Several days ago, Markuran received word from the Ebon Stonegazer tribe, one of his protectorates, that members had begun to disappear on routine visits into the jungle surrounding their village.
On Markuran's request, you had accompanied him to the village to investigate.
While he went with the head shaman to discuss the specifics of the attacks, you had wandered off to examine the jungle regions surrounding the encampment.
It's only fitting, then, that it is the three of you who have just been attacked by what appear to be opalescent vines striking out of the dense jungle canopy.
Rannath leaps forward, spear igniting in his hand as he flies directly into the vines like a golden bullet. His armor glows faintly as the flame-bladed spear arcs twice.
SNAP! THWACK! Two of the luminescent vines are neatly severed. The tips fall to the floor, fading into mundane greenery as they do.
Zahara spins as the vines attack, holding the Iron Great Sword she'd thought to carry into the woods - after all it was supposed to be dangerous. She moves with precision and grace, twisting her wrist just so, so that the huge weapon carves through the air like a whisper on the wind, intercepting the vines as they reach for her, slashing behind the first tendrils to the thicker pieces beyond.
When Zahara's blade strikes the first vine, there is a horrible sound -- as if something utterly inhuman were wailing. The colors flicker and fade, and the vine turns to ash.
Zahara 's eyes glint, "These vines react to Cold Iron... the Fae must be behind this!"
no sooner do the words leave Zahara's lips than yet more of the unearthly tendrils crawl up from underneath, whipping through the air to entangle the Solars.
while Birds-of-Trinity and Rannath ably avoid the creeping doom, Rannath finds himself taken by surprise -- a vine begins to twine around his leg, attempting to embed its vicious spines into him.
Seeking and searching, the vine finds one tiny chink in Rannath's armor -- just enough to slightly prick him. The wound is strange, burning -- yet cold.
Rannath's vision starts to blur, become vague and unreal -- only an effort of will allows him to push through the haze and maintain his faculties.
Birds-of-Trinity 's hollow ring Castemark flares into purple-gold light! She makes seven cuts, painting the Victory character over the vines with her weapon.
with a luminescent flare, Birds-of-Trinity nimbly severs seven vines, scattering their remains across the jungle floor. As she concludes her whirlwind destruction, the vines begin to recede -- but a strange glow begins to emerge from deep in the jungle...
Markuran charges into the clearing, a bloody line drawn down his deeply tanned face, chest heaving like bellows. "I was ambushed by these demon-spawned things on my way to meet you! There's a big..flower back there, glowing like the Sun himself with these vines all around it. It nearly got me." The big Exalt's words are daunting, considering the legendary strength in those massive arms and the power of his bloodied fists.
Rannath whistles piercingly and leaps into the air, landing on the charging crimson horse that seems to have just.. appeared. He races for the northwest, Daybreak's flame blade intensifying as the superheavy plate's glow reaches a blinding level.
charlequin Rannath rides towards the great glow. After a short distance, the jungle breaks, and he finds himself in a clearing, a great flower towering up in its center.
charlequin The vines the group encountered earlier clearly stem from its base; its massive trunk glows ever more strongly as it rises up from the ground, culminating in an infinite circle of petals which seems to glow with colors never before seen by mortal man. They seem almost to twist and spin around its central axis, all without moving.
charlequin Four branches stick out from the trunk about half its ten-person span of height, and are laden with great brilliant white fruits, larger than a man. As Rannath enters the clearing, one drops to the ground and peels open with a sickening SQUISH.
charlequin What may have once been Ebon Stonegazers crawl out of the mush, partially covered in glowing leaves and spines, and moaning piteously. They begin to run at high speed towards Rannath.
charlequin Four are visible.
Rannath continues his charge, sweeping his spear around in a brilliant dance of fire and light as his Caste Mark glows.
charlequin Rannath's spear swings wide, striking true on each of the horrific monstrosities facing him. The first blow neatly severs the jugular of one such wretched -- its blood, far redder than anything Rannath has seen before, sprays out in a violent, jagged spurt. One by one, all four figures fall beneath his blows -- but more of the fruits begin to fall from the tree....
Zahara whistles sharply, and the mythic creature swoops down into the clearing from its soaring height. She leaps on his back easily, mentally coordinating the move with the beast as he nears, and instructs him to fly over to the glowing flower as fast as he can. She wraps her legs around his sides tightly so she can concentrate on her task, sending a quick prayer to the Unconquered Sun that this works.
Zahara closes her eyes for a second, and her long hair seems to swirl around her, buoyed on winds of Essence that fan out from her hands as golden tendrils of Order that flow over and encase the Chaos of the Wyld-touched vines, stripping them of the Chaos that animates them, imposing Reality upon each leaf, tendril and spine.
Rannath looks up as he hears the rush of winds above. A wave of Essence washes over the clearing, stripping it leaf to stone of the unordered, wild power of the fae. As the wave of Essence passes over the flower, it becomes cold, black, and hard, revealing itself to be nothing more than a lightning-struck husk.
The wave of essence covers one of the fruits, just before it strikes the ground before Rannath. It becomes a large rock that shatters with a great noise; blood, mortal blood now, oozes unsettlingly from within.
Rannath sighs and waves at the manticore-riding sorceress.
Zahara opens her eyes and sighs, then grins and salutes Rannath
Markuran trots back into the flower's grove and, seeing the blood-covered stones, looks at Rannath for an explination "What did you do? I saw men struggling inside it.."
The blood continues to soak into the clearing floor.
Rannath "They weren't men anymore."
Birds-of-Trinity calls out to Smoking Mirror while running onto the scene. Once arrived, she puts a hand on Rannath's shoulder and surveys the destruction.
Markuran The Bear "They weren't men anymore? What do you mean? They were men, they were MY men."
Zahara swoops down to the clearing, and pats the monstrous beast she rides on the shoulder before dismounting, She prods a blackened tendril with her sword just to be sure. "Warped, twisted. Not men anymore." she comments, looking at Markuran
charlequin The bodies of those Rannath slew still bear the scars and twistings of the fae's work, though the magic is gone from them.
Rannath dismounts and takes his helm off, looking fresh and clean. "I am greatly saddened by their loss, but truly, there was nothing to be done. I'm sorry, friend."
Markuran kneels down by the blood-drenched stones and runs his fingers through the ichor. Pulling at the straps that hold his Bear Armor in place, Mark tugs the chestplate free and marks himself with their blood, streaking his heart, lungs, stomach and face. The markings look sad in some ineffible way, though clearly they are symbols of glory and battle that the Circle has seen on the barbarian tribes hundreds of times
Birds Of Trinity (Markuran's shoulder, rather)
Zahara nods in agreement, "They were dead long ago, Markuran. Though it is good you do honor to them." She turns to Rannath, "I saw you injured before, are you alright?"
Markuran stands, tying the chestplate of his armor onto his back. "We need to look for more of these flowers."
Rannath "I'm fine."
Markuran waves a hand across the corpses at Rannath's feet and gives a small bow as they rise into the sky as sweet silver smoke.
Rannath inclines his head and murmurs a short prayer.
Birds-of-Trinity nods. "Markuran's right. Smoking Mirror, will you fly up and see if there are any nearby?"
Birds Of Trinity "We should try to eradicate them before nightfall."
charlequin Smoking Mirror caws acknowledgment and swoops up above the treeline to do Birds' bidding.
Markuran ripples with the soft golden light of the sun climbing toward noon through a misty morning. The light clings especially to the blood on his torso, almost as if the light of Mark's soul was honoring the fallen warriors
Zahara "Do you have any weapons of Cold Iron? Any of you?"
Rannath "My bow and my spear are my only weapons, unfortunately."
Markuran shakes his head. "I have never needed a weapon to put down the fae, Zahara. You know that." Mark flexes his massive fists in demonstration, giving off ominous popping noises as he cracks his knuckles
charlequin after a few minutes, Smoking Mirror returns. No such... things were visible within many miles.
Birds Of Trinity "Thank you." Birds-of-Trinity strokes the elemental's head.
Zahara "Hmm. Well, normal weapons will do enough, in the hands of the Chosen." she smiles at Markuran, "Or the hands of the Chosen will do enough."
Zahara "But you should arm your tribesmen with them, for their protection."
Birds Of Trinity "Indeed you should. It is unwise to mount an offensive without first outfitting one's army with the most puissant weaponry possible."
Markuran The Bear "Even iron in the hands of the tribesmen would not have saved them, I fear. But I will tell them.
Rannath "But is this a single incident or a full-out assault by the fae?"
Zahara "Perhaps we can build a perimeter of defense around the village."
Markuran The Bear "Would the fae attack just one village of all those in the area, Zahara?"
Birds-of-Trinity sits down at the feet of her comrades-in-arms. "We do not understand the ways of the lovely ones."
Zahara shakes her head, "Usually they stay near the edges of Creation.. if they are moving in, the Borders of Creation probably are, as well. However, a single Wyld creature is not enough to tell... I would need to see more."
Birds Of Trinity "In my opinion, if we are to have a fight with them, we should bring it to them, rather than let them bring it to us."
Markuran The Bear "I would be more comfortable talking of this in the village. The husbands, wives and children of these folk have asked me to tell them of their families."
Birds Of Trinity "Then let us tell them."
Zahara "Lead the way, Markuran."
Birds-of-Trinity leaps to her feet to follow.
Rannath "I must retrieve our escort and will be along shortly. Shall I mobilize the Legion?"
Markuran rises from his reverie over the ashes of the dead Stonegazers and strides ahead through the forest, puffing his massive chest out slightly so everyone can't help but pay attention to the mourning badges.
Zahara "We do not know yet if the threat is dire enough to warrant the whole Legion, Rannath. Give us time to scout first."
Markuran The Bear "The tribes can hold their own. The Legion isn't needed."
Rannath "Mm. As you wish."
Zahara "I'm not so sure about that, Markuran. They lost many already."
Rannath replaces the helm and mounts, saluting as he charges off the way the group came.
The heroes settle themselves into the finely crafted birch chairs that sit in the hut of
Torenaze, the village's elder shaman. He bears an unsettled look as he discusses the
afternoon's events with you.
Torenaze "I feared that many terrible things might have befallen the men who vanished into the jungle, but this.... this is almost beyond imagining."
Zahara settles herself down into the chair, shifting her rugged, outdoorsy clothing to a more appropriate dress, to show respect.
Birds-of-Trinity offers the shaman a sympathetic look.
Markuran nods sagely, sitting in his chair which is slightly bigger and more impressive then everyone else's chair. "It is terrible. But their souls rest in the arms of the Sun before returning to us, strong and vital. They were not left for the vultures."
Toranaze bows his head, sadly.
Zahara nods, "Markuran honored them, and sent them properly to the Afterlife."
Birds Of Trinity "Zahara, do you know a way to trace this incursion to its source?"
Birds Of Trinity "Perhaps, if we act with speed, we can save the village any further grief."
Zahara frowns a bit, "Normally traveling Fae might leave a bit of Chaos in their wake, but this seems to have been sent there deliberately. I am not sure how it came to be here."
Rannath enters the hut, inclining his head. "Greetings, elder."
Rannath "Our escort is outside your village, and awaits only your permission to defend it."
Markuran frowns. "They can patrol the boundaries. You have told them of the wyld?"
Rannath directs a glance over at Markuran. "Of course."
At this moment, a messenger steps into the hut, and walks up to the group -- he seems to have urgent business.
Markuran sits up a bit straighter, adopting the posture of a ruler as easily as he would put on the hooded bearskin behind him. "Yew? What news do you have?"
The man pants and huffs for a moment, then gathers his breath and speaks: "A man has come to the outskirts of the village, and has asked to speak with you directly, honored Markuran!" He bows frantically.
Markuran rises and starts moving toward the door. "Show me where he's waiting."
Zahara "Shall we come with?"
Markuran The Bear "If you wish. There will be food and drink for you, elsewhere."
Zahara tosses her long blonde locks over her shoulder as she stands, her dress shimmering as it ripples across her legs. "I would rather come to see what the problem is." She smiles, revealing even white teeth.
Rannath is a man of Southwestern descent, with deeply-tanned dark skin and long black hair. He's.. indescribably ugly, resembling a larger ape, but there's something about him that makes his twisted face look extremely noble, if not appealing. He's also a very large man, with a massive build, over which hangs a golden suit of orichalcum plate.
Markuran bows slightly and sheds the rest of his Bear armor, leaving it behind on the chair and pulling the bearskin cloak of chieftan around his ox-plow width shoulders. Moving through the village, Mark still shimmers faintly with the glow of his inner power, drawing attention to the powerful, solid frame of a warrior and craftsman and to the streaks of blood across his massive chest and tanned face.
charlequin the nervous young gentleman begins to lead Markuran towards the location he mentioned previously.
Markuran The Bear "Does he trouble you, Small Yew?"
charlequin "He carries himself in an unsettling fashion, lord."
Birds-of-Trinity licks her lips at the suggestion of a "problem", and comes to her feet. Her dark eyes have the distinctive glint of someone who cannot understand danger.
Rannath crouches and steps through the door, giving a hand-signal to a nearby soldier clad in red-jade. The soldier nods, salutes, and runs back to the body of troops waiting outside the town.
Rannath sets mode: +o Zahara
Markuran The Bear "What does he look like?"
Zahara glances briefly up at the sky where the Manticore soars idly on the breezes, as they exit the building. He's keeping an eye out for danger, needless as that seems to be surrounded by troops as they are.
charlequin "He is a pale man, master, not from this land. He wears a robe upon which the sun glints in a truly abnormal fashion."
Markuran lets one of his fists fold slowly and walks faster. "Is he alone?"
charlequin "Yes, sir."
Markuran The Bear "Did you leave him guarded?"
charlequin "Fifteen strong men and women, lord."
Markuran nods. "Good."
Birds-of-Trinity goes outside to talk to Smoking Mirror, who avoids entering buildings because of his elemental effusions. "There is a strange man at the gate of the village, Mirror." Having had this conversation many times before, the bird nkows that he is to go and observe.
charlequin Small Yew leads the Solars to the gate of the village, where an insufferable-looking man with a nearly albino skintone and long, black hair stands, surrounded by the fiercest warriors of the Ebon Stonegazer tribe.
Markuran stops before the man, setting himself for battle without even thinking of it. Arms crossed over his blood-streaked chest and face drawn into a scowl, Mark glowers down at the man. "What dead, festering swampland did you crawl from? And why?"
Rannath stands slightly behind and to the left of Mark, watching the man with intent curiosity.
charlequin The man snorts dismissively. "Never would I set foot in such a place, sir. Almost as much as I would never set foot in a place such as this." Markuran notices that the man does, in fact, stand just beyond the border of the village.
charlequin "Are you the one called Markuran?"
Markuran The Bear "You have not answered my question."
Markuran The Bear "Where are you from and why are you here."
Zahara lofts a brow, eyeing the man. She lets her eyes unfocus slightly, from the surface to the meaning beneath as she listens to the conversation, standing just behind Markuran with one hand resting lightly on the hilt of her sword, which is planted in the ground as she leans against it
charlequin He pauses for a moment, then answers. "I myself come from the far northlands, a great distance from here. Today, however, I journey on behalf of my master, Rovash the Infinite, to bear a message to you."
Markuran The Bear "Speak."
charlequin He digs into his pocket and pulls out what appears to be a piece of shimmering crystal, but as thin and flexible as paper. He hands it to Markuran.
Markuran reaches out to take and and peers at it curiously.
charlequin Upon it, in an intricate and almost unreadable hand, it reads:
charlequin "To the one known in this world and beyond by the name of 'Markuran," I call to you from beyond. Rovash the Infinite requires the space under your protection, granted to those you call the "Ebon Stonegazers"; it calls out to his soul, screams for him at night, begs for him by day. This land bears upon it the imprint of my very being, and I will be one with it again. You may send a message with my courier containing the sp
charlequin containing the specifics of your requested payment. ---- ROVASH"
charlequin As Markuran reads the last line, the sheet of paper breaks into a legion of rainbow-colored crystalline frogs, who fall from his hands and begin to hop away in all directions.
Birds-of-Trinity looks at the man. "You have an interesting sense of humor, sir."
Markuran puts his heavy foot down hard, one of the frogs vanishes in a puff of light under the boot heel. "Your master's soul has many things to scream for. It may scream for as long as it wishes. Leave this place."
charlequin "I have NO sense of humor, SIR. This message comes from my master."
Zahara manages only barely to resist from shrieking 'froggies!' in a girlish manner. They're so cute.
charlequin "I cannot leave without an offer of payment from you, sir."
Zahara "Then you must remain our guest." she smiles pleasantly.
Markuran shrugs and nods his shaggy head once, understanding. In a flash, Mark's fist is returning to his chest and the dent in the pale man's stomach is starting to fill out again as the muscles and flesh struggle to adjust to the inhuman beating just delivered. "Indeed."
charlequin The man drops to the ground unconscious, his feet not moving from the spot where he stood.
Markuran kneels and idly tries to pick the man up.
Rannath "Mm. The joke could have been better, but I was amused."
Zahara "Or, he could remain our prisoner."
Birds Of Trinity "It seems like this would be rather an effecient way to deliver a challenge."
Markuran The Bear "You intend to start such things?"
Zahara "I think punching his messenger already started them, Markuran."
Birds Of Trinity "If you're going to have a fight, you should always have it on your own terms."
Rannath "He has insulted our Circle's honor. We cannot stop simply at giving their emissary a mild concussion."
Markuran The Bear "I did not concuss him."
Rannath "A figure of speech. We must act."
Markuran The Bear "He will wake clear-headed and healthy. His stomach will pain him for weeks, and I may have broken several ribs."
Zahara "That does not make it easier to turn him to our side." she smirks slightly. "Which would be fun."
Markuran strains at the man's form for a moment then rises. "He is held in place. Zahara, can you remedy that?"
Rannath "If you wish it, my Legion can arrive at full strength in three days."
Zahara "He is in a ready-made prison already, Markuran, why move him to a new one?"
Zahara "Besides, I need to meditate."
Zahara "I'd rather not waste more energy on him yet."
Markuran shrugs. "Very well. One man must guard him at all times. We must consider this."
Markuran looks to the others and waves a hand to suggest a return to the shaman's house
Rannath stifles a sigh and begins walking back.
Zahara prods the prone messenger with a toe, "Indeed." she turns to follow Markuran back
Birds-of-Trinity shrugs, makes a hand signal to her bird-elemental friend, and follows the Circle.
Markuran reclaims his seat and frowns as he considers. A barked order gets the attention of one of the warriors outside, he trots off to fetch food and drink for the four Exalted. "Well, what do you think?"
Zahara shrugs a little, "Sounds like the man is determined, if he IS a man. What do you think he meant by 'from beyond'?"
Markuran The Bear "The deathlands."
Zahara "Or perhaps he is a spirit, or demon."
Birds Of Trinity "He did not look like a water or wood elemental."
Markuran The Bear "He is a servant of death. He is unimportant. His master is the issue."
Markuran makes a flat cutting guesture, ending speculation on the man himself.
Zahara "His servant is bound somehow, though. I would know what spell was used to bind him."
Rannath "From beyond.. hm. The Underworld, or the Wyld."
Zahara "The Wyld could well be connected. Especially if the twisted flower is his emissary as well."
Zahara "We shall see if he can endure the touch of Cold Iron, or Sunlight."
Markuran The Bear "He arrived in the sun, Zahara."
Rannath "The appearance of this messenger and that accursed plant on the same day cannot be a coincidence."
Markuran The Bear "And, though soft, he was not intangible when I punched him."
Zahara "You misunderstand. I speak of the light that I can call from within, from my Blessing of the Sun. It burns demons, and the deathly ones."
Markuran shrugs. "I call the light as well. We can see later. He is not important. His master is. Rovash the Infinite is unfamiliar to me, but you are learned, Zahara. Have you heard of him?"
Birds Of Trinity "We can wake him up faster."
Birds Of Trinity "You know, if you want to experiment."
Zahara "Markuran, we can learn more OF the master THROUGH his servant. Don't be so hasty."
Rannath "We should not resort to torture so quickly."
Birds Of Trinity "Who said anything about torture?"
Zahara frowns, "The name is not familiar to me, but perhaps if the servant told us more, I would know where to look."
Rannath just looks at Birds. "We will not harm him until he attempts to attack us."
charlequin Something jogs Mark's memory. On the sheet, just before it disintegrated, the name was followed with a symbol -- a seven-spoked star which spiralled inwards to an infinite number of smaller such stars, each smaller than the last.
charlequin He has seen slaves sold who bore that mark upon their cheek, or their heart.
Markuran tries to recall if any of these slaves were sold to his tribes or areas close by. "I vaguely remember slaves with a sort of mark as that on the paper...a spiraling 7-point star within itself forever."
Birds-of-Trinity looks at Rannath, baffled. "Excuse me a bit." She leaves the council building.
Zahara Rannath, don't be a prude.
Zahara sniffs at him
Birds-of-Trinity takes the opportunity to poke at the unconscious messender with a fire-poker before returning with bread and meats.
Markuran asks Birds, then takes a piece of the meat she brought back and attacks it hungrily as he considers the situation. "I think we should send him back, and follow him. After learning what we can.
Rannath "We are no better than our enemies if we stoop to their level."
Zahara smiles indulgently, "Yes, Rannath. We know."
Birds Of Trinity "We don't have to be -better- than them, Rannath. This is what I keep telling you. We just have to have sharper sticks."
Rannath just stares into his helmet, twirling it between his hands.
Birds Of Trinity "Anyway. Since I'm outvoted, what now?"
Markuran snorts at Rannath. "You and your precious code. You'd kill a hundred if they insulted it."
Rannath "It keeps my evils in check.:
Zahara "I think we should test him when he wakes up. If he is human, he will not be harmed."
Markuran chuckles. "Well, we have something more important to do then ponder your queer honor."
Markuran nods to Zahara. "I agree. We can wake him now, I suppose."
Rannath sighs and looks at the ceiling. "Of course. Yes, the cold iron test is the only way."
Zahara smiles, pleased. "Let's go check on our new friend then."
Zahara hops to her feet and heads out the door.
Markuran plods along behind Zahara, moving slowly as he chews on his leg of mutton.
Rannath exits as well, but heads a different direction. "I have to check on my soldiers. I'll be back soon."
Birds Of Trinity "Tell them hello for me." She waves to Rannath as he departs.
Birds-of-Trinity hangs back with one of the villagers that she has befriended, idly chattering about the weather and the crops as though nothing unusual was happening. No, nothing at all.
Zahara shakes her head a little, "Sometimes I wonder why he cleaves so closely to his code. It's just not expedient." she trots merrily on over to the fallen messenger
charlequin He lies unconscious and unmoved, just as when the Solars left him.
Markuran The Bear "Well, one of you will need to revive him. I hit him fairly hard."
Zahara "Hmmm. I'm no good with fixing people."
Birds-of-Trinity crouches down and jabs the man firmly in the chest - not hard enough to injure, but enough to jolt almost anyone rudely awake.
charlequin There is a cough and a sputter. He seems to come round a little bit.
Zahara "Ah good. Wake up, Friend!" she says cheerfully.
charlequin He shoots Zahara a tremendously angry look.
Zahara clucks her tongue a bit, chidingly. "Now, don't give me that look. I didn't hit you."
charlequin He is clearly thinking of a witty rejoinder, but cannot breathe well enough to deliver it.
Birds Of Trinity "Yeah. That was me. And him."
Birds Of Trinity You should sit up and have a bit of water."
charlequin He sits, grudgingly.
Markuran stands over the messenger, glaring down at him with a dark scowl on his face and one fist flexing convulsivly at his side.
Zahara looks from Birds to Mark, and sighs, signaling to one of the tribesmen. "Some water, please."
charlequin A tribesman runs quickly to fetch water.
charlequin He returns, bearing an earthen bowl.
Zahara takes the bowl from him and offers a nod of thanks and dismissal. Then she offers the water to the messenger. "Here, drink this."
charlequin The messenger drinks it gingerly.
charlequin "What do you want with me now? koff I have already told you my koff business here."
Zahara tries to put on her 'friendly' face, but can't help but let the glimmer of her enjoyment at the situation through. "We want to know who your master is, and why he wants the land."
charlequin He glowers at Zahara again for a moment, then speaks.
charlequin "My lord has a great... emotional connection to this place. He wishes to make it his new home, but these pests," he says, gesturing to a nearby tribesman, "are in the way. Since you are the one given to speaking for this place, he wishes you to tell him what the asking price is. That is all."
Markuran The Bear "What is your master? A deathknight? One of the Fae?"
charlequin "My master hails from the far courts, yes."
Zahara "Then he cannot have an emotional connection to this place, for it IS a place."
charlequin "He... journeyed here once, hundreds of incarnations ago for you or I. He met another here, and they ruled this land for one hundred years and a year. But that was... a long time ago."
charlequin "Now he wishes to call back that other, but she will -- she CAN -- come only here."
Zahara "Who is this other? Has she a name?"
Markuran The Bear "These people will not bow to the Unshaped. He may bring to me the riches of Creation and the loyalty of the Realm and still I would turn him away and drive him forever into chaos."
Birds Of Trinity "He can call to her, then, without my brother's surrendering his land. Such permission isn't mine to give, though." Birds-of-Trinity looks at Markuran with a look of mixed curiosity and concern.
Markuran shakes his head. "He can wait for the Wyld to vomit her forth. My land is not his to trod."
Birds Of Trinity "While this Rovash has no manners, I would not want to be saying the same thing of you."
Zahara "Come now, at least he sent a message."
Markuran The Bear "I will not suffer the fae in my lands. What has their presence done even two hours ago? Eight good men and women dead."
charlequin "She is known as Injara, Who Is Unspoken. She makes her abode far from these lands today."
Rannath walks over to the group, wearing a silk outfit of crimson and gold in place of his armor. The spear's still slung over his shoulder, though.
charlequin "Only the call to return here could bring her from where she now roams."
Zahara "It is true, messenger, that the creature your master sent has already wrought much damage."
Birds Of Trinity "It seems like seeking this Injara would be better accomplished by seeking this Injara."
charlequin "Creature?" He seems genuinely surprised.
Birds-of-Trinity looks at Rannath. "He's interesting to talk to."
Zahara waves her hand in the general direction of the ex-glow. "The hmmm flower-creature."
Rannath nods. "And his master?"
Zahara "His master," she poses dramatically, "Is in love."
Birds-of-Trinity summarizes briefly, omitting the comments about Markuran's manners and diverse parentage.
charlequin "I do not know what this plot you make to trick me entails, but whatever you say to me I still cannot leave without an offer."
Rannath looks baffled. "..In love."
Zahara "I could show you the charred remains of what WAS once a creature of the Wyld." she offers, emphasizing that it no longer is.
charlequin "My master would send no such beast! He wishes only to make a fair, equitable exchange."
Markuran has a certain familiar set to his jaw that the rest of the Circle recognizes as a sign his decision is final. "Your master may have my lands when he returns from swimming in the Well of the Void."
Rannath finally smiles. "And if he presses the point, our only offer will involve quite a bit of iron."
charlequin The messenger stares at Markuran for a moment, and intones "Know that your offer is binding, Chosen of the Sun." He pulls himself to his feet, then dramatically lifts his legs, spins in place, and begins to walk away.
Zahara quirks her brow, "Well that was interesting."
Rannath "Mm. This is not the end."
Zahara steeples her fingers, "The Fae do not break their promises, though they often find ways around the spirit of their oaths."
Markuran The Bear "We have to expand the patrols and summon the warriors. The fae will come."
Markuran The Bear "If he swims in the Well, he will not return."
Zahara "The fae... HIS fae.. will not come until such is done."
Birds Of Trinity "I think it would be interesting for us to mount a search for this being Injara ourselves."
Rannath bows, face solemn. "The Unconquered Legion will defend these lands to the last."
Zahara "Perhaps I could find a way to conjure her here."
Birds Of Trinity "At the very least, she will serve as a sizeable bargaining chip."
Zahara "Indeed." She smiles. "This should be interesting."
Markuran makes a fist. "I need no bargains with the Unshaped."
Zahara "And yet you made one."
Markuran "The impossible is not a bargain."
Zahara "It is."
Birds Of Trinity "You ask a being that knows no difference."
Rannath "We must expect even the impossible. He isn't constrained by human limitations."
Zahara "I wonder, do the fae have spirits?"
Markuran "He is constrained by his own. He can not swim in the Void."
Markuran "Regardless, we must prepare. He will march against us. The
Zahara "We shall see."
Markuran 'bargain' did not preclude that."
Birds Of Trinity "Let us hope so, Markuran, for your people's sake."
Rannath signals for the same jade-clad officer. "Then he will fall before the blade of the Unconquered Sun."
Markuran shrugs. "I do not fear for them.
"Sir!" The officer stands attention.
Rannath "Return to the Maze. The entire Legion is to mobilize immediately."
Tags (:tags Fair Folk, Rovash The Infinite, Injara, Ebon Stonegazers:)