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23rd of Lamashan - Plague buddies

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23rd of Lamashan - Plague buddies

Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:38 pm

The young elf paced back and forth as he had most the afternoon. He didn't like to think about it, but he was terrified. The pain and weakness that wracked his body... the thought of becoming like Arden... He was afraid of dying. He wanted to DO something... He'd never considered himself restless before, but now... Stuck in a tiny quarantine, just waiting to succumb. It was driving him mad. Even Skookumchuck and Zaire kept their distance in fear of catching what he'd caught.

Morelon alone shared his quarantine... but they hadn't spoken in many hours. She seemed more peaceful than he did. At least she was keeping herself busy. He tried to hide his distaste as she carefully sewed the ghast's head back on his body.

Her mood had altered since they'd left the haunted mansion a flaming ruin... Cooler somehow. He believed he was the only one who knew why. Looking around he quickly checked to see if their quarantine was still intact. Sure enough Skook had not yet returned from Sandpoint, and Zeyre was shouting commands at the stubborn badger a good distance away. Deliberately he walked over towards the pale woman and sat down. He stifled a cry as one of his plague sores brushed the ground in agony.

"Morelon... I.... umm... Hope you don't mind the interruption. I'd... I'd like to talk about earlier. You, seemed to take my opinions a bit personally. I hope I didn't hurt your feelings at all..."
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:31 am

Long, trembling fingers gently pushed the needle through half-frozen flesh. She'd learned after reattaching the arm yeseterday that warm skin was far too pliable and therefore much more difficult to penetrate with the dulled steel point, so the golem now used the magic that bound her to chill the flesh she sought to sew up. A botched job all of it...Aldern deserved better. She was obviously no fleshcrafter. If Dr. Noenn had seen this work he would be terribly disappointed and as was his way, she would know pain.

Nuari's approach distracted her from the dark paths her mind had begun meandering down. Her cold, marble features softening just slightly at the note of concern in his voice.

"I feel nothing..." The lie slipped so easily off her tongue.

"You all made your opinions known without open judgement against me and for that I can bear no grudge, but it was you alone who aided me against Iesha when she attacked him..." Morelon brushed her hand along the rotting grey skin of the man's cheek. His partially reattached head lay in her lap, while the long ghoulish tongue lolled out of a mouth full of razor teeth. "I know that you defended him for my benefit. That was a great kindness to me and I thank you sincerely for it."

She turned her cold blue eyes to meet those of her plague brother. A smile hesitantly split the ice and while an honest one, it was short lived.

"Perhaps I can still find a way to save him," she whispered. "Though Father Zantus didn't believe it possible to come back from such a change. Miracle... Wish..." Maybe some sort of Rune magic, she thought to herself. Morelen sighed at the sheer impossibility of what she hoped. "He deserves a real chance at life without the burden of an accursed, murderous family or dark powers turning him into...this to serve their own whims. He didn't ask for this. Who would?! The true murderers of Sandpoint's people and Aldern's murderer as well are out there in Magnimar!" She jabbed her finger to the West in accusation. The fervor and pain in her voice completely betrayed her earlier proclamation of 'feeling nothing'. "Did he simply deserve to die because of what he'd become?"

The sorceress sucked in a long, ragged breath as her own words reached her ears. Maybe for the first time, she realized this wasn't about Aldern at all...not truly, and though she intended to see to it that the man's life was salvaged, it was also very much her own future that was in question.

"I... Forgive me, I will cover him while we speak." She pushed the body aside and covered it with her cloak as she suffered through a painful, rasping cough, bringing up blood she suspected had nothing to do with the plague she carried. The stitching could continue later. He wasn't getting any deader.
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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:34 pm

"No.... " Nuari said sincerely. "Not because of what he's become.... but perhaps because of what he's done." He shook his head sadly and hoped he wouldn't damage their current friendship.

"I don't know this man. Our short time together after the Swallowtail festival... didn't give me enough time to truly 'know' the man... I only know the info that we've found since then."

His eyes pleaded with her to see reason. "The note says that his debt to the brotherhood was paid... What debt? What dealings did he have with these murderers? His mistress says his mind will be clear when he awakens... So did he do these rituals of his own free will?

"If he was eating them or some other horror that could be laid at the feet of his.. 'condition' it 'might' be excusable... but he wasn't. He was carving evil symbols into them to... harness their inner evil for someone else... " He sighed audibly. There was so much about this he didn't understand. Thassilonian culture... rune magic. He'd never heard of magic 'in the symbols' like this... but everything that was happening either seemed tied to or revolving around the lost civilization and their 'runelords'...

"The fact is he had killed people even before this was done to him. He strangled his wife... not because the house made him... though that couldn't have helped... but because she was unfaithful, and he was jealous and angry."

He winced at his next words... "I... understand 'accidents'... pain or misery brought on through no ill will of the one responsible... I... I just don't know if that's the case here... He may have wanted to kill his wife... he may wanted to work with the brotherhood... For all we know, he may have wanted 'immortality' like his grandfather did... I doubt this is what he had in mind... but I just don't know!

"If you truly want to bring him back and cure him... I'll help how I can. If nothing else, I think a cure for this..." He waved a hand at the ghoulish corpse. "would be good for the world. I just... I don't want you too disappointed if as soon as he's human again... he has to pay for his 'human' crimes."

He looked nervously back toward Zeyre, but it looked like the gnome was still occupied. That was good... He felt like he was on shaky ground right now as it was... Despite her best attempts to cover her feelings he knew she'd taken their comments about the undead monster as a personal insult. If she hadn't told the others... he certainly didn't want HIS voice carrying too far...

"He's not you, Morelon... You had a great evil done to you, but we truly don't know anything about him. I hope you understand that...."
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:57 pm

Her porcelain jaw clenched so hard it felt as if it might shatter. Morelen remembered well the man they met on their boar hunt and the feast afterward. If he'd been undead at the time she would've sensed it she was sure and even if he'd been wearing that skin mask, she highly doubted even magic could cover up that nauseating stench! No, the muttering, psychopathic ghast they met earlier today was not the same man. There was something of Aldern left to him but not much. Whether his mind was twisted by the transformation itself, or by something that this Mistress and her cronies had done to him they didn't yet know.

However, Nuari brought up some interesting and disturbing points...

"You're right, my friend," the golem offered in an attempt to ease his anxiety, "we don't know anything about him. I'm afraid that now we never will... If I can find a priest powerful enough to Speak with Aldern's spirit, then perhaps we can get some answers but anything more than that lies in the future. We have other business to attend to before I can worry about this."

Do they really even know anything about me? Morelen wondered to herself as she tugged subconsciously at her collar. I certainly don't...

As much as she wanted more information about her life before this body, the sorceress was terrified. Of Dr. Noenn... Of a past that came to her in little more than flashes of nightmare... She was afraid of what she might learn and once the knowledge was out, it was out! The looming shadows of Magnimar and her grand monuments stretched out long, casting darkness over Morelen's past and near future. The clues found in Aldern's Misgivings led them straight to the city she'd fled from just a month ago. She hadn't intended on going back.

"I've noticed that your powers are growing." She turned the conversation back to the elf in a desperate attempt to change the subject. "Your fires burn hotter and you seem less reluctant to use your abilities. Do you feel as thought you might have gained some better control over them?" She asked, dropping her voice to a whisper.
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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:52 pm

"They were... it was... ummm... " He stuttered awkwardly at the change of subject. She was right. He used more power in that house than he had ever done before... However it wasn't confidence he was feeling....

"I had to.... " he finally said lowly. "All those rats... and bats... I couldn't... Couldn't let them hurt everyone else." He sighed loudly as he brushed a lock of hair from a newly growing tumor. "For all the good it did the two of us...

"We still got infected... and I..... I don't think we're going to get better from this." What little confidence he'd had in a cure had evaporated fairly quickly. What had started as 'i can help tomorrow'... turned into 'it didn't work'... and slowly led down a trail ending with Father Zantus... Chief healer of Sandpoint... Shrugging his shoulders in bewilderment. If neither Zantus nor Zeyre could cure them... What was left?

"This isn't how I saw the 'Heroes of Sandpoint' ending.... "
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:21 pm

Morelen shrugged. Hers was a slightly different...slightly more morose perspective after all. Would dying of plague be any worse than being eaten by ghouls or slowly falling apart (literally) at the seams? She seriously doubted that a year ago Aldern could have anticipated being turned into a ghast then cut down by his dead wife.

Then again, she could understand Nuari's concern. Like a fly discussing the future with a tortoise, there was quite a disconnect there. Morelen would only have a brief time to live but the elf could live for centuries and she suspected he'd like to at least see some of it! She didn't want him to meet his end in this way either...

"We won't end here. If worse comes to worse, we can make our way to the outskirts of Magnimar and send for a more powerful priest than Father Zantus." Clearly nervous at even the mention of the city, she shut her eyes briefly and took a steadying breath. Morelen did happen to know a priest there after all, but not for any amount of wealth or life would she subject herself or her companions to Dr. Noenn's twisted machinations. Oooooh wouldn't he be interested in learning of this strange disease they'd contracted! Just one more reason to avoid him like the...plague...

She shook off the thoughts of the man and continued. "From what I can understand, Zerye is confident that the magic will work against whatever this nasty disease is and until then at least she's able to treat the symptoms and I'm more than thankful for that! I'm glad too that she's shown no signs of it!

"As for Skookumchuck, I can't begin to understand how he manages to avoid getting sick..." The sorceress actually blurted out a small chuckle which sounded completely unnatural passing through her icy lips. "Maybe he's on to something with all his 'core' work and furniture bench-pressing."
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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:49 pm

"Who knows.... " He said with a bit of a smirk. This elf wasn't exactly renowned for his good humor, but he did prefer when others were happy. Morelon was the only one in the group who gave his dourness a run for its money. "Maybe Gnomes are immune to this plague... I certainly hope so...."

A twinge in his leg caused him to groan and wince. Tenderly he rose to his feet, Pacing was pain.... Sitting was misery. "I'll let you get back to your... umm... sewing?! I just... I just wanted you to know what my feelings were about... him." He nodded toward the covered corpse. "I didn't want there to be any 'misunderstandings...."
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:52 pm

"You've made your opinions clear," she nodded slowly, "and again, I thank you for coming to my aid in spite of them. It's just that Aldern and I had some things in common that made me...uncomfortable, you understand. To see him ripped apart like that... I just... I worry is all.

"I know that it looks bad for him." Morelen whispered as she shielded her crystalline eyes from the sun and looked up toward the elf. "I do. But I can't help but want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can't help but want to be on his side because I know that no one else will be. He can't have wanted to die alone and to be brutally honest, neither do I."

The sorceress sighed and dropped her gaze to her pack. After a moment of digging, she produced a thick, clean cloth and doused it with water from her waterskin.

"I think I just need more time to process it," she continued. "I realize now that I'm identifying with him too strongly..."

A couple of freezing beams from her finger, and the wet cloth became an ice pack.

"Here." She reached up to hand it to Nuari. "Lay this on the sores and it should numb some of the pain. I can chill it for you again whenever you wish, so please don't hesitate to ask."
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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:58 am

He shot her a lopsided grin. "Thank you... I'll do that."

There were a few comments running through his mind. Her 'similarities' with Aldern and various comebacks to dismiss her concerns... How whatever similarities they had, the differences were more pronounced. the fact that she wanted to help people... while he killed them... but one look at her and they died on his tongue. He knew how frustrating it sounded when people tried to convince him HE could be a force for good.

He still didn't truly believe it. Morelon was right, his power was growing.... but so was the anger. Despite was Morelon and Zeyre said he couldn't believe his powers were 'good'. He looked at the chilled cloth. If he'd used his powers on this... it would have ended in destruction, not healing... Their kindness and friendship meant more to him than any arguments about his 'good deeds'. He suspected she felt the same. Times like that he just wanted solitude. So that is what he gave.

Nuari began his pacing again inside the quarantine zone. He'd said his peace, and if she wished for any more conversation... there wasn't anywhere he could go.
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