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Solicitude in the Shackles

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Nov 18, 2015 10:33 pm

"Indeed they have," he agreed as he joined her in the sand. "You realize you put me in an awkward position my friend... Traditionally, it's you and the others preaching the need for patience to me! I don't claim to understand all your feeling here... but I am a man of action. I know too well the frustration of waiting while those more academically and magically inclined sort out some mystery or plan... or worse waiting for some predetermined time. Especially this week. I feel like something inside is unlocked and ready to smite evil... and I'm spending my days sitting in a hut learning rituals. You're not alone in frustration.

"I'm choosing to look at this last gamble as a wild act of desperation. We're finally ready... Between power and experience, and finally the stars are aligning... The time is nearly upon us. We're ready, and they're scared. He's risen many times and destroyed many worlds...

"It stops here."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Thu Nov 19, 2015 8:52 pm

Wynnsaren regarded him with a warm smile. It was more than pleasing to hear the confidence -- the surety in his voice, yet there were so many questions yet unanswered. . . Who? Why? If indeed Master Winter had been abducted by the Cult of the Dreamer as she'd first suspected, in spite of her optimism, she could not believe that this act was one of desperation on their part. Insurance perhaps, but not desperation. She had learned a good deal about the Elder god in her travels and foremost among them? Fear was something it did not know. Why? Because it had nothing to fear! And if it didn't fear anything, than neither, she assumed, would its fanatical minions.

Furthermore, what, if anything did King Labeda have to do with this? "I would rather that it did not have to end like this, Rasven", his words as reported by Sarala, still troubled her. Was this the Cult, or was there another hand at work here? The timing and the location within the Veil of Dreams seemed to indicate the former, but the pieces were just not aligning as neatly as she would prefer. Then again, the Dreamer and his minions were creatures of Chaos. If she tried too hard to create order where there was none to find, she'd find herself descending quickly into madness, and that line had already been toed enough times during her stay in Skywatch for comfort. The oracle had no intention of doing their work for them.

Stop, she chastised herself. One step at a time as it had always been. Learn the ritual. Get Rasven back. Deal with Cthulhu and his minions. No problem. . .

"It stops here." Wynn finally voiced her agreement. She unlatched one of her arms from around her knees and drew a line in the sand with her finger.

"Not this time. Not this world," she smirked. "I have become rather attached after all."

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Wynnsaren

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:21 pm

Thaddeus nodded in agreement. It was encouraging to see her so... vulnerable. While this situation would be enough to break anyone... there was too much at stake for breaking. He took comfort in believing his words helped bring her back from the edge.

What she'd be like when confronted by the monsters who crossed so obvious a line? Well, that had yet to be seen. The Wynnsarren that he knew would be able to hold it together and remember the mission as always. He had faith in that too.

He leaned back and watched the waves crash along the shore and just enjoyed the peace for a moment. Then a thought struck him.

"Wynn... I don't remember hearing about your fear of water before. Was it simply 'this' life? Do you know the cause?

"Considering the Dreamer is about to arise, and apparently always does, from a large body of water, I'm curious if this is a coincidence or not..."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Nov 20, 2015 9:50 pm

"That is a fascinating question," she considered, pausing in brief reflection, "but I do not believe the phobia to have anything to do with the overarching purpose of my life.

"I always thought it a rather irrational fear to be honest. Baseless and random. An inborn trait from my celestial mother perhaps, or maybe just underexposure to swimming as a child. . . I had no idea. It was not until I completed my Recollection that I remembered my most recent previous life and I discovered that even lives unrecalled cause ripples in the next."

Wynnsaren swept the hair from her shoulders to expose the back of her neck. Catching Thaddeus' eye, she pointed to an angelic symbol, the topmost sigil, which was etched in luminous indigo just below her hairline. "I was called Sunayani - Oracle of the Winds and Sailing Master aboard the pirate vessel Shasshvat Saty."

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Wynnsaren

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:11 pm

Thaddeus' nose crinkled at the revelation. "Pirate?" He should have known that anyone with 8000 years of history would have a few unsavory chapters in their life. Still he didn't want to derail the story. He still found himself muttering under his breath, "Bandits of the sea..."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Sun Nov 22, 2015 9:05 am

"Turn up your nose if you will, Your Majesty, but that was a good life. A short one, granted, but good." Wynn released her hair and folded her arms in front of her, resting them on her knees.

"Long before the Andoran privateers and state-sanctioned piracy were in fashion in the Inner Sea, we were attacking slavers bound for Kelesh. The Saty was based out of Jalapur in Vudra and our time was spent setting ambushes along the lee side of the islands in Kardaji Bay. Our plan was simple, effective, and dangerous. We would lie in wait for the offending ship, kill the crew, rescue the slaves and scuttle their ships, dividing up any booty collected with the former property rescued. Most of those who had been slaves went off and made new lives for themselves. Some of them joined our crew."

Wynnsaren's lips turned up slightly as she recollected old friends and fond memories. "We were not the only such pirates in the waters at the time. A coalition with three other ships formed what we called Svatantratā kī bayāra -- the Winds of Freedom. I do not think that I boast by saying we put a hefty dent in the region's slave trade during those years." She sighed through a smile. "Sure it was dangerous. Sure it eventually killed me, but it is a hell of a thing to give a man back his life. . . There is no other high quite like that."

The aasimar's smile slipped, realizing that it was identical to the feeling she experienced after freeing Rasven from the Oath.

"But back to the fear of water, yes," she went on quickly before the other fear crept back in. "That final ambush did not go as planned, as you can imagine. Our intelligence was more than off. The ship we had planned on attacking was not filled with slaves as was expected, but a hold full of seasoned pirates bent on ending our interruptions to their flow of blood money. We were waiting for them, but they were waiting for us.

"The fight that followed raged hot and heavy but when their ballistae finally snapped our main mast, I was briefly struck senseless as it fell -- just long enough for me to get tangled in the rigging and dragged overboard to the bottom of the bay. Not a good way to go," she grimaced. "I was dragged down so quickly that my eardrums ruptured. It should have been a relatively quick death as deaths go, but my gifts enabled me to hold my breath for an inordinate amount of time, so I worked to disentangle myself from the lines while my lungs screamed for that next breath.

"As it turns out, that next breath I remember taking was as an infant screaming out said lungs in the Qiang Tan mountains before my adoptive father found me." She paused after relaying the recently awakened memories which seemed her own yet still so foreign. "Life is certainly a funny thing. . ."

Wynnsaren rolled her head to the side to note the king's expression. "It is possible that if my purpose is truly achieved in the vanquishing of the Dreamer, that this will be my last life. I intend to make it count -- even beyond this mission."

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:32 pm

"How is that different then you've lived your previous lives?" The king said with a smile. "You know now about the thousands of years dedicated to this cause... but at the time did you ever doubt you were mortal? Did you not live every life like it was your last?

"For what it's worth, I do hope you are freed from your own shackles of fate. I think it'll be more enjoyable Not knowing what is coming next..."

He leaned back and stared out at the sea and chuckled softly. "Sea Bandits killing Sea Bandits? Freeing slaves? I rather enjoy that story, Wynn. In another life I could see myself sailing from place to place rescuing people...

"Don't know if I'd claim the term pirate though... That still tastes funny on my tongue."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:50 pm

"Yet it rolls off much more easily than 'Illegal Liberator of Life, Wealth and Slaves'," Wynnsaren smirked. "You are a young man yet. Who knows where your fate will take you. . . But if you do choose a life of pirating," she teased, intentionally stressing the detested word, "than you may want to reconsider wearing all that armor or you might meet a similar end to my own!"

The aasimar looked him over and sharply raised a single brow. "Then again, you may honestly be able to swim in your platemail at this point. . ."

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Wed Nov 25, 2015 7:38 pm

"I wouldn't rule it out!" Thaddeus said as he remembered again his new stature. He had been working out a lot since they found that mystical book at Nyrissa's castle, but even that was dwarfed by the mythic power. Regardless he was much stronger then he was a month ago.D "The armor feels a lot lighter now. It's not something I hope to find out any time soon though.

"Oracle of the winds huh?" The king was silent for a moment as he considered the implications. "It sounds like there was more variation in your other lives then just a name change and a dash of piracy.

"I would have thought there would be more consistency in your lives. Some kind of common... soul... thread?" He laughed at himself. "I really don't know what you'd call it." He held up his glowing hands and smirked a bit. "Though I'm learning what makes our physical self.... is apparently pretty fluid."
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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:37 am

"Very fluid," Wynnsaren concurred. "In the past I have been a four-armed half giant, a sarcesian, a kalo, an augmented veracite, a winterborn triaxian, just to name a few off world. Here, I have been a half elf, a halfling, a gnome, a centaur and a number other races including many half-human aasimars.

"In spite of first appearances, there are indeed a few commonalities between the lives I have led. Firstly, is me. My soul. The memories I have recalled are distinctly my own in spite of my ever-changing physical form. Then also, though not always of the same type, I have ever been half celestial -- except at the first when I was human," she explained, "and always an oracle, though again, of varying types."

The currently half-tian aasimar, chuckled at just how insane that must sound to the king. "Many powers have influenced my. . .upbringing," she went on, "and I have served at their direction throughout all my lives. Most led with a heavy hand. That is why I say I wish to make this particular life count."

Wynn turned her face back to the waves. "Most of the lives I have lived were ones that mattered, in my opinion, but they were lives lived by direction, not by choice. Is a slave to a righteous master not still a slave? And unfortunately, I cannot claim that all of the powers I have served are righteous. . .

"But if the Dreamer is defeated and I fulfill what the gods desire of me than perhaps I will be left to live a life of my choosing. In a place of my choosing. With people of my choosing." Her lips turned up in a graceful smile. "I have always wondered how I would do on my own, making my own choices for my future. I would still serve the gods -- I have done so too long to consider otherwise, but my service would be one of choice and not of demand."

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Nov 27, 2015 9:44 am

Thaddeus stared at Wynn for a long time. A very long time. Finally words came back to him.

"That... is a fascinating. At least... I assume that it is. Sarcesian... kalo.... tri... um... something? There are a lot of words in there that are completely unknown to me!" He chuckled and shook his head.

"Needless to say, compared to you, I've lived a life of solitude locked up in a tower somewhere." He winked at her as he added, "I guess I was right to make you the ambassador. I just didn't know how right!"

He couldn't help but laugh a bit louder. "Four armed half-giant?? You aren't playing some game with me are you?? You had four arms??""
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Thaddeus Medvyed

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Wynnsaren

Post  Wynnsaren on Fri Nov 27, 2015 12:44 pm

"And a blade in each of my hands." She nodded.

"There are many more stories now that I have to share with you, Your Majesty. Stories for you, stories for your children, stories for Zaistrun and Sarala's children. . . I think I have a few even Sir Paido would enjoy," Wynnsaren smiled. "I look forward to sharing those when the Darkness has passed and lives can continue their courses, and perhaps I will even write them out one day if Fate allows."

The aasimar sighed and stretched her legs. The chaos and cacophony of her mind had settled to a dull buzz, thanks to the reassuring words of the king. As he said, they were doing all that could be done to save Rasven. . . for now, and she knew that if there was anyone in all the worlds that could survive impossible circumstances, it was her betrothed. She trusted him to survive. He would trust her to come for him.

"I thank you, my friend, for speaking with me this evening. . . even regarding issues that I had no desire to dwell upon." Wynn's luminous eyes displayed an enduring gratitude that the king was able to decipher with ease. "We may want to return and get what rest we can before tomorrow's taxing training. I do not want to be the weak link in the chain, and this is something we need to get right on the first try. We are growing very short on time!"

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Thaddeus

Post  Thaddeus Medvyed on Fri Nov 27, 2015 8:12 pm

"I know what you mean..." He said as he regained his feet. "When I was young, I had some minor magical training, but I had no aptitude for it. Listening to Zaistrun and Paido speak, I well understand the weak link metaphor. I know just enough to realize how little I actually know!" He had spells of his own now he acknowledged, but they weren't from training. They were gifts from his goddess. "We should probably get back.

He smiled warmly as they teleported back to the cramped hut. It felt good to be able to help with just words for a change. He had been taught that Paladins solved as many problems with words as they did with a sword. Such had not been his history. Tonight however, he was sure he had helped when she needed it most.

Now, to focus on the ritual. He had faith that they would do exactly as he said. They would perform the ritual. They would find who or what had taken Master Winter. They would make them regret it and return him to his body. They had the power and they had the determination. That would be enough.

He sincerely prayed that he wasn't wrong in his proclamations.
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