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A Meeting with the Monarch

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A Meeting with the Monarch

Post  Wynnsaren on Sun Apr 07, 2013 1:38 am

9th of Erastus, 4710

The oracle couldn't help but smile as she and Glas walked through the streets of Akiros early that morning. Tradesmen and townsfolk bustled about the growing city attending to their business, but never too busy to spare a smile and a nod for each other or a wave and a 'good morning' for her, and even for all its noise, the warmth of the rising sun felt good on her face. The sense of hope and community here was a far cry from the haunting malevolence that hung over the isle of Candlemere.

It was good to be home. Even for a little while.

The short distance between the infirmary tent where she'd taken up temporary residence and the king's tent, did not give Wynn over much time to allow her mind to stray down the more worrisome path that it had tread most of the previous evening, and for that small respite she was thankful. These last few days had taken a heavy toll on her nerves.

"Good morning, Priestess Wynnsaren!"

"Good morning," she replied to the familiar voice before she was able to see the man who had issued it, and ignored the obvious falsehood of his address. Approaching, she saw the guard that stood outside the door of the king's tent.

"Willam, is that you under there?" Wynn grinned and tapped on the half helm. "Congratulations on the new job! How is Inessa and your little girl?"

Even a full helm could not have contained the man's beaming pride. "We named her Lucia, my lady, and thanks to you they're both doing well."

It had been about two weeks now since she'd helped deliver the young family's first child. Complications might have robbed mother and daughter of their lives if it hadn't been for a bit of divine healing that became quickly necessary during the process. Wynn was more than pleased that all parties remained in good health.

"I was happy to help. Lucia is a lucky little girl to have you two as parents."

"Actually," Willam shifted uncomfortably, "Inessa wanted me to talk to you."

"Oh?"

"She was, I mean we were hoping that you could give our little Lucia your blessing."

Every day as acting priest brought new and...interesting opportunities, Wynn thought, a bit taken aback by the request. She supposed this was one of the things that a member of the clergy performed quite regularly. She was no priest but again, there was no point in correcting the man. How could they not want the blessings of Moon and Stars, Fate and Fortune upon their new child?

"Of course I will," the aasimar smiled brightly, honored by the request. "Perhaps I could stop by this evening?"

"For dinner!" Willam blurted out, before his face turned beet red. "I mean... um, Inessa has been talking of having you over for dinner and if you have the time, this evening would be perfect."

"It would be my pleasure, sir. Would you mind if I brought a guest?

"No, not Glas," Wynn interjected before the man had the chance to ask. The townsfolk had come to accept the akata, but taking him around newborns was something that even the oracle wouldn't chance. He was still quite young after all.

Willam laughed. "Yes, yes, you and a guest are more than welcome! I'll send word to my wife and we'll see you then this evening. Are you here to see Lord Thaddeus?"

"I am. Is he available?"

"I believe he just finished with his morning prayers, so he should be ready to receive visitors."

The guard pulled back the heavy awning that served as a front door and called out to his liege, officially announcing her. "Priestess Wynnsaren to see you, Lord Thaddeus."

"I'm n..." The oracle sighed. "Thank you Willam."

With that, Wynnsaren and Glas glided into the parlor of the huge tent.


Last edited by Wynnsaren on Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post  Colin Marcus on Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:31 am

Thaddeus was looking over a stack of paperwork his attendants had left for him on his new desk. The craftsmanship was exquisite, though he still felt a bit guilty that the crafters had worked on this when there was so much still to do in the fledgling city. Still, despite his initial misgivings, it was functional, not an extravagance. Still, he had made certain to write the carpenter's name down for when the construction settled down some... and the time for extravagance would arrive.

Expense reports... Those he hated most of all. Who needed what money and where and why... Fortunately Paido wrote in a clear hand, but that still didn't make the paper work less tedious. This was one aspect of his new position he had no problem delegating. Others, such as Datzeg dealing with the citizens physical concerns or Wynnsaren dealing with their spiritual concerns... those were harder for him to let others deal with. More than once he feared he may have stepped on their toes a bit, by trying to keep his own hands in the mix.

As if on cue, one of his new guards called out, "Priestess Wynnsaren to see you, Lord Thaddeus."

Glad of the distraction he rose to greet her with a hearty, "Good morning!"

She seemed back to her serene state as opposed to the last time she entered his tent. No sign of the panic or fear that led them to the island. That was good. He'd take good news where he could get it.

"How does this morning find you?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Mon Apr 08, 2013 9:03 am

"It finds me clean and well-rested, your highness," Wynn grinned as she curtsied, "a pleasant change from the last forty-eight hours. It appears that this beautiful day finds you in a similar state as well."

The oracle stood and approached the king's desk, noting the already accumulating piles of work that he would need to attend to. She looked up in Thaddeus' direction with no small amount of sympathy in her soft smile.

"I do apologize for the early hour, but I was hoping to steal a few moments of your time before the day embroiled you in dozens of other more important matters befitting your station. It seems however, that I'm already too late...

"There are some things which I would like to discuss with you, my king...things which you should be made aware of before you leave for Restov, but if you'd like me to come back at a better time, I most certainly can. At your convenience of course."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:01 pm

"Oh?" He said with eyebrows raised. He had half expected this visit to be another lesson in the celestial language. He was taking to it quite quickly and that pleased him greatly. Sarenrae herself had once been amongst the empyreal lords, and he'd rumors that some of the earliest of her holy texts were written in the language of angels. Now, should fate ever be so kind for him to find a first edition... he may be able to read it!

However, it seemed that she had other things on her mind this morning. Quickly he rose from his chair and crossed the tent. "Of course. Tell what's on your mind.

"Actually, I was about to take a walk, make some rounds, this morning. Is this something that can be spoken in public, or something more secretive," he asked as he pointed towards one of the chairs in his tent.
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:42 pm

It took only a moment of consideration before Wynnsaren took the latter offer and sat properly in the chair he'd indicated. Reaching over beside her, she stroked one of the akata's tentacles to get his attention. Rest now, friend. The king and I will speak for a time.

After the signed instructions, Glas, much less properly, flopped on the floor at her feet and twisted a tentacle almost lovingly around her leg as he rested his head on his paws. The space lion had been with her on the journey from New Stetvan to Akiros. The journey that she never quite completed, at least in the traditional manner. Glas could have left then. He could have eaten her horse and gone whichever way he chose, but when they rode into town after returning from Candlemere, Glas had come to greet her. Her white mare returned safely as well and the stable boy said that the unlikely pair returned together...un-chewed upon.

The akata's intelligence hadn't ceased to surprise her. She'd traveled with hounds before but Glas was proving more loyal and certainly more capable of understanding her than even such trusted animals. It was Wynn that was still trying to understand him! She could not for a moment forget the danger he posed, especially after the recent akata encounters on the island. While he wasn't necessarily wild, he was alien, and his mind and reactions were less predictable because of it.

Wynn returned her attention to the paladin.

"As much as I would enjoy the walk, some of what I wish to discuss with you is in need of a greater measure of discretion and some of it is of a more...personal nature." The aasimar cleared her throat ever so slightly, smoothed out the dark blue and silver fabric of her dress and folded her hands in her lap.

"In a few days I will leave again for New Stetvan," she began, opting for the more politically sensitive topic first. "I have a meeting there with a man named Jokun Yeldiakiv, a moneylender based there in the city. I've been doing a bit of investigating since our first encounter at the meteor crash site, and discovered that this is the fellow that hired the mining expedition into the Stolen Lands.

"You see, I find it odd that such a site could have been found as easily as it was considering the lack of records of the crash. Within the forest... No other excavation sites around... Either someone is insightful enough to recognize that the gentle slope to the ground is a meteor impact area, or someone knew that it was there.

Wynnsaren's eyes searched the king's for a moment before her focus drifted off past him once more. "I suspect that it was somehow known. I've also come to suspect that the crash site is very old...maybe even Age of Destiny old, as was the evidence we just found out in Candlemere.

"Then there's that raktavarna in play... If Jokun or some yet unknown party sent the creature along with the miners in the guise of some normal weapon...maybe even a pick axe, than its master would've been able to see first hand what the miners saw. A brilliant way of keeping tabs on your investment!

"Something must have happened to it down there." She paused a moment, pursing her lips in contemplation. "Some kind of alien corruption that changed it into the pitiful creature you found in the hands of the bugbear, but it may yet return to its true master."

Wynn shook her head slightly at the multitude of questions still left to be answered.

"I thought it important that you know my business in the city, King Thaddeus. It could be that Mr. Yeldiakiv knows important information about the meteor, or he could lead me to the true originator of the expedition. Either way, I fear that something may have been released when that rock was cracked open, and if that is true, than only the raktavarna and its master may be able to give us some information on what that might have been."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:49 pm

"Yes..." Thaddeus said thoughtfully in his own chair. Wynnsarenn was right. There was more to this excavation than he had previously considered. The fledgling king hadn't thought of the big picture in those woods. He had assumed that the miners were innocent or at least simply lucky to have found the mine... but if they had known before hand? That lead to more dangerous possibilities.

"If this Yeldiakiv knows about the mine, then we'll have to move even faster then I had planned." He looked towards one of Paido's carefully drawn maps of the region with a few more notations and designs that were significantly newer. "I wanted to claim that mine, but had considered a more direct trade route towards Brevoy first... but now? For all we know there could be more miners there right now..."

He looked towards the oracle and forced a tired grin. "Excellent reasoning, my lady. I would stress caution though in dealings with these men. If the bugbear we fought was only the Raaakaa..varnen...a's tool," he sounded the strange word out more or less successfully, "then I wonder what trouble its 'master' will give?"
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:55 pm

"You are quite right of course," Wynn nodded slowly, weighing for the first time the threat of what she might be getting herself into here. "I believe that Yeldiakiv is only the middle man in this plot however. The money. I've heard rumor that the man is something of an unsavory character and has his fingers in dealings from relic hunting in Iobaria to human trafficking for Cheliax and Nidal. He has a reputation for specializing in the rare and exotic and that's exactly why I think he was hired, but the expeditions true purpose may yet remain a complete mystery to him. What I want from the man is a name... Something to lead me to the next piece of the puzzle. Someone knew where that meteor was and wanted it dug up, but I don't believe it was for profit...."

The oracle leaned forward in her chair, her silver eyes shining with such intensity that they almost reflected the deep blue of the king's own.

"The vision, your Majesty... The one that sent me running to find you here in Akiros... It just struck me last night that the event I saw in that vision was not a future event, and not even a current one. It had already happened down there inside the meteor! The black goo from the vision was the pool of ichor we bipassed when descending down into that lower chamber of the meteor!

"No, someone or something knew where that meteor had crashed so long ago and they already knew what the meteor contained. They wanted it dug up, not for profit, but to release...It...something of great darkness, and they accomplished that mission. Something was torn from that crimson vessel from my vision, birthed in screams and blackness. Something that growled..."

Her hands trembled slightly as she so clearly recalled the terrible sounds and the terrible evil that she'd felt before being ripped from her horse that night.

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:26 pm

"That... was an intense vision for something we couldn't prevent." The thought didn't sit well with him, but he had to admit the pieces fit.

"If your seeking this master, I have little doubt it'll be a surprise to him. If he knew where the meteor was, he's probably keeping tabs on Yeldiakiv too. Especially if he's as shady and untrustworthy as you think. It wouldn't surprise me if he tried to eliminate the loose ends.

"If you intend to travel... mundanely, I'd feel more comfortable if you took some guards with you on these journeys."
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:35 pm

Though they may not have been able to prevent the release of the meteor creature, Wynn believed that they could still thwart the plans of those involved. She had to! Why else would she have been sent to Candlemere so abruptly but to try to catch the mi-go creatures that were making sacrifices to that cloaker vampire below the castle?

Feed a mind and reap the rewards of insanity.

That was the inscription on the blackened table that stood before the throne. Were the three mi-gos feeding the vampire brains to learn secrets of the stars from the Age of Destiny? Was that where they learned where the meteor was located? If that were the case, then although their little band hadn't caught them, they had succeeded in stopping the alien creatures from learning any more and they'd also put an end to the killing of innocents to feed him. All in all, not a complete loss.

The oracle sat back in her seat and slowly returned to her former state of composure as Thaddeus expressed his concerns about her safety during the investigation.

"As you wish, my king," she nodded her consent, though with some reservation as to who these guards might be.

"I've no doubt Zaistrun would agree with you on that point also." A small grin played at the corners of Wynnsaren's lips. "He'd say that the morale of the peasant majority would be negatively affected if the priestess-diplomat-person of Novastasia were to be brutally murdered in New Stetvan, and I wouldn't want to be the cause of a negatively affected morale! Neither would I want to be clubbed to death in a back alley and force you to have to fill another necessary position in the kingdom. Yes, Zaistrun would be quite put out!"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:00 pm

Thaddeus laughed aloud at that. "Yes, Yes he would, Aasimar oracles don't just grow on trees around here. If anything happens out there... next thing you know we have to avenge you, and then suddenly we're raising armies... and quite frankly, we're just not prepared for that kind of thing just yet."

He chuckled as he looked through his notes at some of the names that had some military training... militia mostly, that had been upgraded to guards. What would make a good traveling guard? Unmarried perhaps, someone able to focus on the duty at hand and be gone from home for an unknown length of time? Or perhaps the opposite? Someone with a family in this new nation. Physical and Emotional ties to the land that would ensure loyalty and give Novastasia that sense of 'Homeland' that was important... A problem for later.

"We'll come up with someone trustworthy, to help us avoid all this potential disaster. Though," he said a bit more serious. "My concern is more the concern of a friend, then it is a... king."

The term king stuck to his tongue as it always did. Wynnsaren had been using the term since they had approached her with the news of Novastasia two months ago. It still didn't sit well on Thaddeus. His land was barely a settlement. While people continued to flood his way, his kingdom consisted of a single city, and that city was little more than a Thorpe. No castle, no throne, no crown... yet he answered to no other king. He felt it pompous to refer to himself with such a claim... and begrudgingly had settled on Lord, when Zaistrun and Sarala had insisted he take some title... Somehow he didn't mind when Wynn used it.

After all, if an Oracle refers to you as King... it renewed his hope that his small settlement would indeed become the kingdom he dreamed it would.
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:03 pm

"A friend..." Wynnsaren smiled and glanced down at Glas, who for all intents and purposes looked like he could have been dead there at her feet. His lack of breathing was slightly disconcerting at times.

"You do me a greater honor than you realize in naming me as such, King Thaddeus. Friends are difficult to come by in my line of work, as I've discovered far too often, and never do they seem to last long..." Her voice trailed off into a whisper of sweet sadness.

"Part of my purpose in seeking you out this morning was to thank you. Thank you for seeing me for who I am and not simply a pawn or an asset for political maneuverings. You've no idea how rare that is," she shook her head incredulously. "In fact you are the first ruler that I've met who even cared to see beyond my burden. To think that you offered me this position as Ambassador because of my experience with other cultures and not because of my occasional divine insights?!"

The aasimar smiled and laughed aloud at the memory.

"In all honesty, if I hadn't already been kneeling, I would've hit the floor!

"That is exactly why I'm here, don't you see," she explained as her voice took on a more serious tone. "I did not agree to a position of authority simply because a king asked me to, for I have turned such things down in the past. No, your highness, I agreed to this because you asked me to.

"Contrary to popular opinion, true and noble kings are not made. The Reagent of Brevoy did not hand you a piece of paper and make you who you are. Castles and thrones and crowns...they do not a king make. This," Wynn leaned forward and pressed her fingers gently against the left side of his chest, "is why you are king, Thaddeus Medvyed, and this is why I am here."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:14 pm

"Now you do me the honor..." He said with nod of his head. "I only pray I continue to earn it."

He shook his head in amazement. It was one thing to hear things like this from his sister.... or even his father. Hearing it from Wynnsaren however, that gave him a good feeling. A feeling that meant he was doing something right.

"I hope you never see yourself as a pawn here in Novastasia . I will not forget the danger you put yourself in more than once to save my sister's life on that island, or the way you dragged Zaistrun to safety against that mi-go... You'll always be considered a friend of the crown here... Well, when I get a crown... or... ahhh..." The paladin stumbled a bit on his words. He shrugged helplessly at Wynnsaren.

"Well, that started out nice and rulerly... but lost it a bit at the end there,' he couldn't help but chuckle a bit at his own inexperience.
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Post  Wynnsaren on Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:16 pm

Wynn smiled and relaxed back into her seat.

"We could find someone to work with you on public speaking lessons if you'd like," she teased. "I'm sure I could scrounge up an all-too-helpful noble in Brevoy."

Talk about political maneuverings... The great houses of Brevoy were in a perpetual game of chess, every action, every smile, every movement was meant to influence and give themselves a leg up on the other houses. You couldn't have paid the her enough to touch that hive of bees with a ten foot pole! No one in the city knew what she was or what she did beyond making maps. That had been just fine for her for a very long time, but here in Novastasia, she could be herself. Everyone knew what she was and what she did and the simple freedom of that was beautiful! Hopefully it wasn't something she'd live to regret.

She wondered how Thaddeus and Sarala managed to avoid all of that scheming. Or had they?

The aasimar shifted in her seat. "Might a friend ask you a personal question, my king?"

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Post  Colin Marcus on Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:53 pm

"Of course," he said without hesitation. "What would like to know?"
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Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:10 am

Wynn tipped her head to the paladin graciously. "Your sister has spoken to me at some length about your family. Your elder brother in particular... Seems she and Coranious don't quite see eye to eye." She gently cleared her throat.

"Have you spoken to your family about your recent ascent to power? I'm curious to know what their opinion is on the matter and if they might cause you any grief over it."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:03 pm

"Ahhhh Cor...." Thaddeus nodded in thought. "Your not the only one curious how that will turn that...

"As a matter of fact, I did send him a letter the last time I was in New Stetvan... shortly before we met at your shop. Sarala said that she was sending one as well... though I'm not sure exactly what she told him. It's been a few months now.. it feels like she's getting past their differences, at least I hope she is. There is a lot more to be concerned about now days then old disagreements."

His eyebrow raised a bit. Truth was, it wasn't nearly as long as it felt. Four months? He supposed that was a long time for some. Long enough? Time would tell.

"I haven't received a response yet. I don't know if he simply disbelieves me... Perhaps he just wants to verify with his own sources... or who knows, perhaps simple travel time.

"The letter should have made it clear that I hold him no hard feelings after the way we left. That's in the past as far as I'm concerned, and I have too much future to concern myself with."

He sighed as he remembered the words he'd written. Anything could be taken the wrong way, but he truly did hope that he could have good relations with his brother again someday soon. Though it wouldn't be the same.

"He knows now, that I have no intentions on any Brevoy property. There is no competition between us... On my part there never was. I wish independence and autonomy... One of my few fears is that Brevoy will use us for some purpose... that they'll have their hooks in us.

"Cor most of all. If any of the noble houses could pull on long standing ties and try to sway us to whatever ends they wish... Cor could try. Family is often my blind spot... I told him my intentions here, and I hope he honors them... but he's an ambitious man when he think he needs to be.

"In a perfect world he could be an excellent ally, but when last I spoke to him he was still having difficulty adjusting to leadership himself... "
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Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:26 pm

"I know it must sound silly in this context, but I envy you the ties you have to family," the aasimar admitted as she wistfully curled a lock of black hair about her finger, "even through the difficult times. Your roots run so deep through these lands and they have and will continue to serve as a source of great strength for you.

"My own roots, unknown though they be, pull me toward the heavens and not the land. While I've found much freedom in this, I've also found much loneliness, though it comforts me to see such strong bonds between others...like with you and Sarala, and the strengthening ties of Matsuro Shi."

Wynnsaren sighed and rested against the back of her seat, forgetting for just a moment that she was speaking with a king as well as a friend.

"Between you and me, I've prayed that Novastasia might be a new beginning for myself as well as the rest of your subjects. Just maybe Fate and my burden will allow me to remain here for another thirty...sixty...one hundred years or so. Maybe it will be my chance to put some roots into the ground to complement my roots in the sky. I am not fully celestial after all, and my human heritage yearns for something more than the heavenly is able to provide."

It had been so long since the aasimar had lived openly regarding her heritage. Not since Tian Xia, over fifty years ago now, and even in that land there were too many misunderstandings. Too many interested in using her, or her imagined influence, for their own purposes. Wynn...Tsukiko at the time, and her father managed to barely escape captivity at the hands of an imperial governor who believed he could benefit from her visions.

Varisia hadn't brought as much in the way of persecution as it did misplaced worship. Desna being one of the region's predominant deities, she, Gilraen as she was called there, was occasionally thought to be a manifestation or celestial messenger of the goddess. The dark hair and silver eyes might have passed as simply unusual, but the glowing sigil and halo of stars drew more attention than she desired and once that part of her was revealed, the people never treated her in the same way.

Wynnsaren chose to move north to the Brevoy region and for the last two decades was able to keep her identity to herself. It was best that way. At least she told herself that it was... She told herself every night when she shut herself into her little shop that it was for the best. One can only live like that for so long.

"Forgive my wandering thoughts, my king, but we are discussing Coranious aren't we..." The oracle apologized and returned to a more respectful posture. "I know that you will soon return with a true priest for Akiros, and that I will be out of a job. Novastasia may not yet need an Ambassador, but perhaps you personally could use one.

"Would you like me to seek out your brother after my dealings in New Stetvan? I could relay to him the truth of your reign and your intentions in person and then bring back to you his response."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:39 pm

Thaddeus couldn't help but smile as she told him about her dreams, and he hoped that she did indeed find what she was looking for here. Once again he found himself wondering about his newly acquired subjects. They all had stories... every one of them came here seeking one thing or running from something else...He made a mental note to learn as many of these stories as he could.

"Actually, I'd like that very much," the paladin said as she finished her offer. "I'm curious indeed on whatever insight you could have on my brother. I fear I may be too close to get an unbiased opinion.

"However, this is secondary by far... The meteor site has a real priority and any issues Cor may have can wait. I'm sure if you find anything that you think I need to know, you'll get the information to me without the delay of a trek to Medyved territory."

"Your best judgement of course." He said with a smile.
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:44 pm

"Of course," she agreed, feeling somewhat silly for sharing such personal information. Certainly the king had much more pressing matters to attend to than listen to her jabber on about the future. Wynn had come here on business, so she thought it best to get down to it, even though the possible outcome made her feel a little sick.

"My final reason for coming to you, Your Highness, was in response to your request back on the Isle of Candlemere. After fighting the seven akata that attacked us, you told me that we needed to have a discussion about Glas."

Wynnsaren, all emotion carefully tucked away from her features, motioned to the rubbery, blue space lion that slept at her feet. "Here we are, and I am ready for that discussion if you have time for it now."

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Thaddeus Medvyed

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:25 am

Thaddeus grimaced as he remembered that off handed comment. He certainly hadn't meant to cause distress. However, since she offered the opportunity, it'd be irresponsible not to discuss his concerns.

"The more I learn of these... well, Glas, the more concerned I get. It was bad enough when I thought them only wild beasts... Now, I hear they infect with a bite? They cause their victims to become undead monstrosities? Honestly, my first instinct is to destroy every one that we find."

He sighed as he realized the pain he could be causing with that judgement. Wynnsaren was obviously attached to her pet, and the knowledge she was gleaning from it was invaluable.

"On the other hand... You also claim he is intelligent. I don't understand exactly how intelligent we're talking about. Is he like a smart dog? Something that can be trained toward good behavior? Or are we talking more... sentient? Something you can communicate with, Something that can make choices? Something that remembers what we did to its nest-mates?

"I'm... not comfortable judging something like that simply on species. I base a large part of my philosophy on redemption, but Glas hasn't done anything wrong yet... I... want to be right about this. Is he a powder keg waiting to happen? A rabid beast that's a danger to all... or something that will be contained and kept safe. Both him and the people?"
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:26 am

The aasimar forced the cold chill of the space between the stars into her being, to calm her spirit and quench the firestorm of concern that raged within her. A moment ago she was bearing her soul about the loneliness she'd felt for so long and the next minute they were discussing the potential dispatching of the creature most close to her in all the world.

It wasn't his fault. He was king. His duty was to protect his people, and Glas was at best an unknown...a worst an undead plague. She could hardly blame them all for their response once they fully learned of the akata, but even that logic did little to stifle the hurt in her heart. The chill helped, and she welcomed it.

"You have every right for concern," Wynn admitted stoically. "The akata are powerful and alien creatures with a dreadful reproductive cycle, as you have noted, but they are animals. Not inclined toward evil.

"Glas was one of the akata that fell victim to my Spray of Stars when battle was first joined down in the meteor, so he was unconscious and did not wake until after he was removed from the room and bound he did not see the fate of his brothers. He was just a baby when we took him. While I don't know if I'd have much luck training an adult akata away from previously learned behaviors, Glas is a different story. Everything is new to him.

"He is also, as you say, very intelligent. He has quickly learned the language of signs we developed...are still developing together," she amended. "I with my hands, he with his tentacles. He even demonstrates rudimentary insights by asking me questions and answering them. Without doubt he is more intelligent than any hound I've ever worked with."

Against her better judgement, Wynnsaren looked down at her sleeping friend, who still clung to her with one of his mane-tentacles. It was for comfort she'd come to understand. Glas was young and he was the only one like him in a scary and unfamiliar world. Oh, how she could identify with that!

In defense of his life, she continued. "The first thing I taught Glas once I gained his trust, was not to bite people. I taught him that biting people brings pain...that they are poisonous to him in a sense. It was easy enough to do actually, as quickly as he learns. You see, to the akata, salt water acts as acid. I partially filled a wineskin with salted water and wrapped it around my arm and then pulled my sleeve over it. I induced him to bite me in that location and the result sent him reeling backwards. I hated to hurt him so, but he needed to understand that to bite people, brings him pain. Even in play now he will not open his mouth, but he does enjoy swatting at me with his tentacles sometimes." She allowed herself a small smile at that.

"Though all that I have learned about Glas leads me to feel confident that he would not be a danger in your kingdom, Your Highness, I cannot promise you that it could never be so. I understand more about him every day, but he is still an alien species. I do not fully know how he will react as he ages.

"I understand your dilemma... I also understand that your job is to protect the people of Novastasia. I've named you my king and so I will submit to whatever decision you make about Glas."

The oracle focused her clouded eyes upon the king. "You know better than I what pain can be caused when a pet...a part of the family needs to be killed for the good of the many. You know how long it takes a heart to heal from such a wound, even when the logic is sound.

"Even so... It is a wound I will bear and accept if that is your decision. I would only ask one favor...as a friend..." Wynn's jaw clenched as she stubbornly swallowed her tears.

"If you decide that Glas is too dangerous, I ask only that you kill him with your own blade. With your own hand... He deserves no less."

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Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:14 pm

Thaddeus flinched as if he'd been struck when she mentioned Thunder. The hound had been his companion when he was a boy. Father had tried to explain to him how his loving pet had changed... something he'd caught from an unfortunate rabbit had made him rabid... and despite everything that they'd been through, was now too dangerous to live.

He hadn't thought of Thunder in years, but the old hurt was still there. He eyed the oracle curiously. That wasn't something Sarala would have told her... he wondered how much else about him she had gleaned. It was kind of low blow to bring that up now...

His face softened as he read the stoic hurt in her expression. She really would abide by whatever he ruled. He had no doubts about that. Now he was in the same position as his father, and he realized how difficult a position it was. No matter how he chose, there was potential for harm to be done.

He glanced toward his sword lying on its rack with his armor in the corner of the tent. It wouldn't have been the first akata that sword had slain. He hoped it would be the last.

"Should the situation need it, then yes, I would do the deed myself Wynnsaren." He sighed and forced a small grin. "However, I don't feel it has come to that yet.

"Glas is not Thunder. Despite the pain of the time, My dog was sick and would have hurt me or Sarala... Father made the right decision then. Glas... is different.

"Tambor used to drill into my head, Mercy. 'If you have to err, err on the side of life. You can always kill tomorrow, but you can't unkill today...' I find that especially true now.

"Glas has the potential to be very, very dangerous. However so do many things. I have heard of people who travel with animals of all sorts. Wolves, tigers, dinosaurs... any of which are deadly in the wild and could cause pain and death to my people. However, if someone had walked into my town with a pet tiger, we wouldn't have had this talk... I would have trusted they could control it and reacted accordingly if they hadn't.

"Which is what my decision today will be. I won't condemn Glas based on the actions of it's species in the wild... He's still young, and you seem to have him well in hand. It's bite is dangerous... but as we were all infected on the island and none have succumbed, I know his bite is not a guaranteed death sentence.

"I trust you will keep an honest eye on him... As he grows, you may find him harder to control, and I can't promise we won't have to revisit this topic... but until then I choose life."


Last edited by Elric on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:31 pm

Wynnsaren's shoulders relaxed noticeably as he relayed his judgement, and she breathed a sigh of relief.

"Thank you for your kindness and understanding, my king, and I hope that you can believe me when I say that if I come to feel that Glas is a threat to your people, that I will be the first to come to you with the problem."

The oracle closed her eyes briefly and her brows were drawn together in troubled thought.

"I have the sense that your trust in me is a tentative one... That perhaps you feel I'm attempting to use or manipulate you towards my own ends." Her silvered eyes opened again to stare just beyond the king as she spoke. "You doubted me when I said that it is because of your heart and not your crown that I've accepted this position as Ambassador, and I cannot help but feel that you question my complete honesty about the possible danger that Glas poses.

"Your Highness, I hope that your uncertainty toward my motives is the caution of a king, and not doubt toward me personally... I have been nothing but truthful with you and your fellows since the start."

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Re: A Meeting with the Monarch

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:58 pm

Thaddeus leaned back in his chair and contemplated his next words carefully. Wynn was observant in many many ways... but he didn't want what she saw to be misunderstood.

"Doubt... is a strong word. Your eyes see more than my own. You seem to see in me the same thing my sister does, and possibly Zaistrun. A great leader of men... I see myself as a warrior of Sarenrae... I hope to be a great leader with this great heart... but I don't think I'm there yet. That's the only doubt I have... It's not a doubt in you.

"Glas on the other hand... I do trust you. I would not allow him to walk freely if I did not. However, since taking this assignment, I have found myself second-guessing people's words and intentions. I had never hoped to be engaged in the political arena, and lately I remember why. I will constantly be concerned over who is trying to manipulate me and for what end... My sister has played me more then once though never for a sinister purpose. Zaistrun, I believe seeks to mold me into the ruler 'he' wishes I'd be... And Brevoy? I'm still waiting for the other boot to drop on that deal." He sighed and shrugged his shoulders in surrender.

"You? You have insights into me that nobody else does. I haven't spoken about Thunder in fifteen years... but you knew that I once faced the same situation here again... I have never sensed any dishonesty, or manipulation on your part at all. Still, sometimes the doubts may nag, and I apologize for that profusely. I hear cautious suspicion is the correct mindset for a ruler... but I find it fits like a coat that's too tight. I intend to continue to be the type of ruler, I wish to be, but I fear it will be an interesting battle."

He glanced over the shoulder she seemed to be staring at, but naturally saw nothing but the back of the tent. "Whatever... future you may be seeing..." he said a tad uneasily, "I hope it's not one where you feel I don't trust you."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Apr 12, 2013 10:49 pm

In that moment, more than any yet that morning, Wynnsaren heard the vulnerability of a man within his words and not just the steely resolve of a king. She knew from her vision that Thaddeus and his companions could be a powerful force of good in this region, and she knew from observation that his heart was at the center of that goodness, but she'd seen before how power could twist even the most well-intentioned hearts and harden them until they were unrecognizable. Suspicion could quickly become paranoia. Manipulation could lead to bitterness. Neither did she wish upon him.

"The future?" she questioned in brief confusion after the paladin had finished speaking. "Oh no, you mistake my poor eyesight for foresight. The future is a great unknown to me as well, unless briefly shed light upon through occasional vision. I mean no disrespect, but during the day it is difficult for me to focus on one point for too long before my eyes grow weary. Right now, for instance, you are blurred to my sight. But in the darkness, my eyes are as keen as yours are under the sun and your features are clear to me."

Wynn smiled and looked down upon the akata at her feet. "Glas and I are quite the pair. I am blind, he is deaf... If you find me a mute guard to travel with, than we could be the trio, See No Evil, Hear No Evil and Speak No Evil!" She couldn't help but chuckle at the ridiculousness of the situation, before settling in to a more serious tone.

"I know you have many burdens, my king...burdens which have multiplied exponentially upon you since first we met, and while your shoulders are strong and broad enough to bear these burdens, I pray let not me be one of them.

"In Tian Xia, there is a word for those who use their words as weapons to manipulate and negotiate toward their own ends. They are known as odoriko...or dancers. The word has obvious dual meaning. It is true that I have a great fondness for dancing, but I find that I do not hold the same affinity for the verbal form," the aasimar grinned. "Nor am I as adept at it.

"Even so, in my duties as Ambassador, I'm sure I will be subject to those nobles whose dance is their primary language, and while I can deal with that if necessary, I would prefer that here at home...with my king and my friends, that I may be able to speak plainly and be plainly spoken to in turn. I find it much less...arduous. Also, if I may be so bold, Your Highness, I think it may be of benefit to you to have a sanctuary free of political hassle. You know...for sanity's sake... You might find it necessary in the coming months and years."

Wynnsaren leaned forward in her seat and focused as best she could on his face, wanting to make him understand and ease his mind in some small way.

"Please... Hear my words and you'll know the truth of them, my king. I will never attempt to deceive you, nor to manipulate you, nor use the power of the crown to gain advantage for myself. I will not misuse the trust you and the others have placed in me."

She held his gaze for a moment longer before she sat back in the chair, her eyes drifting to their previous position just beyond him.

"I know all too well, that true trust and understanding only comes with time, but I would see such doubts lifted from your shoulders... There is so much that sits upon them already."

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