Explorers Briefing: Current Events
Nov. 16, 2023, 2 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Society of Explorers - Charter Hall
Comments and Log
Angelo has joined the Table 2.
Ian has joined the Table 3.
Rosalind has joined the Table 3.
Adalyn has joined the Table 1.
3 House Velenosa Guards, Gracie, an extremely patient lady's maid arrive, following Sofia.
Raymesin sits quietly at a table; he arrived early and settled in. He has a drink of some sort in a canteen, but for the most part he's pale and quiet.
Jan has joined the Table 2.
Jan has left the Table 2.
Jan has joined the Table 3.
Lou is settled down at one of the tables, going over reports until Eirene's meeting is about to start. She has drinks and snacks set aside on her own table, leaving the other tables to fend for themselves for a change. She's been pretty busy of late, making all sorts of arrangements for all manner of things, between storytelling sessions and going out scouting for various different projects.
Angelo has a hint of deer-by-the-light-of-the-campfire as he comes in, a look around, before he is settling quietly and respectfully, as a guest, as if to listen and see what there is to hear. Though his look speaks to hoping to contribute as well.
Ian is slouched at the same table as Ray with a glass of whiskey. And a bottle of whiskey. He's wrapped in the kind of silence that doesn't invite that silence to be disturbed.
It's cold and snowy, and the hall isn't too warm, so Eirene wears gloves and a scarf as she stands at the podium. A side table has been set up with hot cocoa, mulled cider, and coffee to help warm folk as they enter. There are also cookies to dunk. "Settle in, folks, this is a wild ride. Lots of shit going down we should know about. This is an interactive meeting, so if you know something, feel free to share so we're all as informed as possible."
"Since I've been in and out of late, we're going to assume for now that I don't know much about what's been going on, so I might have lots of questions," Lou interjects briefly when Eirene mentions it's to be an interactive meeting. Lou usually does these types of meetings, generally speaking, so this is kind of new for her.
Adalyn had gotten hear early moving to take a seat with Lou at her table. Sitting in her seat and back slightly her hands rest in her lap for the moment, her green eyes falling on Eirene talk.
Angelo steeples his fingers before him, but he nods along with Lou's words, his gaze flitting between the speakers.
Jan joins the table with the familiar faces. Ian is looked over closely but undisturbed as she pulls out a battered field-book and pulls out a pencil. She looks up and grins "Ah, good, so it won't be just me asking."
Caspian moves to one of the pillars and leans against it with a grin, taking a flask out and taking a pull as he looked round the room. "always happy to hear about all the chaos going on! and i will try and keep my questions to a minimum, so as not to send us down a rabbit hole.."
Princess Sofia Velenosa makes her debut back to Arx with not nearly as much fanfare as she may have preferred. Graceful and silent, her head held high and her step punctuated by the click of her dawnstone heels, she glides through the crowd toward whichever table looks most inviting, plucking a mug of coffee along with a few cookies on her way past. She settles herself with a regal incline of her head, then turns her gaze respectfully to the speaker.
Sofia has joined the Table 1.
"At this juncture, I'm not sure rabbit holes can be particularly avoided," Lou remarks with a touch of amusement. "But your efforts are appreciated, Caspian. I see we've new people joining us who might not have experienced some of the things we have out exploring," she seems to be looking towards Sofia and Angelo in particular, not recognizing either.
Sofia has left the Table 1.
Sofia has joined the Table 2.
"First topic: The Despite of Fable. Azazel, also known as Fable the eater of stories, is a minor demon who was elevated to Herald status during a memory wipe spell gone wrong." She pauses to add, "He serves the archfiend of Secret and ignorance. The reason why we've lost magical powers and memories of such feats is because of him. He would physically attack the souls of modern people WITH magic powers, poisoned the Primum, and wipe memories of events involving magic."
Eirene pauses here for corrections if she got this convoluted topic wrong.
Rosalind got here early and is already sitting comfortably, elbows planted on the table. Listening.
3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Gula, a fat gila monster wearing a tricorn arrive, following Fatima.
Jan's eyebrows lift, "Oh shit. He did all thax? I don't suppose it
Angelo has not any corrections, though there's a brief worrying - perhaps a bite at the inside of his cheek - before he says quietly, "This can't bode well. Second time in a few days to hear mention of archfiends." The plural can't be a good sign either.
Sofia's velvety black eyes crinkle just so at the corners as she smiles at Lou, raising her mug wordlessly in acknowledgement before dipping her cookie and delicately taking a bite. Then she focuses on Eirene. Her immaculately manicured brows knit faintly in consternation.
Eirene grimaces at Angelo. "The archfiend of Slavery is topic number to. Or his Herald, anyhow"
"He didn't do it alone," Lou remarks in Jan's direction. "He had help. He had human minions who studied magic who aided in in poisoning the primum that worked with Emerald to poison the primum; magic that is."
Fatima arrives quietly and slips into a seat unobtrusively, so as not to disrupt the proceedings. Once settled, she glances around a moment to check for familiar faces, before focusing her attention on Eirene.
Fatima has joined the Table 1.
Caspian has joined the Table 1.
Caspian has left the Table 1.
Caspian has joined the Table 2.
Jan's eyebrows lift and she studies Eirene "you think they'll bother to try to repair it? Make the population ignorant once more or you reckon it's broke for good?"
Caspian moves and sits with the two unfamiliar faces as the discussion goes on, nodding his head as Eirene speaks on Azazel. "Prince Tyrval mad mention that the poisoning of the primum has lessened as of late. And that seems to have been backed up by recent events."
"Thank you Lou," Eirene replies with a nod. "Yes, it was a group effort, but the long and short remains, he's why we lost memories and magic existed only in scraps of mostly forgotten stories and books. But as you may have noticed, these memories and acknowledgement of magic and monsters is returning. His power has been chained. To quote Price and former King Tyrval, he is trapped and distracted." She nods at Caspian. "This was also confirmed by a secondary, more reliable source." The general then adds, "This has broken the Despite and indeed, weakened the poison to where it may be safe-er to do magic without the prior backlash or attracting Fable's attention."
Angelo nods as he turns his attention to Caspian. And looks about to say something, before Eirene speaks up, and his lips press back into a thin line, the faintest uplift at the corner, as if it answers what he was about to ask.
"Magic is still pretty dangerous on its own. Some have likened it to playing with fire," Lou offers as a cautionary tale. "But that doesn't mean it is inherently bad. You just need to have a care. Many wonders of the world have come from magic."
"Like the report of a giant Squirel." she says maybe loud enough for lou to hear.
Jan nods slowly as she listens "I think I will leave magic to those braver than I. I will stick to trying things trying to-..." She turns to look over to Adalyn "Beg pardon?"
Angelo arches an eyebrow at 'giant squirrel'.
Fatima tilts her head, listening to Eirene's explanation of the new situation with a lift of one elegant dark eyebrow. Her sea green eyes study the woman thoughtfully for a moment, before her attention turns to Lou. She nods to what Lou says. "Magic in itself has no alignment - it is how it is used, and whether or not one is properly trained in such things, I would imagine." She seems surprised that she spoke aloud, but then she merely settles back in her seat, adjusting her garments carefully about her. She then eyes Adalyn and her mention of a giant squirrel, blinking once as she studies the woman.
Rosalind curiously peers over at Adalyn, grinning a little. "Giant.Squirrel?"
Clearing her throat, Rosalind then refocuses.
Ian rises, without a word, and leaves. He takes the bottle of whiskey with him.
Ian has left the Table 3.
Sofia splays her right hand and flexes her fingers in a pantomime of playing with fire, then folds her hands serenely around her mug, a quiet smile on her lips.
"I'M NOT SAYING go forth and play at being a mage," Eirene says with a grin at Lou. "It's still very dangerous, and from what I know, requires an ordeal to unlock one's potential fully. Tyrval called it crossing the threshold." She spare a groan for Ian's departure before adding, "I didn't ask him what that means or how it is done. But - just letting you know. Magic is still dangerous and falls under the do not try this at home category."
Jan says, "Fear not on that count, My lady."
Caspian looks up from the table and over to Adalyn, "Giant squirrels i thought the person was drunk when they were spouting off about that.." hie eyes flicker to Eirene as she speaks and he nods. "Its like a sharpened sword.. give it to someone who doesn't know what they are doing and they are more than liable to loose their fingers. At least now... you wont have someone running after you trying to take the sword and stab you with it."
a blue and gold macaw, Renard, Haldir, a Rottweiler arrive, following Vitalis.
Lou glances curiously over at Adalyn when she mentions a giant squirrel. "Uh. Ok." There's a pause before she shakes her head. "I've only seen Benny become a giant," she speaks of the giant beaver that people have seen from time to time in battles.
Adalyn shakes her head, she did not realize she was heard. " Ask me after ." she says simply and looks to Eirene as she speaks a flush coming to her cheeks then goes.
Eirene says, "The fact people are noticing and believing magical and weird shit, like a giant squirrel, is a direct side effect of the Despite being lifted." She acknowledges the 'elephant' in the room and moves on. "Calming their fears at these revelations is why we've been sharing stories about the good of magic and defeating monsters as part of Cassiopeia's project."
Lou mutters, "I suppose it's ... giant ... ... raging fire ... ... the city center."
Lou nods in Adalyn's direction, after muttering a few words to herself. "I'll be doing that within the Crownlands, going around and telling stories about the Metallics, the people in the Hall of Heroes, and more importantly Alarice the Great, who was an adept who also rode a griffon."
Lou says this in response to Eirene of course!
Eirene says, "Okay. If there are no further questions, we move to topic number two. The Blood Moon, Destiny, and the Horned King."
Pausing amid an exchange with the two men at her table, Sofia raises her attention to Eirene and the next topic.
Angelo, too, lifts his head from the murmurings at their table for him to turn his attention forward anew.
Jan bobs her head, signaling she is ready for this next topic. Her gaze curiously roves over those gathered before returning to Eirene.
Rosalind just listens now, as Eirene mentions all three of those topics. She takes her flask out from her boot, taking a large drink.
Adalyn breaths in and lets it out softly as she looks to Eirene, her green eyes fall onto the woman as she listens intently.
"In the time before time," Eirene begins, much like a storyteller, "All things were bound by Destiny. One path, no decisions, everything was pre decided for us. There was no free will of choice." She pauses here. "Stuff gets convoluted because we're talking creation myths, but what is know is that the primal essence known as Wolf chose to break with the pattern and chose her own song. This led to Skald, the Firsf Choice, slaying destiny and opening up pathways for people to choose. The moon is Destiny's skull, and it isn't dead but lies dreaming."
Eirene again pauses for her story to be amended or corrected.
Lou is quiet for this part. While she might know the jist of things, it's not an area she's as studied in as some.
Caspian listened with a smile, letting the words soak in to those who needed it. Though.. despite himself, he couldnt help but give a gentle 'thump thump' of fist on table and a sharp nod when Eirene mentioned skald. fans will be fans...
Angelo leans back in his place, those fingers steepled before him again, watching Eirene intently as she speaks.
Jan tilts her head and wonders, "So why does the Traitor want to wake him? what's it get him?"
Eirene nods to Jan. "Good question but think about the big picture. If we don't have choice, if we have all powerful beings deciding our fate and dictating our every move - isn't that a form of Slavery?"
Angelo speaks up as he's leaning back a hint in place. "Does that mean he thinks he can control that choice? That he has inroads already to do so if he wakes Destiny?"
Jan ahhhs and grimaces "Ah, yes, I see." She nods her thanks and falls quiet.
"Also, humans didn't exist before Skald was born, if I'm remembering my history right. The Traitor hates everything human." Lou adds on top of what Eirene said. "He feels that the right way of things is to wipe us off Arvum."
Sofia's nose crinkles ever so slightly in distaste.
Eirene nods once more to Lou. "I believe that's the case. The First Children, dragons and sirens and other creatures, were there... uh first." She smiles faintly at Angelo. "He believes awakening Destiny will bind us to his whim. Overall he wants to be a god himself, so our information points, and this would make him powerful enough to be considered one. Unfortunately, he's been killing the first children and has enough control over the werewolves - don't ask - to encourage them to sing the song which will restore Destiny and undo the first choice."
Caspian chimes in, "I do believe, there is also an element of fear. In the last war, much of the defeat suffered by the Traitor came at the hand of people making choices that seemed.. absurd. no one would have expected such breaks of tradition or seemingly erratic tactical decisions. I think our ability to choose and to be so unpredictable is something he fears. Should Destiny awaken, our fate locked, and we loose a tool that has been a thorn in his side."
Jan says, "Would he not loose choice too?"
Rosalind wrinkles her nose a little, not liking the words.
Lou shakes her head at Jan, "Not if the Dream allowed him to become a God, I don't think." She looks to Caspian. "I think it was less that and more that he was just jealous that if a human pairs with one of the First Children, they became more powerful than he ever was. He didn't like that. So, he hated halfbloods the most. All of Wolf's children. All of those that can spellsing. Lianhan, for instance, was more powerful than he ever was and was responsible, largely, for aiding Alarice in killing his father. Were it not for her final Song, I'm not sure Alarice could have killed A'kioh by herself."
Eirene says, "So what does this have to do with the Blood Moon? He's sacrificing hundreds -if not much much more- of people to have Primum to wake the moon. He's also going after magical artifacts. But what're he's doing, he got it partially right because on the night OF the Blood Moon destiny awakened briefly.""
Sofia's eyes widen, a disturbed frown touching her lips. Her cup of coffee cools on the table before her.
Raymesin drinks from his canteen. He's still lurking quietly at his table, listening if not contributing a great deal.
Lou checks composure at hard. Lou fails.
"It was said that the blood rain was her skin peeling from her skull,"Rosalind says, finally speaking. "The howling being the Mor'ral."
Rosalind clears her throat. "More that the rain was her blood."
Sofia's frown deepens.
Angelo doesn't look thrilled with the news, nor does it seem a shock to him. "So," he asks plainly, "how do we move - knowing all this - to help with the effort to stop him?"
Lou flinches visibly when Eirene mentions all of the sacrifices the Traitor has been doing. "The entire northwest region of the Crownlands is devoid of people." Lou stands, her expression stoic, and goes over to the map of the floor and marks off just what areas no longer hold living people in them. "Whole tribes of Shav'arvani. Baronies and counties. All gone." This is said in a rote tone of voice. She then goes back to her seat and settles down, then pours herself a very, very generous portion of whiskey.
Lou aads, "It's more like thousands upon thousands of people."
Adalyn checks composure at hard. Adalyn is successful.
Jan frowns as she listens, expression grim but gaze alert.
Adalyn green eyes widen as she listens and watches the area that is circled, there is a flash of a frown that comes to her face but it is quickly pushed to the side, her fingers do fidget with a hem on her pants with out realizing it.
Eirene says, "I would suggest we start relocating as many people inward as possible away from outlying regions of the Crownlands. But that's above my pay-grade even as a general. No, the rest of us need to prepare our troops for magical fuckery and all out war, even down to a siege on the city if necessary."
Rosalind gets up and heads over to the table, leaning over to look at the map.
Angelo purses his lips. And looks keenly towards the map, before that voice of his is found again. "It sounds like we should, perhaps, recommend people relocate centrally as best as possible in any regard. Not just in the Crownlands."
"All people." Lou seems to emphasize that remark, regardless of what people might feel about that. "All people," she adds a bit softer. "Anyone he kills adds fuel to his fire, particularly if they were born with particularly rich primum in their blood, but especially as fodder to create his horrible monsters, gargantuans, plant gantuans, plant zombie people, what have you. His armies can be killed, it just takes masssive amounts of effort to do it. And, some people have developed tools to make that easier without magic, like Eirene's weedkiller mixture against the plantgantuans and the zombie plant people." At least, Lou assumes its without magic. She doesn't actually know! "But, also good weapons made of diamondplate and alaricite will help too. Or, sometimes, fire," she admits reluctantly. "There are tools if you can't do magic."
Jan shakes her head at Angelo's suggestion. She swallows the lector or commentary leaving her opinion as just a glance and a dissenting shake of her head. Her gaze returns to rest on Lou as she listens.
Eirene rubs her hands together, the leather gloves creaking. "That's it, folks. I hope this clarifies some recent shit, oh yes..." she recalls, "the moon was only put back to sleep by sacrifices of people's hopes and dreams. So yeah. It won't be easy to stop and we know for a fact he,ll try again. It's a huge weapon in his arsenal and he won't wait too long to try it again. So he ready,"
Angelo still is not looking grim, but it's not a smile at all on his features. "It's a lot to weigh," he says seriously to Eirene, before looking around the room anew.
Jan grimaces "Terrific." she runs a hand through her short hair, "Thank you, Lady Eirene."
Rosalind has mostly sat quiet. Which to be honest, is pretty unusual for her.
Sofia has left the Table 2.
Adalyn rubs her hands together as she listens, to have the blood rain come again. She looks around the room, then back to her hands, "Just breath Adalyn, just breath." she reminds herself.
Jan reassures Adalyn "The shithead's been at it a long, long, time. We're still here. Chin up, my lady."
Angelo has left the Table 2.
Saskia, a fine aplomado falcon, Jason, a valet, Starkland leave, following Angelo.
"It's a lot. A metric fuck-ton, if you will. But," Eirene says, trying to sound reassuring, "people are working behind the scenes to act against him, and your leaders are briefed and preparing - if not prepared already, for the fight."
"And," Lou perks up a bit as she says this. "We're now allowed to make allies with outside forces, which will be a game changer. So, do hot hesitate to reach out to those groups and work with them." This she seems to encourage heartily.
Eirene says, "If no other questions, that's it. Grab some coffee on your way out and hope it doesn't freeze."
Caspian looks to lou and raises his brow? "Outside forces? thats.. broad. Are we talking shav tribes? foreign powers? spirits?"
Jan grins at Caspian, "Yes."
Eirene nods to Jan and Capsian. "Pretty much. Any help, no matter how insane it sounds, is good. Someone go recruit the giant squirrel..."
Adalyn looks to Jan, "Yes? So any of the above?" her eyes look to Caspian then to Eirene.
"Sir Catherine is from a different sect of the Clergy following Gloria, I'm given to understand. Then there are the shav tribes that signed on to follow Sen'azala's leadership. So yes. Outside forces. I'm sure Shaman can speak to spirits, but I know of at least one that might be called upon in this fight, as it fight the Traitor the last time and does not have a liking for him. But yes, very broadly, yes." Lou replies heartily in Caspian's direction. "Did you not hear of Queen Symonesse's proclamation making it possible?"
Eirene correctors Lou, "She worships Lagoma. We've chatted.
Lou clears her throat. "Lagoma then," she nods her head in Eirene's direction, her cheeks pinking a bit.
Jan nods to Adalyn and Caspian.
Fatima has left the Table 1.
3 Thrax Guards, 1 Thrax Elite Guards, Gula, a fat gila monster wearing a tricorn leave, following Fatima.
Rosalind grins at Eirene. "Well. You know I'll help in anyway I can." Then she looks over at Caspian too. Like they know what she's talking about.
"Rosalind!" Lou suddenly blurts out, looking over at the woman. "Might I have a word before you go?"
There's a slow blink, like she's just now realize that someone was calling her name. But Rosalind nods to Lou, grinning. "Yep. Sure."
Jan's eyebrows lift at the sudden blurting of the Pathfinder and looks amused. She rises and puffs out her cheeks, running a hand through her hair and scanning the crowd.
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