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Lubidius

Winds Of Salarvya : Dreams Of A Petal Throne - Chapter 2

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Osure will do her best to remain inconspicuous for the rest of the evening. She will engage her companions in conversation if prompted, but not start any herself.

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The dinner winds down quickly. The Princess Bsuha hiSsánmirim lowers her right hand, twitching her fingers quickly to a point, then releasing just as fast; denoting to her servants her desire for attendance. As the servant bends to the Lady Bsuha, she whispers a command to the beautiful servant girl; then she kisses her gently on rosy cheek. The girl is polite but startled at the attention in front of this large crowd.

 

The servant girl quickly wisks away. Soon a gaggle of servants springs forth from the curtained back room, obviously which leads to their food preparation rooms, and they without asking take the food rotisseries away from the grubby hands, low and high borne alike, with disregard for state of eating or stature of outstretched digits.

 

The Princess Bsuha quickly barks over to the side of the room, nodding as she does. As she nods, the “play” she spoke of spontaneously erupts over the room from several door-ways entering the room. Musicians make their way into the room, in file procession, then form into one ‘band’ of boisterous instruments. Three singers, each entering from a given side of the large banquet room start in unison, very high pitched, their gleeful notes meandering into your ear drums. Although at a daringly high octave, their touch to your ears is subtle, caressing.

 

The words of the first verses are in harmony, but in both Tsolyani and Salarvyani. Two singers singing the prior, and one the latter in a quieter tone. Oddly, they remain in tune and do not emote dissonant cringe in your ears. Quickly, the two verses seem to battle one another, overlaid, dissonant, attacking each other, then they wind down to a whisper. The singing, after a pause of what feels like an eternity... moves to a choral backdrop chant in ancient Engsvanyali. It is a poem, sung as eloquently as any you've heard before in your lives, depicting the Lament Of The Wheel Of Black.

 

As the ancient tongue drips over your ears, well built female actresses, adorned only in red kilts, and nothing more, quickly swoop across the room, large wooden ‘prop swords’ swishing to and fro. Large drums begin to be rolled from the sides of the banquet hall. As they ride towards destination, they boom boom boom to the beat of the approaching death maidens. Hanumal is quick to denote to the table members that these must be the Miyusal, the mighty female-demon protectors of Lord Karakan, his Lord and protector through the ages! For a demonic plague, they were certainly beautiful to Hanumal to see depicted in front of him. He nears tears seeing their effigies pounce and bounce in front of him towards center "stage".

 

<GM Note, I need a tad bit more time to post the rest. More to follow. Also, allow time please for me to typo correct the above.>

Edited by Lubidius

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As the play progresses, all of the servitors of the Lord Ksarul are depicted as back-stabbing the Lord Of Wizardy and Magical Knowledge, each performing their own small dance routine. Drums, guitar, singers, and trumpeteers blaring in unison for each. The Tlomitlanyal of course are visibly attacked first in this battle’s epic musical rendering of The Lament Of The Black Wheel.Then one by one each of the Tlokiriqaluyal, peel away from the lord of blue, one after another depicted as vile creatures of other planes, grotesque aberrations. Pale shimmering images (ghosts if you will) of the purity that each temple seems to hold dear of them all. Then one, one and only one amongst the 10 Gods other then Ksarul is depicted as benign; as simple, slow, methodical, human-like oddly. An old, wise looking man, in stark white robes, with the symbol of The One Other is seen pleading effortlessly with the others. Before giving up on the Lord Ksarul, the One Other is seen taking a small white orb from the clutches of Lord Ksarul, the orb adorned with glittering golden lettering; and he casts it out (off-stage) as if to the corners of the plains of existence. As the other Gods approach, he quickly takes their hands, joining in their mocking embrace. The old god, is seen in a later scene again, providing support for the 9 Tlomitlanyal and Tlokiriqaluyal that actively bound, locked and warded the Lord Ksarul into his blue room. The man is seen almost emotionless. The others are giddy, and dancing about. He is sad, solemn, he looks back towards the fake blue room at stage center several times throughout.

 

This latter act of the relatively short, but eerily realistic play uses large tubs of blue dyed water, candles burning behind them, shimmering blue across the entire banquet hall. The music becomes more sinister, down-trodden, despicable. Finally, the Lord Ksarul is depicted as decrepit, a small, non-descriptive actor, with a black robe, huddled in the corner of a walled room (props held up by other actors, singers and dancers alike, quickly coming together into a shelter of doom. BOOM BOOOM BOOOM BOOM. The drums are all that is heard as all lights are extinguished.

 

What small windows were present in the banquet hall are opened to allow the light to enter again.

 

Snapping is abound throughout. This was considered by most attendees to be one of the finest depictions of the Lament to the Wheel of Black they have ever seen, or so they emote to their ear-peaked friends, in fine highest brow Salarvyani ; especially at the table heads nearest to the Princess Bsuha hiSsánmirim. They all applaud the actors, singers, and dancer, but then it is pointed to the Lady Bshua herself. Who blushes. She stops the crowd cold. “Please, Please, you of favor, passion and delight, please offer your thanks to my shy sister, the Lady Jaluda hiSsánmirim. Please sister, come accept their applause.” A very shy, and vary pale woman (by way of her hands and wrists alone as all else is covered in black robes, covering all but nearly her eyes, and what pale white skin creeps around the corners there-of . A slight, whispering voice comes forth. The Princess is sure to make the musicians stop their ambient music which followed the play’s end.

 

She talks only shortly. “Thank you … Thank you all for enjoying my play. We enjoyed very much putting it on. May Lord Ksarul emote the knowledge of the ages upon you all.” It tapers off at the end to an almost effortless brush of air across her pale lips. Her words fall into herself. She is seen almost in tears. leaving quickly for the room that contained the lovely pool and shimmering effigy of the orb seen in the past vision presented by Osure.

 

<GM Note: You may post as you wish at this time. I will interject as needed.>

Edited by Lubidius

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Osure is struck by the play with equal parts awe at it's technical brilliance and shock at its heretical portrayal of one of the Pariah dieties as a loyal and true servitor of her lord. Thinking back to a conversation she had early in their voyage with kasi Hanumal about the One Other, she surreptitiously glances to catch his reaction to this elevation of that figure to noblest of all gods.

 

At the same time she motions for Kamar to surreptitiously pick up the discarded white sphere, now resting forgotten in a corner after being tossed so dramatically from the stage. It bears examining if she is to determine whether this Lady Jaluda is merely a creative composer of fiction, or a scholar of deeper truths.

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Osure surreptitiously glances to catch Hanúmal's reaction. He sits, staring at the play as if he has been turned to stone.

 

Hanúmal sits transfixed, feeling as if the very air around him is charged with the tingling energies of the gods.

 

Pariah cultists. Our hosts in Salarvyá are cultists of the Pariah Deities. I must find a ship returning home, and pass along this news to my temple. Such audacity!

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"It is ordained, clearly she must join us. She is omen given form. Those who ignore this are surely blind to the will of the gods." I say this despite any urge to propriety. In all seriousness she is touched and we must follow their will, or be damned.

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Osure is struck by the play...

 

At the same time she motions for Kamar to surreptitiously pick up the discarded white sphere, now resting forgotten in a corner after being tossed so dramatically from the stage. It bears examining if she is to determine whether this Lady Jaluda is merely a creative composer of fiction, or a scholar of deeper truths.

 

Kamár, of course, has noticed nothing amiss with the performance; the finer points of doctrine have always eluded him, and he remains fairly sure that the other nine Gods were the ones who imprisoned Lord Ksárul in the Blue Room--the nice old man must have been His father or tutor or something. Mollified at the public apology to his principal, he has been busily sampling all of the strange and colorful cuisine of Salarvyá, and trying not to smack his lips too much while guzzling black Drónu-wine.

 

He almost misses the priestess' gesture, but, catching it during one of his many checks to make certain no greasy foreign assassin is trying to slip something into her cup or onto her plate, he attempts to follow her gesture with his eyes behind his mask, rather than by turning his head.

 

Standing, he casts about the room for more cushions further to elevate his lady's position at the banquet, stumbling a bit due to an excess of sweet black wine. Unable to focus his gaze due to his mask, he removes it and wipes his brow, then fumbles drunkenly and drops the mask and the cushions. Bending to pick up the entire mess, he mumbles apologies, slipping the sphere up in the pile surreptitiously before amiably tottering back to his lady's side and offering her the cushions--and the globe, hidden amongst them.

 

(No, he's not drunk, just pretending for the benefit of the Salarvyáni so they will underestimate and dismiss him.)

 

Kamár's Stealth, to avoid notice while moving through the room, 5D: 4, 2, 5, 3 +5 (Wild) = 19

Kamár's Sleight of Hand (Coordination) to palm the sphere, 3D: 5, 2 +6, 1 (Wild)

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<GM Note: For some comical reason I see Kamar whistling as he scoots about, brushing aside table dressings like Inspector Cleausau AHHAAAAH, what have we 'heeeeeeer'. :) Funny. I digress. You are able to move with stealth enough not to draw any major attention from the guards or prying attendant eyes. There is nothing you can make of the golden script on this prop. It is not in an intelligible format. This is strictly for prop use. It does however bear a resemblence to the orb as seen (but not closely inspected) in the wading / reflecting pool area towards the central area of the temple's palace. >

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Osure spares a worried frown for Hanumal in his frozen stillness, and examines the little prop. So. . . this playwright believes their goal to be a key or ward upon the Blue Room, and one placed by the One Other. At Ur Athal's comment she turns to him "It is so difficult though to tease out divine inspiration from simply the fruits of a long and meticulous research, or even the pleasingly rendered fancies of a mind, with little substance behind them. And even if she is divinely inspired, inspired by who? My own Indigo Lord? Some demon desirous of making mischief?" She does not bring up the thought that is foremost in her mind, and in Hanumal's: that this woman may be priestess of the hated Pariah. It would be too rude and slanderous to speak aloud.

 

Instead, Osure rises and walks out to the pool to stand beside the play's authoress. "A very unique take upon a subject that has been fodder for the poets and playwrites for thousands of years." Here she gives a brief bow. "Of course, as a scholar, the subtleties of art are lost upon me, but the study that must have gone into such a work I find fascinating. . ."

 

((Osure is going to try and discuss the play with Lady Jaluda. Her goal is to discover whether the plot was taken from some solid source, ancient text, oral history, vision, or what-have you. Normally I would not try this sort of thing since she is not adept at social graces (2D charisma), but Bshua seems very devout and interested in Ksarul, so I thought I might be able to use my priestly status and "scholar: Ksarul" skill to engage her in the conversation and draw her out. If this is an inappropriate skill use, let me know. I got 12 on 5D+1 (so apparently my low social skill influenced the dice luck) ))

Edited by Danielle

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<GM Note: Very good posts (all). Thanks to all for your patience with my posting rate of late. Anyhow, above Danielle, I assume you meant that Osure would try and discuss the play's detail further with "Lady Jaluda hiSsánmirim", the playwright sister of Princess Bsuha hiSsánmirim, the gala's hostess. Just wanted to be sure I got that point before replying. And as you approach the Lady near the reflection pool, you see her reaching in with an almost white skinned arm. The Lady Jaluda is an extraordinarily rare albino.>

Edited by Lubidius

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My reading comprehension sucks. I have fixed the error. <GM Note: No Problem, My Comprehensible Writing is no better! I think I failed that one back in school. LOL I majored in Reprehensible Lit.>

Edited by Lubidius

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A mere whisper of a startled voice arises from the water's edge. The Lady's head slightly rises and turns as she speaks, "Oh... Hello priestess. I took notice of you while the play ran along. A pious stick, in a river of delusion and grandeur." Her phrasing is precise, slow, methodic; though as pale in tone as her skin is white. She quickly covers her bone white appendages, and places her darkened veil in front of her ivory face. You catch a glimpse of pink, nearly red pupils as the veil creases against the folds of her face.

 

She chuckles lightly, "I see we both wear our masks plainly for all to see. In my case , I would very much have loved to wear the wooden mask of Ksarul; but as you likely saw upon entry, my outer most layer is as repugnant to the priests and priestesses of even the 1st circle as that of an overly ripened onion."

 

"Yes, some may see the face value of that performance of the Lament Of The Wheel Of Black as , how shall we say, less then orthodox. The intent was merely a nod to the original writings on the topic, from our Clans depictions and writings on the very Battle depicted. My interpretation is that the god of white is the one other. It is nothing more then a dabble in the occult, a dip in the pool of ignorance that is the worship of the Pariah. Offer shall you not a limited license in this art?" She touches the watery pool in front of her ever so gently. "Notice, how a small touch, an artist's guiding thought, can have such a wide effect on the perception of all." The ripple effect of the Lady's touch is seen to glow and swirl as the water ebbs and flows to the edges of the pool. Some magic she must have expended to highlight the water so.

 

<GM Note: You may openly reply now.>

Edited by Lubidius

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As he watches Osure walk away Ur Athal whispers in a low voice almost thinking out loud, pitched so only Hanumal and his brother can hear. "Omens are the striking coincidences which hit us with a degree of recognition, an understanding that there is an order to the universe which eludes us. Even the demon seeking to engage in mischief has a purpose in this map the gods have set before us, and it is not through logical thought alone that we shall arrive at our destination with all the pieces of our puzzle, but also through recognizing the momentary pulses of inspiration within ourselves which tear aside the curtain occluding our destiny. A warrior approaches every situation as if it is a battle, and in this case you have chosen unwisely to expose yourself in public, not once but twice this night. Yes, little priestess you will require more attentive observation to limit the chaos your fears, and singular faith could bring to this enterprise, and the hidden slight was not nearly so well hidden that it would escape my view, though this last is forgiven."

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Te priestess' eyes are drawn to the slim wrist. She has often wondered about albinos. Which God or Demon seeks to amuse itself by cursing both people and animals with such strange paleness and weak sight? An odd curse to be present in every form of life indescriminately. She remembers the white chlen calf mounted in one of Hmakuyal's dusty halls. The priestesses of Avanthe had dearly wished to use it in their husbandry and see if the color bred true. The value of the hide would have been great. And yet the same trait in a woman turned her into a disquieting outcast. A strange comment upon the value of context.

 

"It is not for me to offer someone of your stature license or to withhold it. I am simply a seeker after knowledge; and presented with, as you say, an unorthodox interpretation, the scholar within me wishes to know more of its origins. These writings are from your clan? May I inquire as to the language in which they are written?"

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“They are in the old tongue of our Clan’s royal line, Bednalljan Salarvyani. It is rumored our Clan can claim human combatants at the very Battle of Dormoron Plain in our lineage! I assume you are well versed in that language then? If you wish, I could show you the originals, as well as several artifacts you might find titillating.” Even under the dark veil, her red lips emote a small smile. “I must warn you though, the library and catacombs where they lie are far below this palace floor. The books and artifacts are in such brittle shape, we’ve dared not move them. In fact they are locked air tight, to secure their conditions through the ages. Perhaps invite all of your friends? There are plenty of sights to see.”

 

<GM Note: You all may post freely at this time. I will interject as needed. Oh, and thank you for your patience in all of this. Please accept this offering, 7 character points for character advancements. Likely more then I'd normally give in a single "session", but we've run at least a couple 'nights' worth of gaming at this point (or more).>

Edited by Lubidius

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Osure returns to the table. "The playwright has graciously offered to honor us with a viewing of her source material. . . if we don't mind some spelunking in this building's private tsu'úrum."

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"Lovely. Only the gods know what might be laying in wait for us in those forsaken byways of times long gone, and us armed only with dining implements, what a wondrous tale it would be. Let us depart as expeditiously as good manners will allow."

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Kamár straightens his mask and helmet and stands to attention. "Lead on, honoured priestess, and your guardsman shall follow." He has abandoned his earlier pretense of drunkenness.

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averroesandporphyry.jpg

<-------- Right - to - Left

Vayun = 'to open'

kyasunikh = 'the curtain'

hi-chusukh = 'of darkness'

 

<GM Note: ...Quick Reply Mode... I'm assuming Hanumal has joined in the little spelunking expedition. If not, I can re-write this to suit your intentions.>

 

The group makes it way to the open-air atrium at the center of the palace where the Lady Jaluda hiSsánmirim advised Osure to meet her when ready. Lady Jaluda makes a subtle Tsolyani style hand gesture, welcoming the entirety of the group. 4 Guards are at her side, in varying array of weapons and chlen armor. "Excuse the pointy retinue, but.. how shall I put this, sometimes the underworld we are visiting has unwelcome squatters, of the nefarious kind. An unfortunate byproduct of various levels of 'renewing' Ditlana this grand port of Chame'el has taken part in! Several levels of times gone by have crept and cracked into one large maze beneath this palace. Stay close as we don't want to have to rescue you from one wrong slip." She awaits any initial questions, but then you move to the fountain area of the atrium. Several old Salarvyan scripts are visible along the outside of the fountain. She picks several words, pushing on on the initial consonant of each. They slip in with a click. After four such clicks, the center of the fountain slowly moves aside to reveal a circular staircase that descends below. "Impressive yes? A beautiful entryway created several generations ago."

 

You quickly make your way down the stone stairwell, into a foyer of sorts. There are several lit torches along the walls of the "foyer", a make-shift staging area if you will. Several old pictures line the walls, engraved into the very stone that surrounds you. They appear to be the effigies of several generations of the Ssánmirim family line. "Quickly, lets move along, before we attract any underlings."

 

It takes a Kiren's time to get below ground to very close to the chamber in question. "Here, just above, there, along that precipice is our goal. A long lost chamber, of times gone by."

 

As the entire group moves along a rocky 'bridge' from a lower level to the higher precipice in question, the group begins to hear creaking and crashing mid-way along the crevace; followed by loud bangs and bashes. The bridge is failing and crumbling apart. The entire group falls at once, nearly 20 feet, to a floor of stone below. As you awaken from the near unconcious recovery from the fall, you assess your wounds, and your surroundings. There are three exit ways in the rocky "hole" you have found yourselves in. One to what you "think" is the East, one to the North, and one to the West. By rough estimate, though relative positions none-the-less. The walls are extremely sheer. You do not think you would be able to get a good footing on the walls here-in.

 

<GM Note: You are free to reply now. Please provide me a roll against your Physique and your Agility in your initial replies.>

Edited by Lubidius

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[Physique 4D Wild Die: 5 Die 2: 4 Die 3: 6 Die 4: 6 Total: 21/Coordination 2D Wild Die: 5 Die 2: 4 Total: 9/Agility 4D Wild Die: 3 Die 2: 4 Die 3: 5 Die 4: 4 Total: 16/ I included Agility since if you are looking for overall balance or bodily control versus fine motor control it might be more appropriate. Also sorry about the ladder idea but the two of us easily clear 15 of the twenty feet, of course it would be unseemly for the women to touch the "barbarians".]

 

"Hasdrubal my brother let us form a ladder for the rest to climb, unless the ladies object, or at least to send one of the guards back for help. What is your will in this matter learned ones."

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<GM NOTE: I've corrected the request to Physique and Agility rolls. Sorry, didn't have my book in front of me when I typed that.>

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Kamár's Physique (3D): 4, 1 +6 (Wild die), 3 (total 14)

Kamár's Agility (4D): 6, 4, 2 +2 (Wild die) (total 14)

 

Kamár dusts himself off and spot-checks his equipment for few quick heartbeats before reaching for Osúre and whispering, "Honoured priestess! Are you hurt?"

 

He surveys the walls and exits and considers the idea forming a human pyramid or using a grapple to climb up and out. He also examines the walls and floor, considering how spectacularly unlikely the group's predicament is and whether or not someone might have engineered the collapse of the bridge in order to trap his principal and the other Tsolyáni in this dank pit.

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((I got a total of 3 on both rolls, luckily without a 1 on the wild die either time. But I assume Osure is hurt with at least a sprained ankle, until I hear from you how badly))

 

Osure blinks awake as she hears Kamar's voice. "The Lady! Is she alright? It would not look good were we to lose her down in these depths." She tries to stand and winces. Her ankle will definitely not take her weight, and she is unsure whether her ribs are broken or merely bruised.

 

"I think I shall sit here and catch my breath while you gentlemen work a way out of this." Propping herself against rubble, she reclines, trying to appear nonchalant and conceal her weakness.

 

((Mettle roll: 14 to stoically bear up under the pain))

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<GM Note: Quick replies...I await Hanumal's replies before posting more.>

 

@Kamar - You are currently "stunned". You should be able to recover to 'unscathed' within 1 minute full rest. You wait this and next round, and you are now able to roll your SEARCH and TRAPS skills please. Please reply with results now at your earliest convenience.

 

@Ur Athal - You are currently 'unscathed'. Your physique absorbing the damaging blow of the fall, as your attempt to roll with the fall did your body no favors. I will reply about your N'luss ladder technique once I hear from all.

 

@Osure - Wow, you are one lucky priestess. You are currently only Wounded. That could have been a lot worse. You are at -1D on all rolls until healed. You are able to see the Lady Jaluda and you can ascertain from this distance (you are about 3Meters away) that she is unconscious at the least.

Edited by Lubidius

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((Can I self-heal? ie. can my character bandage herself if she has a sprained ankle or a cut?))

 

<GM Note: I'm fine with self-healing, but unless you have someone else physically do it, it will take a couple minutes game-time to accomplish on your own. Please supply one HEALING roll in interim.>

Edited by Lubidius

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