Chapter #7h: The Rite Stuff.   Posted by The Raconteur.Group: 0
The Raconteur
 GM, 1079 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 24 Jul 2014
at 20:23
Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff



Almost the entire town of Sandpoint was gathered for the funeral ceremony.

As they exited the cathedral hand-in-hand, Kerr and Liseth were disappointed to find that almost all the seats on the benches were already taken.  As they turned to make their way towards the back, a huge man stood up from a bench only a few rows from the dais.

“MOLLIN!  MY FRIEND!!”  Called Das Korvut, whose outsized personality seemed ill-fitted for such a somber occasion, but who was going to tell him that?   “COME!  BE SITTING HERE!”  He gestured to a couple of seats on the bench next to where the Korvut family was seated.  “The man who is fixing my little Kennet will not be standing for the ceremony, yes?  Come, come!”  He motioned the couple over.  “You and your beautiful woman shall be sitting with us, yes?”

Kerr blushed, but looked at Liseth, shrugged, and led her over to the proffered seats.  “Thanks, Mr. Korvut, I . . . urk” he began, but nearly had the wind knocked out of him as the huge blacksmith slapped him on the back.

“You are being welcome, Mollin!”  Das Korvut leaned over and spoke in a conspiratorial whisper that everyone within three rows could hear.  “And wife is having me sleep on couch if you and lady are standing, yes?”  He gave the young acolyte a hearty grin.  “Everybody is being winner!”

The two acolytes slipped into their saved seats next to Mrs. Korvut, who warmly welcomed them.  The five Korvut children were excited as well, especially Kennet, who had hero-worshipped Kerr ever since the young man had healed an infected wound that might have cost the child his arm.

As Kerr and Liseth looked around, they saw Cato and Brodert Quink enter the area.  Dav Hosk, who was sitting at the end of a bench, immediately stood and offered Brodert his seat; an offer that the older sage gratefully accepted.  It looked as if Dav and Cato, who was standing next to the bench on which his mentor sat, plunged directly into a pre-ceremony conversation.

The Vinders arrived slightly later, in the company of Pisca and Kellan.  Kellan was escorting a ravishing Shayliss like a true gentleman; she was hanging on his arm and looking up at him as if he was the only man in the world.  Katrine was walking slightly apart from the group, and Ven was watching the entire procession with flashing eyes.  The stopped and stood a little behind the crowded benches, where they still had an excellent view of the dais.

Everyone in the crowd was dressed in their best.  Of course, this varied from the nice clothing worn by the Vinders and some of the more-well-off members of the town, and the outfits worn by those with less financial resources that probably doubled as their only church attire.  The sound of scores of conversations filled the air as the townsfolk waited for the ceremony to begin; most people had been very busy for the previous couple of days and this was as good a time as any to catch up, in addition to speculating about the goblin threat, the town’s defensibility, and the other issues of the day.




This message was last edited by the GM at 20:23, Thu 24 July 2014.

Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1110 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Thu 24 Jul 2014
at 21:28
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
The single biggest problem with human gatherings was ...  Well, it was all the humans.  They were almost invariably so tall that a gnome couldn't see over them to see the things that need seeing.  Pisa stood with disapproving arms akimbo, staring at the forest of hummies, unable, even, to see the trees beyond.  The only real remedy to this was either to push through the crowd to the front - which was not really as bad as it sounded, as humans, when taken by surprise, often and generally mistook a gnome as one of their children.  This maded them more indulgent than they might otherwise been.  It was a lot of work, though.

The other alternative ...

"Would you mind very much ... "  Pisca tugged at his pant leg to draw his attention.  It was a long way up, and the gnome had her head tipped well back to meet the eyes so very far up the towering escarpment of his body.  " ... Mister Vinder, if I watched the funeral from your shoulder?"  And Pisca lifted her arms into the air, for all the world like a human child who wished to be carried in the arms of her father.

This message was last edited by the player at 01:22, Fri 25 July 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 1023 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 30/30
Fri 25 Jul 2014
at 00:26
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Her initial bout of giggling at Kerr's antics were replaced by swooning as Liseth melted into him during their soft kiss.  Then she was filled with anticipation for their seat together when Kerr led her back out of the Cathedral.  But that anticipation quickly changed to some measure of disappointment when it became clear that there were no benches available.  They had been claimed much more quickly than Liseth realized they might.

Surprise, mixed with some amount of intimidation, overtook the disappointment however; once the massive Das Korvut shouted his greeting to Kerr.  But the small acolyte was quickly grateful when it became apparent that he was offering them his seat; and that he had called her beautiful, even if it had made her blush.

"Thank you," the girl said as she sat in the seat offered her between Mrs Korvut and Kerr.  Given the size of the big, and Liseth was beginning to find out, quite friendly man, it was no surprise that both of the acolytes fit in the space he had vacated.  She marveled at all of the children that the Korvuts had with them.  Liseth loved children; it brought to mind her fantasies of having a big family of her own one day.

Which also resulted in a semi-unconscious glance towards Kerr.  Which itself resulted in a bright rush of color to the girl's cheeks as she looked quickly away.  Liseth attempted to cover by introducing herself to Mrs Korvut.

"Hello Mrs Korvut.  I'm Liseth Thoradin, I don't think that I've met you before."  She smiled, "You and Mr Korvut have a very nice family."

The white-robed acolyte waved when she saw Cato arriving with Sage Quink.  She wasn't sure if the scholar saw her though, through the amount of people in the square.  But then she was distracted by the arrival of the Vinders with Kellan.  She couldn't spot Pisca's tiny form but had to assume that the gnome was probably with them and not trampled under the feet of so many large people.

But Liseth did see Katrine there.  Her grip reflexively tightened on Kerr; this would be the only opportunity that she had to say something before they had to leave for Thistletop tomorrow.  She glanced around the square quickly, Father Zantus didn't seem to have arrived yet so she might have time to say something to Katrine.

"Um..."  She hesitantly looked back towards Mrs Korvut, "Could you excuse me for a moment please?  I have to go for a bit."  Liseth stood, then held Kerr's hand in hers, "Watch my seat please?"

The girl then weaved her way through the crowd.  It was actually a bit difficult for her, what with her size and difficulty walking; but Liseth was determined.  She soon managed to get through to the Vinders and finally spotted Pisca.  Who appeared, of all things, to be in the process of asking Mr Vinder if he could pick her up.  Liseth didn't think she could do something like that; Mr Vinder might not be the person that she was the MOST afraid of, but he was far up on the list.

Skirting around the massive form of Mr Vinder, Liseth spared a moment to wonder if he was upset with her.  She hoped not.  Luckily Katrine was staying a bit away from her father; which was understandable since they were having...problems at the moment.

"Um...hi Katrine."  Liseth found her hands at her waist and her head tilted down to look at the other girl's feet.  She suddenly felt herself hoping that she wasn't just setting herself up to being berated again.  "This probably isn't a good time, or place.  But I have to go somewhere tomorrow and I don't know if I'll get another chance to see you so...I wanted to make sure that you knew how sorry I was.  For making you upset the other day."  The acolyte ended with her hands fidgeting anxiously.
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 584 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Fri 25 Jul 2014
at 14:07
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Cato and Brodert arrived at the square and saw Liseth and Kerr ensconced with Das Korvut and his family.  Cato saw the acolyte's quick wave, and returned it, though the girl had turned her attention to the arrival of Kellan, Shayliss and the rest of the Vinders.  Cato accepted his seat next to Daviren Hosk.

Dav immediately turned to the wizard and gave him a smile.  "It's good to see you all here.  I respect what you've been able to do for Sandpoint since the Festival.  Those goblins..."  Dav's face twisted into an evil expression, equal parts sadness, hatred and disgust.

Cato watched the man, not quite sure what to say.  "Yes, thank you.  Well, I can't imagine anyone who had the will and the skill wouldn't have done the same thing.  I think the group of us just wants to keep this town safe.  I hear you've done your share of goblin hunting, too."

Dav's expression turned, a faint smile breaking through his face.  "That I did.  There's one less tribe of goblins out there.  You should visit my shop.  I've got quite the collection from my adventures."

Cato echoed the man's faint smile.  He had heard some rumors about the grisly display Dav kept in the stable, and had no desire to mutilate the bodies of his fallen foes.  "Well, every goblin we kill is one less causing trouble, which is certainly a good thing."

Cato looked around, suddenly anxious for Zantus to start the funeral.

This message was last edited by the player at 19:56, Fri 25 July 2014.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 632 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Fri 25 Jul 2014
at 15:36
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Kellan took the time to relish the walk over, even if their purpose and destination served a more somber purpose. The sea breeze pulled at his hair in an almost loving way and the little shops and homes seemed idyllic and cozy even if he had grown up woth most of them. But what really set the mood was the beautiful girl on his arm and her beaming smile.

After becoming accustomed to the burden of chainmail and the feel of a weapon in his grasp Shayliss's skin seemed unbelievably soft and she had put on some sort of perfume that seemed to linger in the air and intoxicate him all the more. The irony of the predicament was not lost upon him. If he wanted to protect his town and those he loved, he just might have to die a long way away from it.

These morbid thoughts became more pressing as they entered the square and he felt the eyes of the townsfolk upon them. He could see why Venn had grown so protective of his girls given the angle of some of the looks, but Kellan just gave her hand a squeeze and helped to guide them towards an open spot.

His mind was slowly bringing images back to the fore as he saw the accoyltes and Father Zantus waiting to begin.

 He remembered Lerrick Jumberlee with a plate of pastries and a fresh pot of coffee on a bitter cold foggy morning, going on about his tomato plants and the various pests that tormented him as they patrolled the town.

He remembered Dacen Kresk and the day he joined the guard, and how proud his family had been. How they had sparred in the drill yard and how Kresk had blacked Kellans eye by accident and all the rediculous stories thay had come up to explain it later on.

Kellan swallowed hard and took a deep breath only to turn around and see Pisca entreating Venn Vinder like a his very own illegitimate gnomish progeny. The scene was so ridiculous in fact that he cracked a smirk and raised his eyebrow a fraction.

Pisca seemed to have a way of making things seem not so bad or serious, a trait he was coming to appreciate more and more as time passed.

This message was last edited by the player at 15:39, Fri 25 July 2014.

The Raconteur
 GM, 1086 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Sat 26 Jul 2014
at 02:14
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff



Before anyone could react to further questions or conversations, the crowd quieted as a procession of six acolytes brought three symbolic cypress coffins down an aisle between the benches in the center of the square.  The dead were already prepared for their burial and would be interred later that evening after the final sacrament.  There were just too many to display all the caskets publicly for the ceremony.

Also, there was some thought that having people dwell on how many of their fellow citizens were dead might not be the best thing for morale.

While the acolytes brought their somber burdens before the dais, four more acolytes, two on each side of the square, each carrying a torch, walked down the outside of the crowd, lighting unlit torches in tall sconces that had been placed there for the ceremony.  In the darkening evening, the flickering light of the torch-fire cast a solemn, thoughtful light on the proceedings.

After the torches were lit and the caskets were placed, the ten acolytes, each dressed in the formal robes of their deity, took their place in a line before the dais.  They clasped their hands and bowed their hooded heads.  For a moment, a hush fell over the crowd.  The evening sea breeze whipped through the square, causing the torch flames to dance about.  The distant crash of sea billows emphasized the sober quiet.

Then Father Zantus, the only one seated on the dais, stood and moved to the podium, the front of which was decorated with a circular tabard displaying the sigils of each god known to be worshipped in Sandpoint.

He began to speak.

“You may wonder whether one man can fully express our grief and sorrow at the loss of our fellow citizens.”  Father Zantus had clearly trained in public speaking; his words carried to the edges of the crowd without difficulty, and his voice took on a richer and deeper timbre than it normally possessed.  “You may wonder whether one man can fully encapsulate or salve the pain experienced by the mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons, and daughters of those who have fallen.  And to that unasked question I respond:  no.  No one man can do all those things.  And I will not try.”

He fell silent for a moment, head bent, as if contemplating the dead.

“Those who have died over the past week are heroes.  The first casualties of a war unasked for and unprovoked, they unfairly suffered the brunt of our enemies’ malice.  But their deaths were not in vain!  Sandpoint stands prepared today because of their sacrifice.”  He fell silent again.

“I do not have to tell you that Sandpoint is a special place to live.  Our administration,” he nodded to Mayor Deverin, seated in the front row, “favors the many instead of the few.  We afford equal justice,” now a nod to Sir Jasper, “in the matter of private differences.  Far from seething over each other with jealousy, the citizens of Sandpoint greet each other with the cheer and brotherhood of equals.  You know I speak the truth because you experience it daily.”

“Brothers and sisters . . . “  He paused, as if thinking.  “I call you brothers and sisters, for that is what you are.  Our current situation has thrown this fact into stark relief.  We are all brothers and sisters to each other.  You can see it here.”  He gestured over to the Boneyard.  “Lord Kaijitsu, a noble, lies next to Arvil Barksen, a glassworker.  Aral Nizt, a Sczarni, lies next to Dacen Kresk, our youngest guardsman.  They are brothers, bound in death.”

Father Zantus looked up, a fire in his eyes.  “The goblins make no distinction between us, and neither should we.  We stand shoulder to shoulder together, defending each other, protecting each other, and swearing that our brothers shall not fall while we still stand!”

“So our ceremony today,” the cleric stretched out an arm toward the cypress coffins, “is not one for strangers; it is for family.  Do not doubt that each person who has given their life for Sandpoint is your family, and you are theirs.  The goblins have taken family from all of us.  And to that I say, and I lift my voice to the goblins now,” the chief priest’s voice rose into a crescendo, “that we will give of our family NO MORE.  That these sacrifices will be the LAST taken from Sandpoint unprepared, and that any further loss will be bought at a cost too dear for the goblins to bear!”

The feeling in the crowd was electric.

“Brothers and sisters, never doubt that the gods are watching out for us.  I cannot share the details, but I know for certain that they have their eyes on us, and they have put their hands over our town, shielding it and protecting it.”  He looked down at the caskets.  “We have lost too many.  But they are not gone; they are merely waiting.”  His voice choked up.  “The gods have welcomed each of our brothers and sisters into their presence with open arms and celebrations.  For they are finally home, away from the burdens and travails of this world.  They wait for us, my friends.  They wait for us to join them in the afterlife.”

He took a deep breath.  “But I hope you will join me, my brothers and sisters.  Join me, and Lieutenant Barett, and Mayor Deverin, and the Guard, and the heroes Kellan, and Liseth, and Pisca, and Cato, and Kerr, in telling the goblins, and whoever else will listen,” his voice rose again, until it was almost a shout, “that they will have to wait just a little longer!”

A murmur of agreement swept through the crowd.

“My friends,” he lowered his voice again, “it is my prayer for all of us that we will go to the afterlife from our beds, after living long lives, surrounded by those we love.  But if some of us are called away over the next few days, know that the gods are waiting for you with open arms and a welcome-home celebration,” he gestured again at the caskets, “just as they were for our brothers and sisters.”

He raised one hand.  “I ask for the gods’ blessing upon our departed brothers and sisters.  I ask for the gods’ blessing upon you.  And I ask for their blessing upon Sandpoint.”  He paused, bowed his head, then raised it again, looking out upon the assembled citizenry.  “Go with the gods, my friends.  Because they assuredly go with you.”

With that final benediction, Father Zantus descended from the dais to bless each of the caskets.  The acolytes then formed up, two in front, two to each casket, and two behind.  Father Zantus then led them down the center aisle, blessing those in the crowd as he passed.  When he reached the back of the crowd, he led the procession back up the stairs and through the cathedral doors, which two sextons held open.  The sextons closed the doors as the final acolyte passed through.

For a moment, there was silence.  The somber mood continued, and people began to get up and make their way back to their homes with a minimum of conversation.




This message was last edited by the GM at 02:21, Sat 26 July 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 1027 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 30/30
Sat 26 Jul 2014
at 05:31
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Before Katrine could respond to her, almost before she had even stopped speaking herself, Liseth became acutely aware that the ceremony had begun.  She immediately felt incredibly foolish; not only had she served to make the entire procession awkward for herself and Katrine, but she had also abandoned Kerr after Mr Korvut had been so kind as to give them a seat at his bench.

To top things off, from her new position near the rear of the crowd Liseth could barely see the ceremony take place.  And she couldn't shove through the crowd now that it had begun; it would disrupt all of the solemnity.  That and it would be very rude to walk away from Katrine before the other girl had a chance to respond in some way.

So Liseth was stuck with a poor view and an awkward situation.  At least the thick crowd couldn't prevent her from hearing Father Zantus.

Listening to the speech, Liseth became very self-conscious once she was named by Father Zantus as a hero.  A hero that everyone should join against the goblins.  Luckily the crowd was paying so much attention to the ceremony that she doubted anyone realized that she was standing right there.  Except for Katrine of course.

When the ceremony completed and people began to somberly walk away, Liseth once again found herself feeling foolish.  This was not the sort of mood for conversations or even apologies; all that she had done was to willfully throw herself into a faux pas.  She couldn't even bring herself to look in Katrine's direction, but could only imagine what the other girl was thinking of her right now.

"I'm sorry," the blonde girl said in a whisper that sounded like a trumpet blast in the silent, somber square.  Her shoulders slumped and she felt very tired again, "I ruined everything."  It was no wonder, she thought to herself, why none of the other girls liked her.  "I'll go now..."

As she started to walk away, back through the crowd to find Kerr, Liseth's stomach twisted in knots.  She just hoped that Kerr wasn't disappointed in, or worse, insulted by her for leaving him alone during the ceremony.

This message was last edited by the player at 06:37, Sat 26 July 2014.

The Raconteur
 GM, 1087 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Sat 26 Jul 2014
at 06:12
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff



Ven Vinder turned away from Pisca as the ceremony started, but whether because he didn't want to pick her up or because he hadn't heard her was an open question.  Either way, the gnome was left standing there, arms outstretched.  This put her in an even worse position than Liseth; she couldn't see anything that was happening, although she could hear perfectly.

But as the acolytes moved by, lighting the torches, Pisca felt movement behind her.  Suddenly she was flying!  Lifted up by her underarms by a pair of improbably large, incredibly strong hands, and placed on the broad shoulders of none other but Lunk.  Lunk didn't say anything; he just nodded along as Father Zantus started speaking, as if putting a gnome on one's shoulders unasked wasn't anything out of the ordinary at all.

And standing next to Lunk was Chask Haladan!  He gave Pisca a smile, nodded his head toward the dais, and turned toward Father Zantus, of whom Pisca now probably had the best view of anyone.




This message was last edited by the GM at 06:14, Sat 26 July 2014.

Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 633 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Sat 26 Jul 2014
at 09:42
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Kellan listened to the speech with rapt attention and silently appreciated that they had chosen to go with the more symbolic gesture rather than physically lining up the coffins. The farmboy in him wept for the fallen, good, honest hard working folks for the most part, cut down in the streets and in their homes over...what? A childhood vendetta?

The budding tactician in him wondered at the numbers however. How many had they lost? And how many would have died if Nualia and her brood had been a little more patient. It was luck, and perhaps the grace of the gods that they had only sent a small raiding party before and the thought of a whole war band made up of multiple tribes set the young guardsman face into a tight line. Nualia needed to die for all of this, and somewhat optimistically Kellan felt that they were just the ones to do it .

In fact Kellan had been so caught up in his thoughts that he almost did not notice that it had ended and was snapped back from his meditations by a gentle squeeze of Shayliss's hand, he cleared his throat and commented to the others, just noticing that Pisca was astride Lunk like some kind of miniature cavalier.

"That was fitting I think...Father Zantus always does a good job, but this one in particular was well done"

He looked back to the Vinders and was surprised to find Liseth standing there awkwardly. He gave the acolyte a smile of comraderie and silently looked to Katrine with an expectant gaze, as if expecting the girl to say something, anything.

"Back to the store then?" He asked the assembled, looking around as the crowds began to disperse.
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1112 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Sat 26 Jul 2014
at 12:52
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
"Lunk!"  Pisca squirmed around in those big hands and hugged her Personal Giant.  "And Mister Chask."  She waved down from above.  Not only at Chask Haladan, but at Ven Vinder and Stomper and Shayliss and Katrine and Lysa too - who had joined them and was doing a very good silent impersonation of a lost puppy.  (Was she wringing her hands?)

But then, the funeral began, and Pisca the Rock Eagle settled herself on her aerie perch to listen.

"Hey, where's everybody going?" said the gnome from above.  The doors of the cathedral closed with great solemnity and the funeral was over.  "Isn't anyone going to sing songs?  Dance?  Tell stories about the fallen?  That was a great speech.  Don't you think, Lunk?  Mister Chask?  Mister Vinder?  Stomper?  Shayliss?  Katrine?  Lysa?"  The gnome made an attempt to stand and wave down the departing crowd.  But standing on a shoulder was not an easy thing.  Not even on the shoulder of a giant.

"Didn't they hear the speech?" said the gnome, her voice pleading to the others below.  "Did they hear the same speech I did?  That wasn't a weepy Lets Go Home And Close Ourselves Behind Doors speech.  That was a Together We Can Poke Those Stupid Gobbies In the Eye With a Sharp Stick speech."

"So why ... "

Crestfallen, the gnome seated herself once again on Lunk's shoulder.  She bent and leaned to a place where she could give him a comforting hug - which was, perhaps, more of a comfort to herself than to him.

"Why are they leaving?"

"*sigh*" then gnome sighed.  It was pretty clear that there were still some things about humans that she had yet to understand.  If that was at all possible.  Humans were so ... different.  Similar in many ways - in so many ways that you'd almost forget sometimes.  And yet, sometimes they were so different.

"Oh well, I suppose we have things to do anyway.  Speaking of which, anybody see Vorvashali Voon?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:29, Sat 26 July 2014.

Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 589 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Mon 28 Jul 2014
at 17:30
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Cato was quiet as we watched the funeral proceed.  Two things amazed him as he absorbed Father Zantus's words.  The first was how blessed Sandpoint truly was.  Yes, there were the events that had transpired before his arrival - the Late Unpleasantness, and the more recent goblin attack and plotting against town by insiders.  But the town seemed to be surviving, maybe even thriving.  It took a special kind of place to do that.  Cato had read of many outposts gone defunct.  Some were set up on the fringes of civilization to exploit some valuable resource, and eventually, no word ever came from them.  Scouting parties would find empty towns, abandoned homes, and no word of what had happened.  Certainly the world had plenty of danger in store, not even figuring in intelligent, evil humanoids like goblins.  Disease?  Famine?  Cato shook his head.  But Sandpoint was surviving, thanks in no small part to people like Father Zantus.  Why had a town like Sandpoint gotten such a head priest?  Cato would have thought the temples in Magnimar or Korvosa would have first choice.  Cato grimaced.  Well, given what had happened in Cheliax, maybe the temples in Korvosa weren't looking for skilled priests of Desna.

The second was how attached to this town Cato truly was.  He could no longer pretend that leaving Sandpoint would be as easy as leaving the Hellknights or fleeing from Magnimar.  He had spent too much time here, and gotten to know the people too well.  He felt closer to Brodert than to his own father, and saw Pisca, Liseth, Kerr and Kellan as the siblings he had left behind.  As Father Zantus's speech drew to a closer, Cato found himself shedding genuine tears for the dead and the town - something he never would have suspected a year ago, when he first saw the sleepy ocean side town.

Cato rubbed his eyes and looked over to Brodert, clapping his mentor on the shoulder.  He tried to talk, but had to clear his voice before anything came out, then realized he had nothing to add to what Father Zantus had already said.  Instead, he just smiled and shook his head in amazement.

Cato and Brodert filed out with the crowd, and Cato soon found Kellan.  He and Sandpoint's sage walked over to the young guardsman, nodding at Kerr and Liseth as they arrived.  Cato whispered to Kellan, "I sometimes envy you for growing up here.  As much trouble as this town has seen, well, the people here...."  Cato trailed off, and resumed watching the people disperse.
Kellan Storval
 Human Fighter, 634 posts
 Former Red Shirt
Mon 28 Jul 2014
at 19:37
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Kellan turned to Cato at his comment and gave the Mage a tired sort of smile. They had known each other such a short time and yet the experiences they had been through the past few weeks would undoubtedly bond them all for life. How long that life might be only the gods knew.

What could he say about his childhood in Sandpoint? He remembered all the work mostly. Getting up before he dawn to gather the eggs from the chickens, feeding hogs and milking the families lone cow. Long hot days hoeing up the earth, weeding the fields and harvesting the crops. Winter was a respite mostly, they had fair weather here along the coast aside from the fog and the occasional squall coming in from the sea. Even then there was always wood to be cut and things to be mended. "Not enough hours in the day" his father often said.

"I can't complain, it's true" he replied as hey walked "But I suppose the grass can always seem greener. You never would have received the kind of education you did living out here...even Sage Quink isn't local. Even the fact that my mother arranged for Shalelu to teach me Elven as a child was considered exotic...and in some minds excessive" he looked around at the buildings as they passed.

"Who knows who you would have been were our situations reversed? You growing up out here in the country and me in the city..." He trailed off wondering for a few moments before picking up again, "Well in any case you're here now, and Sandpoint is all the better for it. Hopefully all of this won't scare you off and we can convince you to put down some roots...find you a nice girl and a plot of land perhaps. Sage Quink won't be around forever you know, Gods bless him, and I know the Barrets would love to keep you around, especially young Aeren." He smiled at the thought, eternally grateful that Cato had managed to prevent that particular tragedy.

He lowered his voice and cleared his throat. "Look...I, uh..." He licked his lips. "We both know that we might not come back from this one, so whatever it's worth, thank you...for all that you've done and agreeing to come with me...you didn't have to, and nobody would have thought less of you. But I appreciate it. I know we get thanked all the time, and all that talk from the mayor about heroes and such, but I just thought you should hear it from me"
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1113 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Mon 28 Jul 2014
at 20:13
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
The gnome looked down from a high, her interest drawn by talk of green and grass.

"Unless you were wondering, though," she said, interjecting herself into the conversation below, "the grass *is* greener on the other side of the fence.  It really is.  What they don't tell you is that sooner or later, you get tired of greener grass.  You want the old yellow grass or blue grass or orange grass, anything but green.  If you live long enough, you wind up not wanting grass at all.  Grass will make you crazy.  You run around tearing out huge clumps of turf and howling like a rabid badger just because you want to see what's underneath in hopes that it's not more of the same grass."

"That's how it happens.  Or so I'm told.  And then you Bleach.  Just lose all of your color and fade away."  Pisca made arm-wavy, wiggly finger gestures to describe the fading away part.  This upset her precarious balance on Lunk's shoulder, and she was forced to abandon the fading-away and grab hold of Lunk's neck.

"Anyway, humans don't have to worry about Bleaching," she said in consoling tones.  "You die first."
Cato Crispin
 Human Wizard, 590 posts
 Now 100% Monster Free
Tue 29 Jul 2014
at 18:58
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
Cato listened to Kellan.  "You're right, of course.  I'm sure every family has their ups and downs.  And everyone wishes they were living somewhere else."  He favored Pisca with a smile.  "Unless of course they die first, before regretting the choices they've made."

"But we've made our choices.  And..."  Cato paused, unsure if he actually wanted to proceed or not.  "Well, I'm sure we've all made some poor choices.  Or good choices that still have consequences in any case.  I'm originally from Korvosa.  Trust me that your lives would have been much different had you grown up how I did, just as mine would have been much different growing up here.  I'm sure I wouldn't have been able to learn what I did about the arcane, but I would have avoided a lot of pain as well.  If we survive Thistletop, I'll tell you about it over an ale at Ameiko's."
Pisca Neep Freemish
 Gnome Archaeologist, 1117 posts
 The Gnome!
 And Her Imagination
Wed 30 Jul 2014
at 20:51
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff
There were many advantages to being up so high.  Pisca took one of these advantages and checked on Liseth who was nearly all the way across the square through the thinning crowd of departing hummies.

"Sorry, Lunk, but I've got to get down."  The gnome wiggled her bottom until she had turned herself over with her stomach folded over Lunk's shoulder and her legs dangling down the front of him.  More wiggling edged her further and further out until Pisca was able to jump, more or less, out and back, coming once more down to the ground.  (Not, however, before giving Lunk a quick kiss on the cheek.)

"I'll be right back," said the gnome with a hand wave and trotted to the side of Katrine Vinder.

"Katrine?  Katrine Vinder?  Remember me?  I'm Pisca."  The gnome smiled up at the human girl, but otherwise said nothing more until ... "I think Lysa may be a little tired.  It's been a long day for her.  She's such a nice girl, but I think sometimes she tries too hard.  Often things come easier if you don't try so hard.  It sounds funny, but it's often true."

"She very much wants to be your friend," the gnome continued.  "And it seems to upset her so much that she doesn't seem to be doing very well at it.  She's a sweet and kind girl.  Though, maybe a bit awkward at times.  And I think she'd make a good friend.  And a powerful healer like Lysa would make a good ally too," suggested the gnome none too subtly.  "Especially for someone rather trapped between potential Mill Burning Employers In Law and a father who is very large and disapproving."

"Well," Pisca brushed her hands together as though washing them clean after a job well done, "it was nice talking to you again, Katrine.  You know, the nice thing about funerals, sad as they may be for some, is that they bring people together.  That can't be a bad thing, don't you think?"

Then the gnome turned and sauntered back to Lunk and Chask Haladan and Stomper and Shayliss and Cato and, by all evidence, a not very pleased Ven Vinder.

This message was last edited by the player at 13:25, Wed 06 Aug 2014.

The Raconteur
 GM, 1113 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Wed 6 Aug 2014
at 04:29
Re: Chapter #7h:  The Rite Stuff




CONTINUED IN CHAPTERS #7i: EVENING CHURCH AND #7j: WHAT'S IN STORE