SESSION 7 - Return to Nulam, and on to Godswatch!
ST ::The return journey from the ruins of Dharrow back to the Sarine Rivery Valley was a long one, but it seemed to pass quicker than the journey there had taken. In the dead of night, a little under a month after they left, the Circle returned to the Village of Nulam.::
ST ::Skyla returned to her forge, to rest in her own bed. Jackal excused himself, making his way back to his own residence, enjoying a night in relative luxury. Balthasar, similarly, had a place to rest -- the estate of his wifes family, where he usually stayed when he was in town.::
ST ::Masati and Merayen returned to the town's inne, Masati because that was where she largely lived and Merayen because that was largely the only place available to her. Each rested well, enjoying soft covers and a warm bed.::
ST ::The next morning, the Sun rose and each member of the Circle set about their daily tasks. Jackal fixed himself some breakfast, while Balthasar chatted with his wife over the same, while Merayen and Masati shared a meal in the common room...::
ST ::Eventually, the four found their way to the Docks...::
Almetheia is a tall, beautiful woman with straight black hair and warm inviting eyes. She is dressed comfortably, a loose fitting shirt and a skirt, enjoying the breeze that came off the Sarine...
Almetheia "We ran a small trade mission up the River a few weeks back," she says, having been filling Balthasar in on activities. "A full load of goods, mostly from Ironwatch, to Gordon's Knot. Not a bad return -- the river trade is still recovering from the ravagers, but things are coming along,"
Almetheia "I worry about the valley itself," she notes, though. "All the villages, even the Knot. You can feel the fear when you pull into any of the villages,"
Balthasar has, himself, changed little. He still appears wreathed in a soft shroud of shadow, light glistening only off the edges of his longcoat. Stirred by the breezes of the river, his hair crosses his dark face in floating strands.
Almetheia , in charge of the ship when your away, seems to have kept things in good stead.
Balthasar nods, listening. "There has always been fear, though. Is there simply more, now?
Almetheia "I think so, yes," she notes. "Rumors of wars all over; the unease with Madaan; people are even beginning to worry about the Oldunni..."
Finnre`Merayen looks to Almetheia, "And what has the word been about the ravagers and the Hill Folk?"
Masati stands quietly in the background listening
Almetheia , assumes she was introduced to Merayen earlier, and just shrugs...
Almetheia "We haven't had any raids since you left, but there's still unease -- if what you said is true, it'll pass in time, but even so."
Almetheia "The rumors of Barbarian Uprisings all over the east haven't helped matters."
Jackal thinks for a moment. "Why are they worried about the Oldunni?"
Almetheia lets Balthasar board the 'Crest first, and follows after him.
Almetheia "Missionaries," she notes.
Finnre`Merayen just nods, this giving credance to Bright Mane's words.
Almetheia "We haven't gotten any down this far, but a lot of the other villages have."
Balthasar strides the gang-plank as if each step invigorated him more than the last. By the time he's aboard, he's already shouted at least three greetings and two orders, and the men aboard begin to scamper around at his behest.
Almetheia ::Balthasar's men, invigorated by his presence, seem in higher spirits with him aboard!::
Finnre`Merayen looks to Balthasar, not willing to board his ship without explicit invitation.
Balthasar turns and extends a hand to Almetheia, to help her aboard after him.
Masati crosses her arms at looks pointed at Balthasar, waiting for the invite
Almetheia doesn't hugely need help, having spent nearly as much time on a ship as you, but accepts it none the less...
Almetheia "Please," she notes, smiling at the others.
Almetheia "You are welcome aboard the Evening Crest, all of you."
Balthasar glances back, as if noticing the Circle for the first time. "Ah yes. Do come aboard."
Jackal nods and boards the ship, letting the crew go about their work. Rather crisply drilled for sailors...
Finnre`Merayen follows after Almetheia's greeting, and then starts to walk up the gang-plank and onto the deck, moving off to the side out of the way.
Masati gives Almetheia a small smile, "Thank you" the gracefully climbs aboard, "You really do need to learn to pay closer attention to your surroundings, Balthasar" she teases
Balthasar So you think.
Almetheia "We've almost got a full shipment of Iron in the hold," she notes, "as well as a few other odds and ends. As I noted, river traffic is starting to recover, but at least for now we're taking up our fair share."
Balthasar Well, this is the crucial point.
Finnre`Merayen Well, the lack of traders right now must be doing well for your own prices.
Almetheia ::Sure enough, even a glance around the cities docks will reveal that the 'Crest is the only ship in this day.::
Balthasar I hate to be so blatant an opportunist, but I think we can pick up the slack before the rest can get their act back together.
Almetheia ::Not that this is unusual, necessarily, but usually there is at least more variety -- and the 'Crest has been the only ship present on most days this last month...::
Balthasar glances at Merayen for a moment, then back to Almetheia, "I've had quite a few ideas."
Master`Skyme comes on up toward Balthasar and Almetheia, giving a salute and informing them of the state of the crew and how much longer it'll be until they're ready to get underway (late in the afternoon).
Balthasar returns the salute crisply. Anything good enough for his men is good enough for him, and training regimen are certainly included.
Balthasar Proper work, Skyme. We'll disembark a little after that - a sunset departure is auspicious.
Masati looks over at Mera and whispers "We're leaving, what did i miss?"
Balthasar sighs, and glances at the Circle again, "I mean, you'll be fine departing a bit late, Master Skyme. I suppose there's still business to keep me landbound."
Finnre`Merayen looks back, "It hadn't been discussed with me. I don't know what Balthasar plans. He seems to be in charge and the last word here."
Skyme "Also, tha' young lass, Miss Skyla, is down in the Carpenter's cabin'. She's been there since a lil' 'afore Dawn, going over his charts and blueprints and askin' him questions' about the shipsbuilders trade. No harm in it, so I let her' do as 'she pleased."
Balthasar looks for a moment as if it would be quite alright for him to drop everything and set sail right now, however. His jaw clenches a bit at the frustration.
Jackal "Skyla's trying to make ships now...this should be interesting."
Skyme just nods, a bit at your note...
Almetheia "I take it you won't be joining us on this trip either?" she says, perhaps a bit sad, but keeping it hidden.
Masati "Well it is his ship." she whispers back
Almetheia "We'll only be gone two days, but it is understandable, I suppose. You just returned. We could always delay departure, if you wished..."
Balthasar I guarantee you, that if you allow Skyla the run of the Crest, she will do nothing but good.
Balthasar glances at the Circle again.
Balthasar looks back at Almetheia.
Finnre`Merayen sighs and sotto voices back, "Yes, but he could discuss his plans really."
Masati looks at Balthasar
Masati "Could I talk to you for a moment?"
Balthasar gives Almetheia one of those "You see?" looks.
Balthasar Absolutely! If you'll all excuse us.
Almetheia glances at Merayen...
Almetheia "You might want to note that this is actually /my/ plan; I didn't know when Balthasar was going to be back."
Almetheia "As I noted, however, you are welcome on the ship as you wish -- but we can run this just fine by ourselves. It's not a particularly long or hard voyage."
Almetheia bows lightly, and gives them all a soft 'no offense is taken' kind of smile.
Almetheia "I should go see that everything is proceeding as it should, however. I will see you later this morning, my love,"
Finnre`Merayen nods. "Well, it seemed as if we were being taken with you, I hadn't realized that this was your plan."
Balthasar pauses, and gives Almetheia a quiet kiss.
Almetheia accepts said kiss, and then heads off below decks to supervise matters there...
Balthasar watches her descend.
Balthasar glances back to Masati, nodding a bit to the bow of the ship, before striding in that direction.
Masati follows quietly behind him
Justin`Laal comes down the main street of the road, at about this time, on horseback at the head of a small group of retainers leading a small wagon of goods toward the ship.
Balthasar Now, what can I do for you?
Justin`Laal is one of the lower members of the Laal family, a 'rich' merchant family in the village, out doing errants for his mother.
Jackal leads against the rail, glacing at Balthasar and masati for a moment before shrugging and walking over to Merayen. "I wonder if Skyla has discovered a new hobby..."
Finnre`Merayen starts to look around the ship, then examines the approaching Laal.
Finnre`Merayen I have no doubt that she has a new hobby. Yet, it's the same old one. She is a craftswoman, and this is just another kind of crafting
Masati "Well I was actually thinking, if you wouldn't mind us tagging along, that a trip might be a good idea. For me at any rate. I know nothing here is going to help recover my memories, and a trading is certainly better then just wondering around aimlessly"
Balthasar folds his arms after a moment, listening.
Balthasar looks hesitant.
Balthasar Ah, well...
Justin`Laal ::Several of Balthasar's crew head off to meet the Laal and help them load up the cargo.::
Finnre`Merayen thinks for a moment. "Jackal, what have you heard of Godswatch?"
Justin`Laal gives one of the Midshipman a wave, and a smile; they seem to know each other. Then, rolling up his sleeves, he starts unloading stuff from the wagon.
Masati "It's just a thought, unless there were plans that can't for a couple of days"
Balthasar Listen, I don't claim to know the key to recollecting bygone lives. I do know that the river is a mighty thing, and...
Balthasar looks doubtful.
Balthasar Ship life is harder than many people think.
Masati shrugs "I just know the answer isn't here, or I would have found it by now." looks at him for moment "Harder then sleeping on the ground and walking through demon infested mountains?"
Jackal nods to Merayen. "Yes I have...why?"
Finnre`Merayen There's something about Godwatch... something that I find unsavory and wrong. I think we should pay a visit and see what is going on.
Justin`Laal ::The deck, as the Laal's cargo is being loaded, quickly becomes home to a fair amount of activity -- the entire crew, or at least those of it on deck, working to make sure that all the material is safely loaded aboard.::
Balthasar Well, I'd hate to say harder than both of those, but definitely harder than sleeping on the ground.
Jackal shrugs. "Of course Merayen, we can leave Skyla hear to tinker...what about Masati?"
Masati "It was just a thought. It's is your ship and your decision really"
Finnre`Merayen I suggest we bring her with us. We would be best as a group.
Balthasar leans against the railing, looking at the open river ahead for a while. It would shut up the nattering about His Plans, and at the same time, give him a chance to relax.
Masati leans over the rail next to him ans whispers "would it help if I said 'please'?"
Finnre`Merayen walks down the deck moving towards Balthasar and Masati.
Balthasar Well, naturally... my ship is your ship. The whole of you. I just don't know if it's going to be what you're expecting.
Justin`Laal ::Balthasar, leaning against the railing, spots what is going to be a very bad problem in a few seconds if he doesn't do something...::
Jackal follows Merayen.
Masati whips around and looks behind her
Finnre`Merayen looks around as Balthasar exclaims.
Justin`Laal ::No one else, not having Balthasar's skill at sailing, can quite spot the potential problem before it's too late -- but to Balthasar, it's obvious, as is his seeming prescient actions!::
Justin`Laal ::The deck is alive with activity; currently, a number of crewmen are carefully lowering a large crate down via pulley into the ships hold...::
Balthasar shoulders his way past the two women in a fit of total urgency. As he darts past, a "whrrrt" sound marks the passage of a rope, slipping free of its knots, and cinches, so that an entire section of the cargo rigging begins the process of disconnecting from itself.
Balthasar shouts, "Clear the gate hold, now!" and snags ahold of a key section of the rope, tossing his weight against it. By rapidly winding it around the rigging post, and leaping with the slack to the lower deck, he is able to jerk enough tension back into the rigging to hold it. For a moment or two.
Balthasar looks at Masati and Merayen, "You two! Get over here! Help me secure this."
Justin`Laal ::The immediate crisis averted, Balthasar managed to keep the crate from plummeting and get his crew out of harms way...now, hopefully, to deal with the lesser issue.::
Masati runs over and grabs the rope indicated by Balthasar, tying it down
Finnre`Merayen looks to make sure that everyone is out of the way.
Finnre`Merayen then runs over to grab the rope, holding it for Masati while she ties it down.
Jackal rushes over to the others to try and help although they seem to have it well in hand...
Balthasar rapidly, hands working with long expertise, knots and cinches the rope to its new location. Once that's fastened, he drifts over to the original location, growls to himself for a moment or two, and then returns. "See. This sort of thing happens all the time," he remarks. Then, to his men, "Quit gawping! It's fixed. Let's get this loaded and have ourselves a good dinner, eh?"
Finnre`Merayen nods to Balthasar.
Justin`Laal ::The men, all somewhat in awe, give out a bit of a cheer and go back to work!::
Masati stands back giving everyone plenty of room
Balthasar This is what I mean to say:
Finnre`Merayen can see that Balthsar lied there, the way his men reacted
Balthasar You're all welcome to come, but, and I do hate to be rude about it, boats are crowded places and there's a good chance of getting in the way, if you don't know how to handle things like that.
Balthasar nods to the ropes.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Balthasar. "If you are planning on going aboard, I can't blame you, but I'm thinking that I would like to take a look at Godswatch.
Jackal "Merayen thinks something is going on, and frankly i'd rather travel than stay around town."
Balthasar holds the bridge of his nose for a moment.
Balthasar Stop, stop. Everyone stop.
Masati stands by quietly waiting
Balthasar I need you all to acknowledge what I just said.
Balthasar Are you going to get in my men's way?
Finnre`Merayen nods. "I heard. You don't want us on your ship, because we'll 'be in the way'."
Balthasar You apparently didn't hear, then.
Balthasar Because I also said you're welcome.
Balthasar Come talk to me when I'm not the only one giving solid answers.
Masati "Everything we've done since I meet up you has been dangerous. I have no intention of getting in anyones way. I'm good at staying out of the way, you won't even know i'm here"
Finnre`Merayen "Yes, but, I don't know my way around a ship."
Balthasar Good! See! Easy! For Gods' Sake!
Masati looks at the deck and hides a small smirk behind her hair
Balthasar We can talk about Godswatch when we're en route to deliver this shipment.
Finnre`Merayen sighs and shrugs. "It's your choice in the end, I don't care if we travel by ship or not. I prefer land, but I know you prefer traveling by ship."
Balthasar sighs and puts his hand to his forehead now.
Balthasar Listen, if we're all staying aboard I have a few things to do. Will someone please explain to her that I've decided?
Balthasar looks pleadingly at Masati, and then Jackal.
Masati grabs Mera by the arm, "Why don't we go get our stuff"
Finnre`Merayen shrugs and starts to walk away with Masati.
Balthasar 's expression submits to a new expression, of palpable relief.
Masati looks over her shoulder and gives Balth a 'you owe me' look
Jackal nods at Balthasar. "Of course. I'll see if we can drag Skyla away from her workshop..."
Justin`Laal ::At which time Skyla comes up on deck, smiling like a loon....::
Balthasar nods to Masati in the distance; yes, he does. ;-)
Balthasar Alright, no problems the... Why, hello, Skyla!
Balthasar grins at her.
Masati heads towards the tavern collect what few belongings she has left
Jackal "Ah hello Skyla...find something interesting?
Skyla waves a piece of paper back and forth, covered in cryptic notes, and sketches, not a bit of paper shows through it seems. In her other hand is clutched The Book - her new bible, one would say. "You have iron, right?
Balthasar A ship full, as I understand it.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Masati, "You know, I really never have liked ships. You think for someone so smart, he'd realize that I'm more comfortable with my feet on the ground."
Skyla takes a second to look around and make sure Almetheia's not around.. she's sort of ... been avoiding her. in what she thinks is a subtle way. "Enough for a ship-hull?" she asks, grinning madly at her own rhyme.
Justin`Laal ::It's probably, Merayen thinks, her memories of leaping out of Skyships from miles up with nothing but some armor and a magic belt...::
Justin`Laal ::...not even First Age memories, even, sadly. She's lived a weird life.::
Jackal gawks at Skyla. "You can't make iron float..."
Skyla "Can TOO." she insists. See? she waves her paper again.
Masati "Well he was a bit distracted. And you have to admit taking the ship is a lot easier then walking"
Balthasar There probably is enough to get a start, sure. But it's a shipment; it doesn't exactly belong to me.
Justin`Laal ::Eh; she can get iron.::
Jackal stares at Skyla. "Remember we had that discussion about waving schematics at me?"
Finnre`Merayen "Yes, but I don't know my way around a ship any better than I suspect you do. He went talking about how easy it was to be in the way and didn't want us to be in the way..."
Masati "Truse me, ship or no, if it's one thing i know, it's how to stay out of the way"
Masati (oops trust me)
Jackal "..how do you make iron float?"
Balthasar Good point.
Balthasar looks at Skyla quizzically.
Finnre`Merayen I suppose, Masati, but I don't have your own natural talents.
Masati "Well I'll keep you out of the way"
Finnre`Merayen chuckles and nods to Masati.
Masati "Besides...what could go wrong" she says sarcasticly, knowing darn well something will
Masati "Probally, but doesn't it always?"
Skyla "Well, it has to do with the volume of air inside of the hull, balanced by the shape of it, and you know, it can use SAILS, but I think I can make it work off of steam... or manpower if you prefer. But less than you'd think!"
Jackal "I still don't know how you can make iron float..."
Skyla "Yeah but you didn't know what a lever was til I showed you."
Justin`Laal listening to this, as he was, can't help but speak up...
Jackal "There's a difference between prying something up and making metal float..."
Skyla "Of course there is, or we'd be surfing around on shovels."
Balthasar glances around at his ship. He likes it like this.
Balthasar You know.
Justin`Laal "I'd have to speak to Sarina," he notes, referring to his grandmother. "If you think you can build something like this, though, the Laal might be willing to supply the Iron..."
Justin`Laal seems in awe.
Balthasar Maybe before I get ... well, nevermind. Go on.
Skyla "I could probably integrate some Cold Iron into it too, to help protect it from the Ravagers and stuff." she beams. "Maybe with a pointy bit on the front."
Skyla "Then you'll have TWO boats, unless you want someone else to have it, I guess."
Skyla "And um... Almetheia can run one.. and we can run the other."
Finnre`Merayen looks to Masati as they are gathering their equipment together. "So, you really want to take the ship up river?"
Masati looks up grinning, "oh hell no"
Balthasar hesitates, then says noncommittally, "We shall see." He does smile.
Skyla clears her throat and looks over the side of the boat, to hide the fact she's turning an interesting shade of red.
Jackal "Hmph. Next you'll tell me you want to start making flying ships..."
Skyla "Well, not out of iron... I think you're supposed to use Feathersteel for those... but.. I'm not sure how to find feathersteel."
Finnre`Merayen laughs, "Then, why did you suggest it, if I'm right about you doing that?"
Masati just grins but refuses to answer
Justin`Laal chats with Skyla, once she finishes clearing her throat, asking more about her plans and what she might need for the project...
Marin`Dularn , sitting down before the Circle, listening to the tale of their meeting with the Hill Folks and their shapeshifting leader, remains silent through the entirety of your circles story. Then, once it's all done, the leader of the town of Nulam ponders for a bit...
Marin`Dularn "It is a shame that you couldn't do anything about the larger problem, but I am glad that Nulam at least is safe for the time being..."
Marin`Dularn then smiles at your guest, one of the students sent with you by Iron Mandarin, and ponders that...
Marin`Dularn "And, of course, the people of Nulam welcome you and the aid you represent, Righteous Lotus. We are not a very war-like people, but I am sure you have much to offer us, regardless,"
Skyla "War is here, whether or not we're warlike... "
Righteous`Lotus , a small slender seeming fellow and one of the Iron Mandarin's better students, simply bows lightly...
Righteous`Lotus "The young woman speaks correctly; none the less, I will spend some time among your people, observing them, before we discuss more. I must learn the truth of your peoples soul, before I can begin enlightening the worthy in the ways of the Martial Arts."
Masati sits quietly in the background at always
Finnre`Merayen You need not be warlike to be prepared for the times that battle comes to you.
Jackal "Warlike or no, better to be prepared then dead."
Marin`Dularn "I meant not to suggest that we would not do whatever is necessary to defend our way of life," he notes, smiling, raising his hands in a pleading gesture. "We are a peaceful people, but we have defended ourself in the past..."
Marin`Dularn "In any event, Righteous Lotus, you are welcome to stay at my house for as long as you wish. In time, if you intend to stay, we'll see about getting the people together to help you build a house of your own."
Finnre`Merayen smiles and her armored face just inclines in recognition.
Righteous`Lotus just nods, but says nothing.
Skyla tilts her head towards Misati, "Misa needs one too."
Marin`Dularn smiles softly.
Masati looks surprised. "I do?"
Skyla thinks, "And Mera too, since.. you're gonna stay too, right?"
Marin`Dularn "We are aware of each other; unless she's changed her mind since last we talked, however, she wishes to maintain a lower profile."
Marin`Dularn smiles lightly to Masati.
Masati looks at Marin and shakes her head no, behind Skyla's back
Balthasar Any of you is welcome to stay in my house.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Skyla, "No, I am perfectly happy with handling my lodging as we return to Nulam. I like the inn."
Skyla "But I'm good at making houses."
Balthasar has made this offer before, more likely than not.
Skyla scuffs her foot against the dirt
Jackal "Well maybe you can make houses later."
Marin`Dularn "You'll have to talk to Detrik about staying at the inne permanently - it's very rarely completely full though, so I imagine it wouldn't be an issue. Regardless... There is something we should discuss, before you set off on your trip upriver,'
Masati leans down and whisper in Skyla's ear "I'd rather have a flying ship"
Skyla "I *guess.* I have a ship to build after all."
Marin`Dularn puts on something of a forced smile, and ponders how best to approach this...
Balthasar analyzes Marin, trying to guess what he's getting at.
Skyla "Can I design YOUR house, Righteous Lotus?"
Balthasar studies his memories for what the man would and would not have learned from their stories, and juxtaposes that against his knowledge of the man's concerns.
Masati motions for Skyla to pay attention to Marin
Skyla absently looks at Marin, although her attention is clearly on floorplans.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Marin, thinking carefully, of what possibly he might be trying to get at... wondering if this is due to their nature.
Marin`Dularn "I'm afraid that, after you left, we had several problems with the Ravagers whom you left in our care..." *frowns just a bit* Balthasar, who was fairly sure it was something like this and greatful that it wasn't something worse, just nods... "Especially as the wounded ones began to heal; many of them experienced horrible unrest, uncontrolled behavior and violence."
Skyla "Oh! Are they okay? Is everyone okay?"
Marin`Dularn "Some died simply because it was impossible to tend to them, and they perished from their wounds. A few had to be exiled to the wilderness, as they'd gone feral. One was executed after it commited....unspeakable...acts."
Balthasar should have guessed.
Marin`Dularn "Their leader, and two of the ones that we were able to keep under some amount of control, still remain -- of the others you left in our care..."
Marin`Dularn "I am sorry, but there was little else we could do."
Masati quirks an eyebrow, surprised they actually executed him
Finnre`Merayen shakes her head in sorrow, both at what the ravagers have done, and their final fate. "You could not be expected to do any more than you have already done."
Balthasar bows to Dularn.
Skyla "Hmmm we need.. better...shackles..."
Marin`Dularn "Of the three that remain, however, progress has been fairly well. Their leader, especially, has made a fair amount of recovery...he is somewhat touched, but not entirely unable to coexist. We have to keep the others confined, but they've also made fair progress."
Balthasar Thank you for all the help, though. You did not have to take these men on, but you agreed to it. You have already done more than anyone would expect, and done better than I'd thought could be done. There is really no need to apologize.
Skyla frowns, considering what she just said.
Marin`Dularn just nods, glad that you all understand their position.
Balthasar Ahrmaine... I have hopes for.
Balthasar Do you believe he exerts any influence over the others?
Finnre`Merayen I had hope that more could be done for them, but you've achieved far more than anyone had any right to expect.
Balthasar He certainly did when we found them.
Marin`Dularn "As much as I doubted it, I will admit that he is by far the one most likely to recover in some fashion."
Marin`Dularn "As far as Influence, I'm afraid it is hard to say -- we have to keep all of them strictly separated, or they rapidly become unmanageable."
Skyla twitches a little.
Jackal whispers to Skyla. "Are you alright?"
Marin`Dularn "Alone, they can be somewhat peaceful, but even in groups of two..."
Skyla jumps, startled, away from Jackal, then blushes. "yeah.. I'm.. I'm good."
Finnre`Merayen thinks on this. "I wonder if we might not be able to accomplish more if we had time, Balthasar, to speed and push along their recovery."
Balthasar We're setting out, I'm sure you've heard, up river this evening.
Balthasar nods to Merayen.
Balthasar I'd like to take Ahrmaine with us.
Marin`Dularn ponders that, and nods.
Marin`Dularn "You are of course welcome to do such; just be careful around him. He is not un-dangerous."
Jackal gives Skyla an odd look before shrugging and looking back to the others.
Finnre`Merayen We will treat him carefully as the ravager he was and still is.
Masati makes a mental note to keep a very close eye on Ahrmaine.
Marin`Dularn "Also, if you could," he notes, "Would you deliver this missive to the Administrator of Gordon's Knot?"
Marin`Dularn pushes a small sealed letter forward on his desk.
Balthasar reaches forward, and takes it.
Marin`Dularn nods in thanks.
Marin`Dularn "We have had few opportunities to send word upriver lately,"
Balthasar deftly stores it in some mysterious location in the shadowy, light-consuming null that is his long-coat.
Skyla falls back into her visions of Bad Things, trying to reconcile the thought of doing unto others.. but it's for their own good... and everyone's protection..and..things.
Balthasar nods understandingly.
Balthasar As I'm sure they've wished to send word to you. These have been troubled times.
Finnre`Merayen Merayen looks around, thoughtfully considering their "guest"
Marin`Dularn ::Later that afternoon, about an hour after the ship sets sail, as the sun is sinking down low and the sky is beginning to get dark. The river is flowing steadily, the ships sails full and the towing-rope taut, the Evening Crest making fair progress against the fast rivers current.::
Masati finds an out of the way place to sit and watch the sunset and all the activity on the deck
Marin`Dularn ::Skyla spends a fair amount of time watching the sails; she still doesn't entirely understand how they'd be constructed, except in general, but with the help of the Carpenter... Balthasar, watching and directing the crew from admidships, is struck for a moment by how beautiful everything is...::
Ahrmaine is, at this point, up on deck next to Balthasar -- he looks around, a bit of distance in his eyes, but has managed to remain mostly calm since he's arrived onboard. This is the first time, since Balthasar had gone to fetch him, that he'd really had time to spare for the poor fellow...
Finnre`Merayen sits near Masati, feeling greatly discomforted on ship and not enjoying it at all.
Almetheia , currently up in the tops, is moving about like she was born in the sails -- shouting out instructiosn to the other topsmen, adjusting the sails as necessary, and enjoying the view!
Almetheia "Watch your slack, Johnson! This ain't no Guild Cutter; no time for slacking!"
Ahrmaine ((no time for laziness, maybe; avoid the pun))
Skyla has indeed whipped up some very comfortable fur-lined shackles for Ahrmaine, along with a quick-and-dirty attachment to the area he's being kept in, to attach him there securely if needed.
Balthasar breathes in deeply, feeling the rocking of the ship, hearing the familiar creaks of every little intimate part of it.
Masati makes sure to keep Ahrmaine in her line of site, while she's watching everything
Jackal spends his time getting a good look at his surroundings and watching the crew work. Facinated by the discipline.
Finnre`Merayen looks at Masati and then sighs, "I really hate ships. I would have rather traveled overland."
Almetheia climbs up to the very top of the sales, hanging lose and looking over the landscape!
Skyla , after, keeps.. far away from him, feeling a little ashamed when she sees his now-more-secure plight. Instead, she focuses studiously on the sails, occasionally pestering a sailor as to why they're moving parts the way they are.
Masati nudges Mera with her shoulder, "Look at the bright side, we don't have to sleep on the ground"
Balthasar stays silent, more or less listening to the ship. He recognizes it intimately, and could, he supposes, tell if something were going wrong with it simply by merit of the unfamiliar nature of any disturbance.
Finnre`Merayen I like sleeping on the ground. It's comfortable, I never need to worry about it rocking on me, and it's pleasantly cool most evenings.
Masati "It's dirty and his has bugs"
Masati (oops it has)
Finnre`Merayen I never really notice the bugs. Maybe they just tend to leave me alone.
Skyla ducks as the boom goes swooshing over her head.
Balthasar watches Skyla for a moment, "Skyla, let Gregh get about his business, please? He's got a few things to do for now."
Jackal starts climbing up, looking for a better position to see where the hell they are.
Balthasar Why don't you come over here with myself and Lord Ahrmaine?
Ahrmaine "I used to enjoy sailing," he notes, idly.
Masati "I'd rather have a bed thank you"
Finnre`Merayen looks towards Balthasar, wondering when they were going to begin to try and help lead Ahrmaine back into the world of humanity.
Skyla "Um..." she stares at Balth, eyes flicking nervously to Ahrmaine, then back. "I.. okay." she says in a small voice, and shuffles over to them.
Masati glances up at Ahrmaine and wonders idily if she couldn't him him from here with one of her daggers
Balthasar looks back to Ahrmaine. "Oh? What do you think of it, now?"
Ahrmaine just grunts lightly.
Ahrmaine could almost certainly be located via one of Masati's daggers...
Finnre`Merayen looks more intensely at Balthasar, willing him to look at her, then rising and walking over towards where he stands.
Skyla stares fixedly at the floor of the ship.
Balthasar doesn't respond to the grunt, but instead, nods at the approaching Merayen.
Jackal takes a look from the top of the mast, not noticing the drama surrounding Ahrmaine.
Finnre`Merayen flickers her eyes at Ahrmaine, then back to Balthasar.
Balthasar shouts upward, "Almetheia! Jackal! How's she looking ahead?"
Masati wonders idily if she should thwack Balthasar in the head with the hilt of one of her daggers to make him pay attention
Almetheia "Fair waters, and the towing station is coming up. Nothing to worry about," she calls down.
Ahrmaine isn't really paying a lot of attention to anyone.
Balthasar usually pays attention when spoken to.
Ahrmaine ::The river, of course, is threaded through with towing stations all up and down its length. It usually takes a small changeover, no more than a minute or so, at each station -- changing lines, moving from one station to the next. It's quite an efficient system, and the only thing that keeps the River Valley at all united.::
Ahrmaine ::The only way to incite trade up and down the river, after all, is to ensure that ships can make their way back upriver after heading down it. That requires the cooperation of every village along the way, as no single town is able to maintain the entire system.::
Finnre`Merayen thinks on the likelyhood of actually curing Ahrmaine, but then shakes her head. They would learn of a way to cure his condition with time and work.
Skyla curls up against the rail of the ship, and starts sketching fanciful designs of airships.
Ahrmaine ::It also serves as a slow but steady conduit of news, keeping the villages in contact, if not in a particularly fast method. Hence the reason imporatnt messages are usually shipped via boat, rather than up the line.::
Ahrmaine ::Jackal, glancing at the waters ahead, finds the River just as beautiful as he remembered from his first few trips up and down it. It's a wild fast moving river, with rough banks and frequent curves. Often the river dips a bit into a faster portion, digging its way through the earth, but thankfully there are no real dangerous rapids on the Sarine.::
Finnre`Merayen turns around and starts to stroll back to Masati and takes her seat again.
Ahrmaine ::There ARE a lot of hidden grottos, but those are -- obviously -- hard to note.::
Ahrmaine ::Balthasar knows of a few of them, of course. Good places to hide contraband, when necessary.::
Ahrmaine ::Or to hide, when even Nulam wasn't isolated enough.::
Skyla eventually switches over to diagramming the towing system, considering how her iron boat with its own propulsion could bypass it, but it would probably need to be steered fairly easily so as not to smash into any of the other ships.
Ahrmaine ::But usually such tricks were of use when going /downriver, rather than upriver/.::
Finnre`Merayen sighs again. "I hate being restricted on ship. Everyone else is lost in their own thoughts. We seem to be the only two not enchanted with this ship."
Masati shrugs and looks around "It's a boat. It's better then walking, but its' a boat"
Balthasar continually shouts orders and generally manages the ship with the majority of his attention. It's not easy labor. H Is? spare time is spent making small talk with Ahrmaine, and, occasionally, wondering why Merayen came up, stood around for a minute, and left. Did she want anything? Ah well. He's too busy to ask, now.
Ahrmaine ::The ship comes upon Godwatch about three hours after it leaves, as the sky is beginning to get dark and the stars are beginning to show through the nighttime sky.::
Ahrmaine ::Most merchants don't bother stopping in Godswatch. Only about 50 people, probably the most insular and isolated folk you can imagine, there's not a lot of reason to bother with it. This time, though, the small fishing village was on their path and Balthasar somewhat reluctantly set into it...::
Finnre`Merayen stands alongside the railing, looking at the village with hardly disguised relief.
Ahrmaine ::The village was nestled onto the cliff-face, seeming to be nothing more than a wide-dock, wooden buildings perched right above the water. Everywhere one looked there were small fishing boats, a few larger trawlers, and the numerous buildings that stood as homes for the poor residents of the town...and the much larger four-story home/temple of the villages God...Reoris.::
Balthasar scrutinizes the temple, a thought occurring to him.
Skyla "So... this is Godswatch huh."
Masati looks over Mera "Do you want me to look around by myself for a bit?" she asks quietly
Balthasar It most certainly is.
ST ::Despite living only miles downriver from it, Skyla had never actually been to Godswatch before -- it wasn't easy to walk to, and as noted, most people didn't bother visiting... As for the reason why? Even in the dim light, the faint impression of a few unlucky folk who had been strung up for some crime could be seen...blowing lightly in the light breeze.::
Finnre`Merayen nods to Masati. "If you would please... in particular, if you could check out the temple."
Skyla holds her nose. "Ew."
Balthasar nods to Skyla.
Masati nods and goes to change in what she's begining to think of as her 'work' closthes. Black shirt and pants, her pendant standing out against the shirt
ST ::The people of Godswatch, via reputation, made Nulam look like the most accepting and friendly place on earth.::
Jackal having seen much worse executions than simple hanging he isn't exactly phased by the sight.
ST ::Coming up close to the dock, Balthasar's crew quickly sets to work tying the ship down...::
Balthasar strides down the planks leading to the pier, and calmly continues on down the docks, boots thumping the wood as he goes.
Balthasar ...or does, after everything is buckled down ;-)
Finnre`Merayen walks after Balthasar, if for no other reason than to feel her feet on "solid ground"
Skyla sidles over to Mera, "What're we doing here anyway? It's creepy here."
Jackal follows beside Balthasar, wondering why it's so important for Merayen to come here.
ST ::A single fisherman, whose eyes are slightly bright in the dim light and whose skin is somewhat green, glances down at the ship as it ties itself down...and as the queer folk get off.::
ST ::Honestly, the docks of Godswatch aren't much more solid than the ship -- but at least they don't sway.::
Balthasar assumes he knows the reasons, but adjusts his gloves silently as he walks, studying the fisherman for a moment, before nodding. Folk here like a neutral greeting, he seems to recall.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Skyla after noting no one near them. "It should be obvious from the docks, but because these people have been kept apart by a god who breeds with his own daughters should word be true."
Skyla "Yeah... that's why it's creepy. but why are we HERE?"
Balthasar knew, alright. She's here to lecture the God.
Balthasar calls to the fisherman.
Finnre`Merayen You'll see soon enough.
ST ::Most of the town looks asleep - a few homes have candles burning, a small tavern seems to still be active, and the Temple/Home of Reoris is -- naturally -- still active...::
Finnre`Merayen talks close to Balthasar, following him, then stepping in beside him.
Balthasar Very sorry to disturb the fish by not passing through. May we impose upon you to tell us the best way to arrange a meeting with Reoris?
Masati uses the shadows to slip off of the boat unnoticed and silently make her way down the dock, away from the others
Fisherman , hearing the words, just looks around to see if he can possibly get away before they try to talk to him -- realizing that he'd be unable to do such without abandoning his catch, just gives Balthasar an impartial wave, and goes back to pulling out his daily catch (which is, it should be noted, quite impressive).
Finnre`Merayen looks to Balthasar and then the fisherman. "It seems we will have to make our own appointment?"
Skyla , ever-curious, checks out how the man is catching his fish before moving on
Balthasar Things are pretty informal, here.
Fisherman "Reoris don't see many folk," he notes, glancing up at you. "He's an important divinity, and he don't have much time to waste with merchants and travellers."
Finnre`Merayen smiles behind her armored mask.
Fisherman can see that your not just going to go away, and thus answers.
Balthasar Indeed? Well, alright.
Balthasar knows, in that case, the best way to arrange a meeting.
Balthasar starts walking to the temple.
Fisherman goes back to ignoring you, thus!
Finnre`Merayen follows along side with a smile and a whistling a jaunty tune quietly.
Fisherman ::Skyla, glancing at the fellows nets, sees that it seems to be normal in every way -- not as good, even. However, he catches about twice as much as most fisherfolk in Nulam.::
Fisherman ::Presumably because of the Gifts of Reoris, who /is/ a Fisher God.::
Skyla "Huh." she wanders after the others.
Balthasar says, "They lead a modest life, from what I've seen. Reoris probably doesn't see many folk because no one comes to bother him."
Fisherman ::Most of the houses that you all pass are, indeed, beyond humble -- even the people of Nulam live better.::
Balthasar I've never actually bothered to ask for him before, myself.
Balthasar But I suppose now is the time to start getting acquainted with the Land.
Finnre`Merayen Then he's about to get quite the suprise this night, if I'm correct.
Balthasar He knows we're here.
Daughter arrives, indeed, as if to puncuate Balthasar's point...
Finnre`Merayen Oh, yes, but I doubt he expected us to arrive for a visit before we did so.
Finnre`Merayen smiles to the Daughter.
Daughter is an attractive enough woman, with sea-blue hair and deep blue eyes, her skin a slightly deeper color than most of the villagers -- not just a distant descedant, this woman is obviously one of Reoris' actual children...
Daughter glances at Merayen, lightly, and then over at Balthasar... She regards, lastly, the other two members of the Circle...
Finnre`Merayen bows her head in respect, though not nearly as deeply as Balthasar.
Skyla checks out the daughter, deems herself prettier, and fidgets quietly.
Daughter "I am Anaphane, Daughter of Reoris. I welcome you to Godswatch, Princes of the Earth; you are Expected."
Daughter is, indeed, not nearly as attractive as Skyla.
Balthasar has, actually, very little respect. More, he's extremely polite.
Daughter is, if she saw most of the other women of the village, considerably more attractive than most of the people that live here...
Balthasar Anaphane, good evening. I hope we do not find you at an inconvenient time.
Finnre`Merayen nods. She speaks with just a slight tinge of amused sarcasm. "Good, it's nice to know that we won't be disturbing Reoris when he's not expecting us."
Daughter ::Masati, having separated herself from the others at the boat, moved ahead... It was mostly dark, via her path, but she didn't much mind... She found is somewhat comforting, as she creeped forward, glancing occasionally through the empty windows, moving toward the Temple-Home of the God...::
Daughter ::She knew that Reoris was...well; nothing. Even knowing that he was technically a God, Masati found herself not even entirely able to take the situation entirely seriously...though she didn't let that cause her to slip up.::
Daughter ::Eventually, as the others found themselves 'greeted' by a young woman of the Village, Masati found herself siddling up toward the main doors of the Temple -- slipping past its' "Ceremonial Guards" (who looked to be Sons of the God), and into the main room itself.::
Daughter ::It wasn't all that impressive, as far as the Homes of Gods go, but for a place supported by 50 fishermen it was paradise... The main floor was obviously arranged as an actual temple, to accept worship, and she noted that a few villagers were currently in evening prayers.::
Masati slipped around the edge of the room, avoiding the people, making her way to the door that leads further into the temple
Daughter ::Masati, moving easily past the rather involved worshippers, makes her way toward the stairs in the back -- she doesn't think there's much on the ground floor, and thus moves carefully past that level, toward the second story of the Temple/House...::
Daughter "There is little that Reoris does not see, that happens on the River. I am afraid, however," she notes, with infinite sadness, "that he will not see you this night. You may remain, and seek audience through prayer and diligence, but he is otherwise occupied and cannot merely allow any seeker in who wishes to bask in his wisdom and glory."
Balthasar I see.
Finnre`Merayen shakes her head. "I think you misunderstand."
Balthasar might, in fact, press the issue if he had any idea why they were there. But, as present, he doesn't know enough to feel urgent about it.
Daughter turns her gaze on Merayen.
Balthasar decides, though, that an audience with even a minor River God would be interesting.
Finnre`Merayen Why were those people hung that we saw from the river? If Reoris sees all but few things on the river, why did he not act to see the ravagers brought to justice?
Daughter "The justice of Godswatch is not your concern," she notes, and as for the other, she notes, "Nor is the ways of the Fisher King. The traders of the River were taught a lesson, and in time, you were led to the Ravagers via omen and the affairs of Fate, as was right and just."
Jackal frowns, hoping this doesn't get ugly...he doesn't want to stab a bunch of fishermen...
Skyla snorts again, and stares around idly, looking for anything more interesting than the girl.
Balthasar coughs politely into his hand, taking the attention off the little scuffle involving the bodies and Ravagers.
Finnre`Merayen slices her armored hand through the air. "We were lead by our own effort. Reoris has no right to claim that he had anything to do with it, otherwise the ravagers would have been caught long before. I am here because justice is my concern. Not the justice of one village, but of all the land."
Balthasar I think we could speak all day on the What Ifs and Why Nots of action versus inaction. Choices have been made, and things have turned out, so far, to be acceptable. Moreover, I do not think those executions are any concern of ours.
Jackal turns to Skyla, making idle chit chat while the others are savagely pummeling the daughter socialy. "So why can't you make that...flying steel anyway? If you can make iron float..."
Balthasar smiles at the Daughter, then Merayen. He spreads his hands, palms up.
Balthasar Let's begin again, shall we? Maybe we can get to our actual concerns, and go on with our lives.
Daughter nods a bit, and admits that these are relatively minor issues...
Skyla "I dunno.. Making iron float is different. It's the air that makes it float. Trapped, you know? Like a... like.. hmmm..." she tries to think of how to describe it. "Well it works. I'll show you on the boat. But feathersteel... I mean, I could try to make stronger steel, or something.. but I don't know what goes IN feathersteel"
Skyla "Probably something from the Pole of Air or something. They have airships up there right?"
Daughter "You speak with reason," she notes. "There is no reason to behave antagonistically. I apologize. But still, you must understand, even though you might not respect him as well as you should -- Reoris is still a God, and this is his dominion. If you wish to speak with him, it must be on his terms."
Jackal "I wouldn't know although I think they do...still maybe dragonblooded know something about it. I mean Lookshy has all of those armor suits. That's not too far away from a flying ship."
Skyla "Mmmmm. I don't know anyone in Lookshy...cept Mera, and I don't think she knew how her armor *worked*."
Finnre`Merayen By whose rights has he claimed this as his dominion? I question not his influence over the fish, as such is his right, but I do question his right to claim this as his dominion. He has done much, and I would ask him about it personally.
Jackal "Well...maybe you'll know when we go there?" He smirks and wonders...would they welcome us there or just shoot at us?
Jackal "I'm sure Merayen is a bit homesick."
Skyla tilts her head to one side. "D'ya think they'd let me look at their artifacts?"
Jackal "Well...Merayen and Balthasar are very persuasive. Maybe. I don't know how they would keep them running myself. All of that First Age stuff probably doesn't have the fuel it needs."
Skyla gets a far-off look in her eyes. "That...Maybe they just need Solar Essence. And some repair."
Jackal "Well i'll trust you know more about that then they do. I mean you still remember how to do that sort of thing."
ST ::Masati, creeping up the stairs and onto the second floor, finds herself in a large circular room that reminds her vaguely of a Harem... It's an attractive enough place, with a "nautical" kind of theme, filled with mostly naked green-skinned girls who aren't even all that attractive...::
ST ::There are a number of pillows, some furniture, and a lot of women. No sign of the God, however.::
Misati contiues to make her way into the temple, making sure to look for anything interesting useful
ST ::Masati slinks carefully around the Harem, avoiding being directly in the line of sight of any of the girls and often passing directly behind them as they are engaged in other matters. None of her movements cause a sound, and none of the girls spot her, staying as she does out of sight and out of mind...::
ST ::The room itself is quite large, and dominates the center of the room, but doesn't have an actual stairway...::
ST ::Thus, Masati ends up heading toward her left hand-side, not entirely sure why... Moving down the hall, eventually, once she gets past the girls...::
ST ::A number of rooms line the way, no doors just open archways. They serve different purposes -- the ones closest to the harems are bedrooms with large king-sized beds with flumpy pillows and thick covers.::
ST ::Further away, there are sitting rooms, a room with a massive hookah and lots of good drugs, a small entertainment room with lots of musical instruments...::
Misati takes one look at the beds and just shudders, however she can't resist pocketing a small quantity if drugs as she goes past
ST ::Masati thus, ends up with some drugs, as she reaches the end of the hallway...no way up from here; it must be down the other hall.::
Misati looks down the hall and heaves a mental sigh, she grabs one of the ledges with both hands and swings herself up into a hand stand, a pausing a moment before bringing her feet down and ending up with her standing on the ledge. Making sure to keep quiet, she makes her way back down the hall, moving across the ledges.
ST ::Carefully moving, steathily, across the ledges and climbing about the edge of the ceiling in the harem itself, Misati makes her way across and into the other hall -- which, as before, begins with large bedrooms...::
ST ::The rooms after that, however, contain a small library and then a locked door that...she suspects...must lead up to the private rooms of the God himself.::
Misati hangs down from the ledge and drops silently to the floor in front of the locked door. She places her hand on the latch and unlocks the door, waiting a moment before opening it to see if anyone notices
Jackal "Well that and maybe they'll let you fiddle with things if you promise to fix it for them..."
Skyla "ooooh. yeah I could do that..."
Finnre`Merayen drops her hand with a sigh. "I can see that I won't convince you of my belief, and neither will I back down on my side. Instead, why don't you let us take this up with Reoris personally? We've disturbed his domain enough, and wouldn't it be better to let him decide personally how to handle us?"
Daughter just listens, knowing in her heart that Reoris said he did not want to speak with them and that she is both loyal and loving of her god and her father... Amaneth doesn't want to listen to her; she doesn't want to hear this Exalted's words, and she harden her heart to them.
Daughter just bows, lightly, and frowns slightly...
Finnre`Merayen bows in return
Daughter "In the interests of bringing this to a quick end, I will accept your words," she says, glancing idly at Balthasar, before looking back at Merayen. "I will take you to the Temple, and speak to Reoris on your behalf. I can promise you nothing more."
Daughter "Please, come with me."
Daughter turns, then, and leads you up toward the Gods' Temple-Home.
Finnre`Merayen follows after at an equal pace, looking to Balthasar with a soft smile
Finnre`Merayen then looks forward and keeps her attention on the road ahead of them.
Balthasar analyzes the cryptic mask, and turns towards Jackal and Skyla. "Will you two be coming?"
Skyla trails along behind them, "Yeah... got nothing better to do here."
Jackal "Might as well...I've always wanted to see the house of a god..."
Daughter ::The interior of the Gods' House is grand indeed, and majestic...compared to how most of the people of Godswatch live, and even some of the poorer farmers in Nulam. The Inne, though, manages to look as nice -- but not in quite as pompous and bombastic a way.::
Daughter ::You don't get any higher than the first floor -- the Temple itself, where a few of the fisherfolk diligently ignore you while finishing their evening prayers. Amaneth leads you to one quiet corner, and instructs you to remain here patiently while she confers with Reoris.::
Daughter disappears then...
Daughter ::At about that time, one of the worshippers glances up at you and walks over...revealing herself, surprisingly, as Masati!::
Misati bows lightly in front of Mera and winks, "this place is creepy"
Balthasar raises a brow slowly.
Finnre`Merayen nods to Misati
Finnre`Merayen moves closer to whisper to Misati, "So what did you discover?"
Balthasar looks back to the supine petitioners.
Daughter ::The various worshippers pay little attention to you -- but it's hard not to notice them. Most of them, in the better light of the interior, are quite...ugh-looking. The green isn't quite attractive, their faces seem somewhat wrong, their eyes oddly cloudly, their hair somewhat dishevelled. The women, especially, are revolting -- the Ameneth looks beautiful next to them.::
Misati "He's got a small library, so really good drugs, and way too many beds. Those rumors about his daughters, very likely" she whispers back
Skyla "Why do all the ugly ones worship him? It's not like he's gonna make em prettier." she whispers to Jackal
Daughter ::What pretty ones? Nobody here is good looking...::
Finnre`Merayen nods and pats Misati on the shoulder in congratulations.
Skyla "I've heard that in-breeding is a no-no... maybe this is why." she shudders.
Misati glares at Mera for daring to touch her, as usual
Jackal whispers back to Skyla. "It's probably from all the inbreeding...they need some fresh blood and a new leader."
Skyla "They should go swim with the fishes or something... they're not human."
Balthasar stands there impassively, his hands clasped behind his back.
Balthasar frowns slightly to himself, though, he isn't quite sure what the unease springs from.
Balthasar says, "Hrm."
Finnre`Merayen feels a similar sense of unease and looks to Balthasar questioningly.
Balthasar What I wonder, is why Reoris is not attending to us.
Balthasar speaks openly.
Balthasar It's not as if he should fear us, or dread our coming, or simply not care about us.
Balthasar We are not here to fight, or dethrone him. We are not here to challenge him in any way.
Balthasar He knows exactly what we are.
Balthasar So, what has he to hide?
Finnre`Merayen Some fish feel the need to puff themselves up to protect themselves.
Balthasar gestures to the chambers.
Balthasar That's not it at all.
Skyla "Aren't we supposed to.. well we USED to... the Deliberative thing and all that."
Finnre`Merayen I know, but Misati did not find anything. I think that there's something strange afoot here, and it seems to be written in the way we were welcomed.
Jackal "Fine then. Let's kick the door down and ask him some questions.
Misati "maybe i should go take a closer look at that library?"
Finnre`Merayen looks at Misati, then Balthasar... then nods, "If you think you can without being caught."
Balthasar Hold on.
Balthasar frowns, his brow furrowing slightly. He seems to be listing things off to himself, nodding occasionally, with his lips working in silent speech.
Skyla "We could just open the door... I mean.. kicking in might sic the fish on us."
Balthasar You won't find this in books. This is... what is it...
Balthasar looks to some of the worshippers, his eyes narrowed.
Jackal looks disbelievingly at Skyla. "Fish? I think we've come a bit far to be worried about FISH."
Balthasar 's face clears, suddenly.
Skyla "They're all half fish-thing." she nods at the worshippers. "I mean, you've heard the phrase 'green in the gills' right?"
Balthasar then stops smiling, and nods to Skyla.
Misati looks at Baltasar "Oh shit" she mutters under her breath
Balthasar You know, Skyla, I do think you're right.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Balthasar.
Skyla "At LEAST half...ew."
Balthasar says, this time quieter:
Balthasar Everyone here has a strange look about them, no? Well. At first, it didn't really seem all that relevant to me. Reoris breeds with his people - everyone knows that. I've been here at least often enough to confirm those rumors.
Balthasar But we met one of his descendents, didn't we?
Finnre`Merayen Yes, and she didn't look all that strange...
Balthasar And, while she's similar to these people, she also wasn't, was she? She was different.
Balthasar What was different, though? Well. She was more like Reoris.
Misati looks confused: "What are you getting at?"
Balthasar But if she was like Reoris.
Finnre`Merayen nods, "Yes, I see what you mean."
Balthasar Then what are these people like?
Jackal frowns, not liking where this is going...
Misati "He's breeding fish people?"
Finnre`Merayen "I didn't realize what you meant until you pointed out the differences."
Skyla "Ooogly fishes."
Balthasar But no. Not exactly.
Balthasar It can't be fish.
Balthasar Because who cares?
Balthasar It's something worse.
Balthasar Something he wants to hide from us.
Skyla "Why are we waiting around out here while he hides it better then?"
Finnre`Merayen leans in close to Balthasar, "Have you thought about how people like these could travel the river without being seen?"
Skyla "Maybe it's not up here we should be looking..."
Balthasar says, quietly, "We're waiting for him to formally turn us away, presently. Then we'll kick down the door."
Finnre`Merayen nods to Skyla.
Skyla hmphs, goes over to the door, and knocks. Loudly.
Finnre`Merayen looks to Misati and whispers directly into her ear. "Could you swim and check below the waters?"
Skyla (on the wall)