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» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Circus: The Story of the Kavetseki Incident (RPG) (Page 2)

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Source: (consider it) Thread: Circus: The Story of the Kavetseki Incident (RPG)
Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by Autenrieth Road:
"I don't think it will be any use, Guardian, it looks as rotten as the rest of them, now that you point out how bad they're gone. But I'll give it as good a rubbing as I can by the fire tonight, if it's an important keepsake for you."

"It's…more than that. Whatever was in that…whatever happened…did something to it. It shouldn't rust. Not like that. Not that quickly."

--------------------
“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Clawdine filled the small chalice and handed it to Gunriana. Their eyes met over the water.

Clawdine saw the tiredness in the rune maiden, and wondered if Gunriana could read the pain in Clawdine's soul.

What had happened? They had begun working together on the boat, but had it continued that way? Had the power of the storm turned one of them? Clawdine was no longer sure of anything. She was as mazed as the still dark sky with its swirling clouds.

[ 04. June 2014, 06:54: Message edited by: Banner Lady ]

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Net Spinster
Shipmate
# 16058

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Mary Drake stopped trying to say Kavetseki and got her breath back. Damn that mercer and his offer to the shark lord's minions. She couldn't be sure that that was why the wreck had happened just as she couldn't be sure the sun would set. They had hid some of the details from the passengers and crew not directly involved. An item of sentimental value, not worth much. Yet it hadn't saved them either.

She rose to her feet, took a stick from the unlit fire, and tried ***drawing ship in the sand***

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spinner of webs

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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Frithwynne holds the halberd blade, running her fingers over it, repeating the Guardian's words softly, her lips barely moving: "It shouldn't rust. ... Not that quickly. ... It shouldn't rust. ... Not that quickly. ..."

Suddenly she knows, not knowing where the knowledge comes from, but knowing all the same.

She raises her eyes from the halberd, and looks closely at Jetse's face. Yes, the signs of age are there.

"Lords! Ladies! Goodwives! Goodmen! Mother Aethelreda! Noble elf Dorainen!" She raises her voice as if calling to a sheepdog at the end of a valley, her tones ringing out over the beach.

"We must leave here, now. Not spend another night. This place is surely under a spell. The seeming is that we have slept and woken, slept and woken, these twenty years, all unknowing. The magic has kept us from knowing what was happening, kept us from seeing ourselves as we age. It has returned us each day to our shipwrecked positions, and preserved Jetse's life until our doctor could heal him -- whether for good or ill, I do not know. Such magic is dangerous to be around, we should leave tonight.

"You were mostly below decks, but the mercer's agent came in his sly swift cutter, and took the chest Dorainen brought up from the very floor of the sea, and then the storm began. Do you not recall how fierce the storm was, and all the power of Mother, Maiden, and Crone could not turn it aside?

"If our ship is lost, we have surely been given up for dead by now. And time and distance have perhaps taken the mercer beyond our reach, but I think he and the chest must be found. Some mystery surrounds this, but here lies our pursuit."

She falls silent. She can hear the wind sighing through the grasses at the very top of the tall dune that backs the beach; the breath and cough of the travellers scattered about the beach; the slight rustle of a piece of driftwood settling.

--------------------
Truth

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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Gunriana takes the chalice and her hand brushes against Clawdine's. The unspoken moment of sympathy is enough to allow her to speak of her regret.

"I failed us, Clawdine. I should have worked on bringing us through the … the ..."

She pauses. Something at the back of her mind makes her uneasy about going on. Reasoning that that was quite enough admission of weakness from a De Vanés, she changes tack.

"Something happened, Clawdine. And someone knows why, even if they don't know that they know. Who or what was Kavetseki carrying that led to … led to … ”

Gunriana turns abruptly, as Frithwynne's words suddenly strike her. Twenty years? What did that mean? Certainly nothing good. Either the woman was mad, or ...

Breaking out of that train of thought and back to her own contemplations, she raises her voice to carry across the beach.


“You! All of you! Why were you on Kavetseki? What do you know of what happened aboard, what happened before … before … HERE? Will you speak me truth or must I ask the fates to show me which of you knows what brought this upon us? If you have had your fill of ill luck for today, it would be best to answer me.”


Gunriana spins on her heal and begins combing the beach for the thirteen small pieces of driftwood she will need if she must appeal to her mothers for enlightenment.

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Autenrieth Road

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Frithwynne tries to say more about the storm, but the moment of inspiration is past, and she bends over sharply, gagging against some sudden obstruction in her throat.

--------------------
Truth

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Clawdine's eyes turned dreamy as she struggled to remember.

There was a before? Before the boat? What did before look like?

She closed her eyes against the shipwracked beach and peered down into the deepest yearnings of her soul.

Sunlight. She remembered sunlight, and warmth. And freedom.

What was freedom? She gazed across the dark pebbled beach to the wild sea under its still stormy sky. Certainly not this. But how to find it, she did not know. Not yet.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Curious Kitten
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# 11953

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Er says clearly, "We need to cook the meat and collect what's curing in a sound vessel."

Looking around he thinks it unlikely that any of them can cook, he tries a ***living of the land*** check to light the fire and cook the meat.

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Happiness is not having what we want but wanting what we have.

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Autenrieth Road

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Frithwynne hears Er's appeal, but first she must answer Gunriana.

"I was aboard to watch the proper handling of the fleece bales. I found it odd when we cast anchor and Dorainen dove in, and even odder when he came up with the chest. I've sailed on wool merchant ships before, and never before had such a thing happened."

And to Er: "I could knot up the corners of my kirtle to form pockets. But it would be a wet and messy job carrying the meat that way. Let us see if anyone else has a better way for carrying. Or we may all need to carry what we can, by whatever means. Or perhaps we could felt packs from the wool bales. Excuse me, Guardian."

Still holding the halberd blade, she leaves Jetse and goes to the nearest bale. Even as she nears it, she can see that it is badly rotted. She reaches it and pulls at the wool, only to find that it has solidified into a useless mass.

She returns to Er. "I am sorry, the wool is beyond saving."

--------------------
Truth

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Net Spinster
Shipmate
# 16058

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The stick fell from Mary Drake's hand as her arm cramped. She considered what people were saying.

"No! Er wait. There is some strong spell to ill here that we cannot speak of what happened. Let us heed Frithwynne's words and get away from this beach! Inland away from this sea which caused this grief ere we talk, eat, and rest."

After a moment's thought, "I can carry some of the wood"

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spinner of webs

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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There was more, Clawdine remembered.

When King was young, and water was a friend. She remembered riding naked on his strong back. Galloping through streams with his mane and her blonde hair flying through the sprays of rainbow droplets that his hooves flung up. They were so happy together.

She sighed deeply, and caught a whiff of her only true soulmate, carved and cooked.

'Thiz be a bad place, Mother,' she muttered to the nun as she handed back the communion vessels. 'There be more death here for uz, if'n we ztay.'

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Curious Kitten
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# 11953

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Er lights the fire and quickly arranges the meat to cook. "There's no point on wasting good food." He says twisting the pieces to make sure they catch evenly, "As soon as someone gathers what's curing and this is cooked we'll be away to the east. I don't fancy travelling with no food, shelter or kit, do you goodwife?"

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Happiness is not having what we want but wanting what we have.

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Eliab
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# 9153

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As Gunriana gathers are small collection of sticks, Frithwynne's words begin to sink in, and begin to make sense. Twenty years. Everyone that had been on the ship had looked younger then. More than changed in their faces than could be explained by the storm. Twenty years, passing unnoticed in this cursed place.

Her breath catches as she realises all that this means. In every generation, the De Vanés saying goes, the sea takes its tithe. Her father would not be the first or last of their House to mourn a child lost at sea. He would have made the proper offerings, and sung the laments, and, she hoped, found consolation in knowing that what was written could not be avoided. Her betrothed would be a man of twenty-eight now. Another woman would have shaped his path, felt the sorrows and perhaps the satisfaction that might have been hers. Might even now be nursing a child by him. Gunriana shuddered. That path was one she would now never tread. In her mothers' name she might yet be a shapers of lives and of deaths, but she would bring no infant souls into the world herself.

The future she had expected, not one she had chosen but which she had come to accept, had been snatched away.

The sudden thrill of having, for the first time, no constraints, no bounds beyond what was written in the runes, strikes her at the same time as awareness of how much she has lost. She staggers, and nearly falls, sick to the stomach, but with her mind soaring with the realisation that she is free!

But Frithwynne and Clawdine were right. She adds her voice to theirs.

“Frithwynne and Clawdine are right. We must leave this place – and better to do so with our hands empty than be trapped here another night. Finish what you have to do quickly, and gather what you can now. Let us be going without delay. And talk as we march – something trapped us here. If it has not yet finished with us, we need to put an end to it.”

Gunriana pauses and smiles with bright malice,

"And, unless any of you has anything better to do, I say that we find it and put an end to it anyway, whether it has finished with us or not. But to do that, those of you with some clue about why this happened must share it. The truth, please. All of the truth you can speak.”

[ 04. June 2014, 21:05: Message edited by: Eliab ]

--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Net Spinster
Shipmate
# 16058

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Mary Drake suddenly stopped while collecting some of the wood Clawdine found and looked at Jetse and the remnants of King.

"I wonder, did Jetse lose his arm and King die each day we've been here or has something changed so that today this happens? Were we once more and have been whittled down in time? Have some escaped if escape is possible?"

She shivered then looked at Mother Aethelreda who was surveying the shore. "If 20 years have passed the only thing we might find usable is some of the Mercer's gold, and, I wouldn't touch that now since it is surely cursed. It was a lot, his agent paid extra for us to be quiet." She paused, "I'm sorry that my husband and I entangled you in this; we needed the money to pay off the loan we had taken to refit the ship."

Turning to the sea witch, "I will surely join you in removing this menace for the sake of Nicholas my husband, of Jan his goodson, of Elric and Abram, of Dan and all the rest who have probably died. May Volos witness"

--------------------
spinner of webs

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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"Twenty years. You are sure? Nobody in Iljerhaven is waiting for me to return. Nobody would know me. I am nobody to them."

Surprisingly, Jetse didn't sound at all sad about this. "Happy" might not be the right word, but not the wrong one either.

--------------------
“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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quote:
Originally posted by Net Spinster:
"I wonder, did Jetse lose his arm and King die each day we've been here or has something changed so that today this happens? Were we once more and have been whittled down in time? Have some escaped if escape is possible?"

"I do not know. Maybe the darkness that held us here is wearing thin. Maybe it kept us alive, preserved us. How old was the horse? He was no colt when we left. His life was hard, full of work. He grew old like us. He only died today."
"My arm. We saw the wound. I have seen many such wounds. I have had many myself. No man would live for twenty years with that. No, not twenty days, some not twenty hours. Yet all of us, save the elf, show twenty years on our faces."
"Look at our clothes. Wood has rotted away. Iron and steel, even the black steel of the Palatinate, has rusted. Yet our clothes cover us. Twenty years in a chest, and moths would have destroyed them. Twenty weeks of constant wear, and they would be nothing but threads. But somehow, they are preserved."
"Some darkness was holding back the decay near us. Perhaps its time is passing, but is not yet passed. It may now have power only to entrap us, but not to protect us. Maybe. I do not know the ways of darkness. Others do. They say we should leave. Let us leave."

--------------------
“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Yorick

Infinite Jester
# 12169

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John Goode listened to the murmuring discussion and nodded his agreement. They should head out of this cursed place as soon as practicable and find a road to someplace where a trader sells soap, and an Inn where the keeper sells good ale.

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این نیز بگذرد

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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"Old."

Jack was staring at his reflection in a puddle. While it wasn't as good as a mirror, it clearly enough showed a a middle aged man Jack did not recognise. Perhaps an uncle of his...

"I am old."

He looked up to see the others getting on with things. Their talking about being captured here had finally made him realise his state, but the others didn't seem to particularly mind that twenty years had been stolen from them. Jack did. One day he was a young man with many a purse to steal and many a lass to bed, the next day he was...

"Old."

What now? What now? He slumped back onto the beach. As he put his hands in his coat pockets, they found his trusty loaded dice. There was the lucky-six, that had never failed him in fleecing some poor fool. He held it up to his face, and then rolled it on the beach.

It came up one.

A hollow laugh escaped Jack. Then his face set. He laid down his tricorne on the beach, pushing it into the pebbles to stabilise it. Then he made a little heap of all his cards and dice inside it - carefully placing the lucky-six die on top, the side showing one facing up just as it had rolled.

Then he looked around to find Doc Goode. Conveniently the old man, ... his thoughts stumbled:

"The old man!"

Jack shook his head sadly, ... conveniently Doc Goode was sitting there staring, oblivious of the world. Jack sneaked up behind him and used his pickpocket skills to slip his magic shell set into Goode's pocket. Then as stealthily as he had approached, he withdrew backwards away from Goode.

At a safe distance, he turned to the side and walked to find a relatively quiet part of the beach. Luckily that wasn't hard, with everybody being so busy with ... stuff.

Jack hesitated just a moment, gazing back over the land. But then he firmly looked forward to the ocean and dove in. Using long, strong swimming strokes, he was putting a good distance between himself and the beach, and if he had looked back would have seen the figures on the beach becoming smaller and smaller.

His clothes were rapidly soaking in the water now, and it became harder and harder to swim. At this swimming pace, he was not going to last much longer in spite of his strength and technique.

"Good."

He redoubled his efforts, straining every muscle, disappearing rapidly into the wide open sea...

--------------------
They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Yorick

Infinite Jester
# 12169

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John Goode was stirred from his reverie by the splash of Jack Gallows diving fully clothed into the sea. Nice day for it, he smirked inwardly, and stood up to watch as Jack made surprising speed directly out to sea. Out of thoughtless habit he put his hands into his coat pockets and his fingers immediately felt a hard object that should not have been there. He pulled it out and glanced at it, and finding it to be a seashell was about to cast it aside before something made him pause in mid toss and he looked back again more carefully. It was a nut shell.

How did that get there? he thought, and in the very forming of the question the answer came to him.

He looked out to sea and shouted out, his voice cracking with strain, ‘Jack! He’s trying to drown himself! Quickly, someone- save him!’

[ 05. June 2014, 12:06: Message edited by: Yorick ]

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این نیز بگذرد

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Eliab
Shipmate
# 9153

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Gunriana glances up at John's words. The gambler's figure is moving away with strong, measured strokes, and he shows no lack of determination in pressing on.

Could any of them reach him? And then bring him back safely? He had a long start, and it would be a hard swim to catch him, and then return. The Guardian perhaps had the strength for it, but not with one arm. Only Dorainen seemed likely to be able to manage the task, but even for him it could not be easy.

Gunriana hesitates. She has a strong foreboding that the elf is important. Too important to lose. She looks at the skull at her belt for confirmation.


"Only the turn of a few tides separate us, sister..."

Jack's tide is going out. It would be futile to try to call it back.

She fixes her gaze sorrowfully on John.

"The sea takes its tithe, John Goode. In every generation, the sea must take its tithe."

Gunriana gathers a last twig of driftwood, and then snaps it between her fingers. Jack is gone. Twelve pieces will suffice now. She walks back up the beach, away from the sea, ready to leave.


--------------------
"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Yorick

Infinite Jester
# 12169

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John Goode looked askance at Gunriana but said nothing. He turned to see the other members of the party and realised that none would attempt rescue.

He turned his back on the sea, not wishing to witness the final disappearance of his companion into its dark embrace, and started to walk up towards the scrubby low hills at the head of the beach.

‘I’m leaving’, he said, without expression and to nobody in particular.

[ 05. June 2014, 13:37: Message edited by: Yorick ]

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این نیز بگذرد

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Net Spinster
Shipmate
# 16058

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"Without carrying anything?" Mary Drake called after the doctor. However the doctor's move seemed to break the shock of watching one of their party choose death. She rose went to the water the diviner had found and took a long drink. Next she considered the remains of King then took her knife to cut a long shank of hair off his tail, tied it roughly and put it in her pouch. She took some of the jerky and returned to the wood. Taking off the line around her middle, she tied the wood and jerky together into a bundle, lifted it to her back and headed off after the doctor. She wanted away from the beach before anymore died here.

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spinner of webs

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Adam.

Like as the
# 4991

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Dorainen also turned his gaze from the sea. It would be easier to say what he needed to without having it in view. "My natural skill in water and my magic could combine to save him, but my magic is only for healing. Jack would not consider having his life prolonged as an instance of healing, so it would be futile.

"I know most of you cannot read my expression, I often fail to read yours, so I must tell you something plainly: I hate the idea of leaving the sea, but I fear we must. I am ready to walk away."

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

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Antisocial Alto
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# 13810

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Mother Aethelreda binds together as much driftwood as possible with the shreds of her pack and ties the bundle to her back. As an afterthought, she collects a few clumps of seaweed and tucks them inside her habit. Maybe they can be used to dress wounds or ward off scurvy or something.

How could she have failed to notice Jack's despair? She wishes fervently that one of the "real" nuns were here in her place. At the convent she's always felt like an impostor in the midst of truly holy, powerful women; a sturdy donkey among racehorses. Now, out in the World, her practicality still isn't an asset.

"Hurry, everyone. Curse or no curse, we need to get off this beach before another storm strikes." (Although, come to that, they must have survived hundreds of storms over the twenty years they've apparently been trapped here... Better not to think about it now.)

Stumping after John and Mary, she fingers her rosary beads as she goes. If she couldn't offer Jack any comfort in life, she can at least pray for his soul's safe passage in death. Over and over she gabbles the prayers for the dead and gradually finds herself breathing in rhythm with her steps: "Help us, Mother; guide us, Mother; help us, Mother; guide us, Mother..."

Suddenly she stumbles as images burn across her vision. A woman brooding over the rivers as a mother broods over her children, tears dropping into the flow. The party walking through the woods. A long line of rough carts heading north. A dwarf looking at a dice roll- could that be Jack's old lucky die on the ground? Massive stone gates with guardsmen spitting vile oaths over the walls. A table with a boat model covered in some kind of white crystals. Salt?

Days of beekeeping and gardening and nights of dozing through Compline have left Aethelreda completely unprepared for an actual spiritual experience. She shakes her head violently. Could these pictures be real images of the future, a true message from the Mother? Can they be changed? Should they be changed?

She screams to the others: "Listen! I've just seen a vision! I think?" Once everyone gathers she describes the images she's seen. At least there are no pictures of further death or destruction, and it appeared that the whole party was still present when they were walking through the woods. That must be a hopeful sign. Right? Right?

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Er rolled his eyes in frustration. He's been concentrating on cooking and curing as much of the horse meat as he can so that the party has something to eat for a few days at least and now they are all walking off without helping carry any of it, or eating anything.

He had noticed some kerfuffle happening at the shore line but a quick glance over his shoulder had spotted Doctor Goode, Dorainen and Mary Drake and thought that they should be more than capable of sorting out any problem. But it seemed not, as Mary Drake and Dr Goode had already left.

Now what? He wonders if he can use his ***living off the land*** skill to build a travois from driftwood and the horse hide to carry more of the meat with him.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Dafyd
Shipmate
# 5549

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Daniel thinks the trail he was following has probably gone cold by now. There's always revenge. Or justice. Or making sure that other people don't fall foul of the same curse.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Ariston
Insane Unicorn
# 10894

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"Don't run in the face of danger. Keep order. Be ready to face it. Flight and disorder weaken.
"There is still time in the day. We have food here. We should eat it, and take what we can with us. We must plan. Be ready. Leave before sunset, but not while weak."

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“Therefore, let it be explained that nowhere are the proprieties quite so strictly enforced as in men’s colleges that invite young women guests, especially over-night visitors in the fraternity houses.” Emily Post, 1937.

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Net Spinster
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Mary Drake munched on the skewer of meat she had taken just before leaving from Er, tough but nourishing she hoped. She paused at the top of the hillock at the head of the beach and turned back to see if others were following. While waiting she murmured childhood prayers to the Seamother for those gone from her husband Nicholas to King to Jack.

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spinner of webs

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Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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Er realises that a little tinkering should give him an ***OK*** chance of building a travois.

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
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Er looks around and spots a couple of regular lengths of wood on the beach, bigger than the driftwood collected for the fires. He reckons that he can tinker together something to carry a decent amount of meat if he puts together a travois he can drag. So what he needs is a harness and a platform to hold the meat.

Keeping an eye on the meat cooking and drying, he begins to use sinews to strap the main section of the hide part way down the beams of wood - oddly even these lengths, they give him strange dream-like flashes of masts and sails. He lashes the platform together in such a way to conserve as much as the hide for later use as possible, thinking "waste not, want not, who knows what we'll need in the future".

When he's built the platform he cuts strips of leather from the tatty edges of the hide to create a harness around his chest and shoulders to help him drag the load behind him.

There's a fair amount of meat cooked and dried, some even cooled enough to load on the travois.

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Doublethink.
Ship's Foolwise Unperson
# 1984

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The survivors head inland, Er hauling his travois behind him. Passing over the low scrubby hill, they reach the edge of a wood.

As soon as they leave sight of the shore, it feels as if a burden is lifted.


[ 05. June 2014, 20:22: Message edited by: Doublethink ]

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All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome. George Orwell

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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Right says Daniel. Our best clue is to go through the forest and head north. Does anyone know which way is north? I believe it's the side with the moss. Or is it the side without the moss. Either way these trees seem to have moss on both sides to me.
Daniel will follow Mary Drake, Er Maker, Dorainen, or especially Frithwynne.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Er looks up confused. He knows that the main trade routes are east - to Cimester. "Why do you think we should head north, Daniel?"

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Eliab
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# 9153

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A prophecy. Something Gunriana must reflect on.

She remembers, and rubs her cheek unconsciously as she does, a day long ago, when she had asked her great-aunt...

“And can the runes tell the future, auntie?”

The slap across her face had come so suddenly that she was too shocked to cry. The witch spoke in a clam voice, as if nothing had happened.

“You know better than that, Gunri. No, there is no 'telling the future'. By the runes I can read what is written. That is all. It matters not when something will happen. It is written already. We read, and sometimes we shape, but we never, never, think of 'the future' as something far off. There is only what is written in the runes.”

Her cheek was stinging hard, and there were tears in her eyes now. “I … I see that.”

“Do you want to know what will happen, then, Gunri?”

“Yes!” She had been excited at that.

“Really? Everything that happens? And if you had known I would strike you, what would you have done today?”

“I'd have stayed out of ...” She had stopped. She understood. To know what would happen wouldn't change what was written, but would tempt her to fight against her mothers. To do that was unthinkable. It was knowledge that should not be sought. She had spoken softly.

“It was written. And it would be best not to know.”


Gunriana's thoughts return to the present. Better not to know – but when the fates send a prophecy, they do it for a reason. The symbols are there to be read.


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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Eliab
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# 9153

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“One speaks, another interprets, Sister. Clawdine's rune is Logr and it was the death that grieved her that broke our spell. She is the river-woman, and her pain frees us. Everything else we did, thought or said today we had done before – until King died. That was the thing that was not repeated, the first new thing in twenty years. Likely we were enchanted to remain here 'until death', but the sorcery miscarried. King's death was enough to fufill our enemy's word, and gave us our freedom. That is the first image.”

She pauses, thinking.

“Our group in the woods. That is harder. Yew is not oak. Birch is not thorn. Did you she what trees we passed in the vision? I fear it matters. And were we all there? King, and Jack Gallows with us? All twelve of us in the midst of a forest of ash would be a vision to make the bravest fear, for that would show the dark wood all flesh must one day enter. But the sight of those of us remaining walking amongst alders would lift the lowest spirits, as it would portend a journey to a good end. Do you recall more of that picture?”

The other visions?

“A journey north, with wagons. Two meanings – we are heading north, and what we seek may have been carried there too. But northwards and netherwards is ever the way to the silent lands, and the years that have been taken from us have rolled down to that deathly place, carried away with all our hopes for the lost days.”

Inspiration is failing.

“The gates I cannot read. A gate is both barrier and defence. A guarded gate suggests difficulty and danger, but no seercraft is needed to foresee that.”

The next is easier.

“The dwarf may be our adversary, or the slave of our adversary, and the dice, if they are not Jack's dice, are his symbol. His death was written for this day, and with it the end of our bondage. If I read the sign right, he knows, or will know, that the spell is broken, but for the moment feels only a vague interest in what we will do, and no fear. This may be to our advantage.”

The last image provokes thoughts that cannot be spoken.

“The ship … the ship … if any doubt were left that our enemy's malice was directed at us then … I will speak no more of that.”

One last thought.

“These may also be true visions of what is written, a seeing of what will occur, sent to us by my mothers as signs. If we meet those our Sister has described, they may show a deeper meaning. Clawdine – will you complete the rite? The sign is given, the sign is interpreted, will you proclaim what is to be done?”

[ 05. June 2014, 21:46: Message edited by: Eliab ]

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Clawdine had sat like a stone among the tussocks at the top of the beach as Jack had swum out to sea.

'This be a bad place, Clawdine,' she'd said to herself. 'It be 'olding us 'ostage.'

But Jack and King were free now. What of the rest of them? She looked at those left on the beach, as they prepared to leave. How many would survive? But leave they must.

She watched as Frithwynne filled her waterskin, Mother and Mary made bundles, and Er tinkered with what was left of KIng. One by one they trailed off the beach. When all had gone, she turned back and with great precision drew an arch in the air with her index finger.

Beginning at King's head, a rainbow appeared and climbed through the sky until the other end rested far out at sea, where they had last glimpsed Jack.

She stood then, and strode after Gunriana, who was waiting for her with a question.

'What muz be done? There be unfinished bizznez to do with that boat, I reckon.' Her eyes grew dark as she thought about what might need to happen next.*** 'We needz ter finish it one way or t'other. But mozt of all we needz a friendly place ter kip ternight.
Duz anyone know where we are?'

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

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Adam.

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"I vote we get as much distance from the beach as we can before we sleep. Once the stars arise, we can get firm bearings and head North. For now, 'away from the beach' is enough for me, the deeper into the forest the better," said Dorainen.

He sidled up to Er: "Er, I'm afraid I have never understood human norms around thanking people. I have no appetite now, and probably will not until after dawn at the earliest. When I do, I shall be glad for your work on the horse."

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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"I'm feeling stronger so I might be able to ***find north*** soon even without the stars", Mary Drake stated. She then bent down as the load of wood and meat which would have been light for her 20 years ago was no longer.

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spinner of webs

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Autenrieth Road

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# 10509

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Frithwynne had not understood what was happening until Jack was already shoulder-deep in water. Just as realization came to her, Doctor Goode cried out, and Jack started to swim, a powerful stroke directly away from shore. She stared, helpless, shocked.

The shock seemed to galvanize the party. Stirrings all through the remaining travelers, preparations for travel. Er was making a travois, Frithwynne saw gratefully. She wouldn't have to carry wet salty half-cured jerky in her kilted-up skirt after all. She went and filled her water-bottle with water.

When almost everyone had left the beach, she walked over to Jack's tricorne, lying upside-down on the beach. She picked up the cards and dice lying inside it. Oh well, kilting-up it would be after all. She knotted one side of her kirtle to her belt, and dropped the cards and dice into the pocket thus formed. Then she picked up the hat and dusted the sand from its crown as best she could before settling it on her head. The hat was a little too big, and sat at an odd angle. She wondered if it would give her even the smallest morsel of charm she had seen Jack using on the ship, and then almost discarded the hat, thinking that such charm could be dangerous.

Practicality won out, though. No knowing what kind of weather was ahead, and a good hat would always be useful. Still holding Jetse's ruined halberd blade, she climbed the dune backing the beach, following the other travellers.

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Truth

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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Mary stopped, turned in a circle and then pointed to the left of the direction the party was traveling. "That way is north, but, methinks we should continue away from the sea. If the beach is near where we were before the storm, we should be on the Maturin peninsula but given the magic that ensnarled us we may be anywhere in the world between the everwarm Cyclades and evericy Thule."

She paused and looked ahead, "Where has the doctor gotten too?"

[ 06. June 2014, 05:37: Message edited by: Net Spinster ]

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spinner of webs

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Curiosity killed ...

Ship's Mug
# 11770

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Er clears his throat and shuffles his feet, "I know where we are, bin 'ere afore. We ain't so far off our course, just bit to the west. I reckon we landed on the western coast of the Maturin peninsula. If we go inland to the east we should hit the main trade route between Barvick and Cimester. We'm s'posed to dock at Cimester? See those hills there, and this pebbled beach - if I'm right there should be scrubland and bits of forest beyond this beach."

He scratches his head before continuing, "mind, if we'm bin here for 20 years, might be a bit of a shock if we just walk into Cimester ... but a trading route means inns, taverns, trading ... and we need to replace what we'm lost"

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Mugs - Keep the Ship afloat

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Yorick

Infinite Jester
# 12169

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John Goode had been sitting on a hillock under a tree, watching the party gather its things and leave the beach. There was a thin chill in the damp onshore breeze and he gave an involuntary shudder. It would be well to depart this place.

As the straggling party of travellers approached, he stood and made his way over to join them. He smiled sadly as they gathered into a party and as they discussed the direction and set off, he strolled alongside Er.

‘That sounds very encouraging. I hope we may find an apothecary, for I need herbs.' He looked at the excellent platform Er had made, and nodded his approval. I’ll take that travois when you weary of it,’ he said.

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این نیز بگذرد

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Banner Lady
Ship's Ensign
# 10505

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Clawdine followed the others until the coarse coastal scrub turned into more densely wooded terrain.

It was getting darker with every step, and the travellers were beginning to call out to each other to make sure no-one got lost as they traveled in ones and twos away from the cursed beach.

At about the same time someone asked where the doctor was, a light flicked on ahead of them.

'Well, that be a right 'andy thing,' said Clawdine, to no-one in particular. 'At least if there'z anything in thiz wood that wantz ter find uz, it'll know where we be.'

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
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# 9153

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Gunriana talks to the others as they make their way into the wood.

"I agree with those who think we should go east to the road, then north. Even men with swords can starve in the wilderness. That does not happen so often in settled lands.

We have yet to share all we know of why we were trapped. Everyone who can speak to that, must do so, or tell us that they know nothing. I do not want to use my arts to find out which of us is holding back truth, so speak now.

We know that the ship left the usual course in sight of land, and that Dorainen dived for a chest at the sea bed. Quite a feat - who knew how to steer there with such accuracy?

Then the cutter met us. Again, how? What signals were arranged?

Mistress Drake mentions a mercer and his agent. Who are they? Where did you met them, and under what pretext? What clues did they give on the nature of their business? What did they look like? Above all, where do we find them?

She says that they took his commission for gold to pay a loan on the ship. What was the loan for - and what circumstances forced you to it? And who was the banker, and what security did they demand?"

'Not House De Vanés...' she wishes, silently. The banker, whoever it is may well be in the counsel of the enemy.

"And who else knew of this? On what persuasion did you take part in it?"

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Yorick

Infinite Jester
# 12169

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John Good watched Gunriana closely during her speech, wondering about the ‘arts’ by which she could reveal things that were unspoken. He thought about the boy betrothed to her, who would have come of age by now, and felt a merry little twinge of pity for the chap.

‘For myself, I know nothing of these things’ he said easily. It would have been a simple enough matter for him to lie about this, even to a woman with those arts, but as it happened it was the truth.

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این نیز بگذرد

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Net Spinster
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# 16058

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The sandy soil and low scrub was hard to walk through but when they stopped at the wood's edge Mary tried answering some of the questions.

"Aye, Cimester was where we were going. Haven't been there often but had good relations with the de Morgans, even carried one of their agents there three years ago". She paused, "No twenty-three years ago from Dunwich. He was 70 then, a hale 70 but." She walked over to Er and Gunriana but speaking so others could hear. "The ship needed new sails, a new mast, and a new ship's boat. Time takes its toll on all and it was time; however, trade hasn't been so good recently. The herring have failed to show in good numbers off of Dunwich for several years and it had no kippers to sell and little money to buy our wares. At our last port a man approached my husband and offered a deal. Could we find a point on the north-west edge of the Duggar bank which was exactly 15 fathoms deep but surrounded by shallower waters where the bottom was a particular mixture of red and green sand (odd green that, it sparkled) and retrieve a chest from the wreck of one of his master's ships? He had already hired the elf to do the actual diving," she nodded in the direction of Dorainen. "Not sure what was in the chest but not gold or white gold or gems, too light; my husband and I suspected papers. The agent would wait for us for a week after the full moon just north of Manacle, you must have noticed all the seabirds around those lone low rocks. The trap for the unwary sailor that lies just out-of-sight of the westmost point of the mainland so most stay well clear." After a couple of minutes of silence, "You must have noticed us constantly sounding, Jan was really learning the fine points. He is..was a good boy." She sighed and went on. "The agent gave us the name of Arnulf de Nemo for his master. Not one we've heard and we both thought it false but we were desperate for the money."

[ 06. June 2014, 14:48: Message edited by: Net Spinster ]

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spinner of webs

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Eliab
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# 9153

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Gunriana wishes, possibly for the first time, that she had paid as much attention to her father and brothers when they spoke of interest rates and trade pacts as she did when her father and his brothers talked of night raids and shield-walls. As it was, she would have to rely on her ***wits*** to see if she could recall anything of any Arnulf de Nemo.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Adam.

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"I must have met the same man," added Dorainen. "Since leaving the teyv, I had found an innkeeper in Monhaut who gave me free room and board in exchange for entertaining his guests with diving tricks in the nearby bay, also working the occasional healing spell for guests who either showed up the worse for wear from the journey or somehow got themselves in that state during their stay.

"One day, a strange man approached me. He said he was working for this De Nemo, a name that meant nothing to me, but I pretended I knew it because I thought, the way he said it, that it was a name I should have been impressed at. He was a mountain-looking man, if that elven phrase translates adequately. Tall, certainly, but also rough in appearance, craggy, imposing, with no hair above the 'tree line.' He told me that I would be rewarded with many beautiful jewels if I completed just one dive for him. He showed me some, they were brilliant red and green gems. I thought how well they would adorn our festival hut in the teyv, so agreed.

"The ship was by far the most impressive I had been on. I had never understood why humans don't just swim wherever they want to go, but this boat gave me a hint: they want to make being at sea feel like being at home. Anyway, a fifteen fathom dive was a pleasant exercise. When I reached the chest, I noticed that it was surrounded by sand that resembled the jewels I had been shown. The chest didn't seem to want to be lifted. I couldn't exactly hear it, but it was like it was singing to me, a mournful melody, despondent at its transfer. It was light though, and returning to the surface was easy. Once the chest was hoisted to the ship, the music instantly ceased.

"Shortly afterwards, the mountain man came aboard. It sounds strange, but he looked younger than I had remembered him. I put that down to my unfamiliarity with human aging at the time, but given recent events I can't be so sure now. As he took the chest to his cutter, it got sprayed by the waves and the sense returned to me that it was singing, though I couldn't exactly say that I literally heard anything. The song was no longer despondent, but panicked, like a scared cat screeching. It disturbed me so that I went below deck to lie down.

"I don't know if I truly remember the storm. I know I have dreamt of it often, but the dreams contradict each other. Which is real I cannot say."

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Ave Crux, Spes Unica!
Preaching blog

Posts: 8164 | From: Notre Dame, IN | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged
Eliab
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# 9153

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No, the name meant nothing. Gunriana might never have paid much heed to commerce, but if a De Nemo had been a trading presence, she should had least have heard the name. But even a false name could be a clue.

“I think, Dorainen, that if neither Mistress Drake or I have heard of this De Nemo, this Master Nobody, he is not the well known trader you took him to be. At least not under that name.

Still, he chose Arnulf as a given name, and even a scoundrel...” she glances at John “...may give away something in assuming a name of convenience. Arn-ulf. The eagle-wolf. A kenning for the bird of the slain, raven or crow? Or merely a far-sighted dog?

We are looking for a rich man, possibly with interests in Dunwich and Monhaut, a man of the sea, to know such a meeting point as he gave to Mistress Drake, who would play with the name Arnulf. Do any of us know such a man, under the name of wolf or crow, or with a sign or banner with such a beast? A Vulf, Varg, Valdyr or Loup, a Crow, Corbie, Hrafn or Rook, or with that as part of their name?

There will be a reason for his choice. It may be a reason personal to him, that we will not guess, but there is the chance that an arrogant enemy has given us an insight. If my guesses have stirred any memory in any of you, speak.”

Gunriana looks around at the trees.

“Sister – is this the wood that you saw in your vision?”

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Banner Lady
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# 10505

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Despite the fact that they were walking into the unknown as the twilight faded, Clawdine felt her spirit quicken. One by one they were becoming conscious of new possibilities. With the dreadful limbo of the last twenty years now behind them, the conversation drifting up and down the gaggle of walkers centred on trying to piece together what had gone on before the storm.

All she remembered was being told to stay below deck until the watch bell sounded, and listening to Frithwynne trying to keep King quiet in his pen on the deck. Even though she had been clattering pans about in the ship's galley, she could still hear King stamping his feet and snorting his displeasure.

That recollection would not help any of them now. But her spirit told her that at least now there was Hope. They were moving forward, and this would bring them somewhere soon. She was sure of it.

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Women in the church are not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be enjoyed.

Posts: 7080 | From: Canberra Australia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged



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