The Forest - Chapter One

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:54 pm

Kast allows himself a bit of a smirk at the thought of the fey trying to talk his way past a few elementals.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Amara » Sat Apr 27, 2013 7:59 pm

Rían fell silent, listening. A brow rose at the elf's comment, but he chose not to say anything. Elementals? It seemed he had a lot to learn about this place.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Nioca » Sat Apr 27, 2013 8:23 pm

Vualn said nothing, merely striding over to a nearby wall and leaning against it. His expression became mostly neutral and devoid of any emotion, although the slight smirk at the corner of his mouth suggested he found something rather amusing.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by willpell » Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:20 am

"Just as well you didn't try it." the bowman adds to Vualn. "Hansel probably wouldn't have been happy to see you, specifically, if you did make it through."

"What the delightfully tactless Reeve is trying to say is that there is a long-standing controversy among the Greenswardens (and the druidic orders in general) as to whether the Fair Folk have a place among the guardians of Nature. For the moment, no consensus has been reached, but Hansel has been among the stauncher proponents of the idea that the Fey are...." "Interlopers." "Yes, that. You pretty obviously have their mark upon you, and I for one think that's awesome. But Hansel has a different attitude on the matter."

"So I do, Peri Sunhunter," a new voice announces from behind you at the door; whirling about, you see a man who was quite definitely not there six seconds ago. Though his white hair and the lines of his face mark him an elder (Rian can peg him at no less than sixty, while the elves of course are less clear on such details), his beard is neatly trimmed to only hand-length and he walks with ramrod-straight posture, clearly far from decrepit. "But I do not give disproportionate weight to such prejudices in the case of an individual who is blameless in the matter of his own birth, so I will thank you not to speak for me. I believe you have long since completed your measurements, have you not?" he finishes with a gesture at the map. "I would hate to think you were simply dawdling, engaging in idle gossip when there is work to be done."

With an expression of annoyance that only her fellow elves can make out, Miss Sunhunter (Sharail to anyone with the respect to pronounce it in her mother tongue) gathers up her map and drafting supplies and bustles out, with Hansel settling into the chair she's just vacated. He gives you a moment to react before continuing.
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:05 am

Kast watches the elven girl leave a bit regretfully... he's less able to relate to these serious, bearded humans. And while his own experiences were due to... other... reasons, he's familiar with the annoyance one feels at being dismissed and excluded. As she passes through the doorway, he turns his attention back to the elder.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Amara » Sun Apr 28, 2013 1:07 pm

Rían offered a sympathetic smile toward her--she certainly hadn't been bothering him--but his attention was quick to return to the new arrival; the very 'Hansel Hartigan' he had been told to seek out, clearly! ...of course, he wasn't entirely certain what to expect.
"Sir," the brunet spoke up, "...if I may, I am Rían Mac Cárthaigh; I was told to seek you out, and if there is any way that I could be of service...?"
Rían's words felt to him a muddled blur. Ordinarily he did not fluster easily, but all of this was quite new to him, and admittedly the most prestigious individual he had ever interacted with prior was the temple's head priest--a man who had been a close family friend.
...how did one properly address a druid? ...let alone the holt warden. Was there a specific title? Oh, he'd never had much of a head for honorifics...

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Nioca » Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:44 pm

Vualn pushed himself off the wall into a more respectful posture. However, he held off on introducing himself for the moment, deciding to wait and watch, to see what it was that this Rian wanted, and why this Hansel Hartigan was so important.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:33 pm

Kast remains silent, wondering what the reason was that the large human had been sent to seek this elder out.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by willpell » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:21 pm

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You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by willpell » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:15 pm

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"Well now...what fresh flotsam has washed up on my shores," the old druid mumbles almost-silently as he examines the seemingly featureless wooden surface of the desk he's seated himself at. (With a total check of +20, Kast easily hears him; Vualn can't make out the words, and Rian doesn't even notice that he spoke.) A moment later, he regards the three of you. "I pride myself on an intuitive comprehension of truths that are not apparent to the less perceptive, so permit me to test my skills at your expense. The two elves have both, by somewhat different routes, come here as a consequence of difficulties proving your mert in your original sylvan societies; you are here in the hope that achieving some success in more...venturesome efforts will earn you such cachet that your peers will have no choice but to acknowledge the worthiness of your chosen paths. The details will no doubt vary, of course, but in essence you are both eccentrics among even such eclectic folk, and come here in search of recognition, of challenges that only someone as worthy as you deem yourselves could overcome." He looks over at Rian. "You, meanwhile, are simply trying to help others as you have always hoped to do, but having found yourself drawn into the presence of larger forces which your training did not prepare you for, you are re-evaluating what you have been taught and seeking to ascertain the full truth of which you have previously glimpsed only a fraction. The condition of ursanthropy has no doubt put a lie to many of the assumptions which have previously informed your efforts to champion the innocent, and now you are attempting to redefine the commitment which you still feel, so that the two sides of your being may reconcile into a single force for what you consider 'good'."

Folding his hands, Hartigan settles back and surveys you all. "The common element in every case, of course, is transition. None of you is what or where you are accustomed to being, and you must find a way of navigating this change, lest you find yourselves adrift without identity or purpose. It is not exactly the origin which my organization prefers to see in its candidates...but it is one we are all too familiar with in those who associate with on a more...freelance basis. The bottom line is, you're looking for work, gainful preoccupation in the service of something grander and more meaningful than yourselves; whether your reasons are selfless or egotistical, ultimately you have an equal need to be swept up a matter of substantial significance. In this you do have an initial advantage; relatively few of this world's creatures have been so effectively prepared to master their own destinies. But of course, a great body does not move through the forest without disturbing a great many trees, which would not shake visibly for a lesser creature.

"It is for good reason that we Druids are regarded as among the most powerful beings in the world; we are sworn to the service of the world itself, and it supplies us with an impressive armory in order to enforce its balance. But the cosmic principle of Karma remains tyrannical to even the mightiest of beings; the more ability we have to enforce our will, the more we are burdened with restrictions and inevitabilities, thwarting most of our hopes for free enterprise. Such it will be for the lot of you as well, if you embark on this course of action; you cannot act but that others shall react, and the more puissant you are, the more formidable must become the opposition that shall be drawn to you. There will be no shortage of tasks in which we may find your aid of value, but ultimately you must be aware that we deal in matters of dire import, and that if you bite off more than you can proverbially chew, it would be contrary to our principles to rescue you from your own foolishness. So be very certain that you do not volunteer for assignments that you are not prepared to see through, no matter how rewarding they may promise to be; there can be no glory without peril, and the soil hungers for the blood of those who pursued more than they were capable of attaining."


The old warden leans forward again, seeming to listen to something for a long moment of silence, then abruptly exhales a puff of air dismissively in the direction of the room's door, watching intently as nothing in particular happens that you can see. "Now then, assuming I haven't scared you off, shattered your resolve as it were, with all this dire and portentious talk - of which, I hasten to stress, I meant every word - then we can begin to discuss the particulars of how you can best make yourself useful."
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:24 pm

A bit irritated at being dismissed as flotsam, as well as his motivation for traveling here being summed up so succintly, Kast replies with a frown, "So what you are saying is that we have the job, whatever it might be, but not to blame you if it proves to be too much? It's sounding like you plan for us to undertake this together...", he scowls at the other two.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by willpell » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:49 pm

"Is that a problem? You are all here at the same time and did not appear to be quarreling; by our standards, that makes you qualified for a preliminary team-building exercise as journeymen in pursuit of Greensward objectives. Naturally if you prove to be incompatible with time, we will direct you toward separate opportunities or permit you to take your leave (assuming you have not acquired any privileged information or committed infractions against our relative handful of precepts). I assure you, there will be more than adequate compensation if you prove to work well together."
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Amara » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:52 pm

Rían's gaze traveled from the Elder, to Kast, and back. Only a fool would deny a... healthy amount of fear.Everything was new; his (their?) future path(s) were entirely unknown...and certainly whatever comfortable 'norms' his life had held before...had departed him entirely, now. He had come too far to stop here. At first the bear merely nodded. Trying to collect his thoughts, he rubbed at the back of his neck, and finally, in a voice far clearer and stronger than he currently felt, spoke, "...I am willing. Whatever dangers there may be."
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Nioca » Mon Apr 29, 2013 8:54 pm

Vualn continued to smile gently as the elder druid went through his spiel. Finally, when the druid finishes, he says, "Well, I sought something of interest, and you truly have not disappointed! You are a very keen observer..." He says, although adding quietly under his breath, "although your deduction could use work..." before switching back to his normal tone, "And I suppose I shall consider myself curious as to what it is you have in mind." Vualn glances at Rian. "After all, it is not every day that such an... interesting group gathers together, and only a fool would turn down such an opportunity to be in such company." Vualn smiles a little wider as he finishes, as if enjoying some hidden joke at someone else's expense.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:24 pm

A fool, huh?..... uppity fey. Here's hoping he has more than just fine words to back his talk.

"So, what is it you have in mind?" he addresses the elder.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by willpell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:12 am

"There are no coincidences, gentlemen; nature is a self-contained system of unfathomable complexity, and it had a million opportunities to stall or divert you before you could meet here. That you have arrived together demonstrates with mathematical certainty that you belong together, at least in the short term.

"Now, as to the applicability of your talents. By virtue of the fact that one of you is a werebear and another has bonded with a vermin of particular size, I happen to know that at least those two are within what we consider to be the Fifth Bracket of overall puissance, as identified by the classification system which I helped to finalize earlier in my tenure among the Greenswardens. Our methods lacked much of precision before we began to apply these metrics; now they have made it far easier to calibrate the effective distribution of our resources. Bracket 5 corresponds to optimal effectiveness against a certain range of perils, most notably that it is the first stage at which an utterly trivial challenge becomes completely ineffective at furthering one's personal evolution. We have confirmed this through controlled studies; a druid who is just mastering the ability to invoke Leaf-grade magics can exterminate any number of goblins or orcs, one at a time under ordinary conditions, and never learn anything or experience any degree of vitalistic resonance. But pit him against an androsphinx or a spirit naga, and he will face a satisfying challenge which teaches him much about himself (assuming he surives, of course); should he contrive to engage with a Planetar angel and somehow triumph, singlehandedly or with the aid of not more than two of his peers, it is theorized that he would experience such an epiphany in the wake of the confrontation that he would instantly attain a deeper connection to the Greater Forces. (We've never been able to test that one, of course; the celestines are not in the habit of renting themselves out to be trounced by novitiates.) We do know that against an Abyssal Marilith, the same group can survive only through absurd luck or the intervention of their superiors; enduring such a conflict is more likely to shatter their self-esteem than to affirm their choices in life, and so they would not further develop as a consequence.

"All of which is a complex way of saying that I believe I know of a few situations which it would be well worth your time to attend to. The question being, how steep of a risk/reward ratio are you comfortable with assuming? If you are understandably prudent about facing the prospect of deadly peril, I can assign you a 'milk run' which poses almost no danger - there is for instance a certain satyr resident in the Maple Ward whose antics have proven embarassing and could stand to be given a stern thrashing, but such an errand would be rather pitifully one-sided for individuals of your level of merit. (This is assuming the fairy is comparable in skill to the others of you, as I have not sufficient information to judge at the moment; I am merely assuming an incidental resemblance, as it has historically proven likely in these cases.) Conversely, should you like to be genuinely put to the test, I might direct you to the Bog of Forty-Four Heads, a proven meat-grinder of a location where two mated pairs of hydras are known to attack in tandem against anything that comes close to their nest; we have already lost a specially-trained strike team of Bracket Seven who were unwisely deemed competent to pacify the location (at the time known as the Bog of Forty Heads; we surmise that the unfortunate party proved highly nutritious), and so if you insisted on pursuing that task, I would not wait up tonight hoping to see you again. Somewhere between these extremes, there are about six dozen scenarios I could use a hand with; with a bit of information from you, we can help narrow that down."
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:34 am

A werebear, huh? This odd little 'group' just got more interesting. Kast figures that would have to be the human... though the thought of the proper fey 'beasting out' and turning into a furry mass of teeth and claws... with little, flitting wings is quite entertaining. He clears his throat, "I know what I can handle, but can only rely on myself. Even if what you say about belonging here is true, without knowing either of these two any better than they know me, it would seem unwise to jump into deep water without knowing if it'll be your companion that pulls you under."
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Tue Apr 30, 2013 9:55 am

willpell wrote:
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Amara » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:43 am

This left Rían mulling momentarily over the realization that he did not in fact know just what his personal limitations were any longer. That thought was in some ways more terrifying than it was liberating.
...moreover, while he certainly did not balk at the thought of 'testing' himself, it was not an endeavor that he had a particularly large store of motivation for...if for its own sake. Putting these thoughts to voice required a moment of effort to find the proper words. Certainly he did not wish to cause offense.
"Wherever you send us, Sir, I would prefer it be somewhere where our actions...truly benefit others, and while I do appreciate knowing whatever danger I may be placing myself in, what I am more interested in knowing, is how--whatever this task may be--it would benefit you, and more preferably, others as well. I have no interest in valour for valour's sake."

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:28 am

Ayeaka wrote:
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Nioca » Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:08 pm

"I personally would relish a challenge... but there is some wisdom to ensuring that we can work together before facing a considerable threat." Vualn nods sagely. "Of course, whatever else we decide, I think it would also be wise to have a guide. I am not from this area, as would be obvious, and I doubt these two would be familiar with this particular area..."

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by willpell » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:11 pm

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"Prudent questions all. Unfortunately there is no real solution to your concerns" Hartigan says to Kast; "the only way to discover whether you work well as a group is to try. Still, it does make for a fairly good reason to skew away from the more serious dangers at first. As for your concerns, Mr. MacCarthaigh, I assure you that we frown on idleness as much as any other institutions you may have worked with; there is no place in Transylvaine for glory-hounds without a sense of practicality. Finally, a guide is something I can easily arrange, and in fact, I have already summoned her...."
You either die Chaotic, or you live long enough to see yourself become Lawful.
Glemp wrote:To some extent, you need to be arrogant - without it, you are vulnerable being made someone's tool...for Herbert's sake, have the stubbornness not to submit to what you see instantly, because you can only see some facts at a time.
My long-neglected blog.

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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Amara » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:20 pm

The brunet nodded at this answer. That had been his primary concern. And a guide? Now he was curious.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by spiderwrangler » Wed May 01, 2013 6:49 am

While he was at home in the woods, Kast had not spent time in this portion of the forest, so he figured it was a likely a good thing that the fey's request for a guide had been granted.
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Last edited by spiderwrangler on Wed May 01, 2013 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Forest - Chapter One

Post by Nioca » Wed May 01, 2013 2:59 pm

(Psst, spiderwrangler: it was Vualn that requested the guide, not Rian)

"Really?" Vualn says, raising an eyebrow and looking pleasantly surprised. "In that case, unless there is anything further, I think... that it all. Although in regards to the mission, while I agree it shouldn't be anything overly challenging, since this... group..." Vualn glances at the other two, "...has not yet learned each others strengths, it should also be something that gives at least some element of challenge. Something which is too easily dealt with would not give us proper insight into our capabilities."

(Sorry I didn't post earlier, I've been sort of in and out today, and have been having trouble finding time to sit down to post.)

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