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2nd of Lamashan - Dark Reflections

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2nd of Lamashan - Dark Reflections

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 26, 2010 4:01 am

2nd of Lamashan.

The horrific temple was just as they'd left it. Dark, dank, reeking of blood and bodies... He'd been concerned when his fellow 'Hero of Sandpoint' had offered to go back down with the eccentric old archaeologist. He sighed as he tried to remember their names. For an elf, he wasn't very good at names... Brodert he thought.. Or at least something that sounded similar. Last name Quick? Quilt??? Quink! Yes that sounded familiar. And Morelen...

To his recollection, the Heroes hadn't really gone through official introductions. Truth was, they barely knew anything about each other. Which normally suited the introverted elf just fine. But she was different. There was lots he wanted to know about her!

The strange woman intrigued him. Lately he'd found himself staring, and that he suspected would only cause trouble. She cast magic. That much was obvious. However, he had not seen her use or even mention a spellbook. Her hair... was as white as his, and he noticed she rarely removed her gloves... and he couldnt' remember seeing her touch anyone. At all.

Perhaps she wasn't so different after all...

Curiosity had been nagging at him for days now... First the situation with Nualia... and now Morelen?! How many of his kind were out in this world?? Running his hand through his own pale white hair, he wondered.. .could they be related?!?

That was the reason he came back down here... While she seemed better able to protect herself then he was... He couldn't take the chance that she'd be killed by wandering goblins or other various monsters till he'd had a chance to talk to her. Preferable without villagers or gnomes around. Brodert was still here, that much couldn't be avoided... but at least he was almost giddy with their find and was off on the other side of the temple muttering happily to himself... Nuari just shook his head. Another odd human. From everything he'd seen or heard about this ancient kingdom. It was better off dead and forgotten. However this seemed the wrong group to argue that point with...

Why was everyone so fascinated with darkness and power... He shuddered involuntarily. Between Brodert and Nualia this region could be in trouble. Well.. with Brodert anyway. He intended to see Nualia taken care of... Permanently.

Finally he gathered his courage and approached the unusual woman with an offered waterskin. She was as busy reading the Thassalonian almost as fervently as Brodert... almost.

"Morelen? You've been at it for a few hours... Why don't you take a break?"
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Fri Nov 26, 2010 10:28 am

Long, gloved fingers traced delicately over the runic symbols carved on the cathedral's walls. As she read, each of them reverberated as a chord of recognition plucked in her mind. The different chords were beginning to form a melody that sounded so very familiar, but she just...couldn't...place it!

Who she had been, the true reason her creator had gone to such lengths to keep a useful assistant; somehow she knew that all that knowledge was right there, still housed within the fragile casing of her brain. Getting to it was the trick! It's so terribly frustrating to know you know but not to actually know what you know you know!

Morelen's floor length dress of iridescent blues and browns whisked gently against the cold stone as she paced along, reading...basking in the familiar. So few things were these days! The ancient runes and the written and verbal history lessons provided by Mr. Quink had slowly but surely been jogging memories. How fortunate was she to have stumbled upon a scholar of ancient Thassilon in this tiny town!

But was it just fortune? She could have stowed away in one of the ships heading to Riddleport easily enough, but instead she chose a tiny smuggling skiff on which to make her escape. The Thassilonian ruin of the Old Light... Brodert Quink, the scholar who'd spent three decades working in the Great Library in Magnimar... Could it be that somewhere in her buried memories, she knew he'd be here? Even if she had known him in her previous body, he wouldn't have recognized her now and she was loathe to make him suspicious of what had been done to her. Would he take her back to Dr. Noenn?

He could certainly try...

Nuari wrote:"Morelen? You've been at it for a few hours... Why don't you take a break?"

The more recently familiar, smooth-toned voice of her companion startled her from her musings. Turning her head, she momentarily peered over a pale white shoulder at the mysterious elf, before the rest of her body followed the movement.

Nuari was a man of secrets. Anyone who carried around such untold burdens could see the like in others, and while she was curious why he seemed to have some reluctance to use the magic he'd exhibited on rare occasion, she was afraid that prying into one's secrets might bring up the question of her own.

Morelen's frosty blue eyes stayed fixed on his as she took the waterskin from his outstretched hand.

"A kindness..."

Raising it thanks, she took a few swallows of the water, careful not to let her lips touch the flask. For his benefit, not her own.

The liquid burned down her parched throat like fire. She'd already emptied her own two waterskins today and it had barely satiated her thirst. An interesting development.

"I suppose a break might be in order." Smiling slightly, she handed the water back to Nuari. "There'll be no tearing Brodert from this discovery though, I'm afraid. We'll probably need to arrange for someone to fetch him food, else he'll have starved himself to death by the time we return."

Morelen's attention drifted over to the elderly gentlemen on the other side of the cathedral, who was feverishly taking rubbings of certain rune-sections. She was fairly sure he'd forgotten that he wasn't alone.

"Thank you by the way," she offered, turning back to the elf as she crossed her arms comfortably across her chest. "It wasn't asked of you to join us down here, but I'm glad of the company. I can only imagine how boring all of this must be to you... Unless of course you're developing an interest in runelore and the ancient empire?" A stark white eyebrow raised in question. "If that's the case I'd be willing to teach you to read the language."

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:50 am

The elf's snow-white eyebrows shot up in surprise and a rare chuckle escaped his lips. "While I thank you for the offer... and perhaps someday I wouldn't mind 'reading' these things, but... No, I have little interest in this nation."

He looked around at all the strange carvings, dedications to the concept of 'Wrath' and Lamashtu, Mother of Monsters... and shook his head. Another human nation that got entirely too cozy with gods of evil. He could feel the bile rising in his throat.

"I'll be honest, I don't really understand your own fascination with this stuff." He waved a hand pointing toward the reddish pool from which the 'sin-spawn' had come. "It's gone... Dead... Just, leave it be.

"Elves have a philosophy when it comes to places like this. 'Human nations rise... Human nations fall.. When an Evil one actually falls, Good Riddance!"
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Sat Nov 27, 2010 1:57 am

"That which is dead isn't entirely without use..." Morelen's voice slipped off her tongue like icy silk, and she allowed a uneasy smile to crack across her features. "Much can be learned from what was lost.

"For example..." Bending down, the woman lifted a small bundle and her lantern and beckoned Nuari to follow as she exited the cathedral. "According to Mr. Quink back there, Thassilon was founded by the benevolent King Xin who desired to create an empire based on the Seven Virtues of Rule."

As she pushed open the door to the adjacent room, the lantern illuminated the red marble statue of Alaznest. "It was his appointed Runelords," she accused, sweeping her hand toward the Lady of Wrath, "that corrupted his vision after his death.

"An evil empire, you are quite correct, and blessed are we all that it has fallen, but could there be a lesson learned from those mistakes?"

Morelen pulled her eyes from the statue and the disgust that had darkened her face evaporated when she turned back to the elf . "You say you don't understand my fascination, and while I cannot yet remember why I first began the study of Thassilon and her rune writing, I think I've some understanding of why I have interest in it now...

"She was a great and good empire at her birth but powers bent on evil caused her to rot from within, until she was but a dark and twisted form of what she should have been! Could her fate have been avoided somehow or is this merely evidence of the true nature of man? I would like to think that the former is true."

Her gaze lost its focus and she lowered herself to sit at the base of the statue. "I pray to whatever gods might yet listen, that the former is true...," she whispered under her breath.

Morelen carefully unwrapped the bundle she'd brought along. Two small loaves of Alma Avertin's honey bread lay inside, and she offered one to her companion.

"I do hope you didn't choose to come down here because you believed we'd try to create some of those monsters for ourselves..."

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:24 pm

Nuari's gaze drifted away as he pondered her words while absently munching on the bread. He felt a little ill as he contemplated a whole nation dedicated to good, but twisting to evil. Usually his mind was focused on smaller scales. Just his own destiny and what he may become.

He shook his head back to the present and forced a weak smile. "No... I think you helped fight too hard to put the monsters down to try to make more." He glanced at the giddy old man in the distance. "Him... I'm less sure of. He strikes me as the kind who may unleash something dark, 'just to see what happens."

He took a deep breath and pushed forward. "To be honest, I actually hoped we could talk for a bit. I'll admit I'm not the most sociable person around, but I am... curious. About where you're from... and... the things you can do?"
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Sun Nov 28, 2010 2:10 am

Surprise and anxiety flashed through the spectral blue of her eyes as she ripped her gaze from the old scholar, to Nuari. It had been just over a week now that the Heroes of Sandpoint had been together. The majority of their days were spent in each others' company, but in truth she barely knew any of them. Not that she didn't want to...

Morelen's previous idea of companionship was the occasional crow that would visit the cellar window during the day. It was either the birds or her creator, and in every possible way she preferred the crows. Now she was keeping company with two gnomes and an elf that seemed neither to want to eat her or use her, and who were interested in doing what good they could here in this small town that had so wholeheartedly taken them in! She certainly looked at these companions as an enormous improvement over the former.

The sorceress was simply terrified of what would happen if they knew process by which she was created... Would they drive her out of town? Certainly the people of Sandpoint would be less than thrilled if they knew! She just wasn't ready for her new companions to be rid of her. Not so soon after meeting them!

There was no knowing how much time she had left and she wanted to spend it doing something noteworthy. Something to show that the seven people that were murdered in order to create her, didn't lose their lives completely in vain... An impossible task perhaps, but she felt as if she had to at least try! The Heroes of Sandpoint provided her the opportunity to do that and she didn't want to screw it up by telling them the whole truth before they were ready to hear it.

"I am from Magnimar," she said softly after taking an agonizing amount of time to swallow a bite of the ashy bread. "I lived and worked in the Underbridge until...well...about a week ago."

Morelen paused a moment and looked up to study the elf standing before her. "It seems we might have something in common... Referring to your ability to use magic of course," she explained, with a fracture of a smile as her gaze went to his similarly white hair. "I believe the blanket term is called sorcery; casting without the need for a written arcane formula. I've only been using these abilities for the last couple of months, and I will admit that I'm not sure how I know I can do them. Or really even why it's possible...

"I've read that these abilities come though some kind of magic within one's own blood, but..." She could only shake her head in frustration. "I doubt that could explain how I can do these things.

"What of you, Nuari?" she asked, hoping he'd return the favor. "How long have you been able to use magic, and where is it that you call home?"

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sun Nov 28, 2010 1:31 pm

"Meiriani." he whispered with a homesick tone. "The forest kingdom much farther north than your home..." It had been a very long time since he'd allowed himself to focus on the home he'd fled from. Whenever he glanced at a map though he was shocked by the reminder of how far away he truly was from what he knew...

"I was afraid you'd noticed the magic... I didn't mean to, I didn't have any... " He closed his eyes and muffled a slight chuckle as the old excuses bubbled up. Somehow he doubted she had an issue with him using his power. Most likely because she seemed to know less about it than even he did! "I've had... the magic since I was very, very young." He admitted carefully. "Little things at first... but it's always been a part of me."

"As I know... the power does come from your blood. Something deep inside. They aren't natural... There may be something powerful or evil in your family tree, like.... Nualia!" he quickly recovered.

"What of your parents? Anything unusual about them? Do they know about your powers?"
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:09 pm

If it were possible for Morelen to become more pale, she would have done so at that point.

"My parents..." She mouthed the word as if it felt strange emerging from her lips. "No...I don't think they could know about my powers. If I have any... Parents that is." Her gaze flicked toward the elf quickly before returning to the loaf of nearly inedible bread that she began to pick apart. "I had a bad bout with amnesia a few months back, and I have no memory of parents. No memory of my life before the...accident.

"Actually, that is another reason for my interest in these runes," she said, waving her hand toward the ancient cathedral. "I think reading them may eventually help me to remember my past. You see, I was told that I was once a translator of Thassilonian rune-writing and from the memories that Mr. Quink has already triggered, I have to believe that at least is true..."

Morelen painfully cleared her throat and made a mental note to carry more water with her next time. Using the brief interruption to change the topic as subtly as she could, she craned her neck up to look the standing elf in the eyes.

"Forgive me Nuari, but I've noticed your...reluctance to use your magic. Why are you afraid to let people see your abilities? If the power is truly within your blood, then it's a part of you, isn't it? What could be more natural than that?"

Before he could respond, Morelen dropped her chin and stretched her neck from side to side.

"If you could be so kind as to sit with me," she smiled with what warmth she could muster, motioning to the floor in front of her. "If I have to keep my neck at this angle for much longer, my head is liable to fall right off!"

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:08 am

In a daze the young elf sat in front of the woman. She didn't KNOW?!? She had no knowledge of where her powers came from... What price her family line may have paid to imbue her with these unnatural abilities...

What must that be like?

He had long regretted pestering his uncle to tell him the truth of his origins. Knowing hadn't solved anything. Knowing 'how' his blood had been polluted didn't give him any peace.

"I'm... reluctant, as you say... because unlike you, I know where my power comes from... Or I know enough anyway." He mumbled with definite tinge of jealousy. "I don't recommend hunting too hard for your answers... I doubt you'd like what you find.

"Just because something is 'natural' does not mean it's good. Lying, cheating, anger... Wrath... All of these come 'natural' to people too. Doesnt' mean that those aspects should be allowed to grow."
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:25 am

"You believe that's what happened to Nualia," she whispered, remembering his previous comment about the woman who'd obviously fallen to madness. "Do you think it is her own blood that is driving her to do the things she's doing? That she had no choice in the matter herself?"

Morelen's eyes widened slightly as she realized then why he feared to use his powers. She gently shook her head in denial.

"I can't believe that, Nuari. I can't believe that using our abilities to help people, will turn us into some sort of...monsters."

In spite of her confident words, her eyes betrayed the fear in her heart. Dr. Noenn admitted that she was 'malfunctioning', but from the way he said it...from the way he was watching her those days leading up to what would have been her second transfer, she could tell that even he wasn't entirely sure what was happening. Whatever it was, it frightened him...

If Brodert had walked into the room at that moment, he would have seen the two white haired sorcerers, paled from either biology or fright, facing each other and wearing the same look of dread on their faces. Dread for what their futures may hold.

"No," she exclaimed more forcefully now, driving the slowly forming picture of that possible future from her mind, "that is not how I'm going to end up! I have a choice. You have a choice, no matter your blood!"

Eerie sounds of cackling crows began echoing around them. Footsteps on the stairs. The sickly grating of a saw cutting through something other than wood.

As quickly as the strange noises began, they were silenced when Morelen squeezed her eyelids shut and twitched her head to the side. She sighed and looked up at Nuari apologetically, before continuing.

"Magic is a tool that can be used for either good or evil. Even rune magic was used as a benevolent force before the corrupted Runelords began to wield it as a weapon. I watched you help protect that little boy from the goblins during the raid. I've seen you fight against the evil creatures down here. I may not know you well, but I have a hard time believing that you would allow yourself to become like...her."

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:43 pm

Startled by the mysterious noises he glanced to and fro. Seeing the apologetic look in his companions eyes he realized where the strange sounds had come from. For all her disputing, it seemed as if her power wasn't as controlled as she believed.

He was about to question her on it but in the light of that hopeful face he just couldn't. Sighing he leaned back against the ancient stone.

"The boy... That's where this all started. I don't even know what possessed me to do that. He was in trouble... and I just... did it. Instinct..." he sighed even deeper as a wave of impending failure crashed on his shoulders. "Now I'm a called a 'hero..." The word seemed to fall uncomfortably from his lips. "I don't know about you, but I'm not any kind of hero."

He looked back at the sorceress and tried to explain... things he'd never spoken of freely to anyone. Not even his own house had the topic been breached easily. "Nualia... They say she had the blood of the heavens... She turned to evil. She's trading out her celestial heritage to become something... else."

How or why this Nualia would do that... he had no idea. The concept was so foreign to him. To be loved and appreciated for what you were... and sacrifice all that for raw demonic power... She was as bad as the Chelaxians who had did... what they did to his own family... Worse perhaps. The edges of his eyes started grow dark as the anger in him grew hotter. If she wanted to see what a dark bloodline could get you, then he would show her...

He slowed his breathing and soon regained control of his temper."I believe... that the magic is like a hungry dog. The more you feed it the more powerful it gets, the harder it is to control. I've... slipped more... this week then I have in years. I can feel the dog getting stronger... angrier. If Nualia went bad starting with heavenly blood... What hope do I have?!"

He met the young woman's gaze. "What about you? what do you feel when you use 'the power?"
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:27 pm

"My own experience seems to be somewhat different..." Morelen shifted her seat and set the loaf of barely bitten bread down at her side. The elf was obviously sharing things that were intensely painful to him. Frightened him. She appreciated that trust and sought to reciprocate it where she could.

"The power wells up inside me until the pressure is so great that I have to release it, else it burst from me ungoverned. It took me awhile to realize that I was responsible for the strange things that would happen around me. It took me even longer to realize I had some modicum of control over it. When I direct the magic, the pressure can be released safely.

"I've never tried to explain it before," she grimaced, shaking her head slowly. "It's like my body is...leaking magic and changing me as it's doing so. It's slowly killing me." With a sad smile, the young woman lifted her eyes to Nuari. "I don't know how long I have but I know that the power within me is finite. When the magic is used up... So am I."

Morelen waved her hand nonchalantly in the air as if it was of no real consequence. She'd chosen her fate.

"But you asked what I feel when I use the power. Well, I feel...cold," she admitted. "The magic within me comes from a dark place and while I know that it could so easily be used for evil, I'm choosing to use it for good. With what time I have left, I want to help atone for some of the wrongs that have been done.

"I still believe that Nualia had a choice," she stated, getting back to his previous comments. "From the sound of Tsuto's journal, she's been seduced by the power Lamashtu offers her, much like the Runelords were by other various beings. You don't seem to be that type to crave power and dominion over others... Do you really believe that your fate is inevitable, Nuari? That whatever dark bloodline you have within you holds so much more sway over you than your elvish blood does?"

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:14 pm

The elf was stunned silent. Her power was killing her?!? She seemed to accept her fate, but he felt a hollowness inside on hearing it. To finally meet someone who could understand... and know it was for such a limited time.

Though the fact that she was human hadn't really crossed his mind yet. The elf had known few humans before he'd left the elven forest. He'd associated with few since. And for an elf, he was still very young. There were certain things he'd have to get used to if he was going to be out in this world... Short lived races were only one of them.

"I'm sorry to hear about your... condition Morelon. I didn't know the powers could do that. I've never felt that my powers wanted to harm me! Others are in danger... but not myself..."

He shook his head and returned to the question she'd just asked him. "I don't know how much is choice and how much is destiny. I'm convinced that the Elf side is in battle with my...'other' half. When I use the powers the 'other' side gets stronger. I'm afraid in time it may completely overwhelm the elf. That's why I don't use the magic often... Only when I absolutely need to!"

An embarrassed grin crossed his face as he realized how much he'd spoken of and how much he'd asked. Neither of them seemed overly comfortable talking about these things, but curiosity was still nagging him.

"If I ask anything you don't want to talk about, I'll of course understand completely... but, Can I ask why you left Magnimar? If you have no memory of your past... wouldn't familiar places lead to your memories more readily than strange ruins in the middle of nowhere?"
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:25 pm

Morelen's eyes dropped to the slightly mismatched hands lying in her lap. It was tempting to just tell the entire story. To share the burden with someone she suspected she could actually trust not to look at her like some sort of monster when he learned the truth. Perhaps the elf felt the same way.

She'd seen the pain that twisted Nuari's features when he mentioned his homeland. There were obviously details of his story he chose not to elaborate upon and though curious, she didn't really want to press him. It had only been a week. These things took time. Though he may be able to accept her story, Morelen wasn't sure if she was ready to share it. Things were going so well and she wasn't willing to risk ruining everything quite yet...

"You're completely correct," she stated after wetting her parched lips. "I've no doubt that answers to my past lie in Magnimar, but to go back there would be risking far too much. I didn't leave the great city so much as escape it, you see. My...employer has done some terrible things, and I am likely the only one who knows about the crimes he's committed. He could be looking for me." Morelen sighed. "If I went back, because of this memory loss and the...changes I've suffered, I couldn't even be sure who would recognize me and who wouldn't. I couldn't know who to trust...

A genuine smile crinkled the corners of the sorceress' eyes.

"Speaking of which... I appreciate being able to discuss these things with you, and likewise the trust you've shown by telling me of your fears. It seems that we have some things in common. We both have concerns about how our powers may change us and for my part, I would feel better knowing that I wouldn't necessarily have to deal with those changes alone."

She shifted again, a bit nervously this time.

"Would you allow me to...confide in you from time to time, Nuari? I may have accepted my fate, but I don't know what this path holds for me. And if you are willing, I would be happy to lend an ear when you are in need as well..."

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:10 am

Nuari smiled. The first real smile he'd had in a very long time. At least since Thomalain had... died. It seemed that he had found a new friend. The idea that she was also on the run intrigued him. How much did they have in common?

He was sure there was more to the story than she said, but it didn't matter. He certainly had no intention of telling his whole story, regardless of how closely her story seemed to mirror his own. White hair, strange powers, on the run from her past... Though in her case she seemed to have out distanced it pretty well.

Her past was a blank, and he wasn't sure what to say about that. By all appearances, they could very well share a bloodline. Whatever had created him, may have done the same for her. A cousin? A sister perhaps? The idea intrigued him, but he had no idea how to act on it. Should he help her discover her past... or help her forget it.

She claimed she was dying... and would probably die never knowing who or what she was. What she had done before the 'incident.' Part of him wished he could forget his own past... but some of him never wanted to forget. If he forgot it would be for nothing.

"Of course Morelon, You can confide anything you like to me. I'm in no place to judge, and you'll find I have two very good ears." he grinned at his own poor attempt at humor. "And I appreciate the offer. I... I honestly think you understand me better than the rest.

"I'll not repeat anything you wish private... and I hope you understand I'd rather my own... abilities, aren't any more public than my own indiscretions have made them. I don't.. hmmm.. Talk about them much."
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Morelen

Post  Penelope on Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:16 am

She would have sworn upon her soul if there was any certainty in her mind that it might yet reside within her patchwork body. Hopefully her word was enough. Morelen knew exactly what a rare and precious thing it was to have someone to trust and just knowing that she could share her fears with someone who might have some modicum of understanding, was a huge burden lifted from the shoulders she wore.

A friend...

"I promise that any secrets you entrust to me will be taken to my grave, whether I am to live one year or one hundred."

Morelen smiled at the elf across from her, in spite of the morbid oath. "And if there is a way to cool those flames of anger when they threaten to overwhelm you, I will try to aid you however I can."

Her face still cracked into a smile, the sorceress cleared her throat and gathered the remnants of bread before rising to her feet. "There's still a little time before we're to meet at the White Deer... Perhaps I can get a bit more reading in before we have to go."

She turned to glance at the scholar feverishly translating the rune writing. "I highly doubt we're going to be able to pull Mr. Quink from the ruins tonight," she grimaced. "I'm excited about what this find might reveal as well, but I have no intention of spending a night here in the temple to Lamashtu!"

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Penelope

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Join date : 2009-09-19
Location : Sandpoint

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Re: 2nd of Lamashan - Dark Reflections

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