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    Chapter 2: The Outsiders
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Tue May 03, 2016 11:31 pm    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    Njord stood silently for a moment, trying to breathe his heart into a calmer state. He was pressing his booted feet into the floor, hoping to ground himself, hoping to regain the solidity in his center. He recalled his time in the hut of a woman he did not want. She had made him want her. Was Fireheart doing the same?

    As placidly as he could he stated, "There may be many things we have to speak. First we shall speak of names -- my name and other names. What is Wintercrown? You call me this because my hair is like the snow? I have not been named this before. Why you do this?"

    The Captain said nothing, at first. Instead, she simply gazed into his eyes with her darksome, deconstructing stare. Njord felt a shiver run the length of his spine, then back again. It was terrifying, the effect that she could invoke within him, with her merest glance.

    What did she see when she stared so? It was impossible to say. The momentary silence seemed to stretch and elongate into a lifetime of quiet. It was as if he could hear the candle’s flame flickering, such was its totality, the sound of the wax slowly trickling down its white camber.

    At last, she spoke. “Come,” she said. And turning about, began to stride away, deeper into her offices. He’d expected her voice to be something like thunder. Instead, it was gentle as the moonlight, atwinkle across the lone and level snows.

    She pushed open the door ahead of her, revealing a hallway. He had been there before. It extended in the direction of the heart of the building. He wondered if they might be walking to her personal chambers. The silence threatened to engulf him, swallow him, until she dispelled it with a word.

    “I am a woman of the olve, Njord Tholjorsonn,” she told him, continuing to lead him along the corridors of the building. Her movements were like those of a great cat on the hunt, soundless, terrifying in their predatory grace. “In particular, the blood of Í Miluipeni – ancient long before the sons of man tread the Oerth – courses my veins. Whatever I may be, I am ever the daughter of those that have gone before me. This truth is tattooed upon the skein of my fate as tangibly as the lines of my birth cross the palms of my hands. Aught comes to change it, forevermore.”

    “Since my forebearers first tread the dells and glades, the forest floors and hills, of the Oerth, we have named one another not by the matter of one’s profession or pastime – by that which their character has revealed,” she continued. They passed the small armory within the structure, a room where copies of important documents were kept. The world was still a young place when the first one called Fireheart stalked the vast verdance of the wood men call Adri. It is said that he was amongst the greatest of our folk’s poets and the most terrible of its warriors, at once. He was given to the art of magic and the tyranny of steel; it was his to know the beauty within the sum of all roses, and to scourge his enemies with their thorns. He was given to passion unlike any of our kind before. And so, those that did so called him Fireheart.

    “So you see,” she said, pushing open another door before them. As it swung open, Njord realized it was somewhere he had never been before. They were nearing the center of the place, certainly. “Names are of great consequence to those of my kind. You should know that every soul that I have ever met – will meet tomorrow and thereafter, until at last Mother Luna bids me return to her side – I have dubbed with a name. These things, I keep secret, hidden. Yours,” she said, striding into the darkness, “I chose to speak aloud. And I tell you truly that I do not quite know why, myself. It felt…right, as it fell from my lips. I regret it not.”

    Njord stood there for a moment in the darkness. The Captain had disappeared. Deeper within the room, he heard motion. The sound of metal briefly drawn across wood. “’Tis true that I have named you Wintercrown for your appearance, aye,” she said. “But as I said: Names carry much weight and consequence. They reach beyond that which the eye might seize...but take the measure of one's heart, instead.”

    Lightning exploded within the room at the fickler of flint striking steel. A moment later, the Captain was surrounded in the gentle glow of a candle’s light. It made stark shadows dance across her features. Her blue eyes, like the wide and open sky in the springtime, met his in the half-light. The candle’s wan light had made the room a secret place – somewhere where aught but the two of them existed.

    She seemed so very close to him. A trick of the light? “Do you believe me?” she asked.

    Wintercrown?
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    "...Yes I know of her after all, interesting..." Sævil falls into silence.

    After several moments of staring into space, he turns back to the Old Man, "Is there anything else you wish to say to me, I should return to our headquarters now."

    The Old Man lifted a brow. “Eh?” he said. “I came because I thought you’d want to speak to me! I thought I’d give you the chance thank me for letting you tread the sea upon the Wayfarer at my side. For all the adventures and laughter, the moments when we were surely ready to die and those when it we knew – in spite of it all – we wouldn’t. All these things, all these things….” He startled to chuckle, but as summer gives way to autumn, his mirth slowly fled the air of the room. Eventually, it died altogether.

    He looked down. Spat once again. Sævil watched him take in a deep breath, then exhale it in the form of a sigh. When he looked back up, he gave him a wry, awkward grin. “It’s been good to know you, boy,” he told him. “Do good by these folk, eh? And make me proud.”

    The Old Man, worn and weathered by time and tedium, looked positively tiny in his chair.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 3:37 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    Sævil stares, his mouth hanging open, "My old friend, I'll have more to ask you once I know more. I haven't even had a chance to look at this list of volunteers that was left for us! And surely we'll see each other again, you make it sound like this is the last.

    "Of course I'm thankful for your friendship and the time you've taken to mentor me! We've coursed across the waves together and it's been a great adventure. Hells, I more than half expected you to want to come to our headquarters along with me. I'd be glad to have you join us for a time, and anyone who isn't willing to listen to your wisdom will get my boot in their ****!"
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 5:39 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    Sævil stares, his mouth hanging open, "My old friend, I'll have more to ask you once I know more. I haven't even had a chance to look at this list of volunteers that was left for us! And surely we'll see each other again, you make it sound like this is the last.

    His smile had gained a faraway, wistful quality to it. “I have lived with the folk of Corus for many a year now, Sævil Dagsson,” he said. “I have only made your acquaintance recently, by comparison. And still, you know me better than almost any of their number. I am old,” he nodded again. “Little breath remains in my aged bones, now. Thus, I am not apt to waste it idly. This will be the last time we shall see the face of one another, boy. I know it just as truly as I know the countenance of the sea; I can feel is just as surely as the winter wind cracks the flesh.”

    "Of course I'm thankful for your friendship and the time you've taken to mentor me! We've coursed across the waves together and it's been a great adventure. Hells, I more than half expected you to want to come to our headquarters along with me. I'd be glad to have you join us for a time, and anyone who isn't willing to listen to your wisdom will get my boot in their ****!"

    “I wish that I could,” he smirked. “I would very much like another evening in which to tell my tales of the sea. Or at least to offer what I could to your journey to come. I’m afraid I cannot, though. Much still needs to be done before I ferry the Little One to her destiny. It has fallen to me to prepare the Wayfarer for your voyage, too. I have a few final duties to tend to. I would not be remembered for failing in these final hours.”

    The Old Man stood. Now, so acutely aware of his frailty, for the first time he noticed the trembling inconsistency in his knees as he straightened, the way that his back bowed, as if under some great, invisible weight. The whole of the gesture took some time. After it was completed, he watched him dip his hand into a small, leather purse at his hip. “There is something I would like you to have,” he told him.

    His hand produced a pair of copper coins. A quivering gesture placed them directly into Sævil’s palm. Cool to the touch, they were quite unlike any kind of lucre he had seen before. Once, he saw, they had borne some kind of minted pressing upon them. Both sides of the coin had been buffed clean, now. The way they shone, he could see that whoever had rid them of their original facings had only done so very recently. The images that now replaced them looked as if they had been carved into the soft metal by an incredibly fine blade. The artwork rendered upon them was lovely, painstakingly drawn.

    Upon one side, Sævil saw the image of the Wayfarer.

    On the other, his own face, frozen in profile.

    “When you set sail,” the Old Man instructed him, “wait until you are well at sea. Wait until the waves froth and churn with anger and the wind lashes with fury. Then, I want you to take these coins in your hand and cast them into the waters, as far away from the ship as you can. Let the sea take them and hide them away forever – wherever it would keep its closest secrets.”

    In the candlelight, the coins burned brightly. Sævil’s own eye seemed to wink at him, amidst a twinkling.

    The Old Man made towards his door.

    Outside, he could hear the wind pummel the stone of his home, slowly wearing its surface to so much sand. Scattered invisibly upon its raging wings.
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    Syzygyst
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 6:07 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord Reply with quote

    Njord strode through the building behind her. It felt, however, like he floated along the halls, carried by her voice and grace. He pressed each foot to the floor, hoping to keep his balance and regain the steadiness of the earth. The entire place, solid wood and stone, seemed made of cloud-stuff.

    When finally they landed in the midst of the structure, in near darkness, Njord again planted himself. As she continued to speak, he regained some of his foundation. He was glad for the momentary absence of light, as it allowed his vision to clear. When the Captain lit the candle, he was stricken by her azure eyes, each a firmament unto itself. Had not her eyes appeared a deep brown in the antechamber? His memories of her revealed only the brilliant blue before him. Had the rich nut-hue been a mistake of the light?

    The words she spoke were like a poem he was never meant to hear: a fruit forbidden, but delicious once tasted. I Miluipeni? Fireheart? Wintercrown? All these names. Names? Yes, the names! Now he remembered: there was a task he was to perform.

    She was close now, closer than ever before, and it was too much. He took a step back and rooted himself, folding his arms at his chest to create a barrier between them (or, perhaps, a shield for his heart?). The slight light-headedness began to wane. Had he not stepped back, he would have certainly fallen forward.

    "Captain," the formalism lurched ahead to strengthen the blockade, "I...accept your name of me...this Wintercrown. It is strong name. But please know that i care not for king or queen, not for prince or princess." He nodded in affirmation of the gift.

    "We have task to choose group of people to go with us to Black Ice. I have looked at list you brought to head-quarters. I have questions about some. Might you answer about these people?" He was relieved to have refocused his attention on the job at hand. "Or, it is that you recommend some of them?"
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 7:21 pm    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    "Captain," the formalism lurched ahead to strengthen the blockade, "I...accept your name of me...this Wintercrown."

    She never once looked from his eyes. In her azure deconstruction of his soul, she never seemed to blink. Certainly, she never stepped backwards, even if he were to stride in her direction. Even at ease, Captain Fireheart’s intensity was like that of an open flame. “This is good, then,” she said. And that was that.

    "It is strong name."

    She nodded gently. “It is,” she agreed. “It befits a man strong of spirit.”

    "But please know that i care not for king or queen, not for prince or princess." He nodded in affirmation of the gift.

    “It is, as the folk of your home would say, a kenning,” she replied. “An allusion; not a title of office. Still, we agree. I have little time for notions of nobility, as most understand it. I value names earned by strength of character as written in deeds, instead -- not by bloodlines or lineage. And one can be called king or prince by their fellows, certainly, would they earn that right.”

    There was a silence for a moment between them before Njord addressed her again.

    "We have task to choose group of people to go with us to Black Ice. I have looked at list you brought to head-quarters. I have questions about some. Might you answer about these people?" He was relieved to have refocused his attention on the job at hand. "Or, it is that you recommend some of them?"

    Captain Fireheart nodded subtly. “I will,” she said. “And I have. It was I that put forth the names of Asranith Lasiniir, Lady Osson, Viscountess Fluss-Amberhill, Loja and Ravel to the Little One. Each and any of these would make fine additions to your expedition, in my opinion.”

    The placed the candle down onto a table behind her. Njord imagined it was where it had been when they’d first entered the room. Its slight radiance still did not reveal the walls of the chamber in which they stood. Outside its reach, they yet swam in darkness.

    “Which others would you know of?”
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 8:19 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Old Man and the Sea Reply with quote

    Sævil gazes at the coins in his hand long after the Old Man is gone, his face pale and slack. He listens to the sounds of the wind outside, his face pale and slack.

    At last he turns a coin to show Wayfarer again, and he smiles slowly. Color returns to his face as he steps out into the cold. He's only 50 feet on his way to Milleen's home when he begins whistling a nameless song of the sea.
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Quote:
    Captain Fireheart nodded subtly. “I will,” she said. “And I have. It was I that put forth the names of Asranith Lasiniir, Lady Osson, Viscountess Fluss-Amberhill, Loja and Ravel to the Little One. Each and any of these would make fine additions to your expedition, in my opinion.”

    The placed the candle down onto a table behind her. Njord imagined it was where it had been when they’d first entered the room. Its slight radiance still did not reveal the walls of the chamber in which they stood. Outside its reach, they yet swam in darkness.

    “Which others would you know of?”


    Njord began recalling names on the list. He was glad that there was accord between he and Fireheart about those that she endorsed outright. But he asked, "What of Ravel? Is not this taking him from marriage to Amelia? He is willing to make such sacrifice? They are willing?"

    He then asked, "Of the many names, i have feel in gut these might be strong companions. Soren Stormcloud, Kelvan Farstrider, Slava, the Stonemilkers, Captain Ristolier, Milleen (for wolves), Altansarnai (for friendship to Milleen),..." Njord paused for a moment perceiving that the Tiger Nomad, whom he had never met, might not be the best travelling companion for himself. He continued, "Hjálmar Frjálsmaður, Nevin Stoutshield, Asila T'shanna, Faeranna Nightsky." There, Njord realized that he had completed his list of instinctual candidates.

    "But information on any of names is welcome. Perhaps Dark One and Crow Jane are best not chosen. Though, having friend who can fly maybe is handy!" At this, Njord smiled slightly. He didn't realize it, but he also uncrossed his arms and his weight settled into his legs. "Are others on list you definitely not choose?"
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    Kraftwerk
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 10:47 pm    Post subject: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    The wolves began to howl long before Sævil arrived.

    The Old Man had not exaggerated. The home that Milleen had claimed for herself was at the very edge of Corus’ perimeter, built directly against the stone wall that bound it. There was no doubting who it might belong to; a simple glance revealed that she who dwelled within it was certainly among the settlement’s strangest denizens.

    Earth had been piled up against the mortared stones until it formed something of a sloping barrow-hill. Into the face of that immense mound, Sævil saw that a large hole had been cut. Large flat rocks served to line the walls and the floors as far as he could see inside. A few broad timbers framed the entrance and seemed to hold up the dugout’s ceiling – making it look almost exactly like the open mouth of a mine.

    A mine, of course, that a man would have to crouch tightly into, just to enter. The ceiling of the doorless barrow was no higher than four and a half feet, at its tallest. Despite the notion that he would be terribly cramped inside, he found that the confines made a smirk spread across his lips.

    On either side of the barrow, perhaps a half-dozen small stone shelters had been built. They all ran along Corus’ wall, too – in such a way that the northman wondered if they all might be connected. It was from inside these miniature caves that the howling emanated: Long, soulful canine cries that heralded his approach. They became louder, more frequent, the closer he approached. When he was finally within sight of Milleen’s home, he could feel many eyes falling upon him from within the dark recesses.

    At last, he came perhaps within a hundred feet of the imitation of the mine. When he did, the howling suddenly, abruptly stopped. The sound of the wind, his labored breathing against the cold and the snow, were all he could hear. It was a truly eerie sensation.

    Nearer now to the mouth of the barrow. Sævil could see the flickering of some sort of flame within.

    The wolf-mistress awaited.
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    Njord began recalling names on the list. He was glad that there was accord between he and Fireheart about those that she endorsed outright. But he asked, "What of Ravel? Is not this taking him from marriage to Amelia? He is willing to make such sacrifice? They are willing?"

    “You do not understand,” the Captain replied, shaking her head slightly. “Know this: Two years ago, Lukasz Ravel was a stalker of men in the employ of the city of Greyhawk. A bounty hunter. It fell to him to pursue those individuals that had broken some law within the Free City and somehow managed to elude justice and flee its stony walls. One such criminal was a woman named Amelia D'Riggana,” she explained, “a rather-notorious forgeress who had made tidy coin of falsifying official legal documents in the region. When she learned that her identity had been exposed by an unscrupulous blackmailer, she left Greyhawk under the cover of darkness and used her sizable fortune to learn where she might hide from the retribution she knew would surely follow her every step. Unfortunately for her, young Mr. Ravel – full of determination far beyond his years – was set upon the task of returning her to the Free City’s constabulary. He dogged her every stride, only a moment behind her path all through her flight.”

    “It might surprise you,” she continued, “but the forgeress was rather delighted by his pursuit. Their dance took long months, their paths ever-crossing across Perrenland and the Nomadic lands, and she came to rather admire his resolve. For his part, the bounty hunter respected her cleverness. By the time the two of them arrived upon the shore of Corus, the forgeress was prepared to turn herself over to Mr. Ravel’s care. Perhaps you might find some humor in the notion that, by then, he had no heart for the task. You see, the process of their lengthy dance had become something of a courtship. They were lovers that barely knew the other’s face.”

    “Mr. Ravel has volunteered for this expedition precisely because of this,” she nodded. “He realizes that this is his home now – indeed, their home. He wishes to fight for the future of that home. It is the save as fighting for his forgeress lover, to his mind. So you see, this is no sacrifice at all, to him. It is simply what must be done.”

    He then asked, "Of the many names, i have feel in gut these might be strong companions. Soren Stormcloud, Kelvan Farstrider, Slava, the Stonemilkers, Captain Ristolier, Milleen (for wolves), Altansarnai (for friendship to Milleen),..." Njord paused for a moment perceiving that the Tiger Nomad, whom he had never met, might not be the best travelling companion for himself. He continued, "Hjálmar Frjálsmaður, Nevin Stoutshield, Asila T'shanna, Faeranna Nightsky." There, Njord realized that he had completed his list of instinctual candidates.

    The Captain snorted. “Ristolier?” Her voice dripped with derision. “A poor choice. I believe not for a moment his fanciful tales of the sea. I think him a coward and a charlatan.”

    "But information on any of names is welcome."

    “I think your list a good one, for the most part,” she replied. “I am mildly surprised that you would think to support Altansarnai’s inclusion…but it demonstrates wisdom to look past bias in the pursuit of victory. Of all your choices, it may be hers that you find most useful. She has much experience in traversing the sort of terrain you will need to tread.”

    "Perhaps Dark One and Crow Jane are best not chosen. Though, having friend who can fly maybe is handy!" At this, Njord smiled slightly. He didn't realize it, but he also uncrossed his arms and his weight settled into his legs. "Are others on list you definitely not choose?"

    The Captain could not help herself. Njord’s arm-flapping gesture brought a gentle smile to her lips. The blue color of her eyes seemed to brighten; it was the sun at dawn, melting an icy thaw. “Perhaps,” she said. “And perhaps not, as well. I cannot deny the strangeness of either of the two of them, it is true. Yet I must remind you that neither Crow Jane nor the Dark One has ever failed Corus when it has had need of them. Indeed, both have demonstrated a willingness to join a society that undoubtedly seems quite alien to them. This is more than I can say for some within our community who wear much more familiar faces. They have done what they can to ease others’ discomfort about them.”

    “Aye,” she replied. “I would deny Captain Ristolier. Likewise, I would deny both Ruslan Heatherplains and Monek Friedrich. I do not trust the former, and while the latter is certainly brave, he is no warrior. He is a man of the soil and nothing more. To take him to the Land of Black Ice would be to dig for him a grave into which to clamber. I would also rebuff Mirka Daňo, as I find a woman of her sort unreliable and distasteful.”

    She paused after saying it, searching her eyes with his for reaction.

    Njord was mildly surprised it mattered to her in the slightest.
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    PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Quote:
    “Aye,” she replied. “I would deny Captain Ristolier. Likewise, I would deny both Ruslan Heatherplains and Monek Friedrich. I do not trust the former, and while the latter is certainly brave, he is no warrior. He is a man of the soil and nothing more. To take him to the Land of Black Ice would be to dig for him a grave into which to clamber. I would also rebuff Mirka Daňo, as I find a woman of her sort unreliable and distasteful.”

    She paused after saying it, searching her eyes with his for reaction.

    Njord was mildly surprised it mattered to her in the slightest.


    Njord looked questioningly at the Captain. "Excuse, please. I am not understanding about Mirka. A woman of her sort?"
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    PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:39 am    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    That expression of disgust fled the Captain's features. "You would do well to avoid her," she replied. "Of the matter, I should say no more. My quarrel with her is...personal. I am wrong to involve it in the matter of your mission."

    She looked as if Njord might need a prying device to loose the whole of it from her.

    And quite a powerful one, at that.
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    PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Quote:
    That expression of disgust fled the Captain's features. "You would do well to avoid her," she replied. "Of the matter, I should say no more. My quarrel with her is...personal. I am wrong to involve it in the matter of your mission."

    She looked as if Njord might need a prying device to loose the whole of it from her.

    And quite a powerful one, at that.


    Njord had never seen the Captain in such a state. Usually, she was like an adamantine soldier, ever guarded. But she had actually let her shield drop, and her visor had been raised, if only briefly. It was relentless effort wearing those suits of armor -- even she had to breathe at times.

    "I do not mean to cross private line, but perhaps i should know something of which you speak. If Mirka is not good person, or not worthy of journey, then mayhaps it should be known? As others of my fellows may wish to include her."
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    PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 4:28 am    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    "I do not mean to cross private line, but perhaps i should know something of which you speak. If Mirka is not good person, or not worthy of journey, then mayhaps it should be known? As others of my fellows may wish to include her."

    It was why they called her Fireheart, he supposed. She was a woman of powerful passions, much like the forebearers she had described to him. It made Njord wonder if perhaps this was why she could be so stern and hard: Perhaps it was the only way she could keep the flames of her emotions from consuming her?

    He watched the Captain take a deep breath. It was another small miracle: He could not swear to having ever noticed her do so before. “Mirka Daňo is…uncautious with the hearts of others,” she told him, perhaps a whisper of a sigh at the edge of her voice. “She is skilled at saying what she will to gain the trust of others. She takes what she wants, then leaves amongst a titter of laughter. Of what she leaves behind, she is unconcerned.”

    Njord watched the Captain’s eyes. Just as darksome clouds gathered to herald the approach of the storm, so he watched the color of her gaze slowly begin to change. It was something incredible to behold, something that left him breathtaken and awed. Before the topic of the woman had come up, they were as blue as the sum of all oceans.

    Now, they seemed as black as a broken heart.
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    PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 7:34 am    Post subject: Re: Ohrin: A Matter of Propriety Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    “And there you have it,” Master Retlishin said. “All secrets are known.”

    He gave his head a slight tilt. “Have you any more questions, then?”


    Ohrin looked up from his furious note-taking upon hearing Retlishin's conclusion. "Thank you, no. I have just learned a great deal about some of my neighbors!" Ohrin added with a chuckle. "With this new knowledge, I am confident that my comrades and I will be able to better discuss each candidate's merits in greater detail."

    Ohrin then gathered up the books Master Retlishin was letting him borrow. "Thank you again. May the Lord of All Magic protect you during your trials ahead." With a deep bow, Ohrin turned to leave the chamber to meet back up with Verenna.
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    PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

    Quote:
    Now, they seemed as black as a broken heart.


    The change in the captain's eyes, though perplexing and enticing at once, failed to leave him utterly spellbound. It almost seemed natural for her. Had he actually caught a glimpse of this before?

    "Captain...uh...Amarita, if you wish to speak more, please do. It may be help for making decision. If not, it is understood. Perhaps too private of matters?" After he spoke that sentence, saying her personal name, he was startled -- even more surprised than at the changing of her eyes.
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    lamashtu
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    PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    Nearer now to the mouth of the barrow. Sævil could see the flickering of some sort of flame within.

    The wolf-mistress awaited.


    Sævil breathes deeply and then calls out, "Milleen, may we speak? It's Sævil Dagsson!"
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    PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 5:21 am    Post subject: Ohrin: A Notion of Propriety Reply with quote

    Ohrin looked up from his furious note-taking upon hearing Retlishin's conclusion. "Thank you, no. I have just learned a great deal about some of my neighbors!" Ohrin added with a chuckle. "With this new knowledge, I am confident that my comrades and I will be able to better discuss each candidate's merits in greater detail."

    “Excellent,” he replied, nodding gently. “If I have played some small role in the success of your expedition, than I am well-pleased.”

    Ohrin then gathered up the books Master Retlishin was letting him borrow. "Thank you again. May the Lord of All Magic protect you during your trials ahead."

    “Burning Eye watch over thee and your fellows,” Master Retlishin said. His lazy, ever-serene smile spread across his features. Ohrin watched him tumble the small vial of black ice over in his fingers, eventually gazing down upon it as if to muse over its virtues. What he might have thought about it, he said nothing.

    With a deep bow, Ohrin turned to leave the chamber to meet back up with Verenna.
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    PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 5:22 am    Post subject: Ohrin: Above All, Location Reply with quote

    Master Retlishin had a very special section of the library reserved for his maps.

    It wasn’t special in the way that his chambers were, mind. The room extended out from a corner of the library secreted in the lowest portion of the tower, well beneath the frozen ground of the island. There, sealed behind a heavy iron door – the master was ever-wary of the outbreak of fire – were four walls of smooth stone. Perhaps ten feet on every side, it was completely bereft of the great stacks of dusty books and treatises beyond it. Instead, dozens of rods were held suspended from the ceiling from small hooks, directly above metal loops affixed to the floor. Upon these rods, scores of rolled parchment-skins hung. These were the Master’s collection of maps: As he deigned, he could pull any of them downward, affixing them to the metal rings, stretching them out for his inspection. Truly, it was an ingenious design; he had come to expect nothing less from Retlishin.

    When Ohrin entered the room, Verenna stood upon a chair, directly in its center. She was clearly trying to seem calm and undisturbed, in spite of the recent exertion he knew she’d undertaken. He was proud of himself that he managed not to laugh.

    In her arms, she held a long tube of bleached bone. “I have them,” she smiled.

    The maps or the mice – it was unclear to which she referred.
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    PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 5:22 am    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    The change in the captain's eyes, though perplexing and enticing at once, failed to leave him utterly spellbound. It almost seemed natural for her. Had he actually caught a glimpse of this before?

    "Captain...uh...Amarita, if you wish to speak more, please do. It may be help for making decision. If not, it is understood. Perhaps too private of matters?" After he spoke that sentence, saying her personal name, he was startled -- even more surprised than at the changing of her eyes.

    The Captain seemed unperturbed by his invocation of her given name. “It is hardly a private matter,” she countered. “Indeed, I rather would think everyone in Corus knows the sort of personage that Mirka Daňo is quite well, by now. She is a thief of hearts and an assassin of lovers. I simply…prefer not to discuss a woman of such lowly character whenever possible. I would not wish to speak aloud my true feelings regarding her – lest you think less of me for the sort of language that might fall from my lips.”

    She paused. The barest hint of a smile crossed her incredible features. “You know that names are important amongst my people, Wintercrown,” she told him. “Perhaps you’ve wondered why everyone in the settlement refers to me as simply Captain Fireheart. Did you know that the exchange of one’s given name is a gesture reserved between lovers, alone?”

    The darkness in her eyes was beginning to give way to blue once more, the moment of anger gone.

    “It traditionally indicates a desire to be wed.”
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    PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 5:23 am    Post subject: Sævil: The Howling Reply with quote

    Sævil breathes deeply and then calls out, "Milleen, may we speak? It's Sævil Dagsson!"

    Outside, now inside the small domicile, the howling continued. The baying sounded something like a thousand lost souls crying out in the heart of the snowstorm. The wind seemed to take the sound, swirl it about in a chaotic whirlwind about him. There might have been five of the wolves; there might have been five hundred.

    From within the small cave, he heard a voice, somehow, amidst it all. “Come,” it bade him.
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    PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 7:13 am    Post subject: Re: Ohrin: Above All, Location Reply with quote

    Kraftwerk wrote:
    In her arms, she held a long tube of bleached bone. “I have them,” she smiled.

    The maps or the mice – it was unclear to which she referred.


    "Excellent! Thank you very much for retrieving the map, I appreciate it." Ohrin then moved to stand near the chair, ready to assist her down.

    Once Ohrin had secured the map, and they had exited the chamber, Ohrin thanked Verenna for her earlier advice on the petitioners before saying his good-byes and heading to his quarters. Once there, he quickly gathers up almost all of his possessions before departing to head back to the headquarters.

    Once at the HQ, he will deposit his gear on one of the cots. He will then unpack until his comrades have returned and have indicated that they are ready to discuss the petitioners.
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    PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2016 4:28 pm    Post subject: C2: The Outsiders / Fireheart's Sanctum / Njord Reply with quote

    Quote:
    I simply…prefer not to discuss a woman of such lowly character whenever possible. I would not wish to speak aloud my true feelings regarding her – lest you think less of me for the sort of language that might fall from my lips.”


    Njord actually smiled a little at this. That she would care about his thoughts for her, especially in regards to using bad language, was surprising -- even amusing.

    Quote:
    The darkness in her eyes was beginning to give way to blue once more, the moment of anger gone.

    “It traditionally indicates a desire to be wed.”


    Njord's mind raced. He managed to keep a sedate visage, but his brain was a maelstrom at sea on a hot, crystalline day -- sunshine and blue sky only enhancing the chaos via constrast. His thoughts whirled, attempting to cough forth an appropriate response from the vortex. The idea that he had somehow offered her a marriage proposal was alarming. But he wasn't even sure if that's what she meant by a given name. Wasn't Amarita her common name? He was confused, but he was sturdy against the floor, and his faculties were, for now, at his command. Even more steadying was discovering that this person before him was indeed that -- a person, and not just a suit of warrior's armor. She had vulnerabilities, and even wounds. She was real and, perhaps unfortunately, that made her even more attractive.

    "Captain," Njord started, returning to the more official moniker, "please let me speak for moment." Further organizing his thoughts, he continued, "I know nothing of Mirka, only what you have said. So if you have more details, please say, even with foul language. With your name, I meant only to bring things to more personal way. I am confused about these names and meanings. I am called Njord as common name. I thought same for Amarita. I would guess you are called Captain as Mayor Highmountain is called Mayor. But i would mean only informalness if i named her Kalindre, not make marriage to her."

    Njord became even more resolute. A fire burned in his belly, from slight anger and frustration, but also from definite desire. "I am afraid you have me at...dis-advantage. I am not knowing of these customs. And i am learning only little bit of you. You seem to know great deal of me. You even said these things in front of companions. You called me Witch-wife! If you were not woman or captain i would have struck you for such thing! I may have done same that you did to poor Albus for speaking ill of your woman-love!"
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    PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject: Ohrin: Above All, Location Reply with quote

    "Excellent! Thank you very much for retrieving the map, I appreciate it." Ohrin then moved to stand near the chair, ready to assist her down.

    Amidst several crimson blotches all over the map room's floor, she took Ohrin's hand and stepped down. She offered him the bone case, lacquered and polished. It wasn't watertight, he could tell, but the hardened tube would protect the document nicely against violence, the same. "You're most welcome," she said, punctuating the comment with a frown and a sigh. "Though I've now a bit of a mess on my hands to clean, I fear."

    Once Ohrin had secured the map, and they had exited the chamber, Ohrin thanked Verenna for her earlier advice on the petitioners before saying his good-byes and heading to his quarters. Once there, he quickly gathers up almost all of his possessions before departing to head back to the headquarters.

    Once at the HQ, he will deposit his gear on one of the cots. He will then unpack until his comrades have returned and have indicated that they are ready to discuss the petitioners.

    Ohrin passed the guards at the front door, both of which acknowledged him with a greeting and a nod. He saw that they had finished the work on their pit and now huddled around a healthy fire -- albeit one that crackled and danced wildly in the thrall of every new gust of wind.

    When he entered the headquarters, he saw that it was empty. Sævil and Njord were nowhere to be found. Even sleeping Kahss had, at some point, seemingly vanished into thin air. Evidently, it seemed that they had set off, as he had done, to set their own affairs in order.

    As he began to lay claim to one of the cots and put arrange his belongings in such a way that pleased him, he noticed that one of the tables had been filled with many woven cloth baskets. Within them, he saw all forms of meats and cheeses, breads and sweets.

    Fresh, they smelled delicious.
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    PostPosted: Sun May 08, 2016 6:26 am    Post subject: Njord: Sometimes it Snows in Readying Reply with quote

    "Captain," Njord started, returning to the more official moniker, "please let me speak for moment." Further organizing his thoughts, he continued, "I know nothing of Mirka, only what you have said. So if you have more details, please say, even with foul language."

    The Captain nodded. Perhaps emboldened by Njord's urging, she made a little face, as if she'd eaten something very unpalatable. "She is a hukaa, as the folk of my blood would mark her," she said. "In the words of men, you would dub her slut."

    Her bright blue eyes -- wait...now, did they seem to verge upon the green? -- seemed to search his to see how he might respond to what she'd said.

    "With your name, I meant only to bring things to more personal way. I am confused about these names and meanings. I am called Njord as common name. I thought same for Amarita. I would guess you are called Captain as Mayor Highmountain is called Mayor. But I would mean only informalness if i named her Kalindre, not make marriage to her."

    The Captain's expression changed. The edges of her lips tried to curl slightly. It seemed as if, perhaps, she wanted to smile...but perhaps, she simply didn't know how. Or had perhaps forgotten long ago. "Wintercrown," she began, then decided on an appellation anew, "Njord. Forgive me. I was...joking. You were smiling and making bird-wing-flappings with your arms." To his astonishment, she did the same, folding her hands at her sides in imitation of his gesture. "It seemed an appropriate time for humor."

    She sighed slightly. "This is incredibly embarrassing," she confessed. "I meant only to stoke your mirth. This is why I do not often try to do so."

    Njord became even more resolute. A fire burned in his belly, from slight anger and frustration, but also from definite desire. "I am afraid you have me at...dis-advantage. I am not knowing of these customs. And i am learning only little bit of you. You seem to know great deal of me. You even said these things in front of companions. You called me Witch-wife! If you were not woman or captain i would have struck you for such thing! I may have done same that you did to poor Albus for speaking ill of your woman-love!"

    She nodded. "It is my responsibility to know as much as I can of those under my command," she said. "You are correct: I know much of you. When you put your name forward to join my Guardsmen, and I decided you were an acceptable candidate -- I paid Master Retlishin much good coin to learn that which he could of you. I did this solely to know whether or not the folk of Corus could trust you to perform your duties; I did it to discover if I could trust you."

    "And again, I am humiliated," she met his eyes. "I have spent too much time amongst the olve. My sense of what is appropriate to discuss and that which is not is poorly-developed. I called you what I did as a statement of fact -- not an epithet or some bit of slander. I did this unknowing of the effect it might have upon you. I did this from a position of ignorance and for that, you have my sincerest apologies. Perhaps you might not find it in your heart to forgive me, Wintercrown...but I beg of you to do so, the same. I meant no harm."

    She sighed. Paused.

    "As for my woman-love," she said. "Clearly, you know of this. Then, it is no great secret. I hear the whispers of Corus' folk about it, when they think my back is turned and out of earshot. I know I am a source of scandal, in their eyes."

    "I wonder," she asked. "How do you view me, given what you know?"
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