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Author Topic: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}  (Read 1021 times)

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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2017, 03:25:51 PM »
"I remember the Devourer, Master Scribe," Exon said, frowning. "I've told her the story as the public knows it, but I must say I am more than curious to know the truth."

This was true. Exon told Rena his truth of the Devourer, but never has he known the full truth. The crimes committed by the Devourer were those of nightmares and deeply covered up by the authorities, as to not cause panic throughout the land. Even so, Exon was a man of passion. The case of the Devourer was one that he was deeply passionate about, so the opportunity to hear the truth behind the stories was too good to pass up.

When Arlius admitted that the Eye of Hunger was what began the Devourer's reign of horror and chaos, Exon realized just how important this journey was. He had been wrong about the Eye of Hunger being used to stop the monstrous ordeal, but for it to actually be what caused the Devourer to be brought into the world was something he had not even remotely considered.

It was then that Exon realized just how small he really was.

"If I may," he said, lightly scratching his forearm, "I must ask you to stay alive as long as it takes for us to complete the task put forth. Granted, you've yet to speak it, but I know for a fact that you are a valuable asset and possibly the only man to fully understand the power of the Eye and of the Devourer. Please, tell us the truth of these events."

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2017, 04:47:18 PM »
"Oh, I have no intention of dying so easily, or even soon, though I am an old man.  No, I have work to do yet and I will fulfill that duty for as long as humanly possible."

"So, how did it all happen?"

Yes, how did this all transpire?  He had been working out in his head just how to speak it.  And now, it was that time.  Arlius relaxed himself into that state of being he went into when giving a lecture...

"Years ago - when I was not Master Scribe, but still a senior one - a rare tree, one known for producing the most bitter fruit, bark, and roots for various tinctures and potions...died.  At the time, it was the most potent of any tree like it on the island, but it had died and it needed to be cultivated for its useful parts while the rest was purged.  It'd been long-suspected that something had been wrong there, such as demons or poisons in the land or something of that nature.  Well, they DID find something.  It felt like - to the first man who touched it - like a black, petrified cluster of root, a weirdly organic stone with a knot, except the knot was - in reality - an eye."

"This was the Eye of Hunger, then."

"Indeed.  The eye of it had been shut, dormant, quiet...  It did not remain so.  The man who carried it back swore that sometimes, the eye would open...like a mouth...and he felt watched by it, or looked through by it.  This was how it came to be known thus.  It was coined 'Eye of Hunger' by one of our own learned men, a teacher who examined it...and became enthralled by it."

"It took possession of him?"

"He was testing potions and tinctures on it, to no avai.  He tried to examine it in any way possible, finding nothing, and he even attempted to poke out the eye...which it simply resisted all attempts to do so, even with a knife.  Yet...every time he actually touched it - held it - he felt faintly invigorated.  He felt it must have been a talisman of power that had been buried long ago to keep it safe from anyone who would steal it from the previous owner, and began to test it by using it, first in his hand, and then worn around his neck.  It worked VERY well around his neck, and then...well, that's when the killings started."

"So, it had power...but with a price."

"That is what it would seem."
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2017, 10:12:30 PM »
All those years ago, when the killings started to become relatively well-known throughout the land, Exon could feel that the Temple was hiding something. This would certainly not be anything uncommon. The Temple, being the highest power in the country, had a right to keep secrets from the rest of the people. Exon just always had a line drawn that he felt the Temple should not cross when it came to secrets.

If the Temple was responsible for what was hurting people, that should not be a secret.

Exon listened to Arlius with a sour taste on his tongue. Feldler laid at his master's feet, only glancing up if Exon spoke. Exon clenched and unclenched his jaw repeatedly. His brows knitted together. He gripped his fist and released.

Despite his feelings of disdain against them all, Exon would never dream of speaking out directly against the -

"You mean to tell us that the Eye of Hunger took a man over completely?" His voice came out much more forcefully than he had originally planned. Still, Exon had been trained by the Maoin to use his feelings to fuel his performance. That's exactly what he decided to do. He meant no disrespect by what he was saying, nor did he even remotely care if he was wrong. Exon remembered the murders of years passed, the brutally vivid displays of savagery beyond what young Exon's mind could even comprehend. The images of people being consumed before his eyes, the Devourer cutting through many by stealing their souls, the only part of a person that mattered in Thanati culture...

Everything... he thought, suddenly fighting the rush of tears that threatened to spill from his crystalline blue eyes.

"With all due respect, Master Scribe, I am having a great deal of trouble accepting that the Temple would release, intentionally or not, a monster. That is the only word I can use to describe the Devourer because that's exactly what it was; a monster." He took several sharp and rapid breaths. "How could the Temple release that horror on Thanatos, and then not even remotely take responsibility? And now, it could actually begin all over again?"

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2017, 10:14:15 AM »
Exon spoke suddenly, surprising both Rena and the Master Scribe, though moreso the latter.  He had expected Rena to have the more shocked and appalled demeanor.  And while this was all certainly worrying her - you could see it on her face - the Maoin being the one to voice himself as such through Arlius for a loop...momentarily.  He quickly recovered and answered the man.

"Because the man was not taken over completely.  It gave him a tast of power in his hand, and when he wore it around his neck, it made him powerful, but there was no sign that the man was possessed...except of one thing: Hunger.  He found, while testing it, that it increasd his power, but it called upon the reserves of his body to do so.  Understand, he was still a reasoning man at the time.  It was just a strange talisman to us, at the time.  He'd gotten as far as to reason out the safest method of continuous use, that a full meal should be eaten ever 15 minutes, otherwise you would be left in a weakened and malnourished state.  Up until we saw the change, we had no idea what was going on.  He'd been so composed..."

"That would mean...the monster is human."

He nodded, solemnly.

"Those of us who still remember believe that the Eye only possessed him of a hunger, and let him do the rest.  With his brilliant mind, he learned the strengths and weaknesses of its power...and concealed - for a time - his solution."

So, an educated man had sought to learn the power of the Eye of Hunger, and he had succeeded...and then he had sought to learn the limits of the thing, and had discovered that it had given him the power to devour life itself, only he concealed that fact.  The thing must've been addictive, intoxicating...  Possibly, he hadn't even cared that he killed.

"And was it my uncle who discovered him?"

"Yes, Rena.  He did.  He theorized this, and then went to prove it without force or magic."

"How?"

"He annoyed him."

Cue the blink of confusion, followed by the raising of the eyebrow.

"He did what?"

"He conversed with him on a myriad of subjects when he seemed impatient, thus keeping him from going out and making use of the Eye in secret.  It had made him somewhat irritable to be away from it for a long period of time, so naturally after a while, he lost temper with Zan and tried to kill him."

"That sounds about right."
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2017, 07:30:59 PM »
The level of relaxation between Arlius and Rena flabbergasted Exon. The truth of the matter obviously shocked the Elf girl, but she was holding her composure much better than he had. Arlius was trained well by the Temple to keep his calm, so his strength was not the least bit shocking. Still, Exon didn't remotely care what they thought of his outburst.

The memory of the Devourer was horrible. In a child's eyes, the Devourer was a monster. The way he killed, the rate at which he killed. In a child's eyes, it could only have been a monster because the truth was too painful.

"Most monsters are human," Exon whispered, thinking aloud. Again, he didn't care what they thought.

Clearly the addiction to the Eye of Hunger was more than an ordinary man could handle. When Arlius told them that Rena's uncle figured out how to annoy the Devourer into trying to kill him, Exon was blown away. Just the fact Zan was able to identify it, let alone actually do something peacefully about the problem, was more than admirable.

"What happened?" Exon asked, biting his tongue on any further outbursts.

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2017, 10:28:28 PM »
Well, even though Arlius was keeping his voice under control, her was shaken in his own way.  Like...if you hit him with any surprises, he was going to dive under the nearest table or something.  And it wasn't exactly that Zan was peaceful about it.  More like he was trying to provoke a reaction by being too polite for a good Thanati host from turning away, despite the fact he was talking that person's ear off.  The man who was the Devourer simply lost his patience.  Still, what happened?

"He went through a wall."

"Uncle Zan?!"

Now, you see the distress in Rena's voice.  She was professional, for the most part, taking in the information.  When it came to her family, though, it was different.  He was dead, of course, and she knew how, but it was still unsettling a notion to hear that he might've suffered.  Arlius waved this off.

"The Devourer did, when he lunged at him.  He missed, and then when he was witnessed by others, he went on a rampage."

In the last few days, before the announcement of the Devourer's death, Exon would remember that the death toll had risen, suddenly, before it halted entirely.

"How did the Devourer die?"

"He was eventually chased out into the wilderness, where he had less to eat, unless he wanted to attack experienced warriors who were told to aim for his head or at least snag the line keeping the Eye of Hunger around his neck.  Eventually, one of them got him, and then..."

He paused at this part, clearly an unpleasant part of it.

"It consumed him once he was dead!  The foul thing was the one feeding, not him!  It had power in excess, but it was the hungry one...  Zan and I sealed the thing in a chest.  He said that since weapons seemed ineffective to destroy it - We tried, numerous times - and that either magically blasting it would be either far too taboo or even devoured itself, it would be best to keep it safely locked away until it might die of starvation."

He managed to calm himself as he looked at Rena.

"In the meantime, he had promised to speak to his brother - your father - on the matter.  He reasoned that a magic sword would be enough while still being a loophole."

Then, he glanced over at Exon.

"I know you're upset that we chose to keep quiet on the whole matter, but apart from respect for who the man was in better times, the Temple decided that announcing the end of the crisis was enough, and that giving the details would only turn panic into the anger you feel now...only moreso.  To allow people to breathe, to mourn and continue with their lives, would give them the chance to calm down.  Years down the path, any outrage would be more manageable.  The truth will out, eventually.  They left it to me to decide.  All that was needed was for me to be tired of living in this world and it would be done.  However, a certain sense of responsibility told me that I must go on, see to it that the Eye starved.  I don't know who could have found it.  I've not spoken of it, and I immediately searched those around me for it, finding nothing."
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2017, 01:55:37 PM »
"Don't think me a fool, Master Scribe," Exon said, managing to put a cap on his slightly out of control temper. "I of course understand the need for order, as well as the weight put on you to decide whether or not to tell the public. Regardless, people were afraid. No one knew how to keep their children, their wives safe. Announcing to everyone that the Devourer was dead was an easy way to conclude the story, without giving the rest of the plot.

"You are correct that people would be outraged, but the Thanati are a civilized people. You of all should know this. Hearing the truth makes me understand  the Temple's part in said situation much more clearly, though."

Despite his hatred for the Devourer and his mistrust of the Temple, Exon knew that the actions Arlius decided to take led everyone down the right course of action. It's true that Exon still harbored a fury that refused to die, but his Thanati upbringing and own control over his emotions gave him the tools necessary to accept the decision for its intentions.

"If you made it clear to the people that the man was a victim and the Eye of Hunger was the villain, I'm sure there would have been no lasting hostility toward the Temple. Still, the question stands...where is the Eye? How can you be absolutely sure you searched thoroughly? How can you be absolutely sure you spoke to no one? It's been many years; was there no passing comment? No one eavesdropping on your private conversations?"

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #47 on: August 07, 2017, 03:52:14 PM »
"Thanati are Thanati, bright people all, but we are still human.  At the time, the thought was that people would be furious under the skin more by learning the information, even if we explained clearly, because of the death toll.  To announce an end, simply, and then let people be relieved would still ease their hearts.  They can always object later, but emotions would not run as high, even under the surface."

He then stood up.

"As to the other part, let me show you something."

The Scribe led them to a room in the back.  It was, in fact, his study as Master Scribe.  Pulling a ring of three keys out from his robe that appears to be worn around his neck, he pointed to the door as he placed the key in, saying "Locked.".  Stepping inside, he let a lantern on a small pedestal by the door and lit it, ushering them in to the back of the room, where his desk sat.  He pointed to a spot on the floor where there was a metal ring set into the stone.  Sitting down, Arlius grunted as he pulled on it, lifting it up while saying "Heavy.".  Placing it aside, he then pointed down to a metal door down there and said "Locked.", before taking Key #2 and unlocking it while in a kneeling position.  After a moment, he pulled out a small metal case with a lock on it, and then shown the lantern quite close to it, to show that it had been...

"Picked."

"Picked?  What about the other two?"

"I checked and there are scratches that are a bit more subtle, but they are older, simpler.  This lock was built a mere 20 years ago, and I selected it along with the box, which you will agree is very solid."

The box was not an insurmountable obstacle for those who wanted in badly enough, but it was unmarked, which means that the thief did not try to break it.  Whoever it was definitely did things a bit more on the sly.

"So, when you say you were sure of its safety..."

"I mean that I lived in fear of the thing, did not mention it to other people, did not let anybody in here, and cleaned the room to some degree on my own.  I only noticed that something might be wrong when I saw a scratch on the floor that had not been there before, from the stone tile.  I had that there specifically so that it would do that on this floor."

"In short, once you noticed that something was wrong, you searched anybody close to you for the thing, and when you didn't find it, you panicked and sent for my uncle."

"Largely an internal thing, that dread, but yes.  I am at a loss.  It's been days, of course, and no deaths.  I have no idea who could have done this thing.  I even checked on the family of the teacher in question, whom I'd told that he was the last victim of the Devourer.  Nothing out of the ordinary."

"Master Arlius, I'm glad that you can be sure of your own steps towards secrecy on the matter, but you have overlooked something."

"Oh?"

"Other members of the Temple know some of the truth, do they not?  The people who discovered the Eye, the teacher's peers, the Master Scribe who preceded you...  That kind of stuff can still trickle down, in bits and pieces."

Arlius looked quite shocked at the thought.  He hadn't considered that.
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2017, 06:28:05 AM »
"I'm aware that members of the Temple can sometimes be thick, but did you actually not consider those who discovered the Eye in the first place?" Exon asked almost condescendingly.

He bit his tongue for speaking slightly out of place, but he stood by what he said. Rena's point hadn't occurred to Exon either, but he wasn't the one who was guarding the Eye of Hunger with his life. Arlius devoted his life to keeping the artifact a secret.

"To be forward," he started again, "I think we'd better start being suspicious of everyone."

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #49 on: August 10, 2017, 10:09:03 AM »
Arlius glared at him.

"If they were known to be so loose-tongued, no doubt disaster would be upon us the day after it was contained."

That was, of course, Thanati Beratement for 'Shut it, boy' or even 'You know nothing, Jon Snow'.  Clearly, he had expected his brothers to be sworn to secrecy, as he had, and that that oath had been kept to prevent anyone from rediscovering the Eye of Hunger...for at least this long.  Now, considering that Exon had called Arlius thick, and that Arlius had called Exon a loud-mouthed boy, Rena decided to intervene before this got any worse.

"It is good of you to have faith in your brethren, and even better that you checked everyone you knew for the Eye, just the same.  But since we can eliminate them from suspicion of having it, I think it's time that we questioned those who knew about it to see who it was they knew."

"Indeed.  Men make mistakes.  Honest mistakes."

Hoo boy... He and Exon were not getting along.
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #50 on: August 10, 2017, 03:16:37 PM »
Exon definitely appreciated Rena's intervention. His piercing eyes were locked on Arlius in distrust. It had been many years since he even dared go near the Temple. No matter how much he had mentally prepared himself for this meeting, he couldn't stop himself from saying things that he knew were disrespectful, especially for Thanati culture.

And I told Rena to control herself, he thought. He felt slightly guilty for berating Arlius, when he had a strong feeling the older man was being as genuine as could be in the chaotic situation. Even so, he simply couldn't stop himself from speaking out of turn.

Rena's fast intervention and Arlius' need for her help were probably the only things that saved them from being completely thrown out of the Temple for being disrespectful.

Honest mistakes. The words repeated in Exon's mind.

Making up his mind to keep himself under control, the Maoin performer took a deep breath and humbled himself. "Master Scribe, you have my apologies," he said. The words sounded genuine enough, and Exon knew he truly meant them deep down...even if it was really, really deep down. "I didn't mean to step out of place. We have no reason to doubt you."

He bowed formally, as if trying to seal his apology as official.

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #51 on: August 12, 2017, 09:25:13 AM »
"The things we wish we never said are often spoken at the worst of times.  I will overlook it because we are tense and very worried."

Consider, for a moment, his position here.  He sat in fear of not only what could happen, but that some hideous revenge awaited him for his involvement in the last affair.  What man wouldn't feel this way?  Even Rena herself should feel like something may want to tear down the name of Goldswith, though it had not yet occurred to her.  At any rate, Arlius headed for the door to call someone to gather the people who were associated with the Devourer situation, only he didn't say it like that.  He rattled off a number of names that belonged to people who've been around here at least twenty years.  While he did that, Rena sidled close to Exon and spoke in a low voice.

"How good are you at seeing through lies?  These are pious, respected members of the Temple.  I've never interrogated pious men of any culture, Thanatos aside.  I'm going to need your help."
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #52 on: August 12, 2017, 06:38:17 PM »
Exon smiled, though it was a bit forced that time. Arlius knew these people and the situation best. Rena was a powerful person, with or without high status. Exon felt extremely left behind with their experience and qualifications. Still, Rena's persisting confidence in him helped to push him forward.

Of course it wouldn't be the easiest task to identify liars among those in the Temple, but it was necessary to move forward and prevent horrors.

"I was raised with and by performers," he whispered to her. "I was taught to lie from five years old and I was taught exactly how to identify lies by finding the little tells people have. I only hope this talent won't fail me now."

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #53 on: August 13, 2017, 04:54:45 PM »
"Thanks."

She was keeping the conversation simple and straightforward so as not to bother the Master Scribe, but the look in her eye definitely spelled relief.  Since they had a bit of a wait, Rena got up and paced around for a bit.  She glanced at the books and scriptures, but she had no hope in reading them, as they were all in Thanati.  Somehow, they had to be as clever as her uncle had been, those years ago, in figuring out who among these people had spoken out of turn, and how.

One-by-one, they began to arrive: An elder woman whose hair might've been blonde before age set in, a weathered and scarred guardsman who clearly knew how to use the weapons on his belt, a young groundskeeper...str angely, and a robust scholar around Arlius' age who has managed to retain a full head of hair and beard...which was a graying brown.  For those of you not quite savvy to the theme of Thanati, dark hair was uncommon and red hair was both lucky and not.  The former meant that you other had a strange quirk of genetics or someone in your family was a foreigner.  The latter meant that life was giving you a bit of extra luck for hard times ahead.  No word yet on whether Exon needed it or not.

Now, to our arrivals...  As soon as the apprentice who had helped find them had left, Arlius introduced them.  The elder woman, Cavra, was a teacher.  She had green eyes, about as light a skintone as Thanati were often to have, and the look of someone who was a calm-but-firm repository of knowledge.  She was dressed in a simple tunic and she looked like she might've been tending plants recently, judging by the marks on her knees and the work gloves she'd been using.  Arlius made mention that she had a young daughter, Caire, was soon to begin her apprenticeship and was very promising.

The guardsman's name was Arrok Tal'run, and he looked as though he'd seen better days in his youth...shortly before someone ruined his right eye and scarred his dark-skinned face.  He was silver-haired with a dark-blue eye, often seen scowling or indifferent in expression.  He did, however, look good in a way that seasoned warriors could, which is what he was.  Many a retired warrior will join the Temple once his serious fighting days are done.  He was one-such man, making damn sure that anyone who tried something unwarranted was going to face a face that picked a fight with a stone wall and won.  He was armored at the torso, armed with two swords, and had both bracers and shinguards.  Currently, he was also wearing a hooded cloak not unlike Rena's, likely for outdoor duty during rainy times.

The young groundskeeper, Errison, was the son of the man who found the Eye of Hunger in the first place.  Given where his future lay, as that man had passed on, the Temple had decided to make certain the family understood what had happened so as to guarantee their silence in a proper fashion.  Given that it was a small family of father, mother, and son...this wasn't hard.  The young man had sandy-brown hair with green eyes and work clothes on.  He also had a few tools on him and a trowel, since he had been otherwise occupied prior to being called in.  He had actually been assisting Cavra, since she was studying a few plants and planting methods.

The scholar was a large and robust man who had also been a warrior, once upon a time, but had joined the Temple to expand his horizons and speak age-old wisdoms.  This would make him many things, but the title of scholar went, since he did not have a specific calling.  Sometimes, he preached, while other times he philosophized.  He had deep violet eyes and indeed his hair color was an anomaly, but nobody could find any real trace of a foreigner in their family, so he was just different, insofar as anybody could tell.  This quite loud man was a decent man, known to be jocular, but generally without an indoor voice.  He addressed Arlius informally, as well, as they were friends of old.

Maeger: "Well, we're all here now, Arlius, so out with it!  ...who slipped?"

Cavra: "Slipped?  We've been of one mind to keep all of this quiet for years.  How could any of us have even considered letting it out to the public?"

Arrok: "We would know if the public knew, but the streets are silent.  What's going on?"

Errison was pointedly silent and looking concerned at the situation, like something he might've dreaded happening his entire life was coming to pass.  Of course, that IS what was happening, so perhaps this expression was justified.  Arlius held up his hand to hush the other three.

Arlius: "The situation is dire.  The Eye of Hunger is gone and I have found it on no person that I can think of to have access to it.  We represent those who were there at the time who are still alive."

He now gestured to Rena, who was standing opposite them and on the other side of a table from them.  She didn't expect any to cause her trouble physically, but it's always best to make certain, especially while she was unarmed.

Arlius: "This is Rena Goldswith, current head of her family in Serendipity and Zan's niece.  She came in his stead because Wizard Zan is dead, has been for almost as many years as the incident is behind us."

This was a shock to three of them, driving them silent for a moment.  Errison didn't really know Zan that well, so he wasn't as shocked, but the news did not please him.

Maeger: "What's the Maoin for?"

"My interpretter for all things Thanati."

That cool, crisp, and quick answer seemed to meet the man's approval.  She looked and sounded like she was ready, willing, and able to get down to business.  Now, where do we start?
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #54 on: August 30, 2017, 10:09:22 AM »
Exon frowned at the small gathering of people. He was most comfortable finding deception in a crowd, for there were so many different personalities that blended into one. In such a small group, it was harder because every person had his or her individual quirks and mannerisms that could be accidentally mistaken for falsehood or suspicion.

The group was varied. The few times he had been at or near the Temple, he never truly paid any attention to the people, except those who would pay attention to him.

The large man with brown hair immediately caught his eye for the simple reason his hair was brown. Naturally brown, too. That wasn't normal, but he seemed almost too at home with Arlius. Still, that could be swept aside with the assumption they knew each other.

The guardsman definitely had experience wielding the swords he was carrying. Exon knew that the Temple was often a retirement place for seasoned warriors, which was what that man was without a doubt. Exon wanted to steer clear of his bad side.

The elder woman had a kind energy around her, but it was clear she could handle herself. Not someone Exon would be excited to get into an argument with.

The young man was oddly quiet. He wasn't too skilled at shielding his emotions either. The young man wore a face of dread, almost shame in some way. That being said, Exon didn't know the man, so there was no way he would automatically assume his guilt.

Rena's quick defense of Exon's presence was enough to assure his confidence, but he wasn't sure the others would so quickly accept an entertainer being part of the intense and confidential discussion. They could very well assume he was behind it all for the purpose of entertainment without knowing the consequences. Exon had an issue with assuming the worst, so he pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind. Still, they lingered.

The Maoin leaned against the wall with his arms folded across his exposed chest, not exactly appropriate for the Temple, but oh well. He wore a stern expression, a foreign face to him, and Feldler sat in front of Cavra, looking back at Arlius with his tongue hanging out of his mouth and his tail sweeping the floor.

"Looks like Feldler chose for you, Master Scribe," Exon said with a smirk.

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #55 on: August 30, 2017, 04:05:35 PM »
No sooner had the dog sat down with all its adorable nature than Cavra bent over to pet it.  She did wince at the action, but had done so often enough to bear it, and the pay-off of scratching the dog behind the ears was worth having.  That said, she spoke up before anyone could start.

Cavra: "I would like to say something, rather important, in fact  I had to speak to my daughter of the incident, give her the facts and the understanding of the terrible consequences of breathing a word to anyone else."

Maeger: "And after all that talk of not slipping!"

She straightened up and gave him a look very much of a teacher's scorn towards a brash student.

Cavra: "Caire is my daughter.  She will succeed me, in time, and I am old.  If I left her before the facts were known in full, she would be as helpless as a babe before it!"

Arlius: "Alright, Cavra.  You told your daughter and swore her to secrecy, much the way Erisson is, correct?"

Cavra: "Yes."

"How good is Caire at keeping secrets?"

The sudden question drew all of their attention.  For the record, Exon would observe no particular oddities.  Cavra's statement made her suspect, but she was being honest.  She had spoken thus, probably, because the truth will out and she would not wish to be implicated falsely.  The look she gave Rena now was that of shock and anger...and that would be because Rena had accidentally insulted her daughter in a Thanati fashion.  By implicating that she might be the leak, Rena had impugned the girl's intelligence, which Cavra had - of course - good reason to rely upon.  Uhh...whoops.
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #56 on: August 30, 2017, 06:44:25 PM »
The Maoin quickly leaned forward with his hand slightly out. He saw the expressions everyone wore, and he wanted to intervene before anyone said anything else.

"Forgive Rena," he said speedily. "She meant no disrespect to your daughter or to you. I give you my word that the question was genuine, not directed as an insult to her intelligence or trustworthiness."

Exon stepped closer to Rena, his voice lowered to avoid too much attention. "You have to be careful what you ask here. These people are touchy. You are not in Serendipity anymore. In Thanatos, anything can be taken as an insult."

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #57 on: August 31, 2017, 02:17:52 AM »
Once Exon explained just what the hell happened there, Rena buried her hand in her face with a small groan.  This was going to be hard.  The ways of Thanatos were really complex, and they may not have time to be the epitome of kindness.  She was sure her uncle had felt the same way, once he had felt the urgency of the situation.  Rena looked at them all now.

"Did my uncle have trouble like this?"

Maeger: "Mostly when he was impatient."

Arrok: "He insulted my blades, saying they weren't as good as his own when I let him borrow one, but I knew he just missed his own weapon."

"We are kind of attached to our swords.  Anyway, I apologize, but I needed to know if there is anybody whom she would share a secret with and swear them into secrecy."

Cavra: "Never.  It is a caste-related matter.  One no more discusses the matters of mother and daughter, or teacher and apprentice, with a different caste than you would with the trees or the waves of the sea."

"You did say she was most promising."

Erisson: "Ma'am, even I don't discuss it with Caire, and we both know about it and are for the Temple."

"Wait, how do you know she knows if she never talks about it?"

That got a few stares, but Cavra smirked.

Cavra: "Friends in their youth.  Nothing to be concerned about.  She had quite the reaction when I told her the groundskeeper's family we'd known well for decades was in on this.  She gave him quite a stare."

"Alright, does anyone else want to say something?  Maeger, do you ever...preach about the evils of the Devourer?"

Maeger: "Not as such, no.  I want to.  It's an easy target that everyone can relate upon."

Hmmm.  That left...

"Arrok, what's your role in this?  I guess you were the swordsman they called when the Devourer was loose?"

Arrok: "I was one.  There were others.  Dead now, taking a well-deserved rest."

"If you're the only swordman who knows..."

Arlius: "He struck the deathblow upon Artrod Helever, the Devourer."
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Offline SilverDragonsBlood

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #58 on: August 31, 2017, 03:10:20 PM »
The final blow to the Devourer.

Exon's eyes widened, gazing at Arrok. The swordsman had probably the largest part to play in the events that took place so long ago. If Arrok was the one to take the Eye's source of energy, it is very possible the Eye would target him or someone he cares about.

Either way, there was no hard evidence that would point anything suspicious to Arrok.

"How did you do it?" Exon asked, straightening his posture. "Did you know Artrod personally?"

Offline Wrathwyrm

Re: Flaming Hearts {OPEN, PM to join}
« Reply #59 on: August 31, 2017, 09:02:30 PM »
The scarred man shook his head and said "Professionally.", in regards to his relation to the man.

Arrok: "I'm part of the City Watch, or I was, then.  These days, I'm a Temple Guard.  I knew Helever because of the rotation of guards, from base to Temple to post to patrol.  We know everyone, in small details quickly committed to memory."

Thanatos is a society in whch people are guarded in speech and in tone, so guards and soldiers have to be observant of all the little things that might indicate rash action.  Foreigners are such a breath of fresh air.  They're mysterious, but very often not as subtle as Thanati.

Arrok: "I was the guard closest to the event in which Zan Goldswith seemed to be irritating Artrod to no end.  I was asked not to interfere because Zan suspected something I did not.  Rather, I knew he was tired and irritable from long nights of work.  I did not know his condition."

"I've been told he wasn't beaten in the Temple.  What happened?"

Arrok: "I moved to protect Zan when he lashed out, but as we were both merely knocked aside, I understood he was making an escape, not planning to fight the entire Temple Guard.  He was, after all, an intelligent man."

"So, you hunted him?"

Arrok: "Alot of us hunted him.  Some were taken by surprise.  Others weren't, but were killed in viceral fashions, by hand."

Others winced, including Rena, but Arrok just continued.

Arrok: "I'm not the man who decisively killed the Devourer.  I'm just the man who, after a number of deaths, caught up in time to see four men rush him and to follow shortly after he crushed them.  It was a fool's rush, and he ruined my eye in the process, but the timing had allowed me to scissor his organs from just under the ribs."

For those of you who don't play with swords, that's where you stab into the body like you're forming a pair of scissors or hedge clippers and umm...move the blades around in a snipping motion.  Suffice to say, that very quickly ruins the body's ability to uhh...anything.  It ruins the body.  The Eye hadn't had the chance to devour the four men, and they had wounded the man.  Arrok finished a job for which he was still too alive for the Devourer to consume for strength.
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