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15:37, 22nd June 2024 (GMT+0)

Part 70c - Tahirah alone.

Posted by DworkinFor group 0
Dworkin
GM, 3633 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 23 Jul 2011
at 19:22
  • msg #1

Part 70c - Tahirah alone

There is a brief flash of light in the middle of the lawn, which fades to leave a figure standing behind which is scarcely less brilliantly white than the light had been.

Tahirah looks about, it's approaching dusk, and the first stars are already faintly visible in a sky which is a rapidly darkening turquoise.  The constellations are incomplete, many of the stars still washed out by the last vestiges of daylight, and she had not had a chance to familiarise herself with their shapes and patterns.  But the mountain she can see through a gap between two of the castle structures looks familiar.

"Who goes there?"  Turning, she notes that the approaching guard, crossbow held at the ready, wears a green tabard emblazoned with a white unicorn.

Berd has returned her to Amber.
Tahirah
player, 489 posts
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Mon 25 Jul 2011
at 22:22
  • msg #2

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Tahirah lets out a breath, and then gives the guard a small, polite bow.  After what she just went through, a mere crossbow pointed at her chest barely even warrants recognition.

"I am Tahirah," she replies, assuming this will explain everything.  Then she turns away, and starts walking steadily towards the castle proper.
Dworkin
GM, 3636 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 26 Jul 2011
at 20:02
  • msg #3

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

"Stop where you are, or I'll put a bolt in you!" the guard calls, following after Tahirah as he does so.

Then another voice yells from a gateway off to one side, "Stand down Jager!  I reckon that's one of James' friends, at least she matches the description."  The newcomer, dressed in a uniform similar to the guard's, angles across to intercept Tahirah, "Can I help you, Miss?  If you're hoping to find James and your other friends, I'm afraid your out of luck.  Thay all left the castle yesterday, or the day 'fore.  My name's Kallum, by the by."

"Do you need a guide, or an escort?  Things are still a bit tense round here.

Tahirah
player, 491 posts
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Sat 30 Jul 2011
at 20:51
  • msg #4

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

"Thank you, Kallum," Tahirah says, with a small bow.  "James battles the Archons.  We determined that I would be better placed here," she explains, and if perhaps it sounds a little bit like she's here on James's orders, well, that's OK.

"I do not," she says, in offer of the guide, "Although I would not care to make another... nervous.  I go to the towers, first, and I will require an amount of solitude.  But if someone can be spared for an essentially unnecessary duty, I would not decline an escort to them, to avoid disturbing another as I did Jager."  She uses both of their names easily, almost as if she'd already known them.
Dworkin
GM, 3640 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sun 31 Jul 2011
at 13:18
  • msg #5

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Kallum continues walking beside Tahirah, "Oh, I've no doubt you can manage well enough on your own, at least to get to where you're going, but if it's a bit of peace and quiet you need, then I can, at the very least, stand watch on the stair and make sure nobody disturbs you."

Then he grins, and adds, "Besides which my commander'd have my guts for garters if word got out that I let you just wander round without somebody to make sure you aren't spying on us."

They enter one of the structures and soon find their way to a spiralling stair which they start to climb, "So James is fighting those things, still?  It's good that I can confirm that if anybody asks.  When he vanished so suddenly I knew that was where he'd gone, but you know what some of these Ruperts can be like... they keep insisting it's all just guesswork until somebody confirmed it."

Tahirah
player, 492 posts
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Fri 5 Aug 2011
at 16:40
  • msg #6

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

"That would be welcome," Tahirah accedes, walking.  She decides there's really nothing she can say to Jager at this point that will make things better, so she just leaves that alone.

"It is difficult," she replies.  "There is never time to pass word to everyone of what must be done, so many are left to wonder.  In a time like this, one can hardly blame some for worrying that even such as James may have decided simply, to leave."  She pauses a moment, and then continues.  "Unfortunately, I fear you are wise to worry about spies.  Although I'm sure your support of his name would be welcome, it may be best if you do not offer it as confirmed, for now."
Dworkin
GM, 3643 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 6 Aug 2011
at 18:33
  • msg #7

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

The two climb the staircase, then traverse a short corridor before starting to ascend again.  Eventually Kallum stops, "That's it.  I reckon you've got another fifteen or twenty feet and you'll come to a door that leads out onto the top of the tower, or at least as high as you can get.  There's not much room up there, but as long as you're not planning on dancing a jig or turning cartwheels, you should be fine."

"I'll wait here for you, and make sure you aren't disturbed by anybody."


Tahirah continues alone, finds the door exactly where Kallum said it would be, and steps out of the tower.

He had been right.  There isn't a lot of room.  Or, that is, there would be more room if most of it wasn't taken up by a large, stone, beehive-like structure, which seems to be home to numerous doves.

Tahirah skirts around the dovecot, vaguely reminded of the Charyk, and the roosts of the ormvrĂ„kar.  These birds are, of course, far too small to serve a defensive purpose.

The view beyond the parapet is spectacular.  Kolvir stands towering high above Amber, seeming almost luminous and ethereal in the clear air.  The sky overhead is cloudless and bright.  For an instant Tahirah seems to see something white, moving quickly across a highland meadow on the face of the mountain.

To her left, a forest sweeps around the flank of Kolvir, and beyond she can see that it seems to stretch away for ever.  To the naked eye, there is no sign of the war which is supposedly raging in Arden.
Tahirah
player, 495 posts
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Tue 16 Aug 2011
at 17:36
  • msg #8

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Tahirah can't resist a thoughtful, "Hmmmm," at his warning, as if she's considering whether jig-dancing might be necessary or not.  "Thank you, Kallum," she says, continuing up the stairs.

She looks out over the scenery.  First, in all honesty, simply enjoying the view, but she only indulges that for a few moments.  Then she looks about for signs of how the battle is going.  Seeing little, she takes to be a generally positive sign - it's certainly better than a smoke-blackened sky.  But with that thought... neither can she rely on simple sight alone.

Moving around the edges of the tower, she begins tracing runes into the dust, slowly building up her magic.
Dworkin
GM, 3647 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 16 Aug 2011
at 18:39
  • msg #9

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Forces gather around the tower as Tahirah works, twisting the light into sharp focus wherever she looks.

First she studies the face of Kolvir, paying particular attention to the highland meadow, where she sees the living equivalent of the arms of Amber.  Running across the lush grass is the Unicorn itself.

Suddenly the creature stops, seeming to look directly at her.  And then it turns away and is gone, its delicate hooves carrying it away into the forest...

Tahirah searches for sign of the battle.

There are troops moving along the routes from Amber to Arden.  May wear liveries that she doesn't recognise, but always there are others with them who wear the uniform of Amber.

Almost all of them are heading away from the city, so presumably the battle is being waged still, somewhere in the dense forest beyond Kolvir.  There is no outward sign of it though.

And then she spots something which doesn't belong, concentrates, and finally sees an Archon, one of the danioti gleaming in the sunlight as it hurtles above the distant treetops...
Tahirah
player, 497 posts
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Mon 5 Sep 2011
at 18:07
  • msg #10

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Tahirah frowns to herself.  Her first instinct is to try to send a spell towards it, but...despite her magnifications for visibility, the distance is still rather significant.  And besides; she's always been better as a guide.

And she supposes, with Cyan's efforts, she can't even be certain yet whose side it's on.

She follows the danioti, watching to see where it goes.  As she does, she begins more quiet tracings in the air.
Dworkin
GM, 3655 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 6 Sep 2011
at 20:00
  • msg #11

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

As Tahirah watches, the Archon appears to be circling rapidly, but the centre of the circle seems to be drifting slowly.  Overall it seems to be heading away from the mountain.  Occasionally it breaks its pattern, and at those times it often drops out of sight among the trees,  It always returns to the same circling movement though, and always at the point where it broke away from it.

Tahirah watches it for six or seven minutes, and the sequence of events, breaking the pattern, then returning to it, is repeated five times.

Finally the white robed woman completes a new series of sigils...
Tahirah
player, 500 posts
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Wed 21 Sep 2011
at 23:00
  • msg #12

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Once she has her spell in place to trace the shape of the Archon, Tahirah makes sure that she'll be able to find it again if she looks away, she waits for the next time it dips down, and then keeps her focus on that spot after it goes away, watching to see what else might be there, or what might change.
Dworkin
GM, 3660 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 24 Sep 2011
at 13:48
  • msg #13

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

The odd movements of the Archon continue, a wide circle which drifts across the forest, barely clearing the treetops.  Then she realises that, no, in fact it's just clearing the majority of the treetops.  There are places along its path, she can now see, where taller trees have been clipped.

Careful observation soon turns up another fact.  The places where the Archon dips out of sight all appear to coincide with clearings or other gaps in the canopy.

She watches as the Archon reappears from one such side excursion, then ignores the creature for the moment to focus her attention on the clearing...
Tahirah
player, 501 posts
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Tue 18 Oct 2011
at 16:53
  • msg #14

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Tahirah bites at her lower lip.

A single Archon.  Setting small little fires.  She decides it's dropping down at clearings because it doesn't want to leave gaping holes in the canopy, but... all she can think is that it's working to set the forest on fire.

As she recalls, from her experience at Charyk, having a forest around your castle is a liability anyway - far too much cover for attackers.  But this one, she gathers, is a resource, as well, and it's not as though it comes right up to their walls anyway.

She focuses again on the danioti, and then flips up a card in front of herself, whisking it through the air in a rapid pattern...
Dworkin
GM, 3670 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Tue 18 Oct 2011
at 18:07
  • msg #15

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Far out above Arden, the danioti  rises higher, blades gleaming in the sunlight, as it starts out on another diversion from its prescribed path.  This time, knowing what to look for, Tahirah can see where it's probably heading - and there is already a faint wisp of smoke rising there.

Suddenly the glittering metal is surrounded by a mist, which rapidly becomes a denser fog, and then a dark cloud which obscures the creature completely.  The cloud seems to pulse and spin, expanding and contracting sporadically for several minutes, before suddenly plummeting out of sight among the trees.

Moments later a sound like distant thunder, very angry distant thunder, rolls over the tower where Tahirah works, followed by a the sound of breaking wood...
This message was last edited by the GM at 18:13, Tue 18 Oct 2011.
Tahirah
player, 503 posts
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your future again, OK?
Tue 1 Nov 2011
at 23:06
  • msg #16

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Tahirah looks out, unruffled, as the thunder rolls past, watching the spot for a little while.  If she doesn't see it for a while, she'll skim back across the spots it had stopped before, lifting up another card, and sending a concentrated blast of water at each spot until she's sure the fires it started are out.  Whether signals or a planned burn, she doubts they're meant for Amber's well-being.

Then she quietly withdraws from the tower, going down until she finds Kallum.  "I should seek the King now, or one near to him," she says, simply.
Dworkin
GM, 3680 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 5 Nov 2011
at 19:15
  • msg #17

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

With no further sign of the smoke, at any of the places the Archon had been, or along its most recent course, Tahirah heads back down the stairs and soon finds Kallum.  The man is seated on the stair, his back against the wall, running a whetstone along the blade of his sword.  As Tahirah approaches, he inspects the weapon with a critical eye.

Her request doesn't seem to surprise him at all, "Of course you should." he replies with a nod, and starts back down.

But he stops short, using a key to unlock a small door in the stairwell and squeezing through the opening which is thus revealed.  Beyond is a corridor, the floor layered with dust.  Light filters in through stained glass panels in one wall, each one displaying only abstract geometric patterns.  The way is narrow, such that Kallum's shoulders almost brush against both sides as he walks.

Another door, back out into a broader corridor, and much cleaner.

"You've got to understand," Kallum explains as they descend a wide staircase, "I'm not an important man around here.  Sure, I command a few men, but I can't exactly take you to the throne room.  The best I can do is hand you over to somebody who can take you to his boss, who can in turn take you to his, who can, maybe, get you an audience with one of the Family.  I hope that will do?"
Tahirah
player, 504 posts
Let's...not look into
your future again, OK?
Thu 10 Nov 2011
at 23:53
  • msg #18

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

"Without every piece, the puzzle is incomplete," Tahirah says, in response to his assertions of unimportance.  "That, is more than I could do for you.  May I ask what you think of those in the Family?"
Dworkin
GM, 3681 posts
Renegade Lord of Chaos,
creator of the Pattern...
Sat 12 Nov 2011
at 22:45
  • msg #19

Re: Part 70c - Tahirah alone

Kallum chuckles and shakes his head before answering, "Everybody in the city asks me that one too, as soon as they find out I work up here.  Here's the thing though... I don't know most of the family.  I've met Bleys twice, and Fiona once asked me to loan her a knife so she could cut a cord binding a parcel.  The rest of them I've only ever seen from a distance."

"Bleys seems like a good man, and the knife came back to me touched with a bit of luck, or so it seems.  So Bleys and Fiona are alright by me, but just between you, me, and the wall, Fiona can be a bit... well... not scary, exactly, but she can make a body nervous.  As for the rest... well my wages get paid every week, and the pay is good enough."


The man pauses to open a door and gestures for Tahirah to step through, "On the whole, I'd say they're decent enough, and there are worse places a man could work."
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