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*Skin Deep*

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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:54 pm

Morelen regarded her friend with a bemused, lopsided smile. It was a nice to have people to care about and who cared in return!

"You sound quite confident that the woman I was before would have the same values and goals as the woman I am now." She quirked up a stark white eyebrow. "I'm not currently so sure about that assumption. However. . .if I fall before our business with this plague of sin-magic has concluded, then I'll return -- if I can -- when called. I intend to see this through to the end, even if it goes beyond my end.

"But Nuari," she instructed, "you'll have to remember to have Zerye use only my brain for the Reincarnation if such a time ever comes, since that is the only bit that is actually. . .me. If the parts get scrambled for any reason, I really cannot anticipate what may happen.

"There would be rather a lot of explaining to do if you brought back the original owner of this head for example, and I would hate to be deprived of the unique experience of burying myself. . ."
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Saoirse

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Thu Nov 14, 2013 10:47 pm

"Ehhh.. not that unique I hate to say...." Nuari said with a look of distaste on his face. "Frankly... that was the strangest thing I ever did... and not something I recommend to others.

"If anything about this still haunt's me dreams... it's looting and burying meself..." He couldn't contain a shiver as he recalled the horror that even the curiosities of his new body hadn't been able to distract from.

"As for the rest... You can be sure I'll remember that..." The idea of picking through his friends corpse to find JUST the right component was a whole new horror he hadn't considered... but he'd do it all the same if needed.

"Kinda makes ya wonder how that would work otherwise... At what point does the body become 'yours' and at what point is it still theirs... Fer that matter... I wonder if there were ways to use the parts to bring them back...

"Though somehow I doubt their last moments were anything that would inspire a desire to return..." He grimaced as he realized the direction his pondering aloud had gone.

"Sorry about that... I know ye don't talk about them much. I'mma ramblin' again."
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Fri Nov 15, 2013 8:24 am

"Well, they didn't die screaming," Morelen muttered, rubbing at the irritated and widening sutures on her legs. With startling clarity now, she could hear the tap and the smart crack of bone as the awl penetrated skull and brain left the victims awake, aware, and utterly helpless.

"It was all very efficient. Drugging them would simply have spread the poison around to the various limbs of the body which would have made the joining more problematic. They were. . .incapacitated, left drooling there on the slabs until they were needed and their parts harvested. I fear they were still quite alive when that was done. Alive and fully conscious, though unable to scream or fight back.

"Doctor Noenn had this little adamantine-bladed bone saw. . . Like I said, it was all very efficient."

It took a long moment before the sorceress dragged her eyes back up to those familiar pale blues of her friend. The sorrow and guilt and world-weariness was written so plainly on her features, that not even a Hat of Disguise could have masked them.

"No, I doubt it would be in their best interest to return. Allow them the peace that this world refused to give them. That would be a greater kindness.

"But I'd rather not dwell on the topic if it is all the same to you," Morelen offered abruptly, clacking her teeth together in frustration. "There is nothing I can do for them. Not anymore. I can only carry on as long as possible and try to build a new legacy of saving lives, hoping that somehow that good outweighs the evil of my current state of existence as a walking crypt."

With a sharp wave of her hand, the flesh golem brought a definitive end to that line of discussion. She would pay for this in nightmares this evening.

"I'm curious to hear more about your time on the other side. You believe that you were. . .hmm. . .pressed upon to return by some higher power? Do you have any sense what deity that could have been?"
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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:15 pm

Nuari blinked at her question. His mind was still lost in the horrifying images of gruesome and unimaginable tortures. Well... Unimaginable wasn't the right term... he was imagining a lot and he feared that it wasn't even close to the reality. Needless to say, the somewhat nauseous dwarf had no issue at all with changing the subject.

"Wha?" He tried to focus on the question. It was a fairly simple one, and he wished he had a better answer. "No... I'm knowing some stuff about the gods and all... but I don't consider me'self an expert or anything... If I had to guess... I'd say I was in Pharasma's realm.. so I figure she had somethin' to do with it."

He grimaced as he tried to remember some details but nothing was really sticking with him. "Bah.... it's like tryin' to net smoke. The longer I'm gone from there.... the less I remember. I feel like something was explained.... or told... something that must have been convincin'...

"Like you were sayin'.... Coming back wasn't something I would have chosen without some convincin'."

"I didn't exactly enjoy me first trip around life much...."
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:17 pm

"Well I sorely hope that the second time around will be more fulfilling. You've earned that much at least!"

Nevermore, having finished his meal of scraps, flew off and reclaimed his perch upon the shoulder of the mouse-headed wax figure. With a ruffle of onyx feathers, he settled his head down to rest as he watched over the companions.

Morelen observed him, absently wondering about her friend's experiences on the other side. The boneyard. How fitting. She had no illusions about being accepted by Pharasma, whose clergy sought out and destroyed undead with inquisitor-like zeal, and frankly she wasn't sure which side of that line she fell on anymore. But would the Lady of Graves be interested in the outcome of their current quest? Was there some kind of prophecy about ancient Thassilon or the return of sin-magic that they hadn't been made aware of yet? If not, the sorceress couldn't see how the deity would have any other horse in this race, but if not her, then whom? Titus had recently been deceased as well, so perhaps he had a similar experience, and as a priest, perhaps he had additional insight. A matter to be pursed another night. Tomorrow would begin the day's journey back to the Trackless Dearth and the Night Peddler. . . perhaps there would be time then.

"You know, Nuari. . . It's been only six days since the attack on Sandpoint. I'm sure the bloodiest six days we've spent together as a group so far, and I fear that things will just get more difficult from here on out."

She reached out and carefully squeezed her friend's shoulder in a gesture of solidarity.

"I'm glad you came back to us. I'm glad to be by your side as we face these next challenges, for we'll need to work together as never before. Even after we defeat Zastrain the Patchwork Lord in the Striding Fortress and rescue Brodert, there is still Mokmurian and his legions to contend with. . . Much to do," she muttered, "much to do.

"It's good to have friends to share such trials with."
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Saoirse

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Nuari Stormcloud

Post  Colin Marcus on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:42 pm

"Can't imagine doing this without 'em..." he said sincerely. He glanced back at the gnomes and chuckled.

"Even with friends as peculiar as ours!

"Still.. Hard to believe it's not even a week yet... Though frankly, I'm not sure which I found bloodier... Me own death... or the ogre-kin's farm.

"That... I hope to whoever sent me back, that it don't go gettin' worse than that place..."
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Morelen

Post  Saoirse on Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:46 pm

Morelen grimaced at the memory of the Gruul household.

"Depraved creatures," she muttered as her scarred lip twitched in disgust. "Completely unsanitary. . . Frankly I'm surprised we didn't come down with another bout of plague after that repugnant little jaunt through Erebus.

"You know," the sorceress considered, "once this sin magic and Mokmurian threat has been ended, and Doctor Noenn receives his long overdue comeuppance -- provided I'm still alive of course, perhaps I may make it the remainder of my life's work to seek out and destroy these abhorrent pockets of ogre-kin wherever they exist. I cannot think of a more fulfilling way to spend my retirement!"

The friends went on as such for a long while, discussing future possibilities and laughing about all the unlikely scenarios of how they could ever fit into the Sandpoint community once the trouble was over. It felt good to think of something beyond the immediate. Particularly cathartic for Morelen to consider that she may indeed go on living for years to come. She didn't truly believe any of that of course, but it was nice to pretend, if only for a little while.

By the time the mechanical arm of the shattered moon was high in the sky, Morelen was feeling much more optimistic about the path that lay before them. Surely there would be trials ahead, both physical and emotional, but their motley little crew would face them together.

As friends.

As heroes.
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