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Lubidius

Osure Prequel Thread

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The chirps of a Hlássu can be heard in the distance as a robed Scholar of Ksárul stares off to her side. She is seen walking along an overgrown portion of the ruins of Hmakuyal. She appears almost in rapture, soaking in the changing day to twighlight’s last gleam; recalling the last Awakening in Azure ceremony she attended at the High Temple of Bey Su.

 

A small Mazhan lands on the woman’s stained finger tips. Perhaps the variation in coloring attracted the insect ; as if to a flowering petal. Not nature’s most beautiful creature on Tekumel, but the Mazhan remains a hearkening call to the changes that are constant in this world. A smile parts her ink stained lips.

 

Her long robed form finds a small rock on which to rest; a ruin of a door or portal of old from the look of the characters lining it’s edge, the only portion visible reads ....”Enter as oneself, Leave unto all. Change is.... (then only a portion of a letter is visible)” in a scratching that only priests of Ksárul might decipher.

 

She looks up to see a small 1st circle initiate staring down at her, a young boy by all description she could muster, as the twilight’s sheen glared behind the black figure’s form.

 

“Illustrious Osure , of whom I pray will teach me..... you are asked to give audience in the main chamber. I know not of what it pertains, but several of the higher circle are present. Please do me the honor of traveling with you back to our home, and tell me more of what you may know of Lord Ksárul’s aspects along the way?” The young priest slowly emerges from the sheen-like glow behind him, allowing a golden smile to blossom before Osure.

 

[GM Note: You may begin open role-playing, which means you may control everything around you (including NPCs) up to the point of entering the chamber. You may take one or two posts to get there, in case you wish to embellish upon anything during your long walk]

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Osure turns to the boy and touches her finger to his, causing the Mazhan to change hands. Without a word she begins to briskly walk towards the main chamber. She does not match her stride to his: it does not do to keep the high circle priests waiting; and it is not the place of the teacher to wait upon the student. She wonders whether he understands the lesson in this.

 

Whether he does or does not, the boy hurries to keep up, moving with the awkward run-skip of the young; his eyes fixed on the mazhan he is holding, not upon the path he treads.

 

"Look at that creature. The details of its eyes are finer than any glass blower's work. Truely it is a marvel of the gods, making a mockery of any crude human endeavor." Osure pauses to let the point sink in. "And yet, the Vrodla, the Qol, creatures which to many are nightmares made flesh. . . legend tells us that they were made by priests of our very temple in the ancient days. What does this tell us?"

 

The boy looks up nervously. Truth be told, he was more engrossed in the Mazhan than in Orsure's words. "That anything is possible with the aid of our great Doomed Prince?"

 

Osure sighs in disgust "If you intend to waste my time with platitudes, this conversation is finished." They walk in silence through tumbled blocks and ancient foundations The boy shakes the mazhan off his finger, and it buzzes away. Osure seems unaware of his presence.

 

"I think it teaches us that there is a lot of knowledge we have lost." the boy pipes up, after a while.

 

"Good. That is true. But we also learn that with knowledge and the power to apply it men can approximate the works of the gods. That is what you are here for: to accumulate knowledge and power. With them Ksarul became the greatest of the gods, and with them you can become the greatest of men. . ." As the ruins change to buildings, and the solitude is replaced by the bustle of priests and scholars their conversation continues. The boy is full of endless questions.

 

The two crest a hill, and see the main chamber before them. Osure is suddenly conscious that in conversation she has companionably matched her speed to that of the novice. She wonders if any of her colleagues or rivals (is there any difference here?) have seen her talking with a lowly initiate in such a free and friendly manner, strolling through the streets of Hmakuyal instead of hurrying to her summons. The self-conciousness makes her gruff as she continues.

 

"Return to your errrands. I have better uses of my time than filling your empty head. Until you become a great man, you must learn to show the respect due to those more knowledgeable than you. . ." Quieter, under her breath ". . . and so must I."

 

She gazes up at massive doors set in a marble edifice on such a scale as to make her feel an insignificant ant. She knows this is intended, a trick of architecture, but despite what she has told the boy, sometimes knowledge doesn't help. Pausing to steady her nerves, Osure steps over the threshold.

 

One scene is fine. You can continue the story now

Edited by Danielle

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The lights are dim, as the chamber’s sky openings stand shrouded with darkened cloth. An attendant quickly comes to Osure’s side, click-clacking across the latticed stone-work flooring. The dark wooden face-mask gives away the gender of the priestess within.

 

“Osure. We bid that you change quickly into ceremonial garb. Please, here, behind this curtain, I have placed your temple-ware." Once clothed she brings you in front of a stone table of 4 high circle priests, two of which you have never seen before ; at least never seen their particular robe designs. Perhaps they are from the great temple? They are more ornate then you’ve seen in these parts.

 

“Osure hiKetkulel of the Great Stone Clan, you have prepared yourself well in the past months. Your mentor has given cause for your induction into the next circle of Ksarul. Are you prepared to sacrifice your studies for the needs of the temple? If you are worthy, and the results are satisfactory from this service you provide, you will be bestowed a new stipend, and the 6th circle. Osure, you are to travel under man-at-arms guard to Jakalla, to the temple of Ksarul, where you will be given papers for an imperial expedition. Represent the temple well Osure in this, and the 6th circle will not be the only rewards you receive.” A short pause ensues. The priest of high rank looks to the other members of the tribunal, then slowly looks towards you again. “And, we are proud of you. Your work for the good of Ksarul in understanding nature’s ability to adapt and emerge will greatly aid in his own escape from the blue room. Your man-at-arms for this journey will be here within the day.”

 

[GM Note: Please realize, the time line in these posts will merge into one as they converge into the main plot. This thread is a little ways back from the main time-line, considering the distance to Jakalla from the homelands of Osure and Kamar. Feel free to open role-play from this point until Kamal arrives from Butrus.]

Edited by Lubidius

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Osure feels her cheeks blush at the praise and is glad of the mask, which allows her to project calm assurance. 6th circle. . . Her mind wanders for a moment and she has to replay the Priest's words in her head to catch up. One day! Surely they had had more notice than this; it must be some sort of test.

 

Osure gets through the closing of the meeting by rote, and practically flees the temple. She has lived at Hamkuyal for the last 8 years, there is a lot to do. At a crossroads she almost pulls herself in three direction in her haste, and finally, panting, sits down. A plan. I need a plan.

 

****

 

Sukr Churitle grumbles to himself as he works the bellows of the smoker. The workroom is as hot and dry as Vimhula's heaven, and sweat is pouring off him in tiny streams, but the Anatl hide is almost done tanning, and if he ruins another one, Osure will give him one of her stares again. One of her trader contacts had shown up last week with 5 of the damn things, from the Desert of Sighs apparently. If any woman had ever gazed upon him with the rapture Osure hiKetulel devoted to the desert skates, Sukr would be a much happier man. Hell, if she paid him in a month half of what she gave the damn trader for that load of corpses he'd be ecstatic.

 

As if summoned by his thoughts of her, his boss enters, and moves to stare at the Anatl. When she speaks her eyes stay fixed upon it, and Sukr thinks for a second that she is speaking to herself. “Good. It should be ready for stuffing and mounting by the end of the day. You have my notes and drawings?” She does not pause for an answer. “You will be responsible for finishing the process. I will be delegating the assembly of the paired skeleton” Osure gestures to a pile of bleached bones and silver wire on one of the tables, “to Lelai. I have been called away on temple business.” There is a pregnant pause during which Sukr attempts to digest what he has heard. He looks up to see Osure visibly struggling with herself. Finally, she tears her gaze away from the Anatl and meets his eyes. “It has been a true pleasure working with you. I hope Lelai is smart enough to value your skills. . . thank you.” Having said this, she looks down, blushes and immediately leaves.

 

***

 

The sky is just beginning to lighten toward dawn when Osure finally tumbles into bed.

 

It has taken hours to bring Lelai up to speed on all the various projects she would now be in charge of. It was obvious that Osure's head pupil couldn't wait for her to be gone, and equally obvious that she intended to take as much credit as possible for Osure's uncompleted researches. The proper thing for Osure to do would have been to burn everything she couldn't take. She'd had a teacher who did that once, destroying decades of unfinished research when he came down ill, but the thought of her efforts going to waste like that made Osure feel ill. No. Let Lelai have it. She was a smart pupil, even if she lacks respect. For the thousandth time Osure wonders how they ever got off on such a bad footing; not that it matters now.

 

After dealing with Lelai she'd had to make the rounds; saying farewell to friends, thanking those patrons who had gotten her this chance, checking for orders from her contact within the Society of the Blue Light. Everyone had wanted to share a drink, make a toast, and none of them were people she could afford to offend. She is uncomfortably tipsy, and bone weary as she lays her head down upon the pillow.

 

Her maid is clapping at the door. “Tusmitléshu, sorry to interrupt, but the temple guard is here. You're summoned to meet him.”

 

Osure glances out her windows and notes that at most two or three kiren have passed in an eye blink. Yawning, she holds out her arms so that the maid can dress her.

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[[Because it amuses me, this is a brief list of what Osure packed for her trip. She is assuming that the larger items can be acquired in Jakalla, so she tried to stick to what one bearer slave can carry.

 

packets of powdered ink

a set of expensive scalpels in chlenhide, bronze, glass and steel blades

thin chlenhide work gloves

blank scrolls

sample jars and pouches.

An ancient treatise on human anatomy and common diseases (Bednaljin Salarvyani)

An ancient Treatise on alien and animal anatomy (TotPoK)

A n herbal she is in the middle of composing (drawings, listed properties, and pressed specimens of plants)

Two clay jars filled with lye and quicklime respectively

A thin chlenhide apron

spools of silver wire

Formal priestly robes

spare traveling outfit

brush, makeup, etc.

 

It did not occur to her to bring: jewelry, waterskins, food, spare sandals, anything of practical use]]

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