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Of Minotaur and Men

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Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:48 pm

The light layer of snow made a soft crunch as the heavy foot pressed down upon it. The season was still early for winter to set in, but here in the snowflake mountains, the first fall had already occurred. This did not bother Kaber, for he was from the much harsher Spine. In fact, he actually enjoyed the peace that was brought on.

Deep into the mountains lay the Spirit Soaring, and the minotaur’s destination. He had spoken at length with Ashara about the various gods of the land. While she was knowledgeable, the priestess could not answer all his uneasy questions. So Kaber had set out to the place where the rest of his companions went to search for knowledge.

Being a warrior, and not a scholar, he knew that it would be difficult finding the answers he sought. However, Kaber had found a deep respect for the priest Cadderly. Perhaps, it was because they had both been patient and courteous with each other since the first time they met.

That was why he now made this journey. There was a trail that wound through the mountain all the way to the citadel, but the minotaur preferred to take a more direct approach. He knew this part of the mountains well, having lived and traveled here for several years now.

There was no need to carry the bulky armor, or his mighty axe. Yet, he was not so foolish as to journey unprepared. His great maul (‘anvil on a stick’ according to Elric) rested easily on his hip. He did not expect trouble on the trip, there lived nothing in these hills that could cause him harm. Except for one creature.

It had been as large as Kaber, walked upon eight legs, and possessed the horns of a minotaur. He and Aretis had somewhat saved the others from the great beast. It had fled after a brief battle, and was never seen again. He had often wondered about it when traveling though the mountains. Where had it come from? Where had it gone? The warrior knew he may never learn, but what he did know was that there was a deep intelligence behind those animal eyes.

Kaber had been traveling steadily for a day. At night he had made a meager camp and tried to sleep, but his troubled mind would not let him. At dawn he came to a decision, and turned away from his path up the mountain. Instead, he headed south, back into the lowlands.

He had been meaning to speak with Eddick about a certain topic, but had yet to find the time to do so. The minotaur knew the druid had gone to continue the construction oh his grove, someplace near the headwaters to the river which ran past Impresk. How long he would be there was unknown, as there had been talk of leaving to meet with other druids.

Thus Kaber set out to find a different set of answers. He had no idea what a grove would look like, but hoped that he had heard Eddick describe the area enough to know it when he found it. It would take at least a couple days to reach the area, and with any luck, the druid. Cadderly and his temple would be there when he decided to return. For now, he marched onward.


Last edited by Kaber on Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:41 pm

Eddick sat in the brown grass at the edge of a pond. He was fully alert but he had his eyes closed. The cold wind played at his hair, but otherwise he did not move. It was at times like these that he could hear the earth speaking. It was speaking comfort to Eddick, comfort due to its constancy. It had been there a long, long time, and it would continue to be there for a longer time. This particular lesson, Eddick had been slow in listening to because of his grief for the loss of what he deemed were natural wonders, i.e. his druid friends. But there will always be death, so one must come to accept it, especially since nothing could be done about it.

It felt good to be able to sit like this again, amongst the grass. His work was nearly complete, that of his first grass golem. Being made of thorns, he decided to name this one “Thornton”. Although, he probably could have come up with a better name without a lousy pun, he had a butler when he was very young that had that name, and he always liked him.

Now that his day’s work was done, he was communing with nature to help consecrate this ground. It really was a beautiful spot, an almost completely circular pond with a small straight stream going directly north. The pond had a smattering of fish, which used this area for breeding. There was currently a small group of deer bedding down about a half mile to the east, which often came here to drink around dusk, paying Eddick no mind at all.

At night, the pool was still and highly reflective, giving out a replica of the sky where the stars could be touched, and being touched, they would dance.

In a few days, Eddick would be headed back to the quarterly meeting of the surviving druids. Plans needed to be made to ensure growth, resources sought and tapped, roots strengthening again to give the tree of druids support to grow anew. It would be quite some time until they revived their former strength. But with Eddick’s help, he hoped that they could become stronger than ever. In fact, this may have been the very reason why he had been preserved. Even a small root left behind may regrow a plant, and it will come back quickly because the ground was already prepared.

But there were other things to do as well. Eddick knew that there were more immediate threats ready to surface. The dragon, the odd weather, and the shadow magic were all ready to upset the natural order. There needed to be preparations. Eddick was doing the best he could, he had envisioned the improvements he would make here and had already started. The grass men he had removing impurities and other worked things within a two mile radius, those digging in the pond to make it more symmetrical, and his own consecration of the area through magic. But the greatest and most notable thing was still beyond his grasp. He longed to make standing stones to magically prepare the area for high natural power. Hopefully with preparation and knowledge he might be able to do what his contemporaries failed to do. Humble the ambitious followers of the evil Gods.

But even if he failed, there would be more. It pleased Eddick to know that there were at least 9 new druids coming into their own come this spring. Every creature does long to prolong its line, and so far Eddick was proving to be fruitful. He would do some more talking to other people from the area after the quarterly meeting.

The old druid let his mind wander for a minute, thinking about his friends. Surely Ashara and Therogeon had many things keeping them busy, but what of the others. He wondered specifically what Gwilly and Kaber were doing, how they might be preparing for the near future. He wished them well and asked nature to guide their growth that they might be beautiful and strong.
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:19 pm

Kaber had made good time coming down the mountain, and even better across the grasslands. He had moved quickly, stopping only as long as he needed to rest. At last he had reached the river. From there he followed it south.

Moving more along the river, the minotaur kept a wary eye out for Eddick and his grove. He had never visited the druid's sight, and thus was a little surprised when he suddenly realized that the terrain he had been traveling through was different.

The landscape was, well, cleaner. Kaber didn't know how to describe it, or how long he'd been walking without noticing it. Most areas, whether mountains, forests, or plains, had basic natural debris. This place had none of it, as if great care had been taken to maintain it.

Assuming he had to be near, Kaber called out in a great bellowing voice, "Eddick. Druid. I've come to speak with you."

There was no way to easily tell how big of an area was considered the 'grove'. In fact, the druid may not even be around. He decided he would search for no more than a couple hours, calling out at times, before giving up and returning to his previous quest. That should be enough time to determine if his companion was in the area. Perhaps he would have to make the trip out here another time when he knew Eddick to be around.


Last edited by Kaber on Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:45 pm

Eddick had seen the Minotaur coming from a long way off. This was not due to the fact that he was attuned to nature, but because Kaber was big. Not just Wildebeast big, but actually elephant big. In fact, when he first located him, he kinda looked like he could have been an elephant, but not in this climate, Eddick reminded himself. The reason he did not immediately recognize Kaber is that he did not expect him. In fact, he did not expect most people at this time, unless someone told the harper where he was.

The old druid stood up so he could be seen over the grass at a distance where he felt he would not startle the minotaur into throwing something at him and shouted back. "Kaber! Minotaur! I'm glad you came! What is so important that you came all this way to see me?"

Eddick smiled warmly at the minotaur. He was glad he still did not hold a grudge from before when he had called Kaber a coward. But just in case it was good that he had his Distract spell currently going.
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Tue Oct 13, 2009 10:29 pm

Kaber approached the druid. He wasn't sure why he had been hiding in the grass, but there was much about the man he didn't understand. Perhaps he would learn more now, with what he wanted to ask.

Standing before Eddick, faultered. He had planned on meeting and speaking with the man, but now that he was here, he was unsure how to proceed. Never having spoken at length with the druid made him nervous and hesitant. Kaber knew almost nothing about his companion. Yet, he came seeking his knowledge.

"Ah", the minotaur started, letting his eyes wander, trying to find some common ground to start with.

"This is your grove?"
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:32 am

"Why yes. Yes it is!" The Druid beamed. He had never expected Kaber to come and see his grove. He had always seemed so distant. He had a close relationship with Ashara, and possibly Therogeon, but Kaber had never opened up to Eddick. Not like Eddick did not try, but he figured he would be patient and wait for the egg to crack, and here he was. Patience won out after all.

"Let me show you around!" Eddick led the minotaur on a circular path through the grass on the outside of the pond. It sparkled beautifully in the sun, almost completely smooth, the light breeze making it just a little choppy. The pond was 200 feet across with a bank of reeds that made it almost completely circular. A fish jumped, snatching a dragonfly out of the air, and as it splashed back into the pond, the ripples extended outward until they hit the banks, and all was nearly still again.

"The thing that makes this pond special is the springs. Occasionally a spring will just pop up out of nowhere and create a stream. That is what is happening here. Another thing that is interesting is the circle shape. In a sloping grassland, usually springs turn into streams right away and there is no pond. This is an exceptional place, in more ways than one."

Eddick did his best to not pressure his friend to tell him anything, but used that patience trick to make his friend more at ease. Sometimes that meant talking for the sake of talking, and Eddick could supply. He started talking about the geological strata that cause a spring to occur, and also the particular weathering of the sandstone in this area to create a circular spring. Then he proceeded to name the thirteen grasses around the spring, that made a natural lunar calendar, that Eddick would enhance with a few standing stones. There were many things to say, and so on occasion, while they were in between topics, Eddick would pause for a minute giving Kaber a chance to speak, before he rambled on about different beetle species.
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Thu Oct 22, 2009 8:37 am

Kaber had intended his question to lead to some sort of an opening, a way to start his question. But, as the druid began to speak, he found an interest in the words. Much of it he didn't understand, but Eddick was proud, that much could be told easily.

The minotaur began to scan the area, taking in the sights, and losing track of the words being spoken. There was a gentlness and peace about the area. He had never known a place could invoke such a quality.

"It is nice", he spoke, without fully knowing that he had talk aloud. Not even knowing what his companion had been talking about or if he had interrupted him at all. Kaber merely continued to look and take in the scene around him.
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:22 am

Eddick turned to look at his big friend with a little bit of amazement. He had hoped to bore the minotaur until he spilled what he came for, but he never expected him to be somewhat interested. He picked up a long piece of grass and stuck it between his teeth. Maybe it was time to be more direct. Kaber usually appreciated that.

"It is good that you are here, Kaber. I am glad you came. But I imagine that your arrival has another purpose than learning about different types of grasses. You do not seem the type to just go sightseeing. What is on your mind?"
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:13 pm

Kaber snapped out of his thoughts. He turned to look at Eddick, who was right. He had come here for a reason, and there was no sense in procrastinating any longer.

"You were a ruler of some sorts before?", the minotaur questioned, making sure that he understood correctly.

"Ashara had spoken to me some time ago about knights. I do not know what they are. Well, I do, somewhat, but I don't understand much about them. I thought you may have more understanding of them because of the position you held."

He was a little relieved to have it out. Eddick came to the group late and Kaber knew little about him. Also, they had a minor disagreement in Dagadar, and even though it was resolved, he hope there was no resentment left.

"It can wait, though, if you have other matters to attend to. Everyone was about and I was not sure when we would meet again and have time to speak."
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Eddick

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:51 pm

Eddick cocked his head to the side and made a face similar to a dog hearing a curious sound. This was quite possibly the last thing he expected to hear from the minotaur. His mind was reeling as from a blow. "No, no, I have time to talk to you now. Don't worry about that." His reassurance to his friend served the dual purpose of actually comforting Kaber and making him more at ease as well as giving him time to think.

"You wish to know about knights? I think I can see why. There may not be much of an equivalence in your world to a knight." Eddick had settled into a plan of attack. "A knight is a noble warrior. It is the noble part of the phrase that tells the warrior what to fight and why.

"The word "noble" means two things. First it means that a person is usually born into a family of rulers. The second thing that it implies is the character traits that make the best ruler. Loyalty, honesty, chivalry, bravery, and wisdom make for excellent rulers as well as excellent men that rulers can depend on to rule well. So our human society chooses such men to act as examples for everyone, including the ruler himself, to lead battles, to hold positions of authority, and to encourage the social part of life away from base and self-serving interests.

"Sometimes, when a man has uncertain lineage or came from common people, but shows the traits of nobility, his ruler will bestow on him the title of knight anyway, that he might serve as incentive for common people to see that by following the noble way of life there might also be material gain. This is done rarely, but still done enough so that many will seek this, entering the military to prove their character.

"I come from a long line of nobility. My ancestor Eddick the Great, was a knight who received this commendation. Well, more specifically he was a paladin. A paladin is a knight who chooses to follow a god as opposed to a king. After a long period of service, his god, who happened to be Lathander by the way, gave to him a parcel of land and a small castle for him to rule, which my family has done for over four hundred years.

"Since that time, our family has encouraged those of us who were not ruling to adopt this lifestyle, and go out and do noble and good deeds worthy of the family name. By doing so, we have amassed a good reputation as well as a fortune that help our efforts to manage our land well and make the people who serve us happy." Eddick paused for a moment.

"Do you have any questions?" He asked his large friend.
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:50 am

Kaber was silent for a moment. This was basically what he felt a knight was, and now he knew the words to describe it. Noble, chivalrous, loyal, brave. These were all words that Ashara had used to describe the warrior at times. These were not things that he strived for. He did what he did, and the words became attached to his actions. It still left him a little confounded.

"So knights serve men, and paladins serve gods," he thought outloud. Once again, the distinction between men and gods was blurred, but that was something he was would have to work out another time.

"What does a knight or paladin do? Do they rule lands and people? How are they an example?" It did not seem that such a person would sit all day ruling and partaking in 'politics'. Yet, they are a warrior. Who do they fight and why?
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Dec 03, 2009 7:05 pm

What does a knight or paladin do? Do they rule lands and people? How are they an example?

"A knight always serves, sometimes that means he must rule as well, particulary if there is no better person for the job. A knight is a person who is willing to do the things that no one else is willing to do. Well, to a point. Emptying chamberpots and cleaning horse stalls might be unpleasant, and you might have to beat your servant if they do not do it properly, but peasants will always be willing to do menial tasks if properly motivated. The things that a knight or paladin will attempt are usually the things that no one else has the courage or strength to do. Whether it is killing the local ogres because they are stealing cows from defensless peasants, or delivering a message to a dangerous tyrant, the knight is ready to do what is necessary for what he believes in, regardless of the danger.

"Because of this, they often do not rule, because many are willing to do that, and also they live dangerous lives, often dying for their cause or their beliefs. But even so, they live on in songs and in memories, inspiring the generations to come. They are not stupid, they do their best to be decked out in the best armor and use the best weapons available, often carrying extras, or taking on servants to make sure they have what they need when the time comes. They are what men are supposed to be, the highest eschelon of the potential of any given child, and the focus of attention for all who would become great.

Eddick looked at Kaber, sizing up his reaction to the information he was receiving. The old druid decided to switch things up a little.

"I was trained as a knight when I was young. Being the third son of the ruler of Silverthorn Keep, I was expected to learn skill at arms, chivalry, ettiqutte, and battle tactics. I loved my training, and I was inspired by the stories of my ancestors and other knights who did many great deeds, rescuing princesses from certain doom, coming to the aid of allied nations, turning the tide of battles, fighting against unreasonable odds, and still coming out with victory. They taught me to view this world as not a series of things that cannot be done, but rather as oppertunites for great gain.

But due to my parents untimely death and the disappearance of my brothers, I was thrust into rulership by the age of fifteen. Because of the demands of rulership, I left the warrior end of being a knight behind me, and focused on reconstructing my people after the war that claimed my parents' lives. Due to necessity, I had to become a diplomat, an administrator, and a merchant in order to make sure life went on for my people.

"I did what I had to do, because no one else was willing to do it. Even though I ceased being a warrior, I received the adoration of my people because of my service to them. Within five years, there were many who saw what I did, and followed my example, stepping into roles that they might have thought were beyond them until they saw me do what I did at such a young age.

"You could say that I was able to do so many great things for my people because I was inspired by the knight lifestyle and attitude. And then because of me, the people rallied as well, and we turned our little area into a prosperous and strong city that could withstand double the hardship that we had when I was young. We are able to afford to keep thirty knights when my parents had only twelve, ten of which died in the war that killed my parents."

Eddick paused to give his friend a chance to assimilate the information. "Does that make sense to you? I hope I answered your question to your satisfaction."
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Fri Jan 01, 2010 4:41 pm

Kaber nodded and grinned at the druid, "You have answered much, thank you."

Looking out over the grove, he continued, "I know that I shall never be a knight in title. I serve no man. But, that shall not stop me from continuing as I do." Looking to Eddick again, "You have given me the words and the understanding of something I have searched for even since I left my people."

The warrior nodded to his companion. Taking a deep breath he looked up to the sky and let the cool breeze blow across his fur. He let out the air in a great sigh of relief as he unshouldered the burden he carried for so long. His hands reached out to brush across the tall grass around him, and Kaber felt a 'oneness' with the world he had never thought possible.

"When I set out from my homeland, I never knew that I would find so much. I felt that my answers lie in the human lands, but I did not know that it would be my experience in these lands that would show me that I already knew the answers. Perhaps there is truth in those words I have heard spoken of roads and destinations. Something about the location is not imporatant, but how you get there is?"
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Eddick

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Sat Jan 02, 2010 10:50 am

Kaber's words lit a firestorm of memories in the old druid. As far back as he could remember, the road had called to him, beckoned him. After he turned five, his father had to assign a guard to him day and night because he would just run off into the fields and not even think to turn around, even after he had gotten hungry or thirsty. The first time it happened, they had to comb the prairie for him for two days until they found him collapsed from exhaustion and exposure. The incident did not calm his ambitions of travel, but oddly encouraged them. He just remembered to take a water skin with him.

He sat in the library, gazing out the window on occasion, dreaming of the life beyond the confines of stone walls. His imagination ran wild with the instruction about the other races in the Sharr, the Wemics, the Centaurs, even the Goblins and Kobolds. Each of them leading lives far away from civilization. Discovering, surviving, finding love, rivalry, struggling for power and freedom, a cacophony of thoughts would overwhelm him.

After he was Eddick, he would climb the towers and look at the infinite horizon, bending his mind to fly over the fields. There is the herd of elephants, the old gray heads bowed in wisdom with concern for their youngsters. There are the hares, dancing and chasing one another while one stands vigilant. There is the pride of Wemics, the mothers teaching their daughters to hunt while their father stares back over the plains, gazing back into his eyes with understanding.

The story of Eddick's life was wound up in his journey to become a traveler and the irony of it had just struck him. He remembered his companion with a start, and looked back over at his friend. Luckily, he was still contemplating his own thoughts during the few quiet seconds that the druid left him.

"I have found that many confuse their roads with their destinations" the druid postulated, although he did not let on that he had just come to that conclusion himself. "To discover that what you were looking for was exactly what you have been doing is a satisfaction unrivaled. All is right in that moment."

Eddick looked up at the minotaur. "It is good to see you at peace. Well, with yourself anyway. It is so hard to come by these days."
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Sat Jan 02, 2010 3:25 pm

The large minotaur smiled. He would have never thought friends were possible such as he had now. The word was still something he found hard to use. Clansmen were close, blood brothers, allies, comrades in arms and the such. They could rely upon one another, but nowhere near the degree that he could with the rest of the Champions.

"I have complete half of what I had set out to do. And while there is a great burden relieved with the completion of that task, I believe the hardest part is to come."

Introspective for a moment, Kaber wondered, as he had many times lately, if this was the path he wished to follow.

"I set out to find something better to bring back to my people. I have found that, but now...", he sighed.
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Eddick

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:38 am

Eddick regarded his large furry friend. "Ah yes, it is good there is more. A person is never satisfied with achieved goals for very long. A person must have purpose, goals, industry. Otherwise he ceases to be."

The old druid swept his arm across his grove, directing they eyes of the minotaur. "Here you see one goal. Ever since I ran across a nymph's home, a truly great piece of natural wonder, I wanted the same. I could make a place where all could come and see the greatness of the world we live."

"There!" He pointed to what seemed to be an indistinct spot on the horizon. "That is where the sun sets today. It sets there and there on the solstices, or the longest and shortest days of the year." He had pointed to other indistinct places. "When the sun goes down, it is chased by the evening star, which appears after it goes down, and follows it beyond. Apart from the north star, it is the brightest star in the heavens.

"That is me. I appear late, in the middle of nowhere, and seek glory. I do things other stars can only dream about, turning their circles in their time until the sun returns to hide them. Mine is a straight shot, not a dance.

"What lies beyond that horizon has always interested me. Always called to me. I traveled the length and breadth of Faerun. After I help rebuild my order here, I will probably go somewhere else. Chult, Zakhara, even Mazteca or Kara Tur. Perhaps a place where no one has ever been. At least no one from around here. If I don't make it this lifetime, perhaps the next, or the one after that. But I will still always go. That is how I have always been. I would not have it any other way.

"And you, you have always been your own as well. You have found what you seek, and that is good. If this is true, your path is already set. Anything else, and you lose your purpose, your goals, your industry. You will cease your brightness and darken, turning to ash. You would cease to be, and I would mourn your passing, regardless of whether or not you were dead."
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Re: Of Minotaur and Men

Post  Swiftboot on Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:45 pm

There it was. Laid out before him, as clear as possible. Eddick had a round about way of getting to the point, but he did get there. Perhaps that was why his messages were always so strong, because he led you to it gently, warming you up, before striking it home.

The minotaur had been thinking much about his people as of late. Originally he set out to learn for himself, then return, enlightend, to the clan. Now, he felt distant from them. He had changed and learned much over these last several years, how could he hope to return? Should he merely let them be as they are, and accept that he was different from them?

The druid's words had made his choice clear now. He had to return to the clan, his people. They may not listen, but he had to try. He had to give them the choice. If he did nothing, he would have failed before starting, and would regret it.

Nodding, Kaber looked to Eddick, "You are correct, and my path has not finished yet. What I set out to find, I must now find a way to bring to my clansmen".

He set his jaw, as if preparing for a fight.

"Even if I am successful, and a few do decide to listen, I have to think of what to do with them. Do I set them loose upon the land? Do I band them together, and what, create a nation, like the elves or dwarves?", he mused.
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Eddick

Post  Eddick the Steady (XIV) on Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:44 pm

Eddick smiled. Big dreams from a big person. Would the world be large enough to contain or would it break from the strain. "Establishing a nation is a great endeavor. One that you could surely accomplish. But would the things you learned be transmitted to others of your kind through government, or strength of arms? Is that how you discovered the things you went looking for?

The druid looked up at Kaber. "Please correct me if I make any assumptions that are untrue." He took a deep breath and turned back toward the horizon. "You left your clan because you thought there was something different, something better, elsewhere, possibly in the land of men. You would not accept the knowledge that was handed to you, you had to go and discover it for yourself."

"If this came to you while you were out and seeing the world for yourself, your best bet is to get others to do the same. Your real question is not just how can you teach them, but rather, how can you make them want to be taught."

Eddick started to walk again around the pond, and motioned for Kaber to follow him. "When you are going through unfamiliar territory, you can still find your way. But a guide will help you arrive at the same destination in a quicker amount of time. A proud man will not ask for a guide, unless he is sure that he is lost, and there is urgency for him to reach his destination."

"When did you discover that you were lost? What made you think that there were answers out here, answers in the realm of men. If you can recreate that, perhaps you can repeat it for others."
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Eddick the Steady (XIV)

Posts : 558
Join date : 2009-09-19
Location : Calimport

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