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PRP: Shelter from the Storm

The Saffron city-state of Tremorus suffered grievous losses in the war against Skal'daja, and efforts are now underway to rebuild...

The Arakkoans of Tremorus have reached out to their allies in the Compact in need of medical and humanitarian assistance -- matters go from bad to worse as shortly after the arrival of Arvani relief forces, a terrible storm sweeps across the ocean toward the Chain. Help will be needed as the storm threatens the already-battered citizens and infrastructure of Tremorus.

OOC: Open to all! I can take 7 people for this + anyone from Proscipi or Vaevici orgs (those are not counting against the 7). RSVP to me by @mail if you want to go so I can keep track! No combat, normal risk. Watch for falling rocks.

Date

June 10, 2021, 8:30 p.m.

Hosted By

Savio

GM'd By

Savio

Participants

Medeia Scythia Mikani Giorgio Cesare

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Saffron Chain near Tremorus - City of Tremorus

Largesse Level

Small

Comments and Log


Medeia checks intellect and medicine at normal. Medeia is successful.

Relief efforts can be stressful, and long hours of taking care of other people in a post-crisis situation can rub everyone's nerves the wrong way. Since the Arvani helpers arrived, things have been going, for the most part, pretty well -- they brought many tools, supplies, equipment, food, medicine, and experts with them, to help the war-torn nation that serves as the Compact's furthest southern holding. They have set up a relief station in what was once the great hall of a proud estate, and there are several beds housing patients who are suffering from war injuries and the types of sickness that follow a conflict. Everyone in Tremorus has lost family, and there is a food line for orphans and other struggling citizens to get some supplies and nourishment.

A lot of effort went into setting up this station, and it cannot be dismantled quickly.

This is a point of contention among leaders at present. The leader of the Arvani relief mission is a stocky, competent woman named Stella, of wealthy commoner stock. Her counterpoint from the people of Tremorus is an extremely tall, muscular woman named Tasoula. Both of them are accustomed to other people doing what they say, and having similar personalities has led them to some arguments. Now, they are engaged in another -- the weather has turned very poor, and Tasoula is adamant that the patients and helpers here need to be evacuated to a sturdy warehouse further west that was cut right into the mountain like a cave. Stella is adamant that moving the patients will worsen the condition for the worst injured, and that time, effort, aid, and supplies will be wasted if they move. She's certain the building can stand.

Cesare checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Cesare is successful.

Scythia checks command and manipulation at normal. Scythia is successful.

Giorgio checks perception and empathy at normal. Giorgio is successful.

Mikani checks intellect and stewardship at normal. Mikani is successful.

Medeia has been doing her best to stay on Stella and Tasoula's good sides, and so far she's proven competent in handling the challenges of a war-torn field hospital situation. Her patients are recovering - though slowly, broken bones don't exactly heal within days, or even weeks. Still, her talents have aided the efforts well. "We can split them up and still have bodies enough to provide adequate care." Her suggestion is not the best, but it may split the difference and she can assist in identifying which patients are safe to move.

Scythia has tagged along, or been dragged along, and now that she is here, she is using her very compelling presence and her silver tongue to speak with Stella.

Mikani has been busy with making sure all their supplies are off the ship and that the right supplies are in the right place. She barks a few orders at her crew. "Ellis ... make sure that they get the food stores off and set them over in the designated space." She speaks to her first mate quietly as to not disturb the rest of the party.

Scythia has tagged along, or been dragged along, and now that she is here, she is using her very compelling presence and her silver tongue to speak with Stella. Quietly, murmuring to the woman, logical, leading and entirely manipulating the current situation and stresses with the desired result of the woman deciding that Tasoula is, indeed, right about moving to the other warehouse, and that the worst of the injured should be moved quickly, to avoid the implement weather. There's no arguing with this small woman to be had, tolerated, or accepted.

The trip to the south was a curious one for Giorgio, the newly minted Marquis of Tremorus. The very city they were going to had become the inherited responsibility of the former Elder Pontebro, now Marquis. As they had sailed south, Giorgio had been stressing his gratitude to all of those Arvani who had been so willing to come and lend aide to those who were strangers to them but dearly loved by the Marquis.

Upon arriving in the war-torn city of Tremorus, all of that had changed. Seeing the city in this state pulled the Marquis back to those moments when the Siege was ongoing and it took him several moments to regain his composure. To be able to look past the deaths that still seemed so fresh of so many loved ones. It was the eventual setup of the relief tent and the lines of hungry orphans who finally pulled Giorgio together. Upon seeing them, hungry and in need of their leader, Giorgio had been able to put his own feelings behind him to be who these people need him to be.

Currently, Giorgio moves among those orphans, kneeling often to share a word with them, a smile. He seeks out those who are hurting and alone. He kneels and talks to them. He reminds them of their strength and of the hope that is still theirs. He does what he can to make them laugh and to lift their spirits, all while keeping an eye on the arguing leaders.

The particular brand of glad-handing a Whisper brings to any situation is well in evidence here. Cesare has somehow managed to make his way onto the good sides of most, if not all, of the Arakkoans he's met so far. He has a way about him of making everyone he speaks to feel heard, from the citizens waiting in supply lines to the organizers of the relief efforts, and conveying that at least someone in Arx has genuine concern for their wellbeing and their rights as citizens. The argument has drawn his attention, and he casts a look toward Medeia, whose abilities as a field medic he trusts. "I don't think anyone's doubting either of your abilities, Stella, Tasoula. Maybe we should take a moment to consider the relative risks and benefits of each of those positions, before we make a final decision? What could happen if we leave; what could happen if we stay."

Mikani watching Giorgio. Mikani smiles and nears the new Marquis. She quietly kneels next to him and gives him a large bag of treats. Just something to make the kids smile more.

The sky is dark outside, making day seem almost like night, with how ferocious those thick black clouds are. Rain and wind have both been in effect today, but now both are pelting down ferociously on the remains of the great hall. The Arakkoans seem more worried than do the Arvani helpers, watching their remaining palm trees dotting the city bennnnd sideways in the wind. The Arvani for the most part seem to trust the strength of this building, though they seem a little worried too.

"The ones who are hurt the worst are the ones who MOST need to go!" Tasoula insists to Medeia, snappishly. Not all Arakkoans speak Arvani, but the longer they're in the Compact, more of them seem to. "The building is going to /collapse/, this place cannot stand a storm of this type. Everything has to go, everyone has to go. Or else it will be crushed in more rubble, all of use, all of this, and then where will be be?"

Stella is not having this! She was coerced into good behavior for a while by Scythia's words, but now her temper's flared up again. "Are you stupid? Are you soft in your head? Look at these patients! They're in no condition to go anywhere! And these children? And everything that has set up here! We will lose half this food if we go now, there's no way to stop it half prepared. The building is fine. It's made of stone! We just need to board some windows and we will be fine."

Tasoula mutters something in Arakkoan that sounds rude, and Stella seems ready to light up. "What did you just call me?! We are here to HELP YOU, and you act like this?"

Cesare checks perception and empathy at normal. Cesare marginally fails.

Scythia checks composure and empathy at normal. Scythia is successful.

Mikani checks intellect and stewardship at normal. Mikani marginally fails.

Medeia checks perception and medicine at normal. Medeia is successful.

Giorgio checks charm and diplomacy at normal. Giorgio is successful.

Mikani murmurs something to Giorgio as she checks out the weather.

Scythia might have a temper. That temper might be getting tested right now, but she curbs her tongue just as a biting comment is about to escape and she looks to Stella, deciding to divide and conquer and focus her attention on Stella, attempting to soothe the woman's feelings and help her approach the situation with a cooler head. Ending with a statement in her voice that is ever velvety, "Whatever might be done or should be done? It needs to be done now. You know that everyone appreciates you, Stella. Home, here. You are working so hard, and doing what you think is best. Let us listen as well as speak, since they have lost so much and work hard alongside us."

Giorgio takes the sweets from Mikani with a dip of his head in gratitude. He's just about to start passing them out when the raised voices of Stella and Tasoula drift across to him where he kneels with a group of orphans. Gesturing to an older boy with ragged clothing, he passes the bag to him and instructs him to share the sweets with those children around him, then he rises and heads quickly toward the two bickering women.

All within the city know of Giorgio, both from before he was a noble and his work led to so much prosperity for them, and now they know him as their Marquis. He is hoping that his reputation with the locals will insure that they know he has their best interests at heart. "Enough!" Giorgio says, his voice both firm and somewhat pleading as he approaches the two women. "This arguing will not do anything to help these people. Tasoula, these Arvani have come to help us. They are not from our land and cannot know how quickly a storm can turn into something much worse," Giorgio says, his eyes shifting then to Stella. "Stella, I know that you are here to help, but this storm is about to get very bad and these buildings have suffered a lot of damage...." Looking to Tasoula, he mutters in Arrakoan, and then quickly clarifies, "How long is the route to the safest location and how exposed will the wounded be?"

Medeia steps back from the argument for a moment. There really is no time to waste, but this situation could be dire and the right step is critical. Ignoring the two women at each other's throats, she hopes Scythia and Cesare have a handle on them while she makes another round assessing patients, then looking out at the weather. Her lips press thin, clearly holding back taking charge and barking orders. She steps forward again to address all within ear shot. "May I have your attention?" Her eyes move over the helpers. "We have... Well. Realistically? We have two choices. The first? bunker down here and suffer great losses. The second: Move what we can and who we can and lose less."

Cesare's eyebrows raise minutely at the heated exchange, but he doesn't immediately say anything, looking between the two women with a particular assessing gaze, although it goes on longer than one might imagine it normally would without any visible lightbulbs over the head, or anything like that. He joins Scythia at Stella's side, momentarily, as Giorgio speaks. "You're working so hard," he placates. "Everyone can see that. It would be such a shame if everything you worked so hard for, all the excellence you lead the relief team to, were to be destroyed in an accident of nature. As much as I know you're an expert in these situations, we must listen to the Arakkoans - this is their home, and they know the lay of the land here."

Stepping to Tasoula, then. He bows his head politely. "And I know it's hard to accept a stranger impeding on your homeland. But we must all work together in some kind of harmony, or it will end far worse if we let this conflict fracture us."

Stella seems mollified by Scythia's words to her. She's still peeved with Tasoula, but a little bit of gratitude goes a long way, especially when she's taken weeks and weeks out of her own life to travel here! Cesare, likewise, might not have a lot of insight into /why/ they're beefing, but he's doing a good job of de-escalating the situation with praise to both. There's also the newly minted Marquis -- and despite the mixed reviews in Arx, Giorgio seems to be a figure of respect here, and Tasoula in particular seems to put her hackles down again as she defers to his words.

"The cavern warehouse is to the west. If we go, we have to go now, and we have to leave the supplies and focus on the people," Tasoula decides. To Stella's dissatisfaction, but she's coping. "There are a few city blocks to travel, and then they will be safe, but the strength of the storm will make it a risk to travel there." A grudging admission from Tasoula on the dangers of transporting to the new spot, out of shelter, but Stella doesn't take the opportunity to skewer her on it. She simply grunts, "Let's go then," and begins yelling at people to take whatever they can carry.

Outside, a tremendous crash sounds as a neighboring structure begins to collapse! While this does reinforce the idea that leaving this building is the right idea, now some of the children especially are panicking... and some adults who act like children.

Scythia checks wits and investigation at normal. Botch! Scythia fails completely.

Cesare checks charm and performance at normal. Cesare marginally fails.

Medeia checks intellect and streetwise at normal. Medeia fails.

Giorgio checks perception and streetwise at normal. Critical Success! Giorgio is spectacularly successful.

Mikani checks intellect and investigation at normal. Botch! Mikani fails badly.

Cesare makes a valiant attempt. A truly valiant attempt. He might not have an instrument, but he has charisma and a hell of a voice, and he attempts to get a call-and-response song going among the refugees as they start to move from the makeshift shelter toward the cave. He tries so hard. But sometimes even all the effort in the world can't get a bunch of scared people to sing along with you in a language that many of them barely know. /Some/ people sing, to be fair, but it never really picks up in the way that it should. He has no idea where anything is in Tremorus and was paying a lot more attention to the people around him than any of the surrounding scenery on the way in, so he's more or less completely useless in that regard.

It's the panicked children that set Scythia on edge. She starts to panic a little and move in a direction, "This way should be faster, right?" She isn't going the right way at all, and is very very much going towards what will likely soon be a waterfall. Unless someone diverts her to safety.

"Hm? Yes," Medeia agrees with Scythia, completed distracted by the patient nearly twice her size that she is guiding to safety.

Giorgio offers a nod to Tasoula as she seems to lower her hackles and fall into line behind his leadership. It is encouraging, given that he has not been in his position for long, to see the Arrakoan people trusting his judgement. He turns to watch as everyone begins to gather what little supplies they can carry, seeming content to stand for the few moments he can just to make sure that no one gets accidentally left behind. That would really lose him some points with the Arrakoan's if he left a little girl behind on his watch, ringing the hurricane warning bell.

As Scythia steps forward to begin leading the people on a path different from what Tasoula had planned, Giorgio steps forward and places a hand on her elbow. "No... not that way..." he says, his mind shifting through what the city once looked like compared to what it does now that it is mostly rubble. "That way would be faster if it were not storming, but the waterfall floods the lower road out..." he says, racking his brain before saying, "The lower road will wash. But if we take the north path we can still get there faster, but we will be able to evade the flood waters. Let's go. Everyone keep an eye on the person before and behind you. No one gets left behind!"

Herding these people is not the easiest task. Cesare's singing does help gather most of them to their tasks and staying with the group, with something nice to focus on other than more destruction and more danger. Others seem to slip off, perhaps to check on their homes or sure they know a better way to shelter. It's slow going with the injured being bundled up onto stretchers and assisted with crutches and helping hands, and the wind is nothing if not ferocious now. The rain pelts them, the wind whips their clothing and hair, picking up a hurricane force ferocity that seems likely to risk knocking them off their feet.

No one is arguing now. The force of nature is in full evidence here, and it's hard enough to stay upright and not panicked, even though their trip is not as far as it could be. Just one foot... in front of the other! The correctness of their choice, however, is confirmed as another hideous creak, crash, rumble from behind them indicates that part of the wall has collapsed back at the estate where they'd made their previously cozy relief camp.

It's hard on the Arakkoans. They are so tired of watching their city fall apart. The Arvani aren't having a great time in this evil foreign tropical storm, either, but the morale of their hosts is truly sinking low. At last, however, the solid doors of the cavern warehouse are ahead of them, and Tasoula rushes ahead to open it up...

But the trouble with a city on a mountain is things do roll downhill. Seemingly out of nowhere, rubble flies down from above, rocks and bricks and branches of trees whipping toward the aid workers and their patients!

Mikani looks at Medeia and Scythia. Maybe it was the city. Maybe it was the chaos. "I don't know .... their way seemed easier." She says softly as she follows Giorgio.

Mikani checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Mikani is successful.

Cesare checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Cesare is successful.

Scythia checks dexterity and dodge at easy. Scythia is successful.

Medeia checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Medeia is successful.

Giorgio checks dexterity and dodge at hard. Giorgio is successful.

Environmental hazards are not Cesare's forte. He looks around with wide eyes as boulders come tumbling down the side of the mountain along with debris of dirt and stray tree limbs. He's surrounded by so many people, but the cascade of rocks is flying down so fast. Several smaller chucks of brick heading right toward him with enough force to be plenty alarming. There's a moment where it looks like he might try and grab one of the nearby patients and pull them along with him to the safety of the cavern, but instead he startles as a rock crashes right next to him not more than a foot away and just darts inside before anything has a chance to pulverize his tender precious body.

Medeia keeps moving, this patient thankfully moving with her assistance and the aid of one makeshift crutch. Still, the going is difficult and slow. Even with her leather cape covering her aeterna dress, she can feel water dripping down her back and obscuring her vision. However, in one lucky instant, she is able to maneuver her and the patient out of the way of damaging debris by spinning aside in a pivot. They make it inside as quick as they can.

Mikani hears the boulders shift before she sees it. She guides a patient out of the way with the most amount of care she is able to. She felt very lucky to have been able to pull the patient out with her. Her eyes look over the patient as she moves to get the patient resettled.

The going is tough, and Giorgio has never been the most rugged of men. Perhaps leading his people has brought about a new change in him, however, for as the rocks begin to fall Giorgio turns at the last moment and grabs a small orphaned boy and pulls him tight against the wall, shielding the boy's body with his own. Thankfully the rock misses them completely and his Fireweave coat is spared.

Scythia chooses to stick herself behind someone big and beefy as they move. She knows where her personal talents lie, and keeping her light frame from flying away with a strong enough gust of wind, or saving other people from flying rubble? Not a personal talent, so when something flies, she thinks about herself, since having another injured person might actually slow the group down. She does get a chance to properly admire Giorgio's heroics, though before she makes it inside.

Miraculously, almost everyone manages to avoid getting hit with terrifying falling bricks, rocks, or pieces of wood that used to be part of beautiful 400 year old trees. The cavern warehouse is dark and low-ceilinged, making for an environment that feels a bit oppressive. Perhaps why it wasn't picked as the place to set up a relief station in the first place. But most of the group are able to dart in, shivering and shaking there, while Tasoula and some others set about lighting lanterns and trying to take stock of what they were able to bring with them.

Almost everyone managed to avoid getting hit. Once inside the cavern, faces are looking around to other faces, and one of the Arvani helpers gasps, "Where is Stella?" It's a good question, and the answer is very much Not Here. Chaos immediately breaks out as the frightened Arvani second-in-command, a slim man with long hair named Uli, whirls on Tasoula. "This is your fault!" It isn't, but stress is getting the better of him, and Us and Them lines are quickly being drawn. As they sometimes can be, in a crisis. "We should have stayed where we were, or better yet we never should have come here, and we should have left YOU PEOPLE to your insect-infested hurricane nightmare at the ass end of the world!"

This is an obviously unpopular statement as received among the Arakkoans, and Tasoula starts snapping back, "No one asked you to come here!" (Untrue, Savio and Giorgio definitely asked people to come here). "Everything was FINE for us before the Compact, before the Arvani! You have ruined us!"

Rude things to say to one's helpers. And as helpers, rude things to say to their hosts. Frightened and upset, tempers are boiling over -- but it seems likely that if it can't be eased back into peace here, those cracks might persist even in better days.

Also probably somebody should find Stella.

Cesare checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Cesare is successful.

Medeia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Medeia is successful.

Scythia checks charm and diplomacy at hard. Scythia fails.

"Uli," Cesare says soothingly, holding up both hands. Of course he knows everyone's name. "We'll get some people together and start looking for her right away. /These people/ are members of the Compact just like we are. There's no 'them.' There's just us. All of us here fighting together for each other. Everyone take a deep breath and a step back."

To Tasoula, "Tasoula - I understand. I do. But we /are/ here to help. We want to help. Together we can all be stronger tomorrow than we are today. I know it seems impossible now. But /for Tremorus/, for your people. We have to work together."

He casts a gaze askance at the other members of the party. Someone go get Stella, like yesterday.

Giorgio checks command and intimidation at hard. Giorgio is successful.

She's small, and soaked. And a little in a panic from hurricanes and flying debris and crying children. Scythia's teeth are chattering too much for her to get more than a few stammers out. And the cosmetics that enhance her already pretty face is smeared and running a little. It doesn't take away from her presence much, but it does give it a little hiccup in the very present.

Medeia has been to Tremorus once before, recently, and as the wife of a Prodigal she knows all too well the unspoken pains that are festering and bringing this situation to a nasty tipping point. "Please, we are all of the Compact. Every single one of us might trace our lineage to a formerly or currently Abandoned people. And even were that not the case?" She looks around at everyone, but especially Uli and Tasoula, "We are all here /now/, together. We must stay strong and not let petty grievances sunder what we build."

There is a time for gentle persuasion. There is a time for sitting and listening peaceably and trying to console those who are hurting. And then there is a time to lay down the fucking law. Giorgio watches the Arvani and the Arrakoans quickly begin to turn on each other at the realization that Stella is missing. He hears the hateful things being hurled at one another, the insinuations all over again about the prodigals and Arvani. And he has had enough.

There is a crate nearby. Of course there is. It is there for rousing statements meant to quell uprisings. Giorgio stomps over to it and then with one leap fueled by his being 'UP TO HERE WITH THIS SHIT' he is is on top of it. "ENOUGH!" the Marquis of Tremorus yells out over the din of the cavern. "Enough! I am so fucking sick of hearing this shit about 'you people' and 'those people'. Arrakoans! The Arvani came here to help us. Trust them, and if you can't trust them then trust me!" he says to his people, his eyes ablaze. And then he turns on the little fella who is second in command to the Arvani. "And you! Shut the fuck up and let us figure out how to find Stella before she gets lost in that storm! You are on Tremorus. Not in Arx," he growls. Giorgio can't fight his way out of a wet paper sack, but he at least LOOKS the part of an Arakkoan.

"Tasoula! You know the mountain. We have to find Stella. Take two Arakkoans and the strongest two Arvani and get out there and find her."

This is why it's important to have diplomats at these things -- troubled places where aching people who have been through a lot might start to take each other to pieces. When everyone is low and hurting, when no one has the strength left to support one another or be gracious, this is where the trouble starts. Where wounds are made that fester even after the trauma has otherwise passed. Tremorus has been through a lot of this lately...

\\Cesare's power is in his words, but also in how he says it, something about the cadence of speaking and the way he knows everyone's name, took the time to learn it, to care. These things matter, and playing the greater good of Tremorus was the right move to make with Tasoula. She and Uli step a bit apart from each other, though still glaring a bit...

\\How did Scythia even end up on this field trip! Was it Giorgio's fault? Never go anywhere with him ever again, girl. It may take her a moment to recover composure as the hurricane rages fiercely outside, but Medeia is ready to step up and help speak to the emotional turmoil in the room. She has the weight of experience about her words, and of the two of them, pointing back to the lineage of the Compact itself seems to resonate with Uli a bit more. Shame. SHAME, ULI. But he takes her point, and backs off further.

\\Then..... ah, then, the MARQUIS is ADDRESSING his PEOPLE, GODS DAMMIT, and everyone will LISTEN! Giorgio has had enough NONSENSE! Tasoula and Uli, both already somewhat subdued by Cesare and Medeia, exchange guilty looks like kids that are in trouble as the leader of the realm loses his shit a little bit. All passion and fire and bad language and poor etiquette. Somewhere, Savio felt a little stab of pride through his heart just now. It's a powerful but blunt instrument. What was begun by Cesare picked up momentum with Medeia and Giorgio knocks it home; everyone stops fighting. They have listened. Or, they're just worried about that insane man standing on the box.

\\ull and Tasoula both set out to go look for Stella in the storm. Uli gets clocked with a brick fairly quickly and screeches, ducking back into the shelter. Tasoula remains gone, searching for that Arvani asshole. I mean, valued ally.

Cesare checks charm and diplomacy at easy. Cesare is successful.

Scythia checks charm and diplomacy at easy. Scythia is successful.

Giorgio checks charm and diplomacy at easy. Giorgio is successful.

Medeia checks intellect and medicine at easy. Medeia is successful.

Scythia manages to stop shivering, slick her deep black curls back off of her face, and usher Uli into the cave with some quiet, calming words meant to easy him into a not-panic that won't affect those around him. "Come now, she'll be fine. You just need to rest." Scythia whisks the troublemaker away from cave openings and holes in an attempt to keep him out of further trouble and not being a nuisance.

Giorgio's chest is heaving, his eyes hold a fire that is very rarely seen there from the super composed PonteBro turned Marquis as he looks down over the people who have actually managed to listen, as he sees those Arvani who have actually come with a willingness to help and ease the tensions between his prodigal people and the Arvani helpers. In that moment he has a sense of gratefulness for Cesare, Medeia, Scythia, and Mikani. Not for Savio. Never for Savio. But these few he views as friends.

As they begin to try and further ease tensions, Giorgio stands awkwardly for a moment atop the box before he forcibly straightens his armor and hops down. Then he begins to move among the crowd, offering that winning Giorgio smile and reaching out a hand to comfort here and there. Where possible, he tries to get the Arvani and Arakkoans speaking, conversing, and laughing.

Cesare is like right in the middle of starting to say something else when Giorgio mounts a box, and his mouth snaps shut while the Marquis dissembles in a fashion that can be described only as poetically familial. Cesare stands with a rather bland expression, resists the temptation to applaud a bit when the performance is over, resists the temptation to suggest better etiquette next time because clearly Giorgio knows his people and knows the careful application of a can of verbal whoop-ass when necessary.

And then Cesare is making his way around the cavern to check on those whose tempers were ruffled, introducing people who haven't met yet and whose skillsets are compatible, or whose interests align. Because he knows these things, of course he does. He's a Whisper. It's what Whispers do. And before more than an hour or two have passed, it's even possible a few Arvani have formed tentative friendships with Arakkoans, and vice versa. Friendship is magic.

Medeia gapes at Giorgio for a moment, almost forgetting she isn't one of the ones being scolded. She blinks a few times and gathers her wits back about her to attend to more medical needs, including Uli upon his unsuccessful return.

Uli calms under Scythia's guiding words and the medical attention he receives, and her assurances, along with those Cesare circulates, seem to be helping. The willingness of the strongest of the Arvani (and Giorgio) to speak on behalf of cooperation and reconciliation instead of division and difference seems to have steered this off the rocks.

About twenty minutes of searching brings Tasoula back with the injured Stella, supporting her through what seems to be a leg that doesn't want to hold her weight -- Medeia and other healers are able to tend to her, lucky as she is not to be harmed worse. And perhaps surprisingly, some of what has been said by the others must have sunk into Tasoula a bit. Instead of leaving and going with her own people, she stays to sit by Stella, keeping her company. It isn't a natural and easy friendship, but perhaps the start of something that might become strong in time.

And so too the rest of it. The efforts to get people talking and laughing -- it is nothing like the grand soirees of Arx, and yet here in this chilly warehouse with a hurricane outside, there is just as much social work to be done. The war in Tremorus involved the collapse of walls, collapse of a city, and perhaps most damaging, collapse of trust.

It's another war all its own. But what could have been another disaster in the relations of two peoples to one another is instead a moment of solidarity, and if the storm still rages outside, at least in the shelter, there is peace.



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