uncharacteristically pass by farms and small villages of families so they can continue on,” she said solemnly.

“Continue on to what? To who?” Temmit asked.

“Continue on, so they can hunt[/i] their specific targets,” she replied, her eyes opening and locking onto his.

“Like who?” he asked, but as he did, he knew the answer and his heart sank.

She paused, her eyes not moving away from his, they didn’t even blink.

“Us.”[/i]

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2008, 08:06:26 AM »
Temmit's mind did two things: On one level is stopped entirely. The small frieghtened child who had his life shattered by a demon froze in place, that single, small word reverberating back and forth: US...US...US....

But the frozen child was sequestered away, while another level began analyzing the likelihood that it was indeed gifted that the Karh'Thul were hunting, and there was one glaring peice of information that prevented him from drawing that specific conclusion, and his mouth had hold of it at the same time that his head did: "Are all of the victims in the last months gifted?" He asked.

Even as his did that, he was still putting together the various plan points that the leadership (and this did indeed speak of leadership, control, and tactics) of the demons would have to consider for such an endeavor.

To get past the dogs, they either needed to appear as friends, or be undetectable.

They would also have to be able to detect that a person was gifted; they would need to distinguish between gifted and non-gifted.

They would further have to be under the control of a great power, to ensure that the Karh'Thuls' legendary and ravenous appetite was assuaged. Perhaps they were being controlled from a distance?

The suspicious nature of his mind also formulated a conspiracy. Who wanted the gifted erradicated? Who would be able to afford the Karh'Thul passage beyond the dogs in order to hunt the unwanted? Who would have even told the Karh'Thul that there were gifted here in the first place?  Who was such a vile and self-serving miscreant that they might be tempted to make deals with the ancient enemy for this purpose?

...

Fresenius Keepsake.
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2008, 12:36:42 PM »
Quote from: Johan

"Are all of the victims in the last months gifted?" He asked.


“I believe so,” she replied to his question, to which Temmit gave her a confused look at her unsure answer.

“Well, it gets very complicated, see if you can follow all my reasoning behind my investigation along with the political elements that complicate and inevitably explain at least part of the problem,“ she said and he nodded in acceptance of the challenge.

“First, I first discovered that the increased attacks were happening through a couple of sources, and not just the ones you might expect. It wasn’t the government-controlled[/i] papers, as they have been very quiet about the issue, or at least ordered not to dramatize the increased frequency of deaths. Nor was it the Warden Council at first either, at least not directly, as they only spoon-feed me information.”

“No, my first clue came from Emma, who has always kept a watchful eye on church records, including those at the mortuary. She discovered an unprecedented amount of dead men and women suddenly coming from Shadow Keep about five months ago. Alarming, but something that at first didn’t concern me beyond the sorrow I felt for our comrades.”

“Then, in late summer, the contact at the Council who sometimes conveys orders to me, asked if Whisper had been involved in any altercations with the Karh’Thul during the school break. Since school hadn’t started yet and I was out of contact with many outside the city, I told them I was unsure. So she asked me to find out and report back.”

“So I spent the last few weeks of the summer visiting all the Whisper Members who either live in the far-reaches of the kingdom, or, who had hunted and wandered out there during school break,” she said and smiled at him knowingly.

“Ah hah,” Temmit exclaimed. “That explains your real reason for visiting me out at my parents house.”

“Yes,” she said smiling at him.

“Continue,” he said, not wanting to get distracted with the memories of her visit. (OOC:  Renee visits Temmit in a thread called “08.30.2132 - The Return Home” which may be a Temmit-oriented thread in the near future).

“You were my first stop, I then went to see about a dozen others who live or play on the fringes and you won’t believe their responses,” she said and closed her eyes. He sensed that she didn’t want to see his emotional reaction to what she was to foreclose, lest she have to relive what obviously was shocking to her at the time.

“Of the dozen Whisper members out in the Wildlands, seven had been attacked, some of them repeatedly attacked over the course of the summer months,” she whispered, her voice cracking.

“But…but…but no one in Whisper died this summer(?)” Temmit stated, almost questioning her facts.

“That’s because we were very fortunate that only the very talented of our members were attacked, and I think its because these members were isolated in the Wildlands without other citizens of Safe-Haven around to witness the attacks. Our guard trio (David Cross, John Tilverton, Mark Garstell) for instance,“ and she opened her eyes to look at him, “they killed sixteen of them…sixteen! They were having such a good time that they didn’t want to come back to school,” she half-smiled at him, Temmit didn’t find the thought amusing at all however.

“River and Kristen were forced to dispatch four Karh’Thul while on a camping trip. River, while alone, had encountered and destroyed two outside Southaven. So, having been in battle with them twice already, he decided to hunt for the rest of the summer and killed a dozen more. Even Jared and Xavier, visiting Jared’s Dad in Southaven dispatched two of them,” she said, raising Temmit’s brow once more.

“And although I am proud of my guild mates, at first I was amazed that no one was killed when so many of the Warden Council had been. It didn’t make any sense, again at least at first,” she said, but before Temmit asked his next question she interrupted him unknowingly.

(OOC: I know this may (on first read) confuse you too Johan, as the Karh’Thul demons have been portrayed by me as pretty beefy demons to tangle with, and they are. But there are members of whisper who are pretty powerful (gestalt) characters in their own right, and they fight well, especially in groups. That and the remaining part of Renee’s diatribe will bring this mystery to light, stay with me dude…..)

“But I get ahead of myself, back to my point,” she said. “I reported the numbers to my contact at the Council. And although I didn’t received any information in reciprocation for me efforts, at least I then knew something serious was occurring,” she said with a scowl.

“As the Fall months went bye we (the Whisper members) were thankfully all back in school, but I was of course still very concerned about the Council and wanted to know was going on. And the death toll was still continuing. So I, well, I began to ply the Captain for information,”  she said, her face getting a bit flush in embarrassment as she looked at her hands.

“That’s when I discovered the ironic truth behind the Warden Council’s problems. The Captain revealed to me that the Outer-Rim Defense had been having such a problem trying to find the undetectable Karh’Thul in those first few weeks of early summer, that they went to the government, or specifically, to the Council of Five for help. Fresenius’ suggestion? Well, he had acknowledged that the Warden Council seemed to be far more talented at tracking the demons since they were encountering them far more frequently. So he, along with his two other lackies on the Council of Five, voted that the members of the Warden Council must take lead of the O.R.D. patrols.”

“You may well conclude on what happened to the gifted members of the Warden Council, Temmit, when they suddenly found themselves forced to fight alongside soldiers of Outer-Rim Defense five months ago.”



Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2008, 12:39:21 PM »
(OOC: That was probably one of the toughest posts I have ever had to write. Sorry if it gets a bit convoluted, as I am not yet used to balancing all that I know as a DM with the limited amount of knowledge known by a well-informed guild leader. It was indeed a balancing act and very hard to define. Please read it a couple times if it is confusing and email me any OCD questions if you need help before replying.)

(OOPS! And I just noticed that this additional OCD reply just put us on the next page, don't miss the LONG post I just made at the end of page 7)

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #71 on: May 18, 2008, 04:37:41 PM »
Temmit's theory firmed a little more in his mind as he listened to Renee.

"So if I have this straight," he echoed. "The Rim Patrol, having trouble defending against the Karh'Thul, look to the Council of Five for help. Fresenius dictates the the Wardens assist, due to their known aptitude in doing so (if not, ostensibly, due to their known aptitiude with their gifts...ostensibly)."

"However, now that the Wardens have to work so closely to the Rim Patrol, they naturally can't use their Gifts properly. This in turn leads to dead Wardens."

"Is that about right?" He looked to her for confirmation.
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #72 on: May 18, 2008, 05:41:20 PM »
“That’s exactly right,” she said with a sigh.

“But how the Warden Council solves the disaster of having their hands tied isn’t one I think Whisper can help solve. So the question still remains...why are the Karh’Thul now hunting the gifted? And how?” she asked rhetorically.

Offline Johan

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2062
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #73 on: May 18, 2008, 09:06:13 PM »
"Well," Temmit responded. "I do have a half-baked theory, borne of nothing more than our conversation here this evening."

He closed his eyes, as he was wont to do when he was combing through a mystery. "I'll ask you to let me ramble, please, while this notion becomes more fully baked."

"I had been thinking that there were a few needs that the demons would require as they began their hunt for We the Gifted. Some way to get past the dogs...either by stealth or by convincing the dogs that they weren't Karh'Thul. That issue is less bothersome to me than this other though."

He leaned his head and neck back over the back of the chair, staring through his eyelids to the ceiling.

"Let's assume that the Karh'Thul are in fact hunting Gifted people. They would need a way to identify those people. Suppose that an enemy knew who we were, and fed that information to the leadership of the Karh'Thul (I submit that there is real leadership to the foullings, since nothing less than intelligent leadership would be able to force them to curb their ravenous but indiscriminate hunger for human flesh)."

"This scenario would look like this:"

He held up his right thumb, indicating a count of bullets for his rationale. "Someone of power is aware of the existence of gifted humans, and considers them an abomination to be eradicated."

His long index finger rose to stand proudly next to his thumb. "Said powerful person finds himself with a method for identifying the gifted. However, there are so many, and they are so deeply entrenched into the machinations of Safe Haven, they can't simply be identified and imprisoned. Firstly, to identify them would be to incite them. Second, it would tip their hand that they themselves were using magic, and that simply wouldn't do."

"So how do we deal with this?" His middle finger arose. "Well, we make a pact with the ancient enemy." His voice lowered as he role-played an hypothetical meeting. "You can send your demons across the Holy Flame, but only for the hunting of these sorts of folks (there is either a list of names or a magical method of detection)".

"This is viewed as a win-win. You see, the Karh'Thul finally get freed to do what they want to do: eat humans. By limiting their menu, then our powerful antagonist gets to destroy the Gifted, AND protect the ungifted." His ring finger popped up.

"Now let's backtrack a little, and guess about how Karh'Thul get past the dogs unnoticed: to this I suggest 'who says that they are'?"

His small finger arose, baring his now-open palm. "All we have are the Boarder Patrol saying that these demons are coming through undetected. Actually, all we have are suspect people in power who say that the Boarder Patrol is saying that the demons are getting past the dogs undetected. Who's to say that the dogs aren't barking, and the Boarder Patrol (perhaps only a few) are ignoring it? Who's to say that these Karh'Thul don't have granted passage? In fact, who’s to say that some section of the boarder is intentionally left unguarded entirely? If we accept the hypotheses that we've posited here, then this is as possible as anything.

"BUT, this creates another issue for our hypothetical villain: the Wardens (mixed with Gifted as they are) are good enough to defeat the Karh'Thul. What to do about this? Well, in a stroke of wicked genius, he pairs the Wardens up with his own insufficient Boarder Patrol, effectively hamstringing the Wardens, and making them easier to kill."

He pulled his head back to upright and looked at Renee in her bed as he completed his theory. “It’s not fully congealed, actually.” He apologized. “But it is a rather neat little supposition.”
Avatar Courtesy of The Image Bank

Offline Dray

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1835
    • View Profile
12.22.2132 - A Saturday Night Interlude
« Reply #74 on: May 18, 2008, 09:32:38 PM »
Renee looked at Temmit in both appreciation and dread, the combination creating a look on her face that was new and noteworthy for his ‘Renee Body Language Catalog’[/i].

’The pictures in the catalog are great!’ Smokey teased.

’Get out of my head,' he replied.

“Your supposition is convincingly frightening lieutenant,” she said. She then stood up and out of bed, casting aside the blankets.

Temmit immediately recognized that he had roused the commander in her. ’Excellent, I won’t have to fight off sleep tonight,’ Temmit said to Smokey with a only the slightest hint of guilt.

’When she falls asleep in the church tomorrow, don’t blame me,’ Smokey exclaimed.

’Noted,” Temmit replied simply.

Renee, now pacing a bit back and forth behind Temmit in the small room, spoke after walking the granite floor many paces in her bare feet.

“I am to assume from your baking that you believe the betraying element to be within our government structure. That in order to get perhaps a company of the Outer Rim Defense to ignore the passing Karh’Thul, the villains would have to be men in higher positions?” she asked and he recognized it as a leading question.