Closed Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Mosa appears and demands The Midnight Gem folks do her just a tiny itty bitty favor.

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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Kelski on October 10th, 2018, 3:16 am

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Timestamp: 45th of Fall, 518 A.V.


It wasn’t particularly late. It was decidedly before the dinner hour where everyone at The Gem gathered for a meal if they were available. But the weather had been horrible. Wind blew. Rain was vertical rather than horizontal, and no one had seen the actual sky above the clouds for a few days. Because of the weather, it felt later than it was when the old lady – well bunded against the weather – stopped at The Midnight Gem and gazed at the doorway. She approached cautiously. Her steps were measured, careful, and a cane aided her balance. She was dressed stoically, though her coat was warm. Kelski had dropped one off that was oiled on the outside against rain and stuffed inside for warmth.

The Sea Eagle would often visited The Seer, getting her palm read or sitting and listening to Mosa’s stories. Though the woman lived in Tent City, her wealth was her knowledge. Kelski had been working up the courage to ask Mosa to teach her violin, but she hadn’t quite gotten there yet. Though the two women had exchanged stories and Mosa was well schooled in where Kelski lived and the fact there was an invitation for her to visit or even stay during worse weather with a promise of warm meals and hot drinks.

Mosa had not taken her up on her offer before this day. It was unusual that the woman ventured from her tent, let alone across town so far, to get to this point. No hired carriage rolled away nor was there any sign that Mosa had come other than on her own two feet. The woman radiated tiredness, not only of the body but of the spirit as she lifted her cane and tapped at the door.

The Gem, being what it was, already opened the locked door before Kelski, Ebon, or anyone else hanging round could let her in. The old woman blinked in surprise as the door unlocked itself, swung open invitingly, and let the crone in out of the rain. Slowly, in a way that grass grew, Mosa made her way through the doorway, not even flinching when the door swung shut and locked itself again. She glanced around the jewelery store, unimpressed, and began to unwind a scarf from around her neck as she pushed back the hood of the insulated slicker and looked around.

Ebon heard the door open before The Gem could get Kelski’s attention. She was bent over her workbench grinding a gem to facet it into something less than a rough pebble looking stone that no one would guess was actually a ruby. He bounded down the stairway, skidded to a stop in front of the woman, and looked her over.

“My Lady… your aches are acute.” He said softly and reached out a hand to lay it on her shoulder. Glowing with Rak’keli’s gnosis, he attempted to work his gift on her. Mosa bared her non-existant teeth, brought her cane up and whapped him soundly upside the head. It was a well-placed hard blow. Ebon backed off immediately, blinking in shock, and looking slightly stunned.

“Young man. You ASK before you touch someone with your glowy hands. Petching Mage!” She accused, glowering at Ebon as she seemed to be torn between summoning a mob or going after him with her cane again. Just as she was about to advance, Kelski appeared in the doorway to her workshop.

Her laughter rang out abruptly. The Gem had warned her with a quick image in her mind of it letting an old lady through the doorway. And that had been enough to pry her from her work. Ebon had unfortunately got there first. “He’s not a mage.” She said with a calm laugh. “He’s a healer, and when a healer gets marked with Rak’keli the Goddess of Healing, they are forced to heal anything around them that’s walking around aching and paining. I imagine your old bones hurt him more than they hurt you in terms of his compulsion.” Kelski said calmly, coming forward and immediately having a half-dozen colorful thick scarves and one rain-drenched lined oil slicker stuffed into her arms.

The Jeweler turned Kelvic-Coat-Tree attempted to grin around the yards of fabric that revealed the little old woman was indeed tiny beneath her bundling. “Let him touch you. Your bones will thank you.” She urged.

Mosa glared, first at Kelski then at Ebon, and brandished her cane again. “Alright. But if he tries anything funny with his touchy feely self I’ll invert his manhood and make him a girl with this cane.” The woman said with a toothless hiss. Kelski nodded and Ebon gulped.

He approached more slowly this time, touched the woman gently on her forehead, and went about doing what he could do for what was only the ravages of time. Arthritis calmed. Bruises eased. And Mosa’s general aches and pains felt immediately better. Everyone looked relieved, especially Mosa, because without Ebon’s touch the old woman would have never navigated the stairway up to the main living floor. She was simply too old and too frail to make the climb without a bit of assistance. Ebon lead the way, glad his manparts were pointed away from her cane while Kelski took up the rear, weighted down with enough fabric to cushion all three of their falls in case one of the steps wasn’t navigated successfully.

Once in front of the fire, coat and multiple scarves hung up, and a warm cup of well-sugared tea in Mosa’s hands, the denizens of The Midnight Gem gathered around the old woman and introduced themselves one by one. Even Little Rhaus had wandered his way out of Ember’s room to sit on the table and visit with the elder.

Kelski quietly made the rounds, introducing Ebon and Ember formally, then letting everyone else greet the old woman before she carefully asked… “It’s a pleasure to see you here Mosa. I’m glad you could make it. But I’m really curious… as I’m sure everyone else is… as to why you are here.” She asked, kneeling down on the edge of a big low table that rested in front of one of the couches. There was not enough seats on the couches for everyone and she did not mind her perch next to Little Rhaus… whom was getting a strange eye from the old woman.

“As I’ve told you many times before, Kelski….” Started the Fortune Teller. “I came from Denval. I was part of a Flotilla that circumnavigated half the continent, braved the ice off the coast of Avanthal, and overwintered near Novallas. Those were hard times, and the people that were with me were all that were left of Denval and all this world had left linking it to the times before The Valterrian. What I didn’t tell you that with us came part of Denval’s library. Great history books, tomes on all sorts of skills, and even more secretive things were carried in great crates along with our food, coin, and worldly possessions.” Mosa got right to the point. In her world, there wasn’t much use for delaying purpose or beating around bushes verbally.

“Most of the older folk that came with us are gone now. I’m all that’s left, that and the younger folk… who care nothing of Denval and what we were. The food is all gone. Coin didn’t last either. But the best of us found an entrance to the mines and took with them the books deep down below to hide. We didn’t want to be tempted to burn them for heat in the winter, nor sell them to people that wouldn’t know how valuable they were. I’m the only one that knows where they are… and I’m old. Far older than I want to admit and I’ve seen recently that I won’t be long in this world.” She said, looking troubled for a moment before moving on.

Kelski watched her intently, listening, a sudden disturbed fear crossing her features. She tried to cover it, but to anyone watching they could tell this old woman meant the world to her.

“Aww… don’t fret, Eagle Lady.” Mosa said, waving a gnarled hand at Kelski’s expression. “I’ve lived more life than most and longer than a great deal of others. It’s just that the books… the books are the last thing left to do. I need to make sure they go to people that will cherish them and do right by them… a library. And I know, Kelski, that you talked of Remmy and her library and I thought it might be a good fit. It’s long past time…. long long past time… that someone went down and got them… before they are all but forgotten and rot away without ever having any human eyes on them again.” Mosa said, then tapped her cane once on the ground then gestured around her to everyone seated at various positions.

“You all… are so young! You gather here with Kelski. You are finding purpose and meaning in living in this cesspool of a city. You can change things, make them better, small steps at a time. Well, here’s your chance. Here’s your first step. It’s time you did something right. Something good. I need you to go get those books. I’ll draw you a map…” She said forcefully.

Then she took a deep drink of her tea, set down the mug, and glowered at all of them. Her eyes paused momentarily on each individual and then finally came to rest on Kelski. The Kelvic didn’t even hesitate a moment. She didn’t think it over. And she certainly didn’t even ask questions. Instead, she simply nodded. “I’ll do it.” She said firmly… then looked around to see who else would join her.
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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Duncan Rightstone on October 11th, 2018, 6:47 am

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Having finished his primary duties at The Gem, Duncan had retired to the basement training area for his daily workout. It was the same routine, warming up with stretches, pull-ups, push-ups and sit-ups followed by various weight-lifting exercises. What wasn't routine was that he wasn't alone and hadn't been for several days. Lia, the Kelvic whom he'd purchased from a slaver in an effort to free her from captivity, had hardly left his side since he brought her to The Gem. During the day, when he was tending to his guard duties, Lia was always near. While she hardly let Duncan out of her sight, he was able to convince her that he had a job to do and that he would be close by. When it came to his deliveries however, it took a bit more work to convince her to stay at The Gem and that he would return soon. While he was out, Lia spent most of the time lounging about the balcony, when the weather allowed, or found some comfortable place elsewhere in The Gem to sleep.

Being more nocturnal, when she was finally convinced Duncan was close or would be close soon, she was at ease with simply relaxing with a number of catnaps. When she wasn't doing that, she busied herself with working with a the new leatherworking tools Duncan had gotten for her and a few furs and animal skins. Having been a leatherworker before her enslavement, having something familiar to work on while Duncan was busy helped return some normalcy to her life. There wasn't a lot of room to do anything extensive so she settled with smaller projects that she could work on in the kitchen when it wasn't in use.

Never having been a strong people person, Lia was slowly coming around with the others at The Gem. After her short yet traumatic experience with being a slave, it had taken away for her trust in people to partially return.

As Duncan finished his nightly workout, Lia who'd been sitting on the floor watching him, stood and walked over to him. While it had taken several days for her to feel safe enough and comfortable enough to realize it, there was something about Duncan she found mesmerizing. His voice, the way he talked was so different than others. The way he moved was also quite different. In fact, all of his movements were precise, timed and measured. To her, he looked like strength personified. He'd saved her from something terrible and had shown her nothing but concern.

For Duncan's part, saving Lia had began as a spur of the moment action that he hadn't planned nor had any idea what to do after he'd done it. Yet, once it was done, he was happy that he did it. The first several days after bringing her to The Gem had been tough. Lia was very jumpy, nervous and always looking over her shoulder. She didn't speak much and spent a lot of time staying away from most of The Gem's other inhabitants. While she was never far from Duncan during that time, she also didn't get too close. Finally though, she did start to open up with him. He too found himself drawn to her. He couldn't quite explain it but he felt less different with her around. The way she looked at him, the way she always wanted to see what he was doing, it made him happy.

As Lia approached, Duncan finished his final curl of the weighted bar and sat it down. "Well, I think that's it for now. Time to get cleaned up and maybe take a break and relax, it's been a long day." Lia picked up a towel and handed it to Duncan which he used to wipe the sweat from his chest. Since Lia had taken to spending time watching him while he worked out, he chose to wear a loincloth during his workouts. Normally he trained in the nude but for some reason felt a bit awkward doing it with her watching him. Even though nudity wasn't an issue for the isur, it felt somewhat disrespectful to do it around her. Lia however, didn't seem as concerned about it as he did once she'd gotten more comfortable around him. In fact, Duncan had to tell her a number of times that she would need to remain clothed at all times while on the main floor of The Gem.

"Duncan, I know I've said it so many times, but thank you." Lia smiled and leaned her head against his chest, comforted by his scent.

Duncan, while still getting used to how close Lia had been getting as of late, hesitated for a moment before bringing his arm up to lightly hug her.

"And as I've said many times, it was an honor and I would do it again without question. No thanks needed." Duncan said softly before lowering his arm.

Lia stepped back, smiled and said, "You talk so weird."

Duncan chuckled lightly and turned to go upstairs to clean up. Lia followed close behind. Once upstairs, Duncan enjoyed a quick bath although he wasn't completely alone there either. Even though the door was closed, he could hear Lia shuffling around just outside. He briefly wondered if all felines, Kelvic or otherwise, acted in such a manner but then realized that Ebon was a feline Kelvic and didn't behave the same. He told himself he should be annoyed by all the attention, but he kind of found it comforting.

When he was cleaned up, he dressed in a simple pair of black trousers and opened the door. Lia was waiting, dressed in a colored, light silk dress. "We have company. There's someone strange here. The others are getting together near the fire."

Guests were not overly common, at least not during the time he'd been at The Gem. When there was someone, it tended to be an event to some degree. Duncan nodded and the two went to the Great Room where Kelski and others were settling in.

Duncan had never seen the old woman before but it looked like Kelski and her had history together. As everyone introduced themselves, Duncan offered a nod of respect and said, Good evening to you, Lady Mosa. I am Duncan Rightstone and this is Lia." Lia gave a soft smile and a curtsy. Duncan than took a seat on the floor near the fire with Lia next to him.

As Kelski made her curiosity at the woman's presence known, Duncan too wondered what would bring a woman of advanced years to The Gem, by herself, with not only the weather being so bad but also with it simply being Sunberth.

Duncan listened to the woman's story about Denval and her travels from there. He knew nothing of Denval yet having traveled a long distance himself to arrive in Sunberth, he knew how hard it must have been for Mosa to make the journey. The mention of a library and a hidden trove of books peaked Duncan's interest. Back in Sultros, his clan, Vizerian, was responsible for preserving ancient artifacts, including a large number of books, that survived the destruction of the Old Kingdom. The past was definitely something to be protected and cherished.

Duncan noted Kelski's troubled look at Mosa's mention of getting old but he kept it to himself as the old woman continued her story. Her call for help, to make a difference and bring about change...it was the reason why Duncan had come to Sunberth to begin with.

After Kelski announced her willingness to help, Duncan looked to her and wondered if she was maybe a bit too eager to offer her aid without much information other than a story and a map. He looked at the others and their reactions before speaking up, "I too would be pleased to help in this but with all do respect, Lady Mosa, may I ask if there is anything else about this hiding place that we should know? It's deep in a mine somewhere but are there any other safeguards beyond the typical things that tend to call an abandoned mine their home?"

At the mention of entering a mine, Lia was less inclined to offer her aid although the idea of Duncan going there without her caused a great amount of concern. She gripped his arm in her hands and listened to it all with a mix of unease and a little bit of uncontrollable curiosity.
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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Kynier on October 12th, 2018, 3:38 am

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He sat on the stone step with his back against the wall. Each elbow rested on a knee with his feet set flat on the ground. It was the last place in the Midnight Gem where Kynier could go to be alone for some peace and quiet. At his feet rested a single lit candle to offer some sort of light. Shadows danced across the stairway and were heavily focused on the wall opposite him. Kynier sighed as he rested the back of his head against the wall. Even here he was not able to be truly alone.

Though his eyes were resting on the place where the altar was going to be, Kynier’s thoughts were still. Had his body been willing he would have embraced the stillness of sleep. Instead, only his mind needed a reprieve from everything. The only sound to be heard was a soft cascade of sand upon sand. Kynier gave a glance to the hourglass. The remaining sands were getting low, which meant that supper was drawing near. Though it was not his turn to prepare and cook the night’s meal, it would be better than just sitting in the dark alone. For that was not assisting his mood at all either. Standing up with the hourglass in hand, Kynier took his leave of the secret staircase and sealed the secret door behind him.

As the stone door silently closed behind him he heard the rhythmic breathing of another. With a few steps he saw Duncan performing his pull-ups. The Kelvic that he had “rescued” was near, like she always was, to the Isurian. The mage ascended the stairs with quiet steps and made his way to the Great Room. With a single look to the kitchen Kynier could tell that the others were already well underway with food preparations. From the level of activity they were displaying it was clear to him that any effort to assist would only be more of a hindrance.

With a sigh, Kynier went to the study to get a quill, ink, and a few sheets of parchment. He returned to the Great Room to sit down and just draw to pass the time. It was short lived, as he heard a brief shout immediately followed by laughter from downstairs. His quill paused as he strained his hearing but did not hear anything more from below. Several chimes later, Kelski and Ebon came up the stair accompanying an old crone of a woman. Kynier did not recognize her for he had spent very little time in Tent City during his life in Sunberth. And none of that had led him to the old fortune teller.

He stood up to relinquish his seat for the old woman. From the way Kelski moved and spoke he could tell that she knew the woman and was fond of her. “My name is Kynier. It’s a pleasure to meet you Mosa.” Kynier relocated to the edge of the couch after the introductions were complete. When everyone was settled Mosa began her tale. The mage had never heard about the destruction of Denval or the intensity of the Djed Storms that had occurred in that part of the world. So, he listened intently to all that Mosa said. He wasn’t sure it was sadness, but he felt something when the crone acknowledged that she was close to her end. Kynier had never witnessed death from reaching the end of their lifespan before. All the deaths he had known had been violent. Seeing Mosa on the couch before him was inspiring. That she could face everything that had been thrown at her and remain so at peace with how things were. Something Kynier desired to be capable of doing himself.

When Mosa spoke of the collection of books his interest really began to peak. The idea of possessing even one book that predated the Valterrian! What knowledge such a tome could bestow! Giving them to the library was a great idea, even if most of the city remained illiterate. When Mosa looked at him Kynier felt himself mentally recoil. There was a judgment in her expression. One that he could not read well enough to determine if it was favorable or not. Kelski was the first to proclaim that she’d help. There was a brief silence after the sea eagle’s words. One that Kynier was the first to fill.

“Too much knowledge has already been lost. While not many remain to be able to appreciate what you have brought from Denval, we cannot afford to lose that as well. I’ll help too.” Kynier moved closer to the old fortune teller. He set his quill and a blank sheet of parchment down on the table before Mosa so that when she was ready she could make the map she spoke of. Duncan’s questions were good ones to ask. There were a few questions of his own that he wanted to ask. When Mosa finished addressing Duncan’s concern, Kynier spoke up again.

“Mosa, you mentioned that these books and other items were carried in great crates. But how many did you leave down in the mines? Where there so many that it took you several trips to get them all down?” Mosa had never said how many people had been involved in hiding the crates either. What she was asking of them could require several journeys to complete. But Kynier was willing. Driven by a need to preserve lost knowledge and curiosity of what that knowledge was.
Last edited by Kynier on October 29th, 2018, 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on October 12th, 2018, 3:46 pm

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The Gem was a nice place to live. Part of that was that was the luxury of sleeping in a bed, in a sturdy house, away from the elements and in a place that was safe. 'Safe’. What an interesting concept, after having spent a season and a half in the violent and thoroughly haunted Dust Bed. The Gem had a quality to her that attracted Anja, similar to that of the Dust Bed, but far more kind and welcoming. The Gem, Anja thought, comforted and protected. She might not be as thoroughly haunted as the Dust Bed was, but her kindness and the quality of company Anja now had the honor of keeping more than made up for it. Anja was a Drykas. He was naturally social by nature, and craved family. For the first time since his family had perished to nuits, Anja felt that loneliness in his heart begin to ease away.

Anja sat on the floor of his room, cross legged and hands on his knees, letting the soothing sound of rain and wind carry his thoughts far, far away. Meditation was not a practice that came easily to Anja. He was a man that was far too easily consumed with his thoughts, and allowing himself to put himself in a place where his thoughts were far away took a great deal of patience. Anja had been attempting at least ten or fifteen minutes of the practice daily. It was slow going...but Anja could already feel the benefits.

Anja focused on his breath. In through his mouth and out through his nose. Any time a stray thought flitted through his mind, he would gently push the thought away and refocus. The sound of rain outside soothed, and somehow made it easier to focus on his complacent place of nothingness. After a time, Anja looked for that core of power in the center of his being. Once he had found it, he carefully ignited the pathways upwards through his spine, into his skull, and through his eyes. Once he was confident that his task was complete and there were no broken pathways anywhere, the man opened his eyes.

Auristics was such a peculiar thing, and it seemed that Anja was always finding new things with it. The Gem breathed, in her own mysterious way, as she always did. Kynier had told Anja that by studying an aura that he could determine things about it, but Anja was too cautious in the use of his newly discovered personal magic to venture too far into that territory. For now, he simply allowed himself to identify the unique colors and sensations that painted the people he encountered. The Gem, in particular, was a truly magnificent kaleidoscope of criss-crossing colors, waves, and patterns. Anja could watch it for hours, if his personal magic permitted. However, as per usual, when the first stirrings of a headache began to form in Anja’s head, the man cut the magic off, and felt the colors drain from his vision. Curiously, however, just before they faded Anja saw a bright flash from somewhere below him, accompanied by the sound of a door opening and then slamming shut.

Curiosity, along with a hint of concern, piqued. Anja pushed himself to his feet, and then headed out of his room to go investigate. Upon opening his door, Anja was immediately beset upon by a pair of wailing mutts who had been woefully abandoned in the great room and had been impatiently waiting for their cruel master to emerge from the room. Their snuffling noses and desperate whines trying to pry their way from underneath the door had made it rather difficult to concentrate on his meditation. But Anja, of course, bore his two friends no resentment and scooped the pair of puppies into his arms. After a few moments of cuddles, all was forgiven, and Anja returned them to the ground as he proceeded forward to investigate.

Anja had hardly moved more than a few steps when Kelski and Ebon emerged from downstairs, an unknown elderly woman between them. Anja’s two pups skittered away, nervous towards the stranger, but Anja greeted the unknown woman warmly. “You must be freezing grandmother,” Anja told her kindly. “Let me gather some blankets for you.” Anja left the group momentarily to return to his room, and retrieved some of the folded spare blankets that he kept out of the reach of the puppies and were blissfully absent of dog hair. By the time Anja had returned, the elderly woman was seated before the fireplace with a cup of tea in hand. Anja tucked the blanket around the woman, then whistled for the pups, who had forgotten their initial hesitation and were becoming entirely too interested in the new guest. Reluctantly they trotted over to Anja as he settled himself on the couch, and the Drykas lifted the pair onto his lap where he could keep them from mischief.

When introductions went around, Anja introduced himself simply. “My name is Anja Nightwatcher,” he said simply. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mosa.” One of the few things Anja disliked about the Gem was how separate he was from Maisa; had she been around she would have received an introduction as well. But as it was, she was no doubt safe and warm within the barn with Moth and an introduction was unnecessary for her.

If Mosa had been here for a simple chat and a meal, Anja wouldn’t have minded. But this woman spoke of secretive, hidden things. Of ancient knowledge, laying buried in the depths of Sunberth. Anja was not much of a reader. Most of his knowledge was of the practical sort, the kind that was gathered and learned through experience and example. But he could see the appeal in such hidden knowledge. Information had value. And it seemed a shame for that to be kept from the world.

Anja saw the shadow that passed over Kelski’s face as Mosa mentioned not being long for this world, and he sent his kelvic friend a sympathetic glance. He wished he could impart on Kelski how beautiful it was for death to arrive after a life having have been long and well lived, how it was among the most kind and welcoming of deaths, but now was not the time to do so. Anja was well aware that not all people saw death the same way he did, and he didn't want to add unneeded tension to the conversation. Mosa herself seemed content in the fact that she did not have much longer. And her only lingering regret was these books?

Well, how could Anja possibly resist that? It was rare that he was given the opportunity to resolve regrets before a person’s passing. If this could keep Mosa from remaining in this world after her passing, he would do it gladly. There was no question in it for him.

“I will do this thing, gladly,” Anja replied after Kelski, Duncan, and Kynier had spoken. “But Duncan and Kynier pose good questions and I have one of my own. What dangers exist in this mine? Surely they must be substantial, if you and your kind felt that these tomes could be kept untouched down there.”
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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Kelski on October 25th, 2018, 1:48 am

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The elderly woman greeted everyone politely and curiously, intently watching them as if reading the lines of their faces. Those that offered their hands to her, she shook but also looked at their palms and seemingly looked into their souls with her strange piercing eyes. She smiled at each of them who volunteered and profoundly thanked them. Then, of course, she answered questions.

Mosa nodded at Duncan’s question. “Indeed, it has been six years since I’ve been there and even then, I was old. I do not know if there is anything unusual about the hiding place you should know, but I do know that we repelled and had to lower the crates many times to get them to where they were. I know there were snakes, spiders, and fish in pools. I also saw scorpions and bats and odd odd creatures that I cannot begin to describe. Nothing bothered us, but our party was large. We all carried a bit of the library. There were…. those with special gifts that carried the big crates. Mages you know. I used to think they had some use, back in those days, but after having lived here a while I see why people don’t like them.” She said somewhat confusingly.

Mosa thanked Kynier as he offered her parchment and his quill. She began on the map immediately and it was soon clear that due to her detail, one sheet of parchment wasn’t going to be enough. She drew layers, levels, marked drop-offs and one place they had to wage water and go off the edge of a little waterfall. It was clear there would be more than a day underground unless they were versed in repelling and spelunking. And even then, she wasn’t sure how the crates would be brought out again.

Or was she?

“There were dozens of crates. It was as much of our library as we could save… the best of it… the rarest histories. It took up a lot of space in our flotilla, space we scarified for it which should have held food. Fortunately, the folks of Denval were avid fisherman and we supplemented our food with fish and lived.” Mosa said, her voice sounding like the rustling of parchment that matched the odd scratching sound of her quill scratching out a bigger picture of what she asked of them on the parchment beneath her hands. Untrained, she was still a gifted artist and what she placed on paper gave the group a good idea of what they were facing.

“We took them all in one trip. It would not have been safe to make multiple trips. We had those with special talents among us that assisted the movement of the crates. Talents that aren’t appreciated here, you understand. I can see why. Those same talents basically destroyed Denval. It weren’t the Djed Storm of 512 that leveled our city. It was that loose power causing artifacts to explode.” Mosa said, getting sidetracked.

Then she continued with her explanation. “There are ways, using air, to lighten loads and require less handlers. These ways are not welcome here in Sunberth, but there were still those among us that had such gifts which is why someone like me could make the trip. I cannot go this time… not as I went last time… simply stepping off the cliffs and floating to the bottom. I miss them… but those with such things did not linger long in Sunberth or if they did they did not keep their lives long.” Mosa explained, almost certainly describing reimancy or some lost art that resembled it.

The fact that Anja draped a blanket around her utterly charmed the old seer and she grinned toothlessly at him like he was her new favorite adopted son. The fact that he also saw to it she was close to the fire and had something warm to sip. “You, son, have been raised right. By women, if I am not mistaken. Thank you for your kindness. May you have such courtesy shown you in your twilight years as well.” She even smiled at the pups, letting them sniff a gnarled fingered hand before she got back to her drawing. Like little children, puppies often charmed the elderly and her smile brightened even further when she realized she’d found allies here, people that were indeed willing to assist her cause.

“Drykas, are you not? I have met Kelski’s Moth, and I brought him an apple before I knocked. But I was greeted by the nicest female whicker downstairs before I banged on the door so I took the time to go around and see. The mare must be yours. She gracefully took the apple I split and the horses shared it. I miss horses. Though I have chickens enough and I see you folks do too. I will bring two apples next time I visit. They are rare in tent city, but I have a customer with a tree that often pays me in the fruit well into the winter and I am grateful for it.” The old woman said to Anja, glad to include him, though she’d never had the courtesy to meet too many Drykas. Denval was isolated and for the most part they did not approve of Sunberth as a whole.

“You must have quite a story being one of the sons of the Sea of Grass in a city of hatred. I’d hear it sometime if you were willing to tell it.” Mosa said, then got back to the problem at hand. Kelski was still frowning at Mosa, worry crossing her face – obviously not at the mission the old woman laid out for she’d gladly accept it – but because she’d come to see the woman as a friend and disliked the thought of loosing a friend in a virtually friendless city.

The Kelvic caught Anja’s eye, raised a silver eyebrow, and they both realized they would talk later. For Anja had something in his eyes and Kelski’s worry eased slightly at seeing it… and she of course would ask why.

Even The Gem was responding to the old woman’s presence. The hardwood floors were oddly warming and while the building was usually comfortably warm, it heated in response to the old woman’s presence to an almost shirt-sleeve temperature that eased the woman’s sore bones. Scents filled the air too… like the rare flower seed called vanilla … that caused the Kelvics to be soothed and the woman to smile bigger and brighter.

“I cannot tell you what dangers exist. We were great in numbers and well-armed with… talents that rarely exist in Sunberth these days. I know there is danger, but I think the books are worth it. There are…. stories of things that happened in the mines beneath Sunberth before the Valterrian still being there. Machines and things infused with… that which is unspoken of here in this city. There are even… unliving things – crafted things – that are infused with souls and intelligence that used to run great mining operations in the past. We saw… the rusted metallic bones of such machines… but nothing else substantial. I was not afraid. But you… if you go in the numbers you have here and no more… you will find that your group will not be nearly as sizable nor protected without the talents of some that we had with us. I would urge caution, but my fear of what is down there is not greater than my fear of those books and their knowledge getting lost forever.” Mosa said, then set her quill aside to cough roughly, pulling a kerchief from her pocket to spit a bit of phlegm into it, and cleared her throat before she continued.

Ebon looked concerned. He rose then carefully then sat down again carefully at Mosa’s look. “I’m fine. Old people cough.” She said firmly, and glanced around to see where she’d set her cane.

Kelski had a question, one that was somewhat unrelated to Mosa’s mission but yet something she was curious about nonetheless. “Mosa, what is Denval?” She asked carefully, not knowing at all what Mosa was talking about when she spoke of the lost city.

“What is Denval? Why… child! How can you even ask that? Denval was a city on the west coast of Kalea that ended all in one day. Most of the city was killed on the first day of Spring, 512, when the big Djed Storm that was created by Ivak’s breaking free of his imprisonment in Wind Reach and Sylira ascending to Godhood….. that storm caused some mage built artifacts in Denval to explode and destroy the city. Those that survived… myself included… set sail in a giant flotilla and came here. It took us more than a year of travel to do so. These books are the last bits of knowledge Denval had.” Mosa explained.

Kelski nodded, her eyes wide, thoughtful, and appreciative of what Mosa must have lived through. She wanted to ask her how she survived, but she was a bit hesitant of where the boundaries of privacy were.

“Anyhow…” Continued Mosa. “We need to do this soon… this season perhaps. And we’ll need some place to give the books to in order to safe keep them.” She said looking at each of them.

Kelski spoke up. “Remmy has a library in the city. She’d gladly take them. It might be a really good thing to have this collection of books go into the hands of someone that can help preserve them.” The Kelvic said, having had some experience in rotting texts beneath the ground quite recently, even if she’d told no one.

“And if we are going to be going below ground, we’ll all need special gear. Unless of course you guys all have it.” She said thoughtfully, and started to mentally catalog what else they needed. “I know my schedule is open the next few days if we want to go soon. What does everyone else think? Can we get enough gear together and get going and back within a few days?” The Kelvic wondered even as Mosa watched them swing into action, begin to plan, and even make lists – Ebon had already grabbed out more parchment and began to take noted with his own writing materials.

Kelski glanced at Kynier, suddenly worried how she’d explain her well-used climbing and caving gear.
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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Duncan Rightstone on October 29th, 2018, 4:57 am

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Duncan listened as the others posed their questions and comments. As he did, he reached over and casually ran his fingers through Lia's hair as she rested her head on his shoulder. Not a man used to such attention like that which Lia displayed, he couldn't help the feeling of being drawn to her. He was finding that, when out on a delivery for Kelski, separated from Lia, he thought of her often. He wanted to be near her even though she sometimes annoyed him with her constant need to be close. Despite what he had to become in order to save her from her horrific situation, he couldn't find anything but pleasant thoughts and feelings for her.

When Mosa answered his question, he found appreciation for her honesty about the situation. The mention of the various encounters her group had with the denizens of the underground reminded him of the same things he knew to exist in the outskirts of his home in Sultros. The creatures she could not describe gave him some concern yet he realized it that those things could simply be creatures not common to the surface world.

Duncan was also concerned with how exactly their small group could hope to return the various crates to the surface. If so many people had been involved in placing them in such a secure place, how could so few hope to bring them back to the light. She repeatedly mentioned mages among her group who helped place the crates of history deep within the bowels of Sunberth. While Duncan suspected that some among those who lived and spent time at The Gem had such talents, he wondered if they would be enough. The mention of the Djed Storm in 512 brought memories he wasn't sure he was ready to revisit.

That storm brought a profound change to his people. So many of those who lived there received visions of what exactly caused the storm. He was one of them. He saw in the mind's eye what took place. He saw how King Sultros, his hero and the man who he aspired to be like, returned from Izurdin's Forge to face the personification of fear only to fall once more. His sacrifice ensured that the humans who helped release Ivak, survived. Ivak, the one who Izurdin called, brother, restored to his position among the gods. Duncan was still, so many years later, trying to come to terms with all that had happened. The Kingdom itself was still trying to figure it all out.

The concept of using magic to lighten loads, though not unfamiliar to Duncan, was still something that confounded him. He was no mage and beyond the basic concepts of Magecraft, he had little knowledge or use for magic. The use of such magic in the placement of the books Mosa spoke of was not something Duncan could allow himself to consider as being an answer to their return. To rely on magic was something completely foreign to him. Still, he listened to what Mosa had to say while embracing Lia and drawing upon the strange comfort he felt from her presence and touch.

Duncan knew nothing of Denval or several of the things that Mosa spoke of. While he wanted to question it, such questions seemed out of place for the moment.

The old woman mentioned machines and things infused with what Duncan could only think of was magic. He was no stranger to the wonders of magic even if he didn't completely understand them. Sultros was a place of great wonder, things that he took for granted yet, seeing the outside world, realized just how special and rare those things were.

Kelski then spoke the one of the questions on Duncan's mind. Mosa responded with insight into the place known as Denval. As the old woman shared what Denval was, Duncan pictured what horror must have fell upon the people as the city was destroyed. He had known that many places had suffered from the storm but hadn't realized that entire cities were destroyed. Sultros had been been prepared. The citadels resting atop the great cities had been prepared. Each and every one was infused with the souls of those isur who had built them. When the waves of destruction crashed against the walls of the citadels, the onslaught was diffused. The storm washed over the Kingdom as a rainstorm against the side of a stone building.

Kelski's mention of a library that could hold such books brought some comfort to Duncan. His clan, Vizerian, since the founding of Sultros, they were tasked with preserving the history of the entire race. Books, artifacts and pretty much anything sacred to the Old Kingdom was held within the vaults deep below Vizerian City. He had the privilege of seeing some of their contents; a fraction of what was held further within. It was the sacred duty of the Anvils of Izurdin to preserve history.

The discussion turned to one of acceptance of the task and the idea that they would need to prepare themselves for a journey deep underground. There were supplies that would be needed and preparations that would need to be focused upon.

Duncan spoke up at the mention of gear.

"The gathering of gear for such an expedition, I don't imagine it would take much. I don't know about everyone else, but I may be able to provide some insight into what we should take with us. I was born and raised underground. I am more than at home in such a place; I can see in total darkness, my body is designed for such a place. The rest of you however, we should take great care in what we bring to accomplish this task. Sources of light, lanterns preferably, rope and lots of it, clothing that is warm yet not bulky, tools for digging in stone if necessary. Stone is no obstacle for me..." Duncan held up his sapphire arm.

"Isur can manipulate stone as if it were clay and we have an innate sense for direction underground. That said, we may need a compass. While it won't do us much good if there is a lot of iron left in the mines below, it can't hurt. I don't know much about mines, but I do know about life underground. If you wish, I can gather the gear that I think would be helpful."

Duncan paused for a moment and added, "If anyone has any talents, abilities or appropriate gear, I think now is the time to speak up. I will be blunt, I know many of you have talents that may aid us in this endeavor. Don't be shy in speaking up. I am all for helping in this; it is part of my sworn duty as an Anvil of Izurdin. Yet, I for one would like to avoid the secrets and unknowns among us and come together to fulfill Mosa's wish. Anyone have anything else to offer? If not, I will set out tomorrow morning to acquire the needed items if you all agree." Duncan didn't particularly enjoy being one to step forward with any form of leadership yet he couldn't deny his desire to set others on the right path. It was part of what Izurdin had sent him to Sunberth to do yet it was something he still wasn't all that comfortable with.
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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Kynier on October 30th, 2018, 2:32 am

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The only times he had ever been in a cave had been out of necessity. When either he was alone, or travelling with his wizard instructor, and the need for shelter had been required. Kynier never delved into the deeper bowels of the subterranean world and had no understanding of what to expect. As Mosa answered Duncan’s question, the mage listened intently. It did not sound much more dangerous than crossing the Wildlands. Snakes and spiders. It was the mentioning of creatures so odd that she could not properly describe them that unnerved Kynier. He had heard old stories about creatures so old, so abstract that they must have been from the other worlds yet had been on Mizahar longer than the mortal races. Things known as Relics. Kynier hoped that they wouldn’t come across any sort of being like that.

When Mosa took the quill to parchment, Kynier’s eyes rarely ventured away. Watching each stroke and scratch as she set the ink to form their map. It was complex and was not going to fit on the single parchment he had given her. The mage scratched at his chin when thinking about how it would be best if they did not have just the one map to use. It could get damaged or lost in some way. But his thoughts were distracted when she described in more detail the original descent to hide the tomes of knowledge. For some reason, the woman had an aversion to saying the word “magic” yet alluded to it on several occasions. It was unfortunate that Mosa had come to share the Sunberth opinion on mages, or at least grown to acknowledge their standpoint fairly readily.

The magic that she described sounded like a Reimancer using aeromancy. Though it was in ways that Kynier had not heard being used before. Lightening a heavy load, or stepping off a cliff and… floating to the bottom? While he could attempt both of those applications, he was just one mage. From what Mosa had described, there were a couple or even several of those mages in the original group that had taken the crates down. Any attempt Kynier made to mimic those applications would have to be strategically done. From how deep they had to go, based on what Mosa had drawn so far, it was too great of a distance for his Reimancy to consistently handle.

As Anja made Mosa more comfortable, Kynier stood up from the couch and walked quickly to the study. From the drawer he grabbed ten more sheets of parchment. Then he opened the bottom drawer where he kept the vial of special ink that Doler had given him. Kynier took it out and brought the items back to the Great Room just in time to begin hearing Mosa talk about the dangers of the mines. Kynier listened as he retook his seat and set down more sheets of parchment for Mosa to use. Though, he kept the vial of Memory Ink to himself. His intention was to duplicate Mosa’s map when she was done with the magical medium.

While Kynier had endured the Djed Storm of 512 in the presence of other wizards and mages, he only heard a few rumors of the destruction it had wrought on the world. Denval was nearly on the other side of the world from where Kynier had been his whole life. Mosa and her people may have been the only survivors, and the only ones able to recant the tale of Denval’s destruction. The mass of wild djed had been terrifying and he could only imagine what the explosive force of several artifacts in conjunction would have been like to experience.

Kelski’s suggestion of donating the books to the library was a good notion. Although, there were a few things about that Kynier did not completely agree with. Almost all of the books Mosa had brought should go to the library. However, there might be some volumes that would be better off in their care. If there were any books with valuable insight to magic, known or lost disciplines, would they truly be better if given to someone that more than likely wasn’t a mage? Maybe if they could establish an arrangement with Remmy about exclusive access to certain pieces of the collection they intended to give, then Kynier would see no problem granting all of it to the Library. That was a problem and discussion for later. First, they’d have to find and retrieve before worrying about that.

Then the Sea Eagle spoke about the equipment needed and Ebon began formulating a list. There was a sudden motion that did catch Kynier’s eyes, Kelski giving him a quick glance. He had no idea what caused her to look at him in that way. Was she nervous about something? Now was not the time to ask about it. There was a different conversation going on that should not be interrupted by any of their own personal discussions. Even if he had wanted to engage in that conversation with her, Duncan had begun to speak again. Kynier turned his attention to the Isur.

It was comforting to hear all the natural advantages that Duncan had that would assist them on this quest. The Isurian gave lots of valuable insights that Kynier more than likely would have overlooked. Tools, warm clothing, and sources of light. Kynier had not tested the full extent of his Nightstalker vision and did not know if total darkness was something that he had the ability to see in or not. Duncan had already saved him from carrying on in ignorance. Unfortunately, that newfound respect was short lived. He urged those present to disclose talents and equipment that may aid them in this endeavor. There may be very good reasons why these secrets were kept.

Duncan would never understand. Not really. The Isurian had many special talents that were gifted to him through his race or through the divine. Talents that did not make him a hunted individual for having. Duncan was not a mage, in Sunberth. When the situation arose Kynier did not expect to have issues with revealing it to the Isurian. Yet, he found that Duncan was being a very presumptuous oaf by requesting it to be shared right now. Now, in front of Mosa, who while having known several mages has grown to understand the Sunberthian view of them. There is a time and place for when Kynier chose to let the knowledge of his magic be known to others, and Duncan would not be the one to dictate when that would be.

“When it comes to equipment I can safely say that I have none that would be of any assistance to our efforts. Save for one. I do possess a pack that is magically imbued to carry much more than what it should be capable of carrying. What the maximum capacity of it is, I do not know. But it should be very useful for this task. Even if it can only carry the contents of a single crate, or perhaps two, that would make the return journey easier.” Then he turned his gaze on Duncan in particular. The expression in his eyes was clearly that of annoyance. “As for special talents,” he said quieter than normal, “I am a Nightstalker of Akajia. The goddess of night, shadows, and secrets. I can commune with the shadows and have been gifted with the ability to see through shadows and darkness.” That was the one secret he would share at this time and it was only to appeal Duncan.

“The sooner we get underway, the better in my opinion. There’s no telling what damage the books may have received while being underground during the last six years. I have no issues with allocating the next tenday to this task if necessary. A note to my employer explaining my absence should be more than enough.” Tomorrow he had intended on continuing his project in the basement, which was fortunate timing. Kynier had been resting for a few days to replenish his Djed reserve and it would more than likely be required for several purposes during this task.

Kynier looked at the map Mosa had made and shifted his position to the edge of the cushion. He took a few sheets of parchment for himself and procured his magic quill. Setting the finished map next to his sheets, Kynier dipped the quill in the Memory Ink and began to copy the map Mosa had made. It was extensive and held a lot of detail. Kynier took his time to replicate it completely. The Memory Ink had a faint red glow around the dark lines it left on the parchment. After a chime of copying he paused and looked to Kelski. “Perhaps we should offer Mosa a bed for the night.”

Turning to address the old woman, Kynier offered a small smile. “I would be interested in hearing more about Denval. The sort of things people would never learn about it from a book.” Then he set his attention back to copying the map she had drawn.


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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Anja Nightwatcher on November 5th, 2018, 1:25 am

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The house settled around them, forming a shield against the cold rain from the outside, enveloping all of them in a warmth not unlike a comfortable blanket. Despite the gravity of her task, Anja could see the Gem working it's magic on Mosa, easing her aches with it's warmth and kindness. Anja doubted the woman would be aware of it, but he silently thanked the Gem anyways. When he had a spare moment, he would let the building know aloud. He couldn't speak to the Gem the way Kelski could, but that didn't mean it shouldn't hear appreciation from people other than her.

Anja watched with growing fascination as Mosa began sketching the map and speaking about her experiences. The map was certainly intricate. A pensive look came across Anja's face as he watched the woman work. This was no small task that the group was going to find themselves setting out on. And as much as he hated to admit it, Anja was well aware that his skill set was not going to be very useful under these circumstances. If the place was haunted he might be able to do something to assist, but Mosa had not listed ghosts in her talk of the dangers. Anja's forehead creased slightly in concern. How on Mizahar were they going to be able to move all those books when a group ten times their size had done it?

Anja's face cleared as Mosa addressed him and a smile rapidly found its way onto his features. The grin on the woman's face was contagious and Anja chuckled at her hunch on his past. “Your body may be a bit creaky, but I see your mind is still as sharp as a knife, Mosa. My Grandmother raised me much of my life. She would have given me quite an earful if I wasn't respectful towards a guest. And I spent most of those years making sure she was in comfort while she sat by the fire, so I am practiced with it.” Anja smiled at the woman's blessing, but there was perhaps a trace of melancholy to it. Anja doubted he would live long enough to need someone to care for him as his body fell apart, but it wasn't a kind thing to bring up unprompted.

“I'm a Drykas indeed,” Anja told Mosa. He brightened noticeably when the woman spoke of having seen Maisa. “Yes, that would be Maisa. I'm glad you had a chance to meet her. She is very fond of woman. I'm sure she would be delighted to see you in the future, particularly if you come with gifts of apples.” Anja's eyes softened as the woman asked to hear his story. “Perhaps we could exchange stories some day,” Anja told her. “It's my understanding that long lives are filled with many wonderous stories. I'd be happy to hear yours.” The look that passed between Anja and Kelski was subtle, but it was something that they both somehow recognized in a moment. Kelski was not a woman who shied away from the truth, and Anja was not the sort of person who glossed over saying something that was hard to hear in favor of kind lies. There were truths Anja could tell her that, while hard to hear, would bring her comfort in time. When Kelski sought him out for her questions, he would be prepared to answer them.

Anja processed the information about the dangers Mosa spoke of with a small shake of his head and a look of worry. “Such things are out of my depth, I'm afraid,” the Drykas said. He had never heard of machines that could run with the power of djed, let alone souls and intelligence. The thought was mind boggling to him. You couldn't break a machine with a sword. Perhaps if they had souls and intelligence they could be reasoned with? It couldn't be any more difficult than speaking with Ghosts, or the Gem.

Anja's eyebrows raised as Mosa spoke of Denval. He had heard mutterings of the city's fate in the months that followed after the Djed Storm of 512, though he'd never heard details until this moment. At the end of the woman's words, one of Anja's puppies let out a low whine. Anja reached out to gently stroke the pup, band spoke. “The storm,” Anja said quietly. “An extraordinary and terrible event. The Drykas were hit hard by it. Many of our people died; those that survived did so by hiding underground. My family fled and was nearly swallowed by it.”

As the group spoke of the books and what they could do with them after they had been retrieved, as well as the gear they would need, Anja quieted. “I wouldn't know what sort of things would be required,” he admitted. “But I have ample funds available. I will buy whatever everyone believes is required.” If dealing with ghosts had one transparent benefit, it was the money you could raise doing the job.

Duncan's mention of insight on what was required earned him a grateful look from Anja. “You will undoubtedly be an asset to us then,” Anja said. “But perhaps would should pack some hooded lanterns or torches for those of us who can't see in the dark.” He added this last part with a touch of a smile. “As for my own abilities, well. I don't think horse riding will be of much use underground. Maisa will likely need to be kept at the Gem, or just outside of our entry point to keep an eye out for danger. If there are ghosts down there, I will be able to help with that. I will make my usual three vials of soulmist before the trip and some materials to make more, just in case. Other than that, I have some slight skill with a sword, and...well I can't imagine anything else being of much use.” Anja thought briefly of his Auristics, but he was still a novice at it. Surely if it could be useful than Kynier was better suited to the task of using the skill.

Kynier's talk of the pack drew Anja's interest. It sounded like an extraordinary item, and it would be invaluable for them. “I would suggest we test the limits of this pack of yours before heading out,” Anja suggested. “If there's a possibility of it being able to carry out all the tomes, then that will be one very large weight off our backs, physically and metaphorically. That's not an opportunity we should miss.” Anja fell quiet at the look of annoyance that crossed Kynier's face, and the sudden coldness he exhibited in his demeanor towards Duncan. Anja was one of only a few people in the room who had the knowledge to guess at the change in demeanor. Kynier's magic would be useful in this situation, but they couldn't exactly talk about it here. The mention of his gnosis however, made something click in Anja's head.

“Ah, of course!” he said, surprised that it had not occurred to him before now. “I am an Eiyon. Marked by the Goddess of death. It does not have a lot of practical uses outside of Spiritism so I did not think to mention it, but I have an affinity with sensing the presence of death. If there are places in the mine where people have died, I should be able to sense them. Perhaps it can act as an early warning system.”

Anja inclined his head slightly. “Regardless, I can allot time for this task as well. I think my employer will understand my absence, particularly if people have died in this place. I can rationalize an examination of this place.”

Anja raised an eyebrow as Kynier began making a copy of the map, but said nothing. He was sure the mage had reasons for doing so and it was unlikely he would reveal the reasons if asked. If it seemed important, Anja could ask him privately later.

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Chasing History [Midnight Gem Crew]

Postby Kelski on November 8th, 2018, 4:38 am

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Kelski was starting to get the idea that Mosa wasn’t exactly opposed to magic or talking about it, but was rather cautious and erring on the side of the whole of Sunberth’s opinion on it while she was in Sunberth. The way she spoke of her people and how they had moved the books was tell-tale in and of itself. They had to have been using magic. Gilthas might know, sure enough, for he prowled and sent his brats everywhere. But she wasn’t sure how long ago this was and how long the mage had been lurking beneath the ground either… so she said nothing. Instead, she asked another question.

“What sort of books are in the collection, Mosa? Do you remember?” Kelski asked, curious. “There are types of books that some people in Sunberth might not like to see the light of day and would burn or destroy immediately if they found them.” She explained, knowing it was the reason for her question.

Mosa nodded. “Of this, I know well. Those rare texts of magic are not among the collection. Individuals secreted them away, mages mostly, who went on to other parts of this world friendlier to their kind. But there are books on sciences, art, industry, warfare, and even on such odd things as religions so old you won’t recognize the name of the Gods for they have long passed from the world. There were delightful texts on mathematics and geometry and even skills I haven’t ever seen here. We had wonderous things in Denval, things from before the Valterrian. We remembered Old Suva, you see… being part of the Empire back in its day. The entire city was like a time capsule and now it is gone… gone the way of the rest of the world before Ivak ruined it. I even remember one text that I personally handled in the stash that talked of flowers and how to breed flowers if you can believe such a thing. Back in Denval I had an amazing garden. Here, such a thing would have to be guarded all the bells of the day from thieves either for the blooms or for the food.” She said wistfully.

Kelski glanced at Kynier. She’d felt surges of interest and curiosity through their bond as Mosa had spoke of books and knew he’d been curious as to what was in the collection. The fact was though… how did Mosa know that every book on magic was gone. There might be some left… or even things that could assist mages but which weren’t magic. She herself would love to see books on rocks and gems, maybe even a text on geology. One never knew what could be interesting in such an old stash.

Ebon looked interested too. “Where their medical books on perhaps procedures done before The Valterrian?” Mosa nodded. “I remember a great deal of medical books. Many on herbalism and pharmacology too. I’ve glanced at some of those books, but I don’t understand much in them. I know the ancients used to attribute properties and drawings to substances and those substances when united with other substances would create complex things… iron for example was one drawing or symbol… silver another… and so on. Quite fascinating stuff.” Mosa said, trying to describe chemistry without really knowing what it was.

They spoke for longer and Duncan asked if anyone had any talents, abilities, or appropriate gear.

One by one everyone announced what they were able to give to the endeavor, especially the Isur. Kynier even admitted his Nightstalking, though not his magic. Kelski watched him curiously, uncertain as to why the annoyance rolled across their link. It was flavored by just a bit of arrogance and she tiled her head, taking a longer glance at him while others were distracted.

Kelski swallowed, nervous suddenly, and glanced at Duncan. “I have a full set of climbing and repelling gear. I know how to use it. I can also travel through shadows which often makes the climbing gear unnecessary for me if I can throw light into an area far enough to create shadows to pass through. It’s a product of my Favored status with Akajia.” The Kelvic said softly, looking thoughtful. “I can also see in low light, another Nightstalker trait.” Kelski added, not adding to the fact that she’d been practicing morphing to enhance her vision to see heat instead of light which was something her Akalak friend had spoken of in his journal.

“I also have a backpack like Kynier’s. We’ve never tested the capacity, but I know I can hold a great deal in mine.” She added, having brought back half the beach below the dunes at one time or another to deal with the mud the horses had made around the deck. Adding sand to muddy soil tended to help it drain off a great deal and had kept the horses far drier and cleaner, keeping them out of the nasty mud.

“I would suggest, like Anja says, we get lanterns and a lot of spare oil for them unless someone has a source of light that is more dependable. I would say torches but they run out quickly and often make the air hard to breathe with their smoke.” Kelski said, having been down in the mines enough now to know that sometimes the air wasn’t that good in some of the tunnels.

Mosa, meanwhile, was carefully watching Kynier’s copying job. She helpfully smacked his hand a few times, showing him a more correct path for him to draw to make his drawing a lot more like her map or corrections she decided his map needed that hers did not show. She even added to the map with her own pen when he wasn’t drawing fast enough. The old woman was very focused, missing a lot of the converstation. She had, however, picked up on Kynier’s pack… and that Kelski had one similar.

“Best keep that magic pack to yourself. If your caught with something like that, people might think you’re a mage and you’ll be dead before you can explain you ain’t.” The old woman gave him a virtually toothless grin and went back to fussing with his map rather than her own.

More discussion occurred, and when Kynier suggested a bed for the night, Mosa grinned. “I thought you’d never ask. I’m not walking home until you folks decide you are going to go get those books. The entrance, you see, is beneath my tent.” She said, patting Kynier’s arm and wandering over to the couch to sit down. She patted Ebon’s knee, picking a spot next to him and reached over to scratch his ear. “I like you Kelvics. You lot are so sweet.” She said with another grin, settled in, and rested her cane against the low table in front of the couch. “I don’t need much. Just a warm blanket by the fire. You’re couches are plenty comfortable.” She added, settling back. “And Anja here has plenty of experiences with Grandmothers and warm fires, eh? You said as much, Drykas. Can you find me a blanket? It’s warm in here but I’m still feeling the chill of the walk.” She added to the Dira follower, obviously settling in for the long run. Kelski was delighted. It might mean more stories. The fact that Anja was an Eiyon was intriguing to Mosa. She studied him thoughtfully before she got back to what Kynier had asked.

Kelski smiled. “We have a guest room.” The Kelvic said, knowing she’d feel bad if Mosa spent the night on the couch.

The old woman nodded her thanks, long aware of Kelski’s generous nature, before she turned to Kynier. “Denval was beautiful and horrible at the same time. We were isolated, you see, and kept to ourselves. Suspicious of outsiders, we weren’t’ exactly the most welcoming city. We hung on, you see, to the old ways of the Suvan Empire as it was pre-Valterrian. We had an outstanding militia and every one of our youth had to spend two years in it as they grew into adults. Military. That’s what we stressed. Organization, community, and service. We all worked, like a hive, for the betterment of all. We had things other places didn’t have…. Strength in numbers, know-how, and a military ready for a war. The city was defensible, everyone paid their taxes, and all the school children wore uniforms for equality. Denval was beautiful and horrible at the same time, Kynier.” Mosa said, studying the man who had asked her intently.

Then she yawned loudly, settled back in her seat a bit further, and promptly dozed off. Kelski smiled thoughtfully and if Anja hadn’t found her a spare blanket by now, would fetch her one. “I think the walk wore her out.” Kelski said, adding another log to the fire while The Gem seemed to grow even warmer. Kelski laid a hand on the hearth and patted it as if to thank the building before she turned.

“We should get supplied tomorrow morning and leave as soon as we can after a good nights rest. Does anyone have any objections if we go late morning? The sooner we go the faster I can get back and finish some work I have pending. A few days below ground won’t hurt anything, but I’ll need to leave at least Ember here to feed Moth and Maisa and look after things. I don’t mind if the store stays closed. In fact that might even be better for everyone if it does.” Kelski added and then yawned herself, tempted t o snuggle down besides Mosa.

She’d let the rest of them discuss things carefully, and she’d agree to whatever plan eh rest of them wanted to follow through with.

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They laugh at me because I am different.
I laugh at them because they are all the same.
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Kelski
Feral at heart.
 
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Joined roleplay: July 3rd, 2014, 11:08 pm
Location: Sunberth
Race: Kelvic
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