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    Canonfire :: View topic - Chapter 2: The Outsiders
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    Chapter 2: The Outsiders [ Previous  1, 2]
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun May 08, 2016 7:30 am  

    Once his gear was properly stowed, Ohrin sat at his desk, availed himself to the snacks, and began creating a list of items he felt their large company would need while waiting for the others to return.
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    Sun May 08, 2016 12:20 pm  

    Quote:
    "As for my woman-love," she said. "Clearly, you know of this. Then, it is no great secret. I hear the whispers of Corus' folk about it, when they think my back is turned and out of earshot. I know I am a source of scandal, in their eyes."

    "I wonder," she asked. "How do you view me, given what you know?"


    Njord wasn't surprised that the Captain's humor was lost on him. Cultural and lingual differences often proved a barrier to complete understanding for him, especially with respect to humor. But her explanation now had him far less exasperated than he was. She, and the people of her homeland, were indeed different from he and his. They concentrated on custom and decorum, whereas his homelanders were too busy dealing with day-to-day survival to care much about such things. But, upon reflection, the Raven-People also had their own strange traditions. Sexual taboos regarding same-sex coupling, however, were not among them.

    Njord smiled, and thought. "Captain, i will come back to question you ask, please." After a moment, he continued. "The proper name for what i...was, is Haagamoran. It means like Priestess-Husband. Witch-wife is worse than calling Mirka, slut. Maybe you did not pay Master Retlishin enough good coin!" he took a stab with his own humor.

    He then began returning to her question. "Captain, i still know little of you. It is like we just meet. Before, you are only Captain Fireheart, my commander. Now, i learn of you, person under armor and behind sword. Is there name i should use for you? Is Amarita okay?"
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    Sun May 08, 2016 4:26 pm  
    Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying

    Njord smiled, and thought. "Captain, i will come back to question you ask, please." After a moment, he continued. "The proper name for what i...was, is Haagamoran. It means like Priestess-Husband. Witch-wife is worse than calling Mirka, slut. Maybe you did not pay Master Retlishin enough good coin!" he took a stab with his own humor.

    He watched the Captain's shoulders slump. "I am ashamed to admit that the blame for this sits squarely upon my shoulders," she said. "The magician is faultless. He made me well-aware that he could only see that which transpired in your past. He traced the movements of the lips of those close to you. I suppose I was so quick to claim knowledge for my own that I failed to consider context. Had I known..." her voice trailed off wistfully.

    He then began returning to her question. "Captain, i still know little of you. It is like we just meet. Before, you are only Captain Fireheart, my commander. Now, i learn of you, person under armor and behind sword. Is there name i should use for you? Is Amarita okay?"

    She nodded. "I would be honored to have you do so," she said. "But please...reserve this for moments in which we are alone. There are matters of propriety to consider. It would be unseemly to do this before another Guardsman. I would not have them believe I treat with you any differently than your fellows."

    It made sense. But Njord could not help but notice the words she used specifically. When we are alone. Not if.

    He couldn't wipe the smile from his lips if he tried.
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    Sun May 08, 2016 5:18 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    From within the small cave, he heard a voice, somehow, amidst it all. “Come,” it bade him.


    Sævil crouches at the entrance for a few moments, then rocks forward onto his hands and knees. He begins to crawl into Milleen's abode.
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    Sun May 08, 2016 6:07 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    Sævil wasn't quite sure what he would find inside the small domicile. Whatever he might have expected, though...it certainly wasn't what he saw.

    The imitation of a mine extended perhaps twenty feet deep, sloping slightly downward before flattening out into a roughly circular area. He crept over a series of small holes in the floor that served to drain away the snow and ice carried in from outside, melted by the heat of the torches that lined the walls of the abode at regular intervals. Flat pieces of slate covered the walls and the floor, only interrupted by thick timbers that held the ceiling in place above them. Against that dark stone, fine wooden furniture -- almost miniature in scale -- was pushed: A dresser and a full-length mirror, a desk and chair, an elegant dining table and a translucent folding screen. The floor and dollhouse-sized pieces were all immaculately kept. There was no clutter to be seen anywhere within the room. Amidst the silver platter and cutlery, the fine china and crystal decanters, on the table, a bouquet of flowers rest in a vase, filling the air with a lovely scent.

    In the midst of the room, a troika of dark-furred wolves lay, each one eyeing him warily. They were relaxing in the comfort of what looked like a bearskin rug. It was difficult to see where one ended and the other began. Just ahead of them, a short reptilian humanoid. Instantly, he was aware that it was Milleen.

    She regarded him with snake eyes, dark and probing. She had features that were just as canine as they owed to slithering things. She looked fine-boned, perhaps as tall as his waist, were he to stand upright. She wore thick animal furs over herself, her dark emerald scales coated in some kind of ointment, the consistency of honey. He thought he might have smelled perfume upon her.

    A smile crept across her features, revealing rows of sharp, pointed teeth. "Greetings, Son of Dag," she nodded, almost performing a curtsy as she said it. To Sævil's shock, she spoke in a flawless human tongue. Her accent reminded him of the wealthy Perrenese of Krestible: Something refined and cultured.

    "Welcome to my humble home."
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    Sun May 08, 2016 8:02 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Sævil wasn't quite sure what he would find inside the small domicile. Whatever he might have expected, though...it certainly wasn't what he saw.

    "Welcome to my humble home."


    "My thanks for the welcome," Sævil pulls himself into a seated position, so as to communicate closer to Milleen's height, "I once fought a warren of your race alongside old friends, from what little I saw of their lives, I'm sure they didn't live like this. You home is fantastic!"
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    Sun May 08, 2016 8:58 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    "My thanks for the welcome," Sævil pulls himself into a seated position, so as to communicate closer to Milleen's height, "I once fought a warren of your race alongside old friends, from what little I saw of their lives, I'm sure they didn't live like this. You home is fantastic!"

    Some sly light came to haunt Milleen's grin. "I see," she said. "And I suppose you slaughtered them to the one, hm, Son of Dag?"

    "No matter," she said, making a trilling noise in the hollow of her throat, some strange juxtaposition of a hiss and a snicker. "It pleases me that you find my home of interest. Mayor Highmountain and Lord Kalistis afforded me many good materials with which to make it comfortable."

    She turned about, circling the pile of wolves on the rug in the middle of her floor. Ever they stayed stilled, though they continued to watch Sævil's every slightest move. "When my pets informed me that I would be entertaining a visitor," she went on, heading towards the furthest part of the room. There, next to the table, a fireplace roared within the wall. A dark sphere hung within the flames. "I took the liberty of brewing a spot of tea. Can I interest you in a cup, perhaps?"

    She took some two white ceramic hollows from the top of the table as she made her way to the fire. "Perhaps it would be good to warm your belly as we spoke of the journey to come," she added. Her silhouette against the light of the flames reminded Sævil of just how tiny she was.

    "I suppose that's the purpose for your visit, hm?"
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    Sun May 08, 2016 9:45 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    She took some two white ceramic hollows from the top of the table as she made her way to the fire. "Perhaps it would be good to warm your belly as we spoke of the journey to come," she added. Her silhouette against the light of the flames reminded Sævil of just how tiny she was.

    "I suppose that's the purpose for your visit, hm?"


    "Yes tea would be great, thank you," Sævil smiles slightly, "And to be honest, no, their numbers were too great, nor were they our goal. My companions and I withdrew after our mage crafted a shield that could not be pierced by their missiles.

    "I am here to ask you to provide me with a trained wolf, as you once offered, but even more I ask that you consider coming with me on a journey the Mayor has required of... a number of us," he breathes deeply, "We will need to travel as my own people travel, with dog - or wolf - and sled. I know some, but you appear to be a master with these animals, you're presence would be a boon."

    He leans forward as he takes the cup of tea, lowering his voice, "And I have reason to believe things may not be as they seem. I will need trusted companions; your good works - together with the words of The Old Man - have convinced me that you might be exactly that. I've no idea if you're one of the volunteers The Mayor listed for us, and I don't care: I'm here to ask you to come. For Corus, if for nothing else."
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    Sun May 08, 2016 10:27 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    "Yes tea would be great, thank you," Sævil smiles slightly

    The kobold nodded gently. He watched her wrap her hand in a thick cloth, then produce a silvered kettle from the fire. Carefully, she poured its contents into her ceramic cups. When that was completed, she put the kettle onto a stone flat in the center of the table, each of the cups onto a small saucer. She did each of these things as if they were a solemn ritual, one that required the strictest attention.

    She walked from the side of the table to where he sat, offering him one of the cups. "Please," she said, smiling her jagged-toothed smile. The tea smelled rather delicious. Sævil noticed that each cup was monogrammed with a single, calligraphed letter K on its side.

    "And to be honest, no, their numbers were too great, nor were they our goal. My companions and I withdrew after our mage crafted a shield that could not be pierced by their missiles.

    Milleen took a sip from her cup. She looked as if she mulled over its flavor for a moment before nodding to herself; evidently, it passed her muster. "A magi fighting at the side of a man of the north?" she cocked a scale-ridged brow curiously. "How very unusual." She smiled once again. Evidently, the notion was not displeasing to her.

    "I am here to ask you to provide me with a trained wolf, as you once offered, but even more I ask that you consider coming with me on a journey the Mayor has required of... a number of us," he breathes deeply, "We will need to travel as my own people travel, with dog - or wolf - and sled. I know some, but you appear to be a master with these animals, you're presence would be a boon."

    Milleen nodded. "I will do as I have promised," she said. "Though you should know that the matter is not quite so simple. I will not select a wolf to serve as your companion, Son of Dag. It is rather the wolf that will choose to place its trust in you."

    He leans forward as he takes the cup of tea, lowering his voice, "And I have reason to believe things may not be as they seem. I will need trusted companions; your good works - together with the words of The Old Man - have convinced me that you might be exactly that. I've no idea if you're one of the volunteers The Mayor listed for us, and I don't care: I'm here to ask you to come. For Corus, if for nothing else."

    Her sly grin seemed to pull still longer. "You are fortunate that I have already volunteered my service to your expedition," she said. "I need little convincing to accompany you. Corus is my home too, Son of Dag. I would gladly fight to the death to defend it, if that is what must be done. So, aye -- you may count my spear and my wolves amongst your number."

    She raised her cup once more. Sævil noticed that, when she sipped from its rim, she pointed one of her clawed digits in an aristocratic manner. "Your words have piqued my interest though, brave one," she said. "You say that things may not be as they seem."

    Her serpent's eyes gazed at him through the steam rising from the top of her cup.

    "I would know more."
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    Mon May 09, 2016 1:56 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord

    Quote:
    She nodded. "I would be honored to have you do so," she said. "But please...reserve this for moments in which we are alone. There are matters of propriety to consider. It would be unseemly to do this before another Guardsman. I would not have them believe I treat with you any differently than your fellows."

    It made sense. But Njord could not help but notice the words she used specifically. When we are alone. Not if.

    He couldn't wipe the smile from his lips if he tried.


    Njord responded to Captain Fireheart's acceptance of the informal name. "Of course. You are my Captain. In company, that is your title. But am glad to have personal way to name you, Amarita. Good to make acquaintance." As he finished the statement he nodded and smiled. He thought of extending a hand in friendship, but then discounted the idea. He was steadfast now, and wanted that to continue.

    "Amarita, i have only few more questions of you, if i may? Then i will try to answer question you gave to me."

    [* Here, Njord will wait for an affirmative. If that is given, he continues... *]

    Before beginning the questions, Njord allowed Amarita the option to decline. "Of course, you may refuse answer if you wish. I would like to know name of your lady-love, so that i may refer to that person. Also, if you wish to say more of Mirka, i will listen." Then Njord's tone and pace changed a touch. "And, last, you are aware your eyes change color in most magical ways?" Njord put the questions to Amarita, although mostly phrased as statements. He was purposefully leaving one question unspoken. That one he would leave for another time. Hopefully, by her use of the term when rather than if, that time would come soon.
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    Mon May 09, 2016 6:34 am  
    Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying

    Njord responded to Captain Fireheart's acceptance of the informal name. "Of course. You are my Captain. In company, that is your title. But am glad to have personal way to name you, Amarita. Good to make acquaintance." As he finished the statement he nodded and smiled. He thought of extending a hand in friendship, but then discounted the idea. He was steadfast now, and wanted that to continue.

    She chuckled slightly, sensing the awkward timbre of the moment just as well as he did. "And yours as well, Njord Wintercrown," she replied. In spite of herself, her lips were beginning to form a proper smile. It was nothing short of a miracle.

    "Amarita, i have only few more questions of you, if i may? Then i will try to answer question you gave to me."

    The Captain nodded. "Ask," she said. "I will tell you as much as I can."

    Before beginning the questions, Njord allowed Amarita the option to decline. "Of course, you may refuse answer if you wish. I would like to know name of your lady-love, so that i may refer to that person. Also, if you wish to say more of Mirka, i will listen." Then Njord's tone and pace changed a touch. "And, last, you are aware your eyes change color in most magical ways?" Njord put the questions to Amarita, although mostly phrased as statements. He was purposefully leaving one question unspoken. That one he would leave for another time. Hopefully, by her use of the term when rather than if, that time would come soon.

    "Her name was Marianna," she said, some bit of melancholy creeping into the tone of her voice. "She was of the olve-folk, as am I. I met her here in Corus, only a day after I arrived, confused and afraid. It was she that brought calm to my brow and comfort to my soul. She was as gentle as the spring wind and beautiful as the flowers whose petals it moves." Njord thought that she might have trembled slightly, just to remember her.

    "As for Mirka," she said, the steely resolve in her voice returning, "there is little more to say. I disapprove of the sort of woman she is. I find her manipulations and intrigues repellent. In turn, she finds me stern and lacking in humor. We dislike one another almost equally, I think."

    She paused for a moment. "You wonder much about her," the Captain said. "Is this merely curiosity, Wintercrown? Or is there a deeper question that you hesitate to give voice to?"

    "My eyes," she closed them for a moment, opening them again. The greenish tint he'd seen in them before had almost completely fled their quality. As he gazed into them now, they were the gentlest shade of blue. Like the sky, the sea. "This is something I cannot explain. It seems that in every generation of my family's lineage, the eyes of one child are such that they betray their mood. Of my three siblings, mine -- as you have seen -- shift and mute with my emotions. They grow ever dark when I am angry or sternly focused. When I am at peace, their character lightens to blue. Once in my life," she confessed, "they have been violet."

    The melancholy returned.

    "But that was a very long time ago, now."
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    Mon May 09, 2016 8:32 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord

    Njord sensed a most interesting tale behind the violet eyes, and that might be a deep story, with many roots leading to other narratives and still more questions. He would plumb those depths another time, as he still had the task before himself and his fellows, and he didn't want to overstay his welcome at the Captain's domicile. He attempted to steer the conversation back toward the question she had posed.

    "Now, your eyes are pretty, soft blue. I hope i never see them burning red!" He smiled at that, hoping to evoke the same for Amarita.

    "Marianna, that is lovely name. I bet she is lovely woman. Thank you for sharing such. I hope to learn more of her some day. About Mirka, i am thinking there may be more to story than just being hukaa, as you say. Maybe you have tangles with her? Maybe even she had relations with Marianna? I am curious, to give information to comrades concerning our selections. As yet, i can only say, but use better words, that you think she is scheming slut!" Njord gave a wry smile and slightly shrugged at the thought. "Does she offer anything for expedition?" Njord, being straightforward, didn't realize what a setup the last question was.


    Last edited by Syzygyst on Mon May 09, 2016 6:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Mon May 09, 2016 5:09 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    She raised her cup once more. Sævil noticed that, when she sipped from its rim, she pointed one of her clawed digits in an aristocratic manner. "Your words have piqued my interest though, brave one," she said. "You say that things may not be as they seem."

    Her serpent's eyes gazed at him through the steam rising from the top of her cup.

    "I would know more."


    "I wish I had much more to tell you," Sævil puts down his teacup, having finished, "The Old Man warned me that it's possible not all who go on this mission are trustworthy, even potentially that my life or the mission might be targeted.

    "I'm simple enough, but I'm not a fool Milleen, I know I've a tendency to think the best of those around me. This leads me to seek the opinions of others - and to place unexpected allies where they might cover my back."

    Sævil gestures widely at her home, "You are... no ordinary Kobold - you left home to make something more of yourself than you would have been. So too I left home, although I had the blessings of my mother and step-father to do so, because I wanted to see more of the world and be more than just another Xeai of the Tusking Strand.

    "My birth father wanted the same you know; 'Who put the ocean so near the shore?' he used to grump whenever he felt the horizon singing to him. When he died, I promised myself I'd discover what's beyond the horizon for both of us. There's still much more to see, and I mean to keep alive in order to do so, and bring my friends through this Land of Black Ice and back again as well.

    "And if we're betrayed when we least expect it, I mean to have a friend or two waiting to put their dagger into the back of the traitor."

    Sævil smiles and laughs, "I learned many useful things in my time with my old adventuring company. Some perhaps, not entirely in keeping with the traditions of my ancestors," he grins widely and true, "but I like to think they'd understand."
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    Mon May 09, 2016 8:20 pm  
    Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying

    "Now, your eyes are pretty, soft blue. I hope i never see them burning red!" He smiled at that, hoping to evoke the same for Amarita.

    He found his words successful. The Captain offered the slight curve of her lips as a reflection of some muted mirth. “I don't think you need worry about that,” she replied. “Of all the colors my eyes might claim, red is not one of them. At least,” she countered, “I've never been told they've gone red before.”
    "Marianna, that is lovely name. I bet she is lovely woman. Thank you for sharing such. I hope to learn more of her some day. About Mirka, i am thinking there may be more to story than just being hukaa, as you say. Maybe you have tangles with her? Maybe even she had relations with Marianna? I am curious, to give information to comrades concerning our selections. As yet, i can only say, but use better words, that you think she is scheming slut!" Njord gave a wry smile and slightly shrugged at the thought. "Does she offer anything for expedition?" Njord, being straightforward, didn't realize what a setup the last question was.

    Fireheart – Amarita – nodded. “I vow to you that there is nothing more to the tale than what I have said,” she told him. “I simply disapprove of the sort of woman that she is. I do not believe in manipulations or duplicity...especially when affairs of the heart are concerned. If anything else you've said is true, then I know nothing of it. Perhaps this does not make your decision regarding her easier,” she allowed, “but you now know the whole of it.” If there had been an opportunity to further impugn Mirka's character, she did not take it. It said much about the Captain, after a fashion.

    “The night has claimed the day, Wintercrown,” she told him. “You have duties to tend to, as do I.”

    Something in her voice sounded...reluctant?
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    Mon May 09, 2016 8:22 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    "I wish I had much more to tell you," Sævil puts down his teacup, having finished, "The Old Man warned me that it's possible not all who go on this mission are trustworthy, even potentially that my life or the mission might be targeted.

    He watched her eyes become slits. “I see,” she nodded. “As ever: It's nothing as it seems.”

    "I'm simple enough, but I'm not a fool Milleen, I know I've a tendency to think the best of those around me. This leads me to seek the opinions of others - and to place unexpected allies where they might cover my back."

    Sævil gestures widely at her home, "You are... no ordinary Kobold - you left home to make something more of yourself than you would have been. So too I left home, although I had the blessings of my mother and step-father to do so, because I wanted to see more of the world and be more than just another Xeai of the Tusking Strand.

    "My birth father wanted the same you know; 'Who put the ocean so near the shore?' he used to grump whenever he felt the horizon singing to him. When he died, I promised myself I'd discover what's beyond the horizon for both of us. There's still much more to see, and I mean to keep alive in order to do so, and bring my friends through this Land of Black Ice and back again as well.

    "And if we're betrayed when we least expect it, I mean to have a friend or two waiting to put their dagger into the back of the traitor."

    The comment brought a wry grin to the dark lips of the kobold. The imagery stoked some sort of black mirth within her, clearly.

    Sævil smiles and laughs, "I learned many useful things in my time with my old adventuring company. Some perhaps, not entirely in keeping with the traditions of my ancestors," he grins widely and true, "but I like to think they'd understand."

    She seemed to take that which he'd said under careful consideration for a moment. Then, after a long sip of tea, she placed her empty cup upon the floor, alongside his. To Sævil's mild surprise, it had actually been quite good-tasting. “You and I,” she said at last, “seem to be of the same kind, Son of Dag. You place value in trust and friendship; you place value in cooperation and harmony. My blood is not so removed from that of my folk that these things are strangers to me. Perhaps the blood of small dragons courses your veins, too?”

    She paused a moment, chuckling at the absurdity of the notion. “But you hardly know me,” she added. “All that you know is that I have offered you one of my pets to call your own. So how do you know that I am not one of those waiting with a dagger held in my claws?”

    “How do you know that I am not the one who would bring ruin to your journey?”
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    Mon May 09, 2016 9:47 pm  

    Quote:
    “The night has claimed the day, Wintercrown,” she told him. “You have duties to tend to, as do I.”

    Something in her voice sounded...reluctant?


    Njord was fishing for more details concerning Mirka, either in regards to the woman's promiscuity and games, or to her abilities as a travelling companion. He guessed there was more to be told by Amarita, and it might have something to do with Marianna, but, regardless, the captain was no longer speaking of the matter; the non-specific answers would have to suffice.

    "Yes," Njord began. "Evening is crawling its way toward night. We both have duties." He may have let a bit of disappointment slip as he repeated her sentiment. "So, i will now try to answer question. You ask me what i think of you." Njord paused a moment to coalesce his thoughts. "There will be more to say on matter, but i say now, i like this Amarita that i have met, and look forward to learn more about her." And so he answered the question, smiling, looking into Amarita's eyes. It was almost as ambiguous as the captain's reply about Mirka. There were definitely more things to say, and he knew many of them already, but he managed to bottle them away under his skin, close to his heart.
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    Mon May 09, 2016 9:51 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    She paused a moment, chuckling at the absurdity of the notion. “But you hardly know me,” she added. “All that you know is that I have offered you one of my pets to call your own. So how do you know that I am not one of those waiting with a dagger held in my claws?”

    “How do you know that I am not the one who would bring ruin to your journey?”


    Sævil continues to smile as he considers her questions, and before speaking he shifts a bit closer to her, "In a way of course, I have no secure knowledge of you. But I know you came among those whom are traditionally enemies of your race, in a desire to be more than just a female kobold's traditional place in the world...

    "I know you offered me a boon in the past, and that you've been a gracious hostess today. I've never seen you act against the city, nor heard a word spoken against you worse than mere disbelief that you could be anything other than a savage," he makes a face, "old hatreds are not so easily set aside - even in Corus I guess.

    "I know that The Old Man knew you and he whom you journeyed with, and that he thinks highly of you. And at last, I believe you are inclined to prove wrong those who doubt you - your home tells me you're a Kobold, but also that there may never have been one like you before. If we've a kinship, and I think we might, it's in our delight to never quite be what is expected of us."
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    Tue May 10, 2016 11:08 pm  
    Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying

    "Yes," Njord began. "Evening is crawling its way toward night. We both have duties." He may have let a bit of disappointment slip as he repeated her sentiment. "So, i will now try to answer question. You ask me what i think of you." Njord paused a moment to coalesce his thoughts. "There will be more to say on matter, but i say now, i like this Amarita that i have met, and look forward to learn more about her." And so he answered the question, smiling, looking into Amarita's eyes. It was almost as ambiguous as the captain's reply about Mirka. There were definitely more things to say, and he knew many of them already, but he managed to bottle them away under his skin, close to his heart.

    Amarita Fireheart stared into Njord’s eyes. The blue in them was going the deepest shade he had even borne witness to. It was something more unto ultramarine than azure or turquoise. As she did so, silence fell between them. She shattered it by taking a step towards him. They were no more than two feet distant now. “As your Captain,” she told him, sharp steel reclaiming the tone of her voice, “you would do well to remember that, even when you are detached from your post, no matter how far away you may be — it remains my right to order you as I see fit. You understand, yes, Guardsman?”

    She came still closer. The unearthly color of her eyes…her stern bearing…the simple gravity of her being: All these things combined to make Njord nearly tremble in her presence. “I order you to remain safe during your time with your fellowship,” she said, her manner intense enough to cleave hard and cold stone as if so much fragile lace. “Upon the completion of your mission, you are furthermore ordered to immediately return to my command with all possible haste. At that time, we will continue this conversation. Do you understand, Guardsman Thorjorsson?”

    The ghost of a smile haunted her lips. “Do not forget me, Wintercrown,” she finished. But how to forget a woman like Amarita Fireheart?

    He might be dead a year – and still her name would remain upon his lips.
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    Tue May 10, 2016 11:12 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    Sævil continues to smile as he considers her questions, and before speaking he shifts a bit closer to her, "In a way of course, I have no secure knowledge of you. But I know you came among those whom are traditionally enemies of your race, in a desire to be more than just a female kobold's traditional place in the world...

    "I know you offered me a boon in the past, and that you've been a gracious hostess today. I've never seen you act against the city, nor heard a word spoken against you worse than mere disbelief that you could be anything other than a savage," he makes a face, "old hatreds are not so easily set aside - even in Corus I guess.

    “Indeed,” Milleen agreed. “Though I hold such feelings against the human-folk and other fleshlings not. Kurtulmak’s Children are well known for our own long memories and the ever-burning fires of our hatreds. My hypocrisy only goes so far, you see,” she said, offering a slight chuckle to punctuate the sentence.

    "I know that The Old Man knew you and he whom you journeyed with, and that he thinks highly of you. And at last, I believe you are inclined to prove wrong those who doubt you - your home tells me you're a Kobold, but also that there may never have been one like you before. If we've a kinship, and I think we might, it's in our delight to never quite be what is expected of us."

    The kobold found no small mirth within the statement. “Again, it seems as if you have a way of spying into the cloisters of my heart, Son-of-Dag,” she said. “It was not always easy. When first I met Lord Kalistis, I was a snivel wretch of a thing. I was frightened of the open sky and clumsy when I would try to emulate the ways of the fleshlings. But now, it is as you say: I have come to enjoy being that which is not expected of my kind. It is ever a part of me now, as my claws and scales.”

    “You should know,” she allowed, “I am somewhat surprised that the Old Man had anything good at all to say about my former liege. Lord Kalistis was not a kind man, to be sure. On the day that he set away from our home for the last time, he counted no few enemies within Corus’ walls. I was certain that the Old Man was one of these.”

    Her thin black lips curled into a smile. The gesture revealed her two rows of sharply pointed teeth for Sævil to see easily.

    “I find it pleasing to know that, somehow, I was mistaken.”
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    Wed May 11, 2016 12:04 am  

    Quote:
    The ghost of a smile haunted her lips. “Do not forget me, Wintercrown,” she finished. But how to forget a woman like Amarita Fireheart?

    He might be dead a year – and still her name would remain upon his lips.


    Njord, gazing into those bottomless blue eyes of hers, smiled, and replied with a simple, soft, "Yes, Captain," thereby answering all of her questions and commands at once.

    He wished he could remain standing there, staring into those pools, feeling the electricity course through his body. But he knew it was time to go. After what seemed an eternity, he finally pulled back from her, standing at his full height. With a deep breath, he held out an open hand to the side, beckoning her to lead him out of her chambers. It was all he could do not to reach out and wrap that arm around her.
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    Wed May 11, 2016 6:20 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    “I find it pleasing to know that, somehow, I was mistaken.”


    Sævil cocks his head slightly, "Kalistis? The Old Man said you traveled with an Ilkka? Ilkka Suhonen. Although I'm not sure it matters what he thought of the man you once labored for - The Old Man was quite certain you were to be valued entirely for yourself."
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    Wed May 11, 2016 7:38 pm  
    Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying

    After what seemed an eternity, he finally pulled back from her, standing at his full height. With a deep breath, he held out an open hand to the side, beckoning her to lead him out of her chambers. It was all he could do not to reach out and wrap that arm around her.

    The last he saw of the elven Captain was the way that the flickering candlelight lit her features in alternating dancing patterns of brilliance and shadow. He watched her purse her lips, then extinguish the flame atop the wick with a gentle breath. Darkness swallowed the both of them wholly.

    Njord felt the sensation of her passing him by as a springtime zephyr. Behind him, the door opened and he was aware of her passage back down the hallway from which they'd arrived in her chambers, despite the absolute silence of her travel. He followed her just as surely as she commanded it, retracing their steps through each doorway and down the corridors of the structure until they were at last in the foyer again.

    She opened the heavy, girded door to the outside, at last. The act allowed the icy wind and wet, heavy snow to wash all over, then seemingly through his body. The weather had grown worse, if that was entirely possible. Above, nothing but dark clouds, rendered almost invisible by the night. No stars, no moonlight. Just angry, roiling blackness, ever-screaming a wintry cry.

    "Farewell, Wintercrown," Amarita said. "I await your return."

    He stepped out of the door's threshold. Gently, she closed the portal behind him.

    He could hear the bar fall into place inside its inside face, locking it tight. He stood there, up to his knees in the snow, almost dumbstruck, until he heard something behind him, snapping his reverie.

    The figure was tiny, barely taller than Mayor Highmountain. Wrapped in heavy bands of dark cloth against the cold, it was trudging its way across Njord's plane of view, from left to right. Perhaps from the Icepick or Flowerfield's Bakery, to some point unknown. Out from the swaths of the utterly ebon cloth, a long, pointed beak, like that of a hummingbird's protruded. Above those, twin pieces of obsidian hung, as eyes. They were fixated directly upon him.

    Crow Jane made a little chittering noise that was probably meant to represent mild amusement. As she watched, a long parcel in her possession, likewise wrapped in heavy, tenebrous sheets, she raised a single digit -- a raptor's claw -- to the approximate area of her lips.

    "Shh..." she said, a croak of a voice, barely above the sound of the wind. "Secrets" Winked an unblinking black eye at him, as she continued on her way.

    She could have been talking about either of them, just as easily.
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    Wed May 11, 2016 7:45 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    Sævil cocks his head slightly, "Kalistis? The Old Man said you traveled with an Ilkka? Ilkka Suhonen. Although I'm not sure it matters what he thought of the man you once labored for - The Old Man was quite certain you were to be valued entirely for yourself."

    "Kalistis," she informed him "is a title, Son of Dag. In the tongue of my folk, it means something like the name Emperor of Swords would in your language. You have the whole of his name correctly, aye. I am loathe to speak it, though," she explained. "It is...improper."

    The way that she said it, there was little doubt left to the reverence in which she held the man.

    "In any case, you may count upon my aid -- though that was assured long before your arrival at my home. With that done...we should go outside." She looked at the pile of wolves in the center of her carpet. "None of these coal-chewers will do for a fine manling like you. I would introduce you to the others."

    She started ahead of him, towards the entrance to her "mine".

    "We will see which one of them finds you worthy."
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    Wed May 11, 2016 8:32 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Outside Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord

    Quote:
    "Shh..." she said, a croak of a voice, barely above the sound of the wind. "Secrets" Winked an unblinking black eye at him, as she continued on her way.

    She could have been talking about either of them, just as easily.


    Njord snapped to attention. Underneath his alert mind, he was experiencing sensations that he had never felt before. Had Fireheart indicated that she awaited his return from the Black Ice? Was it an invitation for any visit? As of yet, he fully intended to see her again before leaving on the expedition. Hopefully, the proper moment would present itself.

    But now he was taken away from all of those thoughts. Crow Jane was a complete enigma to him, and he had some reticence about approaching her. But she was on the list, Fireheart had offered approval for Crow Jane, and he had a duty to pursue. He trudged after her as quickly as he could, hoping to intercept. Shh? Secrets? What was she speaking about? Approaching her, he realized his trepidations: she reminded him of his homeland, and of a certain people there. Some of them were able to take the form of birds: ravens in particular. This creature was caught somewhere between woman and crow -- much too similar for his liking. But he was able to put his misgivings aside, perhaps encouraged by the fire that Amarita had lit within him.

    "Crow Jane," Njord offered in as a low a voice as he could, still hoping to catch her attention. "I would speak with you if you have moment."
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    Wed May 11, 2016 9:28 pm  
    Njord: Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night

    "Crow Jane," Njord offered in as a low a voice as he could, still hoping to catch her attention. "I would speak with you if you have moment."

    She did not turn in his direction. Instead, she continued to trample the snow beneath her feet. She might have quickened her pace, rather, leaning forward against the force of the gale and the snow. "It is cold," she said, her voice a kind of a sing-song thing. Not a croaking, he considered. A cawing. Like a raven's. "And my bones are hollow. If you wish to speak, I would do so about a fire -- before my feathers become white with rime."[/i]

    Not far ahead, Njord saw the looming shadow of the headquarters of his fellowship. The guards outside already watched them warily.
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    Wed May 11, 2016 10:17 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Outside Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord

    Was the timing a coincidence? Njord didn't want to intrude on his fellows with a guest, but since she was on the list, and it might be productive for all to chat with this odd woman-bird, he decided to invite her.

    "Crow Jane, we are in luck. There is fire up ahead with guards. Do you see? That is where i stay. I invite you in to talk with my fellows about expedition that you have volunteered for. There is good fire. Will you come? I am called Njord. I am among leaders of expedition."

    He tried to be as cordial as possible while addressing her. He felt none at ease communicating with the crow-woman. Hopefully, his new companions had returned so that he wouldn't be alone with her.
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    Wed May 11, 2016 10:31 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    "We will see which one of them finds you worthy."


    Sævil follows Milleen on his hands and knees. As they travel he asks, "Milleen your people look like lizards and what little I know of lizards is that they survive poorly in the cold, often even with fire. My friend Daela once told me this is because lizards only take warmth from what is around them, while elves and men and the like produce heat within themselves.

    "If am I to see that we all survive in the lands of my people and beyond, it would help me to understand your needs."
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    Wed May 11, 2016 10:58 pm  
    Njord: Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night

    "Crow Jane, we are in luck. There is fire up ahead with guards. Do you see? That is where i stay. I invite you in to talk with my fellows about expedition that you have volunteered for. There is good fire. Will you come? I am called Njord. I am among leaders of expedition."

    He tried to be as cordial as possible while addressing her. He felt none at ease communicating with the crow-woman. Hopefully, his new companions had returned so that he wouldn't be alone with her.

    The crow-woman nodded. From Njord's perspective, the gesture looked like a simple up-and-down bobbing of her slender, sharp beak. It look like it could cut the very night with its blackness and make it bleed shadow. "Aye," she said in her strange tone. "If your fellows will have me."

    He led her in the direction of the headquarters, all the way struggling against the force of the wind and the snow. Even with the benefit of the salve the the Town Guardsmen wore on their exposed flesh, he found his cheeks beginning to burn from the cold. Thankfully, they didn't have far to go to make it to their destination and the promised fire, within.

    As soon as the Guards outside realized who it was at Njord's side, he saw both stiffen. He saw something in their eyes change dramatically, reflected in the fire dancing in the pit at their feet. Was it fear?

    Evidently, Crow Jane thought so. "Hmph," he heard her offer as her only remark on the matter.

    Disapproval, it seemed, transcended notions of language.
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    Wed May 11, 2016 11:12 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    Sævil follows Milleen on his hands and knees. As they travel he asks, "Milleen your people look like lizards and what little I know of lizards is that they survive poorly in the cold, often even with fire. My friend Daela once told me this is because lizards only take warmth from what is around them, while elves and men and the like produce heat within themselves.

    "If am I to see that we all survive in the lands of my people and beyond, it would help me to understand your needs."

    Milleen laughed. "You are wise indeed, Son of Dag," she replied. "And your friend Daela was correct: The scaly folk have no love for the weather when its face 'comes cold. We become tired easily and our limbs become heavy and slow. But you should know that I have traveled to many strange lands in the service of the Kalistis," she said. "Very many of these were quite frigid in nature. So while it is true that I detest the cold, I am not unused to it. And I have learned many ways to protect myself against it, too."

    The two of them left the comforts of Milleen's home. Immediately, Sævil was struck by how cold it was. The tight confines of the miniature mine made it so much hotter, damper, than even the comforts of the headquarters. The snow and the wind hit his exposed flesh with the mercy of a hammerblow. "You know, though, Son of Dag," she went on, "though wise in the way of my kind you may be...you have much to learn about the proper way to speak to a lady of refinement." Milleen snickered to herself with a wry smirk. "You look like a lizard, indeed."

    They swiftly found themselves standing before the open rock faces from which Sævil had felt the weight of several sets of eyes heavy upon him, as he approached the kobold's home. "Do you have any fear of wolves?" she asked him, raising her voice so as to be heard above the roar of the wind.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 12:19 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Njord

    Quote:
    Evidently, Crow Jane thought so. "Hmph," he heard her offer as her only remark on the matter.

    Disapproval, it seemed, transcended notions of language.


    Njord noted the discomfort of the guards. He understood their unease, and was curious to witness their interactions with Crow Jane.

    "Crow Jane, may i introduce Pol Yrnigaard and Resti Sargath, members of Town Guard." Njord indicated each guard with a hand gesture as he said their names. "Gentlemen, this is Crow Jane."

    [* He then waits a moment for a reaction. If it's clear to proceed, he continues... *]

    "Crow Jane, please wait moment. I must first check with my companions -- make sure they are decent. I will return with haste." With that, Njord entered the headquarters in order to check with his fellows (if present), to make sure they were ready to accept the dark-hued kenku as a visitor. He also wanted to make sure the place was presentable and the fires were well-supplied before admitting her.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 12:49 am  
    Njord: Blackbird Singing in the Dead of Night

    Njord noted the discomfort of the guards. He understood their unease, and was curious to witness their interactions with Crow Jane.

    "Crow Jane, may I introduce Pol Yrnigaard and Resti Sargath, members of Town Guard." Njord indicated each guard with a hand gesture as he said their names. "Gentlemen, this is Crow Jane."

    "Indeed," the former nodded. "While we have never met, I certainly know of you. You are well-met," he said with a slight bow.

    "It is as my fellow Guardsman has said," the latter tried on an awkward smile. "You are welcome." It was quite clear to Njord that, while the two men tried their best to be gracious, neither truly knew how to approach the dark-feathered stranger. That made them nervous.

    "Crow Jane, please wait moment. I must first check with my companions -- make sure they are decent. I will return with haste."

    "Please, dark lady," Pol gestured, smiling. "Share our fire while Tholjorsonn is away. The cold is noplace for anyone, this eve." Crow Jane seemed as if she wasn't quite completely at ease with the idea, but slowly approached the roaring flame, the same. She said nothing at all, in any case.

    With that, Njord entered the headquarters in order to check with his fellows (if present), to make sure they were ready to accept the dark-hued kenku as a visitor. He also wanted to make sure the place was presentable and the fires were well-supplied before admitting her.

    Opening the door...the entirety of the headquarters was empty, save for Ohrin. He was seated at one of the desks in the room, maps and legends aplenty spread across its expanse for his perusal.

    He had, it seemed already warmed to the task at hand.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 1:08 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Njord

    "Hail, good Ohrin. I hope your quick journey was success!" As Njord greeted Ohrin, he noticed the absent Kahss (or had the sleeping one, perhaps, fallen under the table?). He looked to his cot to make sure Olivia still held her post.

    [* Njord smiles if she is still "at pillow." *]

    [* If Ohrin gives a general greeting, Njord then asks... *]

    "Did Kahss wake at last? Has he gone to get things?"

    [* else, redact. *]
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    Thu May 12, 2016 2:13 am  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    "Hail, good Ohrin. I hope your quick journey was success!" As Njord greeted Ohrin, he noticed the absent Kahss (or had the sleeping one, perhaps, fallen under the table?). He looked to his cot to make sure Olivia still held her post.

    Njord smiled when he saw the plush owlbear still seated where he'd left her, ever the watchful sentry.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 6:38 am  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Milleen snickered to herself with a wry smirk. "You look like a lizard, indeed."

    They swiftly found themselves standing before the open rock faces from which Sævil had felt the weight of several sets of eyes heavy upon him, as he approached the kobold's home. "Do you have any fear of wolves?" she asked him, raising her voice so as to be heard above the roar of the wind.


    After gaining back the breath stolen from him by the return to the cold air, Sævil laughs and retorts, "I see lady, but to you we're called fleshlings? You begin to show just how like a human woman you really are.

    "And no, not afraid of wolves - we often hunted them - and we respect them as fellow survivors on the Strand. Not to mention all they provided to us for our survival"
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    Thu May 12, 2016 6:39 am  

    Ohrin looked up from his maps and notes to see Njord hailing him from the open doorway. Some voices, one of them very strange, could be heard behind him. It sounded like the two guards were speaking with someone.

    "Hello, Njord. I have learned a great many things about our petitioners and am eager to share that knowledge with you as soon as Sævil returns. Why don't you come inside and shut the door? And who are the guards speaking with behind you?"
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    Thu May 12, 2016 10:27 am  

    Njord raised a hand and finger, singnaling Ohrin to give him a moment. He then turned around and shut the door. Looking back at Ohrin, he continued:

    "I, too, have gained knowledge of...petitioners." That last word was still new to him. "In coincidence, i have...petitioner...outside. I meet Crow Jane walking in snow as i return from Captain's quarters. I invited her inside to warm herself and have chat about expedition. Okay with you if we do this? Seems like good time. Too bad Saevil is yet gone..." Only skipping a beat, Njord went on, "...and Kahss has waken? Did he go to get things?"

    Njord spoke with more pace than usual. Unbeknownst to himself, he was actually in a pretty good mood.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 11:09 am  

    With a small, almost undetectable sigh, Ohrin replied, "Well, I was hoping we could interview the petitioners in an orderly manner once all three of us had discussed our thoughts on the list. I say 'three of us' because, when I returned, Kahss was gone and so was all of his gear. I guess he will no longer be joining us. I know nothing more on that topic.

    "However, since she is already here, there is no sense in keeping her out in the cold if you have already invited her to this place. Don't get me wrong, I am curious to meet her. Hopefully, Saevil won't be too long."
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    Thu May 12, 2016 3:31 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Njord nodded in understanding. "Yes, i did invite her, but i warned her i would have to check with companions. She seemed very cold. I, too, hope Saevil returns shortly to meet Crow Jane. Too bad about Kahss. I liked his enthusiasm." What Njord truly liked was that Kahss made up for Njord's lack of enthusiasm. But, for now, he had a good deal of energy for preparing for the expedition. He was still speaking rather rapidly -- maybe even a touch faster than normal for most people.

    Njord quickly scanned the room again to make sure it seemed presentable. It did, and the fires seemed well-tended, so he turned around and opened the door. Walking outside and smiling, he indicated the open doorway with an outstretched arm. "Crow Jane, please, come into expedition's quarters."
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    Thu May 12, 2016 7:35 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    After gaining back the breath stolen from him by the return to the cold air, Sævil laughs and retorts, "I see lady, but to you we're called fleshlings? You begin to show just how like a human woman you really are."

    The kobold shrugged her tiny shoulders. "Perhaps. I believe that the Kalistis was a lonely man. I think some part of him," she touched her chest, just above where her small heart beat, "yearned for the companionship of a woman of his own kind. Thus, my...education was conducted in such a way as to bring me as close to that standard as was possible. Aside of," she glanced down at herself, "for the obvious differences."

    "And no, not afraid of wolves - we often hunted them - and we respect them as fellow survivors on the Strand. Not to mention all they provided to us for our survival."

    Milleen nodded. "This is good," she said. "Your first lesson -- respect -- in how to bond with a wolf is already complete. You won't make the most foolish mistakes I've seen many fleshlings make, in their presence."

    She led him in the direction of the row of squat caverns. "Come," she said. "Lower yourself, then extend your hand outward." Her smirk returned.

    "And when come the wolves...show no fear."
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    Thu May 12, 2016 7:45 pm  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Njord quickly scanned the room again to make sure it seemed presentable. It did, and the fires seemed well-tended, so he turned around and opened the door. Walking outside and smiling, he indicated the open doorway with an outstretched arm. "Crow Jane, please, come into expedition's quarters."

    The dark-feathered creature nodded, stamping her feet twice to rid the wrappings about them of the snow. It was only when she did so that Njord noticed that her feet were clawed, like a bird's. Only the heavy swaths of thick cloth she bound them in protected her from the bitter chill.

    Crow Jane entered the headquarters shortly behind him. He watched her head dart back and forth, taking in the whole of the open room in that way, in the short, abrupt movements shared by all of nature's birds. Her utterly black eyes betrayed nothing of what she might have thought of what she saw.

    Eventually, those jet eyes fell upon Ohrin, sitting at his table. Before him, the creature that he knew to be Crow Jane was remarkable to behold: An anthropomorphic raven-woman. Her dark feathers glistened with the melting snow that clung to them as she took him in, striding deeper into the headquarters.

    She said absolutely nothing.

    She simply watched them both. And listened.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 7:47 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    "And when come the wolves...show no fear."


    Sævil settles onto his haunches in the snow, smiles, and reaches out with his right hand.
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    Thu May 12, 2016 8:05 pm  

    Ohrin rose from his seat to great Crow Jane, "Hello and well met. Please, make yourself comfortable and warm yourself at our hearth. Njord, perhaps you would be kind enough to offer her a drink? But, first, let me ask: 'Crow Jane' sounds like a name humans might have given you and, to be quite frank, I have no idea whether you find it offensive or not. Is there another name that you would prefer we use?"
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    Thu May 12, 2016 8:17 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Njord gave a smile and nod to Pol and Resti as he shut the door. He moved into the room as Ohrin spoke with the corvid visitor. He awaited her answer about her name, grabbing the back of a chair.

    [* He plans on seeing if she'd like to sit (if she sits at all), before continuing to the drink, as Ohrin suggested. If it comes to that point, Njord will ask, pulling out a chair: *]

    "Would you like to sit? Please forgive, but i know not if the kenku use chairs."
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    Fri May 13, 2016 2:02 am  
    Sævil: The Howling

    Sævil settles onto his haunches in the snow, smiles, and reaches out with his right hand.

    At his side, Milleen likewise lowered herself. Already so close to the ground, the act had the effect of practically burying her in the snow. Her face just above the drifting plain of winter white, the kobold wolfmistress put two fingers to her thin black lips and offered a sharp, shrill whistle that cut through the wind and its icy bounty like a knife of flame. To his surprise, she punctuated the gesture with a low, growling noise at the back of her throat. It sounded feral, primal. Perhaps it was reinforcement of her status of the alpha of their pack? It was impossible to tell.

    All that Sævil could say for certain is that the wolves began to come from their hiding places. Each one, different in size and color, emerging from the stony caves. Each one, slow and deliberate in pace. Each one, with their eyes fixed directly upon him.

    "They're used to this," Milleen turned in his direction, too. She had a delighted kind of grin on her reptilian features. "This is how things are done."

    Sævil watched as the wolves stood there in the snow, more or less forming a single file line in front of him. Each one would approach him, their incredible eyes meeting his momentarily before beginning to sniff at his fingers. The first did so very briefly, then walked away. The second did the same. The third sniffed at him, rubbed the side of its muzzle against his palm once, then seemed to lose interest, following the others. All the while, the other wolves stood patiently. None of them growled or snarled at one another. They simply waited their turn in utter silence. It was nothing short of unbelievable.

    He watched the first three make their way back to their homes. The fourth inspected him carefully before following suit. "Hm," Milleen posed. He expected her to say something more, but she never did. She simply watched their procession with keen interest.

    The fourth passed him by. So did the fifth and the sixth. Sævil was noticing that, as each one passed in turn, the wolves seemed to get younger, smaller. It was a very defined order. Given what he knew of wolves, it made sense.

    Finally, the seventh approached him. It was a beautiful grey wolf. Its coat went to black at the end of its tail and ears. Its chest was a pure white. Incredible sapphire eyes regarded him intently. They were different than the others. These ones were completely blue with no with in them at all. Only tiny black dots lie in their centers, giving them an eerie, unearthly quality.

    It sniffed at Sævil's hand. Carefully, it started at the fingers, then worked around to the turn of his wrist. For a moment, he thought it might withdraw, like the others...but then, all at once, it began to rub its face all over his hand, licking it intently when it could.

    The act seemed to upset the wolves behind it. Collectively, the other half dozen began to growl and snarl at the wolf in front of Sævil. In response, that one whipped around in a grey flash, returning the sound with a menacing gutteral noise of its own.

    Milleen laughed her sly snicker. She stepped forward quickly, causing both the single and the group of wolves to scatter back. Clearly, their respect for their mistress was absolute. "It seems you've been claimed, Son of Dag," she chuckled again, while the remaining wolves started back to their homes.

    The one before him began to roll back and forth in the snow on its back, right at his feet. "And by a very special bitch, too."


    [Please roll 1d20 and give me the results at the conclusion of your return post!]
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    Fri May 13, 2016 2:22 am  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Ohrin rose from his seat to greet Crow Jane, "Hello and well met. Please, make yourself comfortable and warm yourself at our hearth. Njord, perhaps you would be kind enough to offer her a drink? But, first, let me ask: 'Crow Jane' sounds like a name humans might have given you and, to be quite frank, I have no idea whether you find it offensive or not. Is there another name that you would prefer we use?"

    Njord gave a smile and nod to Pol and Resti as he shut the door. He moved into the room as Ohrin spoke with the corvid visitor. He awaited her answer about her name, grabbing the back of a chair.

    Resti raised his brows, a nervous expression set upon his features. Good luck he breathed out, without a sound.

    The ebon-feathered creature strode deeper into the headquarters. Eventually, she ended up directly in front of the fire, near where Kahss had rest before. After he'd asked his question, a silence settled upon the room. The raven woman stared at the stuffed owlbear placed upon Njord's bed, for a long time before she finally offered. "I am Crow Jane," she said, her voice a strange kind of rough, coughing caw. "Your tongues cannot make the sounds to call me by my name. So this you have given me will do."

    Njord made his way to the casks at the rear of the room. In the interest of caution, he began to fill a tankard with fresh water for her refreshment. "Would you like to sit? Please forgive, but i know not if the kenku use chairs."

    She looked over at him for a moment. "No," she said flatly. It seemed an answer to both questions.

    Then: "The gnome-hatchlings have been here," she said. "I can smell them." She looked at Ohrin with her eyes, darker than night.

    To Njord, that she could sense their presence in the air was startling.
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    Fri May 13, 2016 6:20 am  

    Ohrin looked at Njord. "Gnome children?"

    Ohrin then turned back to face their guest, "'Crow Jane' it is then." Ohrin spun the chair at his desk around so that he could sit while facing the hearth. He then sat down and briefly studied her (OOC: any weapons, holy symbols, spell component pouches, etc. visible? I do not read the other's posts as Ohrin is not present).

    "Saevil should be along shortly. I hope you don't mind if we wait until his return before discussing why you wish to join us. Until then, please let Njord know if you require anything."

    Ohrin then returns to examining his list of petitioners, looking up if spoken to.


    Last edited by aurdraco on Fri May 13, 2016 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri May 13, 2016 10:12 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Njord placed the tankard on the table near Crow Jane. "Here is water if you wish, Crow Jane." Her "No" had seemed to dismiss the water as well the chair. "As for name, perhaps you prefer, simply, Jane?"
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    Fri May 13, 2016 10:14 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters / Njord

    Njord placed the tankard on the table near Crow Jane. "Here is water if you wish, Crow Jane." Her "No" had seemed to dismiss the drink as well the chair. "As for name, perhaps you prefer, simply, Jane?"
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    Fri May 13, 2016 8:26 pm  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Ohrin looked at Njord. "Gnome children?"

    Ohrin then turned back to face their guest, "'Crow Jane' it is then." Ohrin spun the chair at his desk around so that he could sit while facing the hearth. He then sat down and briefly studied her.

    A brief glance at the kenku revealed nothing. That was strange enough, really. She wore nothing at all besides the dark cloth wrappings about her body. Ohrin saw no sign of a holy symbol. She wore no jewelry at all, in fact. Neither did he see any of the usual trappings he associated with magery. There was nothing in the way of personal effects at all. To look at her, one would think she might have been completely bereft of belongings: The settlement of Corus’ only beggar.

    It made little sense. And that made Ohrin look harder. Only upon very close inspection did her see that the fine-boned structure of her body was incongruous with the manner her swaddling hung upon her. He realized that she likely wore some sort of light armor beneath that dark cloth. Likewise, at each of her hips, when he paid close attention, the grips of two, slender blades rest. He supposed they were short swords, each one with the thinness of a rapier.

    "Saevil should be along shortly. I hope you don't mind if we wait until his return before discussing why you wish to join us. Until then, please let Njord know if you require anything."

    Ohrin then returns to examining his list of petitioners, looking up if spoken to.

    “No,” the kenku said in her odd cawing of a voice. Ever was she direct and minimalist in her retort. “I care not.”

    Njord placed the tankard on the table near Crow Jane. "Here is water if you wish, Crow Jane." Her "No" had seemed to dismiss the drink as well the chair. "As for name, perhaps you prefer, simply, Jane?

    She watched Njord for a moment, meeting his eyes with her ever-dark stare. "You may call me what you wish," she said. The northman watched her pause, then lower her head in such a way to dip her sharp bill into the tankard’s mouth. He could hear her tongue flicking water down its hollow in the same manner much smaller birds drank.

    When she was finished she straightened, continuing to look around the room in silence.

    Her way was ever odd, alien…and off-putting.
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    Fri May 13, 2016 10:11 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Njord examined the strange corvid-woman. The Flanaess had exotic beings aplenty, but Njord, from his own little corner of the land, had never seen any so odd as this one. He realized, now, that his fear concerning her was only a fabrication of his own mind. She was no more a true reminder of his homeland than any other woman, or creature. He would work to view her as a being worthy of consideration and respect, despite how otherworldly she seemed. After all, she might be joining them on their journey.

    "Very well, Jane i will call you." He preferred the single name, as the other seemed almost rude, and reminded him more of his homeland. Njord made sure his voice could be heard by Ohrin, to fill him in on the young visitors. "It is amazing that you can sense the gnome-lings. They came here earlier today -- the Ruddyfoot children: Hoddy, Goodwin, Marta and Matildya. They bore gifts. Food and drink. And brave, dear Matildya was kind enough to give me warrior to help in battles." Njord had moved toward his cot and held out a hand to present the owlbear-doll that sat at station against his pillow. Smiling with full-heartedness, he introduced the creature. "This is Olivia Owlbear. I am told she is fierce fighter!"

    Njord stepped back toward Crow Jane. "Speaking of food, if you are hungry, perhaps we have something you like?"
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    Sat May 14, 2016 6:15 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Milleen laughed her sly snicker. She stepped forward quickly, causing both the single and the group of wolves to scatter back. Clearly, their respect for their mistress was absolute. "It seems you've been claimed, Son of Dag," she chuckled again, while the remaining wolves started back to their homes.

    The one before him began to roll back and forth in the snow on its back, right at his feet. "And by a very special bitch, too."


    Sævil's voice lowers and becomes throaty as he reaches for the belly of the wolf before him, "Hello lovely," he says while giving her a good rub.

    Rolled a 16.
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    Mon May 16, 2016 2:15 pm  
    Re: C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Nj

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Njord made sure his voice could be heard by Ohrin, to fill him in on the young visitors. "It is amazing that you can sense the gnome-lings. They came here earlier today -- the Ruddyfoot children: Hoddy, Goodwin, Marta and Matildya. They bore gifts. Food and drink. And brave, dear Matildya was kind enough to give me warrior to help in battles." Njord had moved toward his cot and held out a hand to present the owlbear-doll that sat at station against his pillow. Smiling with full-heartedness, he introduced the creature. "This is Olivia Owlbear. I am told she is fierce fighter!"


    Oddly, Ohrin looked askance at the doll before saying, with a forced smile, "That was...very nice of them." He then turned back to his lists and maps.

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Njord stepped back toward Crow Jane. "Speaking of food, if you are hungry, perhaps we have something you like?"
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    Tue May 17, 2016 11:55 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    Sævil's voice lowers and becomes throaty as he reaches for the belly of the wolf before him, "Hello lovely," he says while giving her a good rub.

    The wolf seemed delighted by his affections. She rolled back and forth, seemingly oblivious to the bitter cold of the snow – provided he continue his ministrations, her salmon tongue lolling happily from her mouth. The northman watched her tail wag while he rubbed her stomach, reveling in the sensation of the surprisingly soft fur there. The whole of her demeanor belied the danger implicit in the act: Her teeth seemed immense in her mouth and shockingly sharp.

    In the moment, everyone seemed pleased. Except Milleen. She stood at Sævil's side and made a little face. Her small scaled hand went to her chin in a thoughtful gesture. “Hmm,” she mused. “A problem. I might have known it would be this one.”

    Stretched out as she was, the wolf was almost as long as Sævil was tall. “It's a very interesting pup that's chosen you, Son of Dag,” she said. Her grey fur was almost the exact color of slate stone.

    Interesting. Said as if a pejorative.
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    Tue May 17, 2016 11:57 pm  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Njord made sure his voice could be heard by Ohrin, to fill him in on the young visitors. "It is amazing that you can sense the gnome-lings. They came here earlier today -- the Ruddyfoot children: Hoddy, Goodwin, Marta and Matildya. They bore gifts. Food and drink. And brave, dear Matildya was kind enough to give me warrior to help in battles."

    Jane was so strange. She was absolutely impossible to read. Her expression never seemed to change. Her utterly black eyes reflected no sort of emotion. “I smell them. Their scent is all about the room. Strongest, there,” she nodded in the vague direction of Njord's chosen bed. “I can smell the freshness of the bread and the water they brought. It comes from the bakery of the halfling, Flowerfield.”

    Njord had moved toward his cot and held out a hand to present the owlbear-doll that sat at station against his pillow. Smiling with full-heartedness, he introduced the creature. "This is Olivia Owlbear. I am told she is fierce fighter!"

    Jane took a half-step in the direction of the bed, where the stuffed animal had rest. She stared upon it, even as he held it aloft for her inspection. “It is magical?” she asked. “I smell your hands and those of one of the gnome-hatchlings upon it. And the Creeping One, too. He made it, I suppose?”

    Oddly, Ohrin looked askance at the doll before saying, with a forced smile, "That was...very nice of them." He then turned back to his lists and maps.

    “This is perhaps not so strange,” Jane remarked. “I am told it is a custom amongst you featherless ones to offer the finest food and drink to those condemned to die.”

    Njord stepped back toward Crow Jane. "Speaking of food, if you are hungry, perhaps we have something you like?"

    “No,” she said, instead staying right where she stood. Njord watched her eyes scanning around the room while Ohrin continued the labor of examining his papers. He expected that she might say something more, but instead a prolonged silence fell over the room, instead. So strange.

    Finally: “We leave to tread Black Ice,” she said. “Soon, I think.”

    “But once there...do we know where we are to go?”
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    Wed May 18, 2016 3:01 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Njord found Crow Jane's certainty interesting, but incorrect. "Uh, very sorry, Jane. Please forgive. We are here to find group of travelers to head to Black Ice. We await Saevil, our companion, so that we may question you about journey, to find if you may be suitable for such long trek. Unfortunately, decisions have not yet been made. We will wait little while. If Saevil does not return soon, i guess we begin without him." Njord had smiled as cordially as he could while speaking.

    But what he did not say was that, surprisingly, he was starting to not only tolerate, but even to like, this strange creature. What he found favorable most, Crow Jane seemed no-nonsense and as blunt as one could be. And Njord was hoping to deal with as little horseshit as possible on the Black Ice. In addition, she seemed to share his assessment that the journey was merely a saunter to their graves. Yes, he could see her on the expedition.

    Njord returned to a question she had posed. He turned again to look at and to indicate the owlbear doll at his pillow. "As far as Olivia is magical, she certainly is to me." He smiled broadly. "But if you mean dweomered, i doubt this. Is Dark One known for making such things?"


    Last edited by Syzygyst on Wed May 18, 2016 9:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Wed May 18, 2016 7:40 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    In the moment, everyone seemed pleased. Except Milleen. She stood at Sævil's side and made a little face. Her small scaled hand went to her chin in a thoughtful gesture. “Hmm,” she mused. “A problem. I might have known it would be this one.”

    Stretched out as she was, the wolf was almost as long as Sævil was tall. “It's a very interesting pup that's chosen you, Son of Dag,” she said. Her grey fur was almost the exact color of slate stone.


    "Oh?" Sævil looks up from the wolf, but continues to give her a good scratch, "Is there a problem Milleen?"
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    Wed May 18, 2016 7:45 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Anonymous wrote:
    Kraftwerk wrote:
    In the moment, everyone seemed pleased. Except Milleen. She stood at Sævil's side and made a little face. Her small scaled hand went to her chin in a thoughtful gesture. “Hmm,” she mused. “A problem. I might have known it would be this one.”

    Stretched out as she was, the wolf was almost as long as Sævil was tall. “It's a very interesting pup that's chosen you, Son of Dag,” she said. Her grey fur was almost the exact color of slate stone.


    "Oh?" Sævil looks up from the wolf, but continues to give her a good scratch, "Is there a problem Milleen?"


    *sigh*

    Oops, sorry guys - the above was me.
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    Thu May 19, 2016 3:42 pm  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Njord found Crow Jane's certainty interesting, but incorrect. "Uh, very sorry, Jane. Please forgive. We are here to find group of travelers to head to Black Ice. We await Saevil, our companion, so that we may question you about journey, to find if you may be suitable for such long trek. Unfortunately, decisions have not yet been made. We will wait little while. If Saevil does not return soon, i guess we begin without him." Njord had smiled as cordially as he could while speaking.

    But what he did not say was that, surprisingly, he was starting to not only tolerate, but even to like, this strange creature. What he found favorable most, Crow Jane seemed no-nonsense and as blunt as one could be. And Njord was hoping to deal with as little horseshit as possible on the Black Ice. In addition, she seemed to share his assessment that the journey was merely a saunter to their graves. Yes, he could see her on the expedition.

    She paused for a moment, her black eyes fixed on the fire as if lost in thought. Then, she turned to Njord and at last spoke: "I will remain, I think," she replied. "It makes little sense to return home. You will choose me soon enough. Wasteful, to walk in the cold, instead."

    Said so matter-of-factly. As if it were foregone conclusion.

    Njord returned to a question she had posed. He turned again to look at and to indicate the owlbear doll at his pillow. "As far as Olivia is magical, she certainly is to me." He smiled broadly. "But if you mean dweomered, i doubt this. Is Dark One known for making such things?"

    "I do not know," she replied, gazing at Olivia's soft down. "I only know that he is of the Creeping Folk. They are a magical sort. If she is as fierce as you say, then I presume that she must be enchanted."

    She looked back to at Njord as if for answers. Clearly, mannish humor eluded her.

    It was something the northman could empathize with.
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    Thu May 19, 2016 3:45 pm  
    Sævil: The Howling

    "Oh?" Sævil looks up from the wolf, but continues to give her a good scratch, "Is there a problem Milleen?"

    The kobold merely shrugged. "Even if there was," she said in her raspy voice, barely above the roar of the frigid wind, "there is aught either of us could do about it. She has chosen you, and that is that. Now, it falls to you to name her and allow her to remain at your heel."

    Milleen smirked slightly. "We will need to bring much meat on our voyage across Black Ice," she opined. "If not before, then surely now."

    "A pup like her will eat your weight in fresh kill every day, you know."
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    Thu May 19, 2016 6:51 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Quote:
    She paused for a moment, her black eyes fixed on the fire as if lost in thought. Then, she turned to Njord and at last spoke: "I will remain, I think," she replied. "It makes little sense to return home. You will choose me soon enough. Wasteful, to walk in the cold, instead."

    Said so matter-of-factly. As if it were foregone conclusion.


    Njord found Crow Jane's self-assurance both amusing and a bit unsettling at the same time. He flicked his eyes toward Ohrin to see if he was having any reaction to her confidence, but the mage simply continued to examine the papers before him.

    Quote:
    "I do not know," she replied, gazing at Olivia's soft down. "I only know that he is of the Creeping Folk. They are a magical sort. If she is as fierce as you say, then I presume that she must be enchanted."

    She looked back to at Njord as if for answers. Clearly, mannish humor eluded her.

    It was something the northman could empathize with.


    Njord thought it might be pointless, but he tried an explanation nonetheless. "Jane, i think it merely...eh...exaggerative...," Njord missed the correct word, but continued, "way of speaking. Like the child pretends that doll has real abilities. So Olivia seems fierce to little Matildya. I don't think is more than such."

    Njord, while waiting for a possible response, began thinking of things to ask Crow Jane that weren't directly related to the journey. In addition, though he mostly found this creature interesting and possibly trek-worthy, he was beginning to wonder whether she was trying some sort of sorcery on them, to convince them to take her -- and the evening had been going so well.
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    Thu May 19, 2016 6:56 pm  
    Re: Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    She paused for a moment, her black eyes fixed on the fire as if lost in thought. Then, she turned to Njord and at last spoke: "I will remain, I think," she replied. "It makes little sense to return home. You will choose me soon enough. Wasteful, to walk in the cold, instead."


    At this, Ohrin raised his head.

    "Hopefully Saevil will return soon and then we can discuss the matter further. To be frank, I was expecting to discuss all of our petitioners with my comrades before meeting with any of them, on the morrow. But, seeing as you are here and live outside of town, it is prudent that you remain."
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    Thu May 19, 2016 8:31 pm  
    Re: Sævil: The Howling

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    "Now, it falls to you to name her and allow her to remain at your heel."

    Milleen smirked slightly. "We will need to bring much meat on our voyage across Black Ice," she opined. "If not before, then surely now."

    "A pup like her will eat your weight in fresh kill every day, you know."


    Sævil looks back down at the she-pup, "Astafrejlva is her name," he playfully grabs her muzzle, "Astafrejlva is your name."

    He stands and faces Milleen, "She's beautiful, thank you Milleen. I've no idea how we can possibly feed her so much meat - certainly we cannot carry so much unless you have near a hundred teams of wolves to pull our sleds. Let us hope the hunting is fair.

    "I should return to my peers to further discuss the mission. I ask that you prepare as many teams of dogs are you are able, and what supplies you need. Anything you require that you do not have, we shall set to finding once you meet us in town."

    Sævil carefully describes where the team is staging, and turns to head back to town.
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    Sun May 22, 2016 3:08 am  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    She paused for a moment, her black eyes fixed on the fire as if lost in thought. Then, she turned to Njord and at last spoke: "I will remain, I think," she replied. "It makes little sense to return home. You will choose me soon enough. Wasteful, to walk in the cold, instead."

    At this, Ohrin raised his head.

    Njord found Crow Jane's self-assurance both amusing and a bit unsettling at the same time. He flicked his eyes toward Ohrin to see if he was having any reaction to her confidence, but the mage simply continued to examine the papers before him.

    "Hopefully Saevil will return soon and then we can discuss the matter further. To be frank, I was expecting to discuss all of our petitioners with my comrades before meeting with any of them, on the morrow. But, seeing as you are here and live outside of town, it is prudent that you remain."

    Jane nodded. It was difficult to say what she thought of what he'd said. Perhaps she was satisfied that he had, essentially, agreed with her. It was just as easy to suppose that she met the comment with disdain. As ever, she was completely inscrutable. "Sævil now trafficks with the wolfmonger," she offered. What she thought of the arrangement, she did not say. "Her name decorates your list, I think." Said as a statement of fact; not an absent musing.

    Njord thought it might be pointless, but he tried an explanation nonetheless. "Jane, i think it merely...eh...exaggerative...," Njord missed the correct word, but continued, "way of speaking. Like the child pretends that doll has real abilities. So Olivia seems fierce to little Matildya. I don't think is more than such."

    Njord, while waiting for a possible response, began thinking of things to ask Crow Jane that weren't directly related to the journey. In addition, though he mostly found this creature interesting and possibly trek-worthy, he was beginning to wonder whether she was trying some sort of sorcery on them, to convince them to take her -- and the evening had been going so well.

    "Dangerous," the black-feathered kenku replied, "to assume. There are things that children see with their new eyes that slowly become invisible with the passage of days. May be there is more to the playtoy than you might suspect, I think. Already, you have lent it magic of your own kind. It shows in your eyes when you brandish it."

    She turned her dark eyes over towards Ohrin. "You are a sorcerer," she said. "You can spy such things with your weird eye, I think?"

    "Can you not say for certain?"
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    Sun May 22, 2016 3:30 am  
    Sævil: The Howling

    "A pup like her will eat your weight in fresh kill every day, you know."

    Sævil looks back down at the she-pup, "Astafrejlva is her name," he playfully grabs her muzzle, "Astafrejlva is your name."

    The wolf became still for a moment, gazing at Sævil down the length of her long, vaguely pointed muzzle. Her incredible blue eyes seemed depthless: A vast, icy ocean of pure color held within their quality. In his grasp, he could feel her breathing, The soft tactility of her fur was warm to the touch. He knew it was foolish, but he found himself thinking that it was as if she was pausing to mull the quality of the name she'd been given.

    All at once, she abruptly shook her head, rolling off her back and standing upright. The wolf began to push her head up against his hand, brushing the sides of her face against it in long strokes. A pause, to gaze up into his eyes once again with her incredible wintery stare.

    Astafrejlva. This is my name. And it is a good name.

    She found the bare flesh at the union of his furred glove, licking it intently and energetically. It made him smile.

    He stands and faces Milleen, "She's beautiful, thank you Milleen. I've no idea how we can possibly feed her so much meat - certainly we cannot carry so much unless you have near a hundred teams of wolves to pull our sleds. Let us hope the hunting is fair.

    "She will hunt for herself, when she needs to," the kobold said, folding her arms across her chest. "You are very fortunate that you have chosen one another when she is so small. For now, she will eat no more than might a normal wolf. In a few months, though, you will see. But this is not necessarily a bad thing, I suppose. If the hunting is good and you treat with her well, Astafrejlva will bring you back enough kill for the both of you to share. If the hunting is poor or you are cruel to her...you should know now to beware."

    "I should return to my peers to further discuss the mission. I ask that you prepare as many teams of dogs are you are able, and what supplies you need. Anything you require that you do not have, we shall set to finding once you meet us in town."

    Milleen offered a bit of a smirk. "Am I to assume that I have been chosen, then?" she asked. "Even before your grand meeting with your fellows?"

    Sævil carefully describes where the team is staging, and turns to head back to town. "Very well," she nodded. "I will prepare my pack. And when you call for us -- I will be sure that we are ready."

    Sævil turned and began to walk away from the imitation of a mine, set in a wolf-infested honeycomb of caverns. As he did, Astafrejlva did not move. Instead, she looked up at Milleen, as if confused.

    "Go with your master," the kobold bade her. "His path is yours now."

    The northman got a few feet further away, his head turned back towards the wolf. Another step and she turned away from Milleena, jauntily beginning to follow the steps Sævil crushed in the snow, in the direction of his fellowship's headquarters.

    Even before they set off upon their grand expedition, he couldn't help but feel like another journey had just begun.
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    Sun May 22, 2016 7:04 am  
    Re: Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    "Dangerous," the black-feathered kenku replied, "to assume. There are things that children see with their new eyes that slowly become invisible with the passage of days. May be there is more to the playtoy than you might suspect, I think. Already, you have lent it magic of your own kind. It shows in your eyes when you brandish it."

    She turned her dark eyes over towards Ohrin. "You are a sorcerer," she said. "You can spy such things with your weird eye, I think?"

    "Can you not say for certain?"


    Once again, Ohrin looked up from his lists. "Er, what? You want me to ascertain if a child's doll is magical? Exactly why do you think it might be? Magic is not to be used frivolously; it is a gift from the Lord of All Magic."
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    Thu May 26, 2016 12:11 am  
    Ohrin & Njord: Birds of a Feather

    "Dangerous," the black-feathered kenku replied, "to assume. There are things that children see with their new eyes that slowly become invisible with the passage of days. May be there is more to the playtoy than you might suspect, I think. Already, you have lent it magic of your own kind. It shows in your eyes when you brandish it."

    She turned her dark eyes over towards Ohrin. "You are a sorcerer," she said. "You can spy such things with your weird eye, I think?"

    "Can you not say for certain?"

    Once again, Ohrin looked up from his lists. "Er, what? You want me to ascertain if a child's doll is magical? Exactly why do you think it might be? Magic is not to be used frivolously; it is a gift from the Lord of All Magic."

    Jane glanced in the direction of his fellow and nodded. Every time she did so, the length of her rapier-beak made the gesture look exaggerated. "Is not Njord's word enough?" she asked, fixing him with her utterly dark eyes. In the moment, Ohrin could understand why it was that she had earned for herself a poor reputation within the settlement. Her gaze was the stuff of mysterious curses and ill omens, regardless of any intent.

    "It matters not," she decided in the end. "We shall see for ourselves soon enough, yes? And in any case, the Son of Dag comes approaching your stone nest." How she might have known that was not apparent. All either Ohrin or Njord could hear was the sound of the wind and the crackling of the fires in their pits.

    "It seems that he brings a guest, too."
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    Thu May 26, 2016 1:48 am  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Eve / Crow Jane / Njord

    Crow Jane was claiming that she knew Saevil was on his way? With a friend? She had called Ohrin a sorcerer. Maybe she was the same? Or had some sort of magical gifts? She was indeed an enigma. Njord knew that taking her along would prove either a great boon or a calamity. He had no idea, however, why he wasn't more averse to this crow-woman. It had him rather baffled. He also knew he'd find out soon enough if she had such power: Saevil, and his friend, would signal sooth. And if she bore such ability, what other secrets lay in wait behind those dark eyes? He spoke to her, almost cautiously.

    "Jane, you have mentioned Ohrin's magic and his wierd eye. Maybe you have same? Some second-sight, as is called? You make claims of things that have yet to happen as though already have come to pass. You have such a gift?"
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    Thu May 26, 2016 5:58 am  
    Njord, Ohrin, & Sævil: Determination

    "Jane, you have mentioned Ohrin's magic and his weird eye. Maybe you have same? Some second-sight, as is called? You make claims of things that have yet to happen as though already have come to pass. You have such a gift?"

    She returned her attention to the northman. "No," she said in her odd caw-croak of a voice. "We are not alike, you and I. I can see things you cannot, hear things you cannot. This is the way of nature, not the way of the weird. It is another reason why you will soon decide it best if I accompany you, I think."

    She paused for a moment. "Hrm," she considered. "Wolf."

    A breath after she'd said it, the headquarters' door opened. Instantly, the temperature of the room dropped several degrees, courtesy of the bitter wind that blew in through its open frame and the icy white it swept along its invisible path. Sævil quickly entered past its threshold, shaking a heavy blanket of snow from his shoulders and cloak. Behind him, only a few steps from his heel, a large grey wolf followed, lean and sleek.

    Jane looked at Njord for a moment, then down towards the animal.

    The warrior closed the door behind himself. Never once did his new companion stray from his side. His companions were there in the headquarters he saw, Ohrin and Njord. Only Kahss seemed absent. Instead, he had been replaced by perhaps the strangest being he'd ever seen in all his days. It was a short thing, thin of frame, wrapped in heavy swaths of dark fabric to protect against the frigid clime. It was about the size of a young woman or an olve, perhaps. The head of a raven, covered in utterly black feathers rest upon the figure's shoulders, however. Gazing back at him with unblinking eyes of utter jet. The wolf gazed right back at it, unblinking herself. Watching; wary.

    It said nothing at all by way of greeting.

    Subtly, Astafrejlva strode forward, interposing herself between he and the bird-creature.
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    Thu May 26, 2016 7:03 am  
    Re: Njord, Ohrin, & Sævil: Determination

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    ...the headquarters' door opened. Instantly, the temperature of the room dropped several degrees, courtesy of the bitter wind that blew in through its open frame and the icy white it swept along its invisible path. Sævil quickly entered past its threshold, shaking a heavy blanket of snow from his shoulders and cloak.


    Ohrin looked up when the door opened, clearly relieved when Saevil entered. He was about about to greet him when...

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Behind him, only a few steps from his heel, a large grey wolf followed, lean and sleek.


    Ohrin's look changed to one of slight nervousness and confusion.

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    ...Subtly, Astafrejlva strode forward, interposing herself between he and the bird-creature.


    Standing up, Ohrin said, "No one said anything about any pets. Let alone large, carnivorous ones." Turning to face Jane, Ohrin added, "Crow Jane, is there somewhere in the town you might retire to for an hour or two? I think my companions and I have much to discuss."
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    Thu May 26, 2016 1:24 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Night / Njord

    As the wolf moved toward Crow Jane, Njord made a similar motion, reaching the bird-woman's front flank. He would be ready to intervene in case the canine opted for an avian dinner. He held up an outstretched hand with a slight wave toward Sævil, hoping it would also act as a signal for the wolf to stop. With a wary smile, Njord addressed the warrior.

    "Good Sævil, glad you return. I hope this is friend we have been told about." Njord nodded toward the wolf.
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    Thu May 26, 2016 9:59 pm  
    Njord, Ohrin, & Sævil: Determination

    Standing up, Ohrin said, "No one said anything about any pets. Let alone large, carnivorous ones." Turning to face Jane, Ohrin added, "Crow Jane, is there somewhere in the town you might retire to for an hour or two? I think my companions and I have much to discuss."

    As the wolf moved toward Crow Jane, Njord made a similar motion, reaching the bird-woman's front flank. He would be ready to intervene in case the canine opted for an avian dinner.

    The kenku made something like a snorting noise from her beak. Whatever emotion it was meant to reflect, the wolf was unmoved by it. For her part, Crow Jane averted her gaze from it, turning instead towards Ohrin. "Hrm," she seemed to consider for a moment before deciding. "I will go to see Milleen, I think. When you are ready, you can find me with the wolfmonger."

    She started toward the door, giving the wolf a wide birth. On her way, she met Sævil's eyes with her emotionless black stare. The gesture seemed to discomfit Astafrejlva, but fortunately, the kenku made the portal and slipped out before his new friend could protest overmuch. With a sudden appearance and disappearance of the wind and cold, she was gone from their presence. Immediately, the wolf seemed to relax, gradually meandering back towards Sævil's heel.

    Njord held up an outstretched hand with a slight wave toward Sævil, hoping it would also act as a signal for the wolf to stop. With a wary smile, Njord addressed the warrior.

    "Good Sævil, glad you return. I hope this is friend we have been told about." Njord nodded toward the wolf.

    The beast was a beauty: Sleek and powerful. She looked up at Njord with bright blue eyes, full of life and intelligence. He had been about wolves long enough to know that she was a young one, yet absolutely immense for her age.

    [Njord: Please roll me a d20!]
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    Thu May 26, 2016 10:04 pm  

    Once Crow Jane had departed, Ohrin looked a little bit relieved, clearly eager to move forward with discussing the petitioners.

    The three of them have a long talk about the petitioners with Ohrin taking extensive notes (chat between Ohrin and Saevil occurred on #greytalk earlier tonight. Waiting on Njord's votes. Once correlated, will share the results).
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    Thu May 26, 2016 10:55 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Night / Njord (Roll)

    Njord rolls: 20.

    [* No shite. First roll of campaign, and probably just wasted that on an ability check rather than saving it for combat. Yay! Sad *]
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    Fri May 27, 2016 10:35 am  
    Headquarters At Night

    Sævil reaches absently for the wolf as the Kenku passes out the door, then turns back to his new compatriots.

    "Njord, Ohrin! This beauty is Astafrejlva, one of Milleen's pups. She chose me, or so Milleen has explained." He glances back at the door again, "Why was Crow Jane here? And why did she leave?"
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    Fri May 27, 2016 12:03 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / Headquarters At Night / Njord

    Njord more carefully examined the wolf. "She is beauty, true. Astafrejlva is also lovely name." Apparently, Sævil had also been given a gift. His, without a doubt, capable of brutal ferocity. "You are blessed with such an offering."

    Njord then responded to Sævil's questions. "Jane was walking out in snow when i return from visit with Captain. She seemed cold. I invite her in to interview her, and to allow her warmth of fire. We were waiting for you." Njord glances at the mage with a head turn and tilt. "Seems, Ohrin wishes discussion before we speak with her. I will go fetch her when we are ready."

    After a pause, Njord reflects, "I never asked Jane where she headed. I wonder if she was on way to our head-quarters."
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    Fri May 27, 2016 1:30 pm  

    [Discussion happens]

    Ohrin finishes taking notes and says, "Ok, here is what we have so far. Using our voting system wherein we each gave a petitioner a score ranging from negative three to positive three, we get the following results and what we know or have heard about each:

    With five points:
    Soren Stormcloud, male elf priest of The Winged Mother, an elven goddess of air and weather.
    Milleen, female kobold trainer of wolves. According to my sources, she is NOT a druid. She is friends with Altansarnai.
    A'sila T'shanna, female human Bakluni monk dedicated to Xan Yae, a skilled martial combatant.

    With four points:
    Asranith Lasiniir, gender unknown to me elf, possibly a cavalier who uses arcane magicks as he/she is reported to ride a spectral steed, deadly archer per Master Retlishin.
    Lady Armiger Marissa Osson of Almor, brave and true per Verenna.
    Kelvan Farstrider, male half-elf training as a Defender of fishing boats, so a likely martial combatant, I am friendly with him, Saevil believes him to have promise and likes his free spirit.
    Altarnarsai, no one has told me his or her gender, human Tiger Nomad, experienced traveler, friends with Milleen, Saevil like his tracking and survival abilities.
    Lukasz Ravel, gender unknown to me, human former constable in the Free City of Greyhawk, Saevil says he is a promising fighter but a bit simple minded.
    Crow Jane, female kenku, former henchman of a powerful assassin who went missing, has never shirked her duties to Corus, Verenna strongly vouched for her, Saevil said Captain Fireheart said she is dedicated to our community.
    Johanna Swiftstoat, female halfling, likely a sneaky practitioner of illusory magicks, Saevil likes her attitude and abilities.

    With three points:
    Slava, male half-orc, very strong, helped me when I first moved here, friends with Hjalmar Frjalsmour.
    Lars Loga, presumably male, judging by the name, human town guardsman, Njord gave him a two but didn't say why.
    Hjalmir Frjalsmaur, presumably male human, friends with Slava, dull-witted by very strong, Saevil says he is a stoic human pack mule.
    Nevin Stoutshield, male hill dwarf, friendly to me, interested in volatile alchemy, skilled architect and/or engineer.

    That gives us thirteen, so far. As we have ten petitioners receiving two points, I believe we will need to eliminate three of the two-pointers, whom I will list in a moment, from consideration. Before I do so, does anyone have any last objections to any of the previously mentioned names?

    (OOC: I have to go to work, will post the two-pointers' info when I get home tonight.)


    Last edited by aurdraco on Tue May 31, 2016 1:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Fri May 27, 2016 6:55 pm  

    "Ok, moving on to the two-pointers. There are twelve of them. That would put our number at twenty-five, which seems unwieldy. I suggest that we cull at least five of them, if not more.

    Kharaz Stonemilker, male hill dwarf bartender.
    Lertan Stonemilker, male hill dwarf chef.
    Minek Stonemilker, male hill dwarf security and book keeper. All three bothers are friendly to me.
    Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill, gender unknown to me gnome, presumably female, Veranna mentioned something about being royalty, I have no idea what skills she would bring with her and would prefer to interview her before we select her.
    Karstren Esil, gender unknown to me human, presumably male, former quartermaster for a mercenary company according to Master Retlishin, which I think would be very useful.
    Jonas Cerny, male human military mountaineer, married to Peta Cerny, friendly to me, friend of Yrist Vrabrenn, whom we do not seem to want to invite to join us.
    Lucion Inmarial, male high elf, some sort of spellcaster who is attempting to mix the natural with the arcane, possibly a druid and magic-user. Would like to speak with him to determine the extent of his abilities, if any, before removing from our list.
    Gerrit Lashander, male human mage, oddly respected in town, might be powerful with magic but a bit lacking in control.
    Renada Rabbitwarren, female gnome mage, skilled alchemist.
    Merrick Flowerfield, male halfling, pleasant to me, skilled chef, Saevil is not sure he would be useful.
    Faeranna Nightsky, female half elf, I believe she mixes martial skill with arcane magic, Saevil is not sure what she brings to the table.
    Markus Restantin, gender unknown to me elf, assuming male, I believe he is a sneaky martial devotee of Erevan Ilsere, elven god of mischief.

    Right now, if we had to cut five from the two-pointers, I would suggest cutting the Stonemilker brothers as it just seems like bad luck to tempt fate by bringing all three along, perhaps we should just invite Lertan to be company cook, Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill, and Merrick Flowerfield.

    Before we decide on the two-pointers, please let me know if we are all accepting of the previously listed petitioners. What say you?"
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    Fri May 27, 2016 8:23 pm  
    C2: The Outsiders / HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord

    Yes to currently accepted (+3+) petitioners.

    Njord wonders if there might be a problem bringing "shorter" characters, if we might be running into deep snow, snowdrifts, etc. He's no "height-ist", but it may be a concern?

    Njord's first thoughts (good / bad-in-italics) about the +2-group. These are in order from favorite to least-desired.

    Karstren Esil: Quartermaster
    Jonas Cerny: Military Mountaineer.
    Merrick Flowerfield: Chef. Friendly. / Short.
    Faeranna Nightsky: Fighter Mage. (Just like the name, tbh)
    Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill: Cap'n F certified. / Short.
    Lucion Inmarial: Druidic.
    Lertan Stonemilker: Chef. / Short.
    Renada Rabbitwarren: Alchemist. / Short.
    Minek Stonemilker: / Short.
    Kharaz Stonemilker: / Bartender? Short.
    Markus Restantin: Fighter/Thief? / Sneaky, as in duplicitous?
    Gerrit Lashander: / Mage without control?

    If we can get it down to a definite 20 without interviews that would be cool. But willing to interview any and all to get it right. Also open to interviewing definite picks or non-picks. For instance, if we definitely want Jonas Cerny, we might take a look at Yrist Vrabrenn. Etc.

    Also, if having shorter folks along won't be an issue, please explain why.
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    Fri May 27, 2016 8:38 pm  
    C2: HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord

    [* Ok, by Aurdraco's request... *]

    In the midst of discussion, Njord ponders the current choices and those individuals that are borderline, then queries Ohrin:

    "Ohrin, you have told us which of petitioners have received good score. So which on list got bad score. Any of them get...eh...negative points?"
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    Fri May 27, 2016 9:46 pm  

    "Yes. Captain Jinmiir scored negative three, Rusland Heatherplans negative one, Monek Friedrich negative two, The Dark One negative one, and Narend Martracin negative two."
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    Sat May 28, 2016 12:56 am  
    C2: HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord

    [* Ok. Probably my last post for the weekend. I didn't quite finish as i am tired... *]

    Here is a list of a) the group order, in suborders within ranks (given +/-) according to Njord's current viewpoints. Asterisks indicate which one's he might have caveats about, depending on certain conditions. Basically ones he thinks would be a good idea to interview.

    Code:

    01.  +5  Milleen:  Female Kobold
    02.* +5  A'sila T'shanna:  Female Human (Baklune) Monk (Xan Yae)
    03.  +5  Soren Stormcloud:  Male Elf Priest.
    04.  +4  Asranith Lasiniir:  Male High-Elf Ranger?
    05.* +4  Altarnarsai:  Female Human (Tiger Nomad / Bak.) Ranger?
    06.  +4  Lukasz Ravel:  Male Human (Oerid/Flan) Fighter/Thief?
    07.  +4  Johanna Swiftstoat:  Female Halfling Illusionist/Thief?
    08.* +4  Crow Jane:  Female Kenku Assassin/Mage?
    09.  +4  Kelvan Farstrider:  Male Half-Elf Ranger?
    10.  +3  Lars Loja:  Male Human (Suel/Flan) Fighter?
    11.  +3  Hjalmir Frjalsmaur: Male Human Fighter?
    12.  +3  Nevin Stoutshield:  Male Hill-Dwarf Alchemist?
    13.* +3  Slava:  Male Half-Orc Fighter?
    ------------------------------------------------------
    14.  +2  Karstren Esil: Quartermaster
    15.  +2  Jonas Cerny: Military Mountaineer.
    16.* +2  Merrick Flowerfield: Chef. Friendly. / Short.
    17.* +2  Nightsky: Fighter Mage. (Just like the name, tbh)
    18.* +2  Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill: Cap'n F certified. / Short.
    19.  +2  Lucion Inmarial: Druidic.
    20.* +2  Lertan Stonemilker: Chef. / Short.
    21.  +2  Renada Rabbitwarren: Alchemist. / Short.
    22.  +2  Minek Stonemilker: / Short.
    23.  +2  Kharaz Stonemilker: / Bartender? Short.
    24.* +2  Markus Restantin: Fighter/Thief? / Sneaky, as in duplicitous?
    25.* +2  Gerrit Lashander: / M
    -------------------------------------------------
    26.* ??  Marissa Osson:  Female Human (Oerid) Cavalier?
    27.  ??  Sir Montgomery Persides:  Male Human (Flan) Paladin (Hieron.)
    28.  ??  Yrist Vrabenn
    29.  ??  Ballatia Wishilde:  Female Human (S/F) Monk?
    30.  ??  Fantisek Mannenheim
    31.  ??  Khandraz
    32.  ??  Sammi Vasternaan
    33.  ??  Morin Thistlefoot
    34.  ??  Mirka Dano
    --------------------------------------------------
    35.* -1  The Dark One
    36.  -1  Ruslana Heatherplans
    37.  -2  Narend Matracin
    38.  -2  Monek Friedrich
    39.  -3  Jinmiir Ristolier:  Male Human?



    [*

    Did i miss anybody?


    Aurdraco,

    Would also like to see posted similar lists for Ohrin and Saevil's individual viewpoints, if possible.
    *]
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    Sat May 28, 2016 9:13 am  

    Ohrin explains how he voted.

    (OOC: Ok, I had more time to clean this up:)
    Code:

    +2  Asranith Lasiniir
    +2  Lady Armiger Marissa Osson of Almor
    -1 Sir Montgomery “Monty” Persides
    +3  Soren Stormcloud
    +2  Kelvan Farstrider
    +2  “Slava”
    00  Yrist Vrabenn
    +1  Kharâz Stonemilker
    +1  Lertan Stonemilker
    +1  Minek Stonemilker
    -1  Captain Jinmiir Ristolier
    +1  Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill
    +1  Khândraz
    -00 Ruslan Heatherplains
    +1  Frantisek Mannenheim
    -1  Monek Friedrich
    +1  Sammi Vasternaan
    +2  Karstren Esil
    +1  Lars Loja
    +1  Milleen
    +1  Altansarnai
    +1  Hjálmar Frjálsmaður
    +2 Jonáš Cerny
    00  Ballatia Wishílde
    +2  Lucion Inmarial
    +2  Gerrit Lashander
    +2  Renada Rabbitwarren
    00  “The Dark One”
    +2  Nevin Stoutshield
    +1  Merri Flowerfield
    +2  Mirka Daňo
    -2  Narend Martracin
    +1  Lukasz Ravel
    +2  “Crow Jane”
    +1  Asila T'shanna
    +2  Faeranna Nightsky 
    +1  Morin Thistlefoot
    +2  Markus Restantin
    +1  Johanna Swiftstoat

    (Re: "sneaky", you would understand from the context that Ohrin means characters capable of finding traps.)

    And here are the notes regarding how Saevil voted:
    Code:

    00  Asranith Lasiniir
    00  Lady Armiger Marissa Osson of Almor
    00 Sir Montgomery “Monty” Persides
    +1  Soren Stormcloud
    +1  Kelvan Farstrider
    00  “Slava”
    00  Yrist Vrabenn
    00  Kharâz Stonemilker
    00  Lertan Stonemilker
    00  Minek Stonemilker
    00 Captain Jinmiir Ristolier
    00  Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill
    00  Khândraz
    00 Ruslan Heatherplains
    00  Frantisek Mannenheim
    00  Monek Friedrich
    00  Sammi Vasternaan
    00  Karstren Esil
    00  Lars Loja
    +3  Milleen
    +2  Altansarnai
    +1  Hjálmar Frjálsmaður
    00 Jonáš Cerny
    00  Ballatia Wishílde
    00  Lucion Inmarial
    00  Gerrit Lashander
    00  Renada Rabbitwarren
    -1  “The Dark One”
    00  Nevin Stoutshield
    00  Merri Flowerfield
    00  Mirka Daňo
    00 Narend Martracin
    +1  Lukasz Ravel
    +3  “Crow Jane”
    +1  Asila T'shanna
    -1  Faeranna Nightsky 
    00  Morin Thistlefoot
    00  Markus Restantin
    +2  Johanna Swiftstoat


    Last edited by aurdraco on Tue May 31, 2016 12:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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    Sat May 28, 2016 6:35 pm  
    HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Sævil

    Meta:

    Sævil participates in the back and forth of the conversation. During this time he plays with Astafrejlva, encourages her to interact with Njord - and Ohrin if he seems open to it, sips a beverage, and clearly enjoys the time spent discussing the people of Corus. Often he expresses delight at learning something new about someone. Even when he expresses a downvote, he expresses it without rancor or denigrating the person in question.


    Code:

    Ranked via Syz's system, meta comments in trailing parens.

    01.  +5  Milleen:  Female Kobold
    02.  +5  A'sila T'shanna:  Female Human (Baklune) Monk (Xan Yae)
    03.  +5  Soren Stormcloud:  Male Elf Priest.
    04.  +4  Altarnarsai:  Female Human (Tiger Nomad / Bak.) Ranger?
    05.  +4  Johanna Swiftstoat:  Female Halfling Illusionist/Thief?
    06.  +4  Lukasz Ravel:  Male Human (Oerid/Flan) Fighter/Thief?
    07.  +4  Kelvan Farstrider:  Male Half-Elf Ranger?
    08.* +4  Crow Jane:  Female Kenku Assassin/Mage?
    09.  +4  Asranith Lasiniir:  Male High-Elf Ranger?
    10.  +3  Hjalmir Frjalsmaur: Male Human Fighter?
    11.  +3  Lars Loja:  Male Human (Suel/Flan) Fighter?
    12.  +3  Nevin Stoutshield:  Male Hill-Dwarf Alchemist?
    13.*  +3  Slava:  Male Half-Orc Fighter?
    ------------------------------------------------------
    14.  +2  Karstren Esil: Quartermaster (a quartermaster by profession is basically a necessity for an expedition of this sort - the knowledge he possesses will also assist in determining if we've found a place that will support our population)
    15.*  +2  Jonas Cerny: Military Mountaineer. (leaving behind a professional military mountaineer is probably insane, unless there's some disqualifying factor)
    16.* +2  Merrick Flowerfield: Chef. Friendly. / Short. (a quality chef may have a huge impact on team morale.  i'm in favor of merrick simply because he's the one I know)
    17.* +2  Nightsky: Fighter Mage. (Just like the name, tbh)
    18.* +2  Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill: Cap'n F certified. / Short.
    19.  +2  Lucion Inmarial: Druidic.
    20.* +2  Lertan Stonemilker: Chef. / Short.
    21.  +2  Renada Rabbitwarren: Alchemist. / Short.
    22.  +2  Minek Stonemilker: / Short.
    23.  +2  Kharaz Stonemilker: / Bartender? Short.
    24.* +2  Markus Restantin: Fighter/Thief? / Sneaky, as in duplicitous?
    25.* +2  Gerrit Lashander: / M
    -------------------------------------------------
    26.  ??  Marissa Osson:  Female Human (Oerid) Cavalier?
    27.  ??  Sir Montgomery Persides:  Male Human (Flan) Paladin (Hieron.)
    28.  ??  Yrist Vrabenn
    29.  ??  Ballatia Wishilde:  Female Human (S/F) Monk?
    30.  ??  Fantisek Mannenheim
    31.  ??  Khandraz
    32.  ??  Sammi Vasternaan
    33.  ??  Morin Thistlefoot
    34.  ??  Mirka Dano

    (Who the bloody hell are these people?)

    --------------------------------------------------
    35.* -1  The Dark One (Probably worth interviewing just in case there's something hidden and useful we dont know about?)
    36.  -1  Ruslana Heatherplans
    37.  -2  Narend Matracin
    38.  -2  Monek Friedrich
    39.  -3  Jinmiir Ristolier:  Male Human?



    "Friends, I spent enough time among Perrenlanders to recognize that supply ought not to be traced farther than it must. I suggest we invest less time in worrying at the numbers we bring out of Corus. We should expect to set up a base camp among my people along the Tusking Strand, and perhaps another smaller camp at the very border of the Black Ice.

    "From these camps a constant flow of fish and better yet - seal and walrus blubber will keep us supplied. We will have a safe place to retreat in the event of danger or supply shortage. With luck a careful chef and quartermaster will ensure our food is palatable for those of you less used to eating blubber; and mark my words - where we go no amount of conjured food a priest is likely to provide will be enough to keep us going. Out there we will eat many times more than usual; or we..will..die.

    "Fair trade goods to my people will ensure their cooperation. Good steel tools are ever in short supply. They will help us make good our losses: Torn parkas, worn out boots, wind and waterproof gear... they can teach and trade with those we leave at camp.

    "I know we've been cautioned that too large a group is a risk - I agree - but spread across a camp or two, besides those of us penetrating the Black Ice itself shouldn't be so bad."
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    Sat May 28, 2016 7:32 pm  

    Ohrin is half-wary of the wolf, half curious. He will let his left hand hang down so that the creature may approach and sniff it, if it so chooses.

    "My father's people have very close bonds with the animals of the Fellreev Forest. However, I grew up in Rookroost, a large city. As long as I am not bitten, we will get along just fine." Ohrin then gets a faraway look for a second before rhetorically asking himself, "I wonder if the spell of strength would work on such a creature..."

    Ohrin then continues, "The height worry is a good one! I am unfamiliar with the terrain this far north, and the dangers. While I have not had many dealings with dwarves, I would be surprised if snow was much more of a hindrance to them than it is to us. Halfings, on the other hand, would probably need to be transported with gear and supplies."

    "Regarding interviewing, I don't particularly feel it would be useful the interview the petitioners we all agree on. However many you two think we should speak with though, I will not object should the number be no higher than ten. I do not want us to be tied up in committee for a fortnight settling this company. Fair warning: I do plan on asking the Uncaring One to allow me to peer into the souls of any we do interview tomorrow. As a courtesy, I will not examine you, the co-chairs of this expedition, the same way...unless you do something quite alarming in the future."

    "On the subject of magic, what do you two think of me turning one member of our company invisible per day? The effect lasts until the recipient acts aggressively towards another creature. I quite like the idea of our company appearing to be smaller than it actually is, unless that eventually attracts more trouble than it's worth."

    "In the same vein, which of you two would benefit more from having your strength magically enhanced for several hours per day? I know this spell that I think you might quite enjoy...if I don't save it for myself. Makes it easier to swing this sword around, you see."

    "Will unexpected crevices be a likely danger? If so, I can prepare a spell to help save a falling character. However, I do not have the ability to prepare a lot of arcane spells, so each choice must be made carefully."

    "Oh, I can also levitate someone. Could be very handy for scouting the terrain ahead, especially an invisible someone."

    "Regarding my divine magic, I plan on creating sixteen gallons of water per day (and asking our other divine spellcasting companions to do the same). The rest of my prayers will likely be devoted towards healing spells, just in case (although I do plan to continue to protect myself from the cold for the better part of each day. I will have my cold weather gear with me, I just prefer not to have to wear it!)."

    "While I am feeling talkative, how do you two gents prefer to fight? I am very, very proficient with the hand-a-half sword, especially if I have enhanced my strength, and passable with a longbow."

    Once the ensuing discussion of the above points has completed, Ohrin will then say, "Now, there was apparently some question as to whether or not the doll is magical. I might as well find out...stay behind me if you do not wish me to know which items you carry are magical."

    Ohrin then pulls out his holy symbol and begins to pray to the Uncaring One, "Oh Lord of the Archmages, reveal to your humble servant's eyes the light only you can see, reveal that which is not mundane but is rather magical..." blah blah blah, this continues for a full minute. Upon the casting's completion, Ohrin gazes at the doll for a minute. Then, for good measure, he turns 60* for a minute and examines his surroundings, then repeats this five more times. If his compatriots do not move, he examines them. If they stand behind him as he rotates, he does not appear to examine them. (OOC: KW, please privately share the results with me, Ohrin will decide what he shares)
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    Mon May 30, 2016 1:52 am  
    Njord, Ohrin, & Sævil: Determination

    Ohrin is half-wary of the wolf, half curious. He will let his left hand hang down so that the creature may approach and sniff it, if it so chooses.

    It seemed to mirror his sentiments exactly. Ohrin watched the wolf wind its way between Sævil's legs, careful to brush up against the northman several times before making its way in his direction. All the while, it looked up at Ohrin with its incredible blue eyes, completely devoid of white sclera. Only after it had performed the silent ritual, it began to carefully stride in his direction, always sure to interpose itself between him and Sævil. He had seen that type of behavior before. It was marking him as hers -- and letting Ohrin know it in its own wordless way. He'd been told that it was rather commonplace amongst uncommonly intelligent animals, like the Cooshee that ran at the heels of the Sylvan folk during their hunts.

    The wolf arrived at Ohrin's side. It was tall enough -- had Sævil called it a pup? -- to sniff at his fingers without craning its neck upward. He felt the soft sensation of its fur grazing his flesh, the wet leather of its nose contacting once or twice. Than, as if it decided its opinion of him, it rubbed it muzzle against his hand affectionately, offering the tips of his fingers a quick lick of its tongue.

    "My father's people have very close bonds with the animals of the Fellreev Forest. However, I grew up in Rookroost, a large city. As long as I am not bitten, we will get along just fine." Ohrin then gets a faraway look for a second before rhetorically asking himself, "I wonder if the spell of strength would work on such a creature..."

    As he wondered it aloud, the wolf -- a bitch, to see its hindquarters -- turned back towards Sævil and sat patiently at his heel again. Their introductions, it seemed, were complete.

    Ohrin then continues, "The height worry is a good one! I am unfamiliar with the terrain this far north, and the dangers. While I have not had many dealings with dwarves, I would be surprised if snow was much more of a hindrance to them than it is to us. Halfings, on the other hand, would probably need to be transported with gear and supplies."

    "Regarding interviewing, I don't particularly feel it would be useful the interview the petitioners we all agree on. However many you two think we should speak with though, I will not object should the number be no higher than ten. I do not want us to be tied up in committee for a fortnight settling this company. Fair warning: I do plan on asking the Uncaring One to allow me to peer into the souls of any we do interview tomorrow. As a courtesy, I will not examine you, the co-chairs of this expedition, the same way...unless you do something quite alarming in the future."

    "On the subject of magic, what do you two think of me turning one member of our company invisible per day? The effect lasts until the recipient acts aggressively towards another creature. I quite like the idea of our company appearing to be smaller than it actually is, unless that eventually attracts more trouble than it's worth."

    "In the same vein, which of you two would benefit more from having your strength magically enhanced for several hours per day? I know this spell that I think you might quite enjoy...if I don't save it for myself. Makes it easier to swing this sword around, you see."

    "Will unexpected crevices be a likely danger? If so, I can prepare a spell to help save a falling character. However, I do not have the ability to prepare a lot of arcane spells, so each choice must be made carefully."

    "Oh, I can also levitate someone. Could be very handy for scouting the terrain ahead, especially an invisible someone."

    "Regarding my divine magic, I plan on creating sixteen gallons of water per day (and asking our other divine spellcasting companions to do the same). The rest of my prayers will likely be devoted towards healing spells, just in case (although I do plan to continue to protect myself from the cold for the better part of each day. I will have my cold weather gear with me, I just prefer not to have to wear it!)."

    "While I am feeling talkative, how do you two gents prefer to fight? I am very, very proficient with the hand-a-half sword, especially if I have enhanced my strength, and passable with a longbow."

    Once the ensuing discussion of the above points has completed, Ohrin will then say, "Now, there was apparently some question as to whether or not the doll is magical. I might as well find out...stay behind me if you do not wish me to know which items you carry are magical."

    Ohrin then pulls out his holy symbol and begins to pray to the Uncaring One, "Oh Lord of the Archmages, reveal to your humble servant's eyes the light only you can see, reveal that which is not mundane but is rather magical..." blah blah blah, this continues for a full minute. Upon the casting's completion, Ohrin gazes at the doll for a minute. Then, for good measure, he turns 60* for a minute and examines his surroundings, then repeats this five more times. If his compatriots do not move, he examines them. If they stand behind him as he rotates, he does not appear to examine them.

    Both Njord and Sævil watched as gentle violet and gold lights began to trail after the movements of Ohrin's hands, twinkling starmotes like crushed gemstones dripping from his fingers, disappearing before they hit the ground.

    Astafrejlva looked up at Sævil as if to assess his opinion of the strange ritual taking place before them. Even as the unblinking eye of Boccob began to manifest itself in the center of his gesticulations, because the northman did not move, neither did the wolf. It continued to watch the sparkling lights with interest -- as they all did.

    Njord and Sævil watched Ohrin raise the eye -- seeming composed of glowing curves and lines, cut into the flesh of the air; the vibrant, glowing composition left by the spell was its very blood made visible -- before his face. He closed one eye and leaned close to the magical construction.

    Through his open eye, he regarded the doll anew....


    [Ohrin: Sending PM!]
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    Mon May 30, 2016 11:18 pm  
    C2: HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord

    [* Wow, lots to reply to, gonna summarize to get thru it. Replying in roughly temporal order (as best as i can guess). All of this is, of course, from Njord's perspective. *]


    Astafrejlva
    Njord would try to pet the wolf if it/Sævil allows. He has an affinity for animals, probably more-so than he does for people.


    Kahss:
    Njord would ask Sævil if he knows what has happened to our (ex-)fourth, given that Kahss just up and left the place.


    Olivia Owlbear (and the Ruddyfoot kids)
    Njord fills Sævil in on the visit by the Ruddyfoot kids, their gifts of nourishment, and Matildya's offering of Olivia (the owlbear doll). Njord will display her with pride for Sævil.


    Ohrin speaks of magic:
    Njord is noticeably a bit concerned or uncertain about all of this. He has trepidations. As far as all the tactical uses for spells, he doesn't have all that much experience with that. He offers the following communication to Ohrin:

    "Good Ohrin, i know your magicks will be of great use, but I may or may not be willing to have such cast upon me. It will depend on situation. But one thing," and he intones this nearer to an imperative than to a request, "please do not put spell on me unless i give ok." Noticeably tensed, he relaxes. "As for using abilities to look into hearts or minds of candidates, i do not have problem with such. But interesting, what if you ask each before doing so? Might give other insight?"


    The Doll (Ohrin):
    If Ohrin openly examines Olivia, Njord will pay attention.

    Fighting (Ohrin's Q):
    "I have skill with bow, swords, hand-and-half, other blades. Willing to fight with bare hands, if comes to such."


    POST DISCUSSION/FIRST-TALLY


    Group Size: BIG QUESTION
    Njord wonders if it might even be better to take most of the candidates (like 30+, instead of 20). As, i think it was Sævil, mentioned supplies and such from the Tusking Land -- maybe it would be best to bring alot of extra people in case we need to set up multiple camps, and leave people as relay and/or rally points. We might even just take all those candidates we have any positive (+1) vibe toward whatsoever. We can always (and this may seem harsh, but ya know what desperate times call for) send people back if they aren't working out. Is there reason(s) we couldn't take that many?


    Individual Size (Short):
    Njord doesn't know how to resolve this. He's on the fence. If he had to choose he'd say we'll just deal with it if we have to, and be prepared with some sort of sled/toboggan system just in case. Which might also be needed for wounded people anyway. ? Maybe we could just do a three-count vote (yea/nay) to even worry about it. Njord would go with NAY.


    Interviews:
    Njord agrees (with Ohrin) that we should try to minimize the interviews if possible, but it might be a good idea to at least do a few to get a feel for some of the members. We can even ask what each of those thinks of the other candidates so we start to get a feel for potential friendships/friction.


    Altansarnai:
    We should meet her, especially to get a feel for how she will get along with Njord (and vice versa).


    Crow Jane:
    At some point after initial discussions revealed the group's general first-consensus (tally), and seeing that Crow Jane seems to be a fairly definite choice, Njord would offer to:

    a) Go get her and bring her back for an interview.
    b) Go and simply tell her that she has been accepted.

    He could do the same for Milleen (a or b). He doesn't want to keep Crow Jane waiting. As it's probably 8pm or so by the time the first round of talks end. ???


    Milleen:
    See above (Same situation as Crow Jane).


    Others To Interview
    Here's a list of some others that have been mentioned for interview (by Njord or Sævil). We need to now simply make a list of people we definitely want to interview. Here's a start (N means Njord desires, S for Saevil, N/S both). With some notes.

    Code:

    +5  A'sila T'shanna: (N): She is loner? Work well in group?
    +4  Altarnarsai:  (N) -- Make sure they will get along.
    +4  Crow Jane: (S)
    +3  Slava:  (N/S)
    ------------------------------------------------------
    +2  Jonas Cerny: (S) Military Mountaineer.
    +2  Merrick Flowerfield: (N/S) Chef, Is he Stout enough for journey?
    +2  Faeranna Nightsky: (N/S)
    +2  Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill:  (N/S): Cap'n F certified.
    +2  Lertan Stonemilker: (N/S) Chef.
    +2  Markus Restantin: (N/S)
    +2  Gerrit Lashander: (N/S)
    -------------------------------------
    ??  Marissa Osson: (N) Cap'n F recommended. She may be quite tough?
    -1  The Dark One: (N/S) (Same reason, curiosity), Also CapN F okayed.



    [* Haven't yet figured how to whittle this down. Will think more soon. Things are moving, gents! *]
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    Tue May 31, 2016 11:13 am  
    C2: HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord / Interviewees List

    Njord offers this possible order for interviewees (possibly after going to get/inform Crow Jane / Milleen -- as that should be done pronto). This list may be moot if we decide to go with alot of volunteers (30+, see BIG Q in prev. post), as that may simply mean automatically taking all the +2 candidates, so interviews might even become less relevant. ? The order is mainly based on the fact that both Njord and Saevil indicated the individual for interview (except for Altarnarsai). Those below the cut (-------) are those that Njord thinks we could probably neglect to interview. (Doesn't mean they aren't coming -- see Jonas Cerny.) Above the cut makes the 10 max that Ohrin suggested (it's 9, methinks).

    Code:

    +4  Altarnarsai:  (N) -- Make sure they will get along.
    +3  Slava:  (N/S) -- Make sure the half-orc is indeed friendly enough.
    +2  Merrick Flowerfield: (N/S) Chef, Is he Stout enough for journey?
    +2  Faeranna Nightsky: (N/S) Curiosity.
    +2  Idriel von Fluss-Amberhill:  (N/S): Cap'n F certified.
    +2  Lertan Stonemilker: (N/S) Chef.
    +2  Markus Restantin: (N/S)
    +2  Gerrit Lashander: (N/S)
    +5  A'sila T'shanna: (N): She is loner? Work well in group?
    --------------------------------------
    ??  Marissa Osson: (N) Cap'n F recommended. She may be quite tough?
    -1  The Dark One: (N/S) Njord thinks he likely won't be chosen.
    +2  Jonas Cerny: (S) Mountaineer. Njord thinks he's probably a lock.
    +4  Crow Jane: (S) (Nj and Oh have already met her)


    For a 10th interview, Njord would suggest Marissa Osson. He is pleased that the evening has been so productive. Smile
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    Tue May 31, 2016 12:31 pm  
    Re: C2: HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Ohrin speaks of magic:
    Njord is noticeably a bit concerned or uncertain about all of this. He has trepidations. As far as all the tactical uses for spells, he doesn't have all that much experience with that. He offers the following communication to Ohrin:

    "Good Ohrin, i know your magicks will be of great use, but I may or may not be willing to have such cast upon me. It will depend on situation. But one thing," and he intones this nearer to an imperative than to a request, "please do not put spell on me unless i give ok."


    Ohrin listens politely and nods. "It is your right, of course, to make such a request, and I shall honor it. Does this also include the use of magicks upon your person if you have been rendered unconscious, paralyzed, catatonic, non-responsive, or any and all other similar conditions, up to, and including, death? Also, how do you feel about the use of healing magic? It would not be very efficient if I had to ask for your permission to heal you while we are fighting against some foe for our lives."

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Noticeably tensed, he relaxes. "As for using abilities to look into hearts or minds of candidates, i do not have problem with such. But interesting, what if you ask each before doing so? Might give other insight?"


    Ohrin thinks carefully for a second before replying. "I do not feel it prudent to give any petitioner such warning. They are volunteering for a mission led by us; I believe we have the right to use any non-harmful methods at our disposal for determining the final make up of our team. Also, should any of them refuse, what then? Would that be enough grounds to not invite them to join us? What if they all refuse? As a divine servant of the Lord Archmage, it is my right to use the magic gifts he bestows upon me as I see fit. No warning shall be provided and I ask that you refrain from giving them one. The goal here is simply to determine if any of them are black-hearted and to remove them from consideration, nothing more."

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Fighting (Ohrin's Q):
    "I have skill with bow, swords, hand-and-half, other blades. Willing to fight with bare hands, if comes to such."


    Ohrin nods his appreciation of the reply.

    (OOC: I believe the below points should all be posted in the OOC thread, so I am moving them there as Ohrin does not know Njord's thoughts unless Njord shares them in-character.)

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Through his open eye, he regarded the doll anew....


    Ohrin completed his scan of the doll and the room (and I assume both Njord and Saevil, along with the wolf, remained behind him to avoid being scanned). "Well, that's...interesting." Ohrin looks at Njord. "Either a druid, or perhaps a priest of a nature god, has enchanted this doll with some sort of nature magic. Never seen anything like it and, before you ask, no, I have no idea what the enchantment does or is doing. How did you get the doll, again? I confess I wasn't paying attention earlier."
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    Tue May 31, 2016 7:34 pm  

    Quote:

    Ohrin listens politely and nods. "It is your right, of course, to make such a request, and I shall honor it. Does this also include the use of magicks upon your person if you have been rendered unconscious, paralyzed, catatonic, non-responsive, or any and all other similar conditions, up to, and including, death? Also, how do you feel about the use of healing magic? It would not be very efficient if I had to ask for your permission to heal you while we are fighting against some foe for our lives."


    Njord seems to lose himself in some thinking. He lifts up his hands and coated arms slightly in front of himself, almost in examination, then replies, "These healings...will probably work. I give permission to use them. But, we will have more time to speak of such things on journey."

    Quote:

    Ohrin thinks carefully for a second before replying. "I do not feel it prudent to give any petitioner such warning. They are volunteering for a mission led by us; I believe we have the right to use any non-harmful methods at our disposal for determining the final make up of our team. Also, should any of them refuse, what then? Would that be enough grounds to not invite them to join us? What if they all refuse? As a divine servant of the Lord Archmage, it is my right to use the magic gifts he bestows upon me as I see fit. No warning shall be provided and I ask that you refrain from giving them one. The goal here is simply to determine if any of them are black-hearted and to remove them from consideration, nothing more."


    "Very well." Njord responded. "I will say nothing. Will be curious what is revealed. I have been told of difference between magic of knowing and magic of...controlling." With that Njord seems to get lost in thought, in his memories, perhaps.

    Quote:

    Ohrin completed his scan of the doll and the room (and I assume both Njord and Saevil, along with the wolf, remained behind him to avoid being scanned). "Well, that's...interesting." Ohrin looks at Njord. "Either a druid, or perhaps a priest of a nature god, has enchanted this doll with some sort of nature magic. Never seen anything like it and, before you ask, no, I have no idea what the enchantment does or is doing. How did you get the doll, again? I confess I wasn't paying attention earlier."


    Njord is rather amazed at Ohrin's assessment, and is surprised he hadn't heard him speak to Crow Jane. "I was given Olivia by lovely Matildya, one of the Ruddyfoot children. Those same who brought us food and drink." Then, after a brief ponder, he asks, "Do you know if The Dark One is a druid, or priest of nature?"
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    Tue May 31, 2016 11:13 pm  
    C2: HQ At Night / DISCUSSION / Njord

    [* Njord should receive Ohrin's reply to Njord's Q about the Dark One and druidism, as that was probably from an earlier exchange, anyway. After that... *]

    Njord prepares to leave, heading toward Milleen's to inform both her and Crow Jane that they have been accepted into the group.
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    Wed Jun 01, 2016 9:22 am  

    Syzygyst wrote:
    Njord seems to lose himself in some thinking. He lifts up his hands and coated arms slightly in front of himself, almost in examination, then replies, "These healings...will probably work. I give permission to use them. But, we will have more time to speak of such things on journey."


    "Understood."

    Syzygyst wrote:
    "I was given Olivia by lovely Matildya, one of the Ruddyfoot children. Those same who brought us food and drink." Then, after a brief ponder, he asks, "Do you know if The Dark One is a druid, or priest of nature?"


    "Sorry, I do not."
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