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Extraction of the Benign

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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Sat May 08, 2010 11:56 am

The paladin's face turned six different shades of red as she listened to her companions 'discuss' the issue. Her reaction was not one of anger, but embarrassment. The Fellowship had its challenges with civility toward each other, but to argue like this in front of an emissary of the Council was slightly mortifying for her. She was trying to hear the points they were making through the veils of hostility, but it was difficult. No one was listening to each other, and everyone was taking offense where no offense was intended.

Patiently she waited for Friend Carlos to respond, but with nothing forthcoming she decided to speak up and give him more time to think about his answer.

"I apologize for our behavior, Emissary, but we have had a very trying time the last several days...

"I would ask all of us to keep a civil tone while voicing our opinions," Darya announced firmly, speaking to those gathered. "We ALL wish what is best for Friend Carlos, so let's at least respect each other enough to hear what our companions have to say, whether we agree with it or not.

"We need no compensation for Friend Carlos, and indeed I doubt the good man here has the eight plus hours or the components necessary to Identify a few of the items we need looked at. Nas surely did not mean we should receive payment for him!

"Secondly, we know Gordrenn and we know Tauster, and while he might be eccentric," she said with a half grin to Torin, " he is trustworthy. We are not sending him off to slavery again... Tauster is the one that helped us remove the Cursed aura around him in the first place!

"It is my opinion that Friend Carlos will be taken much better care of with the priest of Yondalla, and with wizards that seek to help him and can protect him from Preeminence should he return! It is not to say that we have not done what we could... Cleander especially," she said, smiling at the enraged wemic, "but I believe he would be better served with people who could devote their entire attention to his tutelage and not be dragging him into battles where he might be killed. He did not in fact choose this life, and he should be given the opportunity to experience other options than the life of an adventurer!

"Since we're voting, it is my vote that he should accompany this emissary to Turelve on the condition that we be allowed to visit him and be sent periodic reports as to his condition. My temple will be very interested in discovering the identity of this 'Preeminence' to see that his evil activities might be brought to an end, and these wizards may be able to divine the truth of the Red Wizard. I will also be in contact with the Dawnmaster to tell him of this development. He will be able to send a representative of the temple to Turelve to keep an eye on Friend Carlos as well."

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"Friend Carlos"

Post  The Sub-Creator on Sun May 09, 2010 8:05 pm

The slave maintained his position behind the wemic, head bowed slightly so as to avert his eyes from contact with any others, yet still vigilant of all that happened within the courtyard. "As is commanded, I will do," he replied to the many words directed at him. "Wherever it is decided for me to go, I will serve dutifully according to the edicts provided me."

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Jace

Post  Magyc on Sun May 09, 2010 11:50 pm

Jace half-listened to the spirited debate as he rapidly considered his own position. A week ago he would have been quite offended at the imperious wizard who expected his will to be catered to. Then, he had listened to Friend Carlos describe the treatment he had undergone since birth, and what had happened to his mother. He had witnessed the slaughter/torture chamber horrors that were under his very feet. (He had managed to suppress his reactions until he was temporarily out of sight of the rest of the party, then he promptly got sick).

He had rapidly become much more forgiving in whom he would consider an ally against this sort of evil, and privileged, arrogant wizards who nevertheless advocated what was good and just now qualified.

The arguments for turning over FC made sense. He had been badly injured multiple times, even though they had taken pains to protect him during combat. A group of priests living away from combat may be able to help him, although Jace had come to believe that FC was beyond help. Early on, he thought that FC's behavior was due to the enchantments that were placed upon him. Now it was clear that it had been been brutally drilled into him via torture since birth, and that was not something that was "fixable". Cleander had argued that FC should be asked to decide for himself, and not suprisingly FC had so far declined to issue his opinion, even after being directly asked by Torin. Jace was neutral about asking for compensation, although he agreed with Nas that the loss of FC did impact the group (he had significantly increased their healing and offensive spell capacity) too many of the FOES seemed to find the deal distasteful, and that was not worth the friction in Jace's opinion.

Yet there was a still something he was gravely concerned about. Not for Friend Carlos's sake, or their own...but for the sake of those who wanted to take him in. Quite some time ago Torin had commented about not understanding why Preeminence would give up a valuable tool so casually. That remark had stuck with him. That puzzle became even more of a concern when a conversation with FC had elicited that Preeminence had defeated angels and demons, and that he was aware of everying that FC did. The question of why Preeminence would be interested in their small band was baffling. Now, however, it might make perfect sense. Friend Carlos was dangling as bait. He would be of great interest to any enemies or potential enemies of Preeminence, and the little they might gain in studying him would be more than offset by what Preeminence could learn about them while they did so. Jace could see no other explanation of the abandonment of Friend Carlos that did not involve Preeminence acting foolishly- something he very much doubted occurred.

Jace was torn about where these thoughts may lead. Did he risk endangering allies on the side of good by tacitly allowing a spy in their midst? On the other hand, if they refused to hand Friend Carlos over, Preeminence might decide to forcibly relocate FC to somewhere else to be picked up by his enemies and go through the FOES to do it. So much pure speculation....and yet it all made complete sense now.

Though not everyone had weighed in, it appeared like the majority would be in favor of sending off FC with the mage. He hoped he would not have to cast the deciding vote. Jace retreated a few steps into the room he had stepped out of, and pulled a parchment from his pack. At the very least he had to issue some kind of warning, and this would best be kept on paper alone, where no one could overhear. He did this despite knowing in all likelihood the pompous mages and priests would disregard the warning of a novice mage...but he had to try.
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Jayashree Anjuli

Post  WoTmaster on Mon May 10, 2010 12:35 am

Jaya had been up in the tower going through her things. She was relieved to have them back in her possession. She checked the edges of her shuriken to make sure they were sharp, and coated a few with weaponblack before storing them back into the slits in her leather armor. She checked over her other items too, her pics, her vial of poison.

She heard a commotion from below in the courtyard. "Oh, no, not again!" she thought. She peeked over the edge and saw a strange fat man in the courtyard. Nas was addressing him and then Lady Darya came out to speak with him as well.

She slipped on her shark skinned gloves and slipped over the edge and began climbing down the side of the tower. She stayed to the shadows. Best to keep the element of surprise if it was needed.

She listened to the debate as it was going on. Yondalla was another name for the Halfling Goddess. She had many names, and many personas. Rhianwen was the name that Jaya knew best, the one she called her. She was the Great Mother! It is true that she would care for Friend Carlos much better than we had been able to. Still, Jaya would be sad to see him go. She still felt responsible for him since he had attached himself to her like a lost puppy all those ten-days ago.

She could understand Nas's feelings too, his true motivations. But more than that, she felt that Friend Carlos should be where he would be best helped and as much as it hurt that wasn't with them. She took a deep breath and stepped from the shadows of the courtyard.

"I think that he should go." She said clearly and strongly. "We cannot help him any more. They can help him, can give him a meaningful life. They can protect him and perhaps free him with their magics! And Yondalla will watch over him. We cannot be selfish in this. We cannot keep him with us to his detriment. We must do what is best for him because he cannot do it for himself."

With tears streaming down her cheeks, Jaya rushed toward Friend Carlos and threw her arms around him in a hug. "I'll miss you my shadow." she whispered.
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Riffington Alexander heyguesswhojustwokeup von Ulm

Post  Mr. Awesome on Mon May 10, 2010 9:52 am

One of the best things about having been a jester and entertainer is that Riff had long ago learned when to be seen and noticed, and when he shouldn't. Granted, he was no rouge, however staying in the wings to observe a heated exchange or potentially funny situation was somewhat of a speciality of his. Besides which, despite all things, Riff always liked to pick his moments of stunning clarity for the best potential effect and weight as possible, if only so he didn't have to provide them on a regular basis.

Unfortunately however, it seemed like he had rather missed his opportune moment to prevent yet another party-wide meltdown of anger and abuse. Happily this time, apparently it wasn't one that he spurred into action.

Staggering quietly into the courtyard, still hurting from the day's prior actions and the explosive fire spell that the priest had used Riff made the best entrance he could.

"Um...yeahhh...so I'm kinda surprised here gang. I mean, sure, Carlos is a handful. We all know that, but we all know we've made some decent progress here right? It's tiny progress, but its those tiny bits of progress that when you compound them yield big whoppin' results if you keep at it.

I don't know about you guys, but I sure haven't heard anything about these guys that Magey McFattyfatfat wants to send Carlos off with, but I have a sneaking sensation that Carlos isn't always going to be with their super duper zazz-filled best and brightest like he's claiming.

I mean, not to slight anyone here, but in my dealings with mages, in the long haul, if they can't figure something out, it gets downshifted in priority. Not only that, but it gets handed down to people with less inclination to actually solve the problem that was shown there in the first place.

I'm sure that they'll definately give it the good ol' "mage training school" try there, and they may well have a priest of Yondalla there to work with Carlos, but I'm sure that if they can't crack this within a certain time-span it's gonna get pushed back further and further, and given to people who care less and less, until either Carlos gets relegated to sweeping floors with his needs forgotten, OR somehow his oh so alllllmighty "preeminence" shows up again to take him back home.

That being said, I say we're doing just about as good as anyone else could right about now, so we keep him right here.

Oh, and incidentally FattyMcfatfat? Seriously, it's muggy here, yeah, but it's NOT that hot okay? Go buy some robes that actually let you breathe okay?"

That being said, Riff went off to find himself a good spot to sit down and relax, and finish scribbling out a new design for a tunic that would breathe better and still looked amazing.
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Aspik

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon May 10, 2010 11:24 am

The mage's forehead glinted in the sun. He was glad that due to the paladin's prompting, things had taken a bit more of a civil tone. A vote looked like it would be in order. Of course, the paladin was for it, the halfling, and the elf. The dwarf, wemic and bard were against. The water mage peeked out for a moment and then left, without a vote to be counted. In the event of uncertainty, he did have a few prepared words, it seemed a good time to use them. If they got him off of his prepared words, it might be that his loose tongue would end up insulting them all, and then he would return a failure.

"I would like to assure you that the mages' intentions are honorable, and long term care has been regulated to the priest. She will see that he is taken care of properly, and will make any decisions for him that might be necessary. He will be trained as a mage and given every opportunity to choose another life for himself if he so desires."

He switched over to his other prepared lines. "I probably do not need to inform you of the Red Wizards' reputation. They are ruthless and tenacious. If we can make sure one of them will forever lose something he put much time into, it will be a win against their tyranny. You have no defenses against them, and if it were known that you have been doing things against their will in this area, they could take it out on this whole area. This is why the Council desired him to be taken to the tower. It is warded against divination, as is this conversation." With that he tapped on a small brooch on his robe.

"It also has considerable defenses against magical invasion as well. Which means it is not only the safest place for this man, but also the safest place in the greater area for those who live here for him to be. Being that it is the belief of the council, we request that you listen again to our desire to have this man come to the tower for an extended stay." He paused for a moment, hoping to stick to his words.

"Does anyone wish to amend their response?"
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Riffington Alexander whoneedscuecardsanyhow von Ulm

Post  Mr. Awesome on Mon May 10, 2010 11:56 am

"Hey wow...NICE canned speech there. Now how about you actually go off your statement that most likely wasn't prepared for you by someone who got probably only a 'C' grade in public speaking? How can you potentially guarantee this fact to any of us here who really haven't heard of one single iota of information about you and your vaunted order at all?

While it's pretty clear that you're not tripping any alarms in Darya's head OR Nas' that just means you're not lying to us. So good for you! So what kind of lasting promise are you going to be able to make that my own hypothesis won't happen to Carlos in the end huh? Because from where I'm sitting, you're not really giving us anything of the sort of that.

Not to mention that, you've not said one jot about us being able to ever actually see Carlos ever again. Not to put too fine a point on it, but there are several of us here who have put some considerable time, energy, and effort into helping the guy here too. I'm pretty certain that even IF you're able to convince us to cart him off to your super secret stronghold tower, wherever THAT is, there's at the barest of minimums about four people here at any given time who'd like to have some pretty regular contact or ability to visit Carlos to see how the guy is doing, or at least let him see a friendly face. I mean, chime in any time here gang, but I'd think that would be a nice little caveat to have if Fatty Mcfattenfat here takes Carlos from us."

Riff returned to his book and started sketching again, waiting to see if the mage had prepared yet another staid and trite speech spouting platitudes about Carlos' inevitable care, yet not giving any true answers. It would most likely be a complete day if he could get Fatty to lose his temper completely.
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Lady Darya

Post  Wynnsaren on Mon May 10, 2010 1:17 pm

The paladin closed her eyes and breathed out slowly in exasperation before stepping back from the mage and moving over to Riffington to speak with him privately. She had no desire to call him out in front of those gathered, but she was simply unable to let the conversation continue in this manner.

"Riffington, I am appreciative that you've stepped forward with your opinions on this matter, and I too hope that he will answer some of those questions," Darya began sincerely, "however I will have to ask a second time that you remain civil. No more name-calling. This mage is only an emissary of the Council in Turelve sent here to treat with the Fellowship. He has said not a disrespectful word to any of us, and has put up with quite enough abuse, so let's not embarrass ourselves further. We may like to return to the city someday..."

She nodded once to the bard, keeping her unblinking gaze fixed to his for a moment before returning to her former position near the large mage. As she walked back, the paladin briefly and subtly raised her hand to stay Szeraal, who had lifted his huge head from its lounging position in anticipation of trouble.

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Nas

Post  xarhelm on Mon May 10, 2010 3:00 pm

Nas now walked from the stables where he had been working with the dogs over to where he had seen Jace to be.

"Jace the vote is tied you are yet to be accounted for. You must find your voice on this issue and vote as you deem fit. I can promise I will hold no ill will or hard feeling against you regardless of your vote. I do not believe the others will either but I promise nothing from the priests. Speak your mind my friend."
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Cleander, a mellowed putty tat

Post  captain54jcv on Mon May 10, 2010 4:28 pm

Cleander, after his initial outburst of rage, began to listen to what the others were saying. He decided to not destroy Nas for the blasphemy of Nobanion because it would not be proper to violently attack a companion and possibly even a friend who he had shared so much combat with. He also decided not to join in the dwarf's attack on wizards for it was wizards who saved Cleader from his misery. Perhaps these wizards could do the same for FC?

Cleander, after casting know alignment on the mage, was able to learn more about his intentions and decided to address the group:

"I apologize for my outburst of anger. I have continued to think about this and I can tell you that my understanding of this mage is that he is good and law abiding. While it is an order that I am not about to give, I will not fight the departure of FC if he so chooses."

Taking a deep breath, the disheartened wemic turns to FC and places a very large paw on FC's shoulder:

"FC, my friend, I know there is freedom within you. You have made some decisions on your own...what color robe you received as a gift, what type of leisurely activity we would engage in. I have had some success as your teacher, but probably failed you as a friend. I will not advise you what to do, but I ask that you make the decision that is your preference. My only wish for you is that you are able to overcome the burden of slavery and enjoy a life of freedom. I am going back to work now, you are not required to follow me."

With those words, Cleander removed the paw from FC's shoulder and turned to the mage.

"Kind mage, my apologies if I have offended you. I believe that you will do right for my friend should he go with you. I will not oppose your offer to assist him."

The wemic than looked at the others in the group. Nodding with the recognition of being ashamed in the direction of Nas because, deep down, Nas was right about his receiving benefit from Darya's departure in training. He also knew that he disappointed his fellow priest because Cleander was unsure if he should have allowed such blasphemy. He smiled at the paladin, thanking her for the calming effect.

He very much wanted to follow the halfling because he felt that she too, may know his pain...but instead he turned to retire back into the burial area and go to work, not knowing if he would ever see his friend again.
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Torin Dourguard

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon May 10, 2010 5:53 pm

The dwarf's shoulders slumped in defeat. "So that it then... We discount all the progress we made, and send him off in hopes someone else can do a better job?"

Never had he imagined the vote would have gone this way... Nas, Lady Darya, Jaya, Cleander were all... perhaps 'in favor' of him leaving wasn't the right term, but the end result was the same. On his own stubborn side, only Riff stood with him. That had to mean something!

Darya seemed to have complete faith in this wizard. Torin didn't understand that... but he begrudginly accepted it. He wouldn't admit to being wrong, but he did respect her instincts... She knew this world, and didn't compromise her ethics. More than once the lonely dwarf in the strange world had used her instincts as a guidepost to what was right and what was wrong out under the big sky. Human sensibilities and Dwarven didn't seem to match as often as the dwarf felt they should...

So maybe this time, he was wrong.

"I don't like it... But I said I'd abide by the vote." The priest grumbled, casting a glare at the mage who had started all this. "I'm a dwarf of my word. So know this mage... Ye have MY word, that if yer council betrays the trust the Lady Darya and the others have in ye... Ye'll have enemies ye won't soon ferget."

Begrudgingly he moved over to Friend Carlos. "A gift for ye friend..." Like so many times before he cast a spell into the appropriate tatoo. Whispering so the others couldn't hear, "One last command from me... If you should ever see or hear Preeminence again, you are to Silence yourself. Do it as if you were ordered to burn, or heal... but this time Silence."

Torin didn't know if it work... if the slave's mentality would allow him to accept commands for that far in the future. Ever since it was confirmed that should the wizard return, the slave would immediately turn on them... the dwarf had been trying to circumvent that. He had tried this earlier, but that had ended in failure. This time however, he felt the magic being absorbed and knew his plan at least had a shot.

If they hadn't had to worry about protecting Carlos AND fighting him and his master at the same time... he hoped they'd been able to kill Preemince before Carlos was ordered to do something terrible. Something that his (hopefully) budding conscience and sense of self wouldn't let him forgive.

His work done, he patted the former slave on the arm and quietly returned to his place.
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Jace

Post  Magyc on Mon May 10, 2010 10:42 pm

He was quite surprised when the vote had almost evened out and Nas had come to demand his vote. He still didn't know what he would say as he returned to the courtyard, but as he focused on what Cleander was saying, it became clear to everyone that the there were four in favor of allowing the mage to take Friend Carlos. He no longer had the awesome responsibility of casting a vote, which was quite fortunate as he was paralyzed with indecision. As Torin began to acknowledge that he had been outvoted on the issue, Jace casually edged away from Nas, lest the elf attempt to commit him to a decision even though the outcome had been decided.

He had been half listening as the mage had proclaimed that they had taken the proper security precautions, but he was far from convinced. He resolved to pass the parchment upon which he had written his warnings (and what the had found out so far about Friend Carlos) to the mage when the others were saying their goodbyes to Friend Carlos. He was not so concerned with the others seeing him as he was with Friend Carlos witnessing it...or the others asking him about before Friend Carlos left.
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Aspik

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue May 11, 2010 6:00 pm

Aspik was a bit stunned that the turn of events just happened. It seemed that he would have to take more drastic measures, but after the initial outburst, they all became quite reasonable. That is, except for the fool sitting down playing with a tunic.

Unfortunately, the pessimist in him was unprepared for success. "I, um, want to thank you for allowing this to happen. I really be- think that this is good for everyone involved. The tower does allow visitors, uh, one at a time of course, and I think the priest, uh, of Yondalla would consider your request for updates. I, um, should go soon though. They are expecting us." Aspik was pleased. For an impromptu speech, that was one of his better ones.

More tearful goodbyes followed, some handshaking and pats on the back, as everyone said their goodbyes. While he was watching, a parchment was placed in his hand, which he slipped into his robe without fanfare. If they wanted it secret, it could remain that way.

After a suitable amount of time, he looked directly at "Friend Carlos" and told him to come over, which he did promptly. With a wave of his hand, the wand that had been dropped rose again into his hand, and he wove it around, pointing up into the air, and muttered a quick command word. The two of them promptly vanished from sight.

And Aspik was back home. He turned to his new student and spoke with some excited tones as he had to all of his students over the years. "And now, everything will change. We are going to remake your mind into something at which the world will marvel." And now the prepared words just for him. "But before we do, there is one thing that needs to happen. Hold still."

As Friend Carlos did exactly what he was told, Aspik went over to the table and picked up a particular dagger and returned. He reached back and grasped his great mane of hair, and began to sever it, causing it to fall to the ground in great big clumps. "You are no longer a slave, but a student. If you don't understand, that is okay, there is not much difference, except for one simple thing. When one is a slave, one is nearly always a slave. A student does the same things a slave does, but eventually the student becomes like his master. Then you will no longer be a student, but you will be the master of yourself."

As he finished the rough cut, he placed his fat hand on his new student's head and knocked away the loose hair. "Come, we are going to meet the rest of your teachers. They are looking forward to getting to know you."
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