Chapter 3: The Secrets Within.   Posted by Seeker of Truth.Group: 0
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1234 posts
Thu 17 May 2018
at 03:48
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
A water shockwave blasted forth and gave Xuan a three degree visual of the surrounding area. He tried to interpret all of the life and interpret movements in the area, it was a little overwhelming at first.  Xuan focused on large bodies first.
Aeviternus
 player, 413 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Fri 25 May 2018
at 15:50
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Relieved, Aeviternus slowly exhaled only now realizing he'd been holding his breath.  Not wanting to break whatever line of communication he'd built with these beings he didn't bother to look around for Xuan, in case sight line somehow held it together.  He opted instead to quote Lao Tze in an effort to let Xuan know what his plan was, speaking softly and in Chinese.

"Rguǒ nǐ b gǎibin fāngxing, nǐ kěnng hu zi nǐ qinwǎng d dfāng jish."  If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 741 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 00:03
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Xuan's face scrunched up in mild confusion as he turned slightly toward Aeviternus. So focused on his own actions, the words were almost lost on him. Before he could ask 'what', understanding dawned on him and he nodded, unaware of if Ace could see him or not. If he diverted too much of his attention, he was afraid that he might lose his new sight of the campfire and the men near it. Xuan would need that clarity if he were to approach, which he had immediate plans to do.

As if to himself, he mumbled, "Tōnggu guǎnlǐ jiǎndān li yc knnn." Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.

In truth he was hoping that this was the easy part. If nothing else, it was at least a little more straight-forward. Now came the harder part determine the level of threat. He wouldn't want to pounce on innocent campers, as unlikely as that was here.

Steadying his breathing, Xuan began to creep forward so he could catch some of the conversation, if there was any. Just in case they weren't divulging any evil plans, however, he opened his inner eye. If there was negative Chi, Xuan was likely to see it. And if they were Demons, they would certainly have negative Chi.
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1235 posts
Tue 19 Jun 2018
at 16:26
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
     Ace watched the finch and bear closely, his immediate dread quickly subsiding.  The finch bounced on the playful belly of the bear as it rolled to and fro. It was a playful action as if two animal friends had reunited.
     Time wasn't really felt here, you could feel that it was a "thing" but not as much here, as if time were a whisper echoing. So the thought of the bird having a playful minute seemed to puff away as it ended. The bear sat back up and they were closer to the fire, in the blink of an eye, the movement was like a shift from here to there, or maybe they were there the whole time and now Aeviternus could "see" his surroundings.
     The finch flew to Aeviternus and hopped on his shoulder playful and bouncy, then jumped from shoulder to shoulder, with a beckoning whistle it flew from his shoulder to a man sitting on a log by a blue flame rounded and dug into the ground.

___________________________________________________________________________________________

     Xuan breathed in and created the stirring of his chi, the fire of life's energy. Directing it to his 3rd eye. The world became more, as if only part of it could be seen before. What he now saw was intoxicating, blurred images of soul energy wavered amongst the trees and plant life. There was a world that over laid the "normal" world, they were connected, but invisible to the human eye. His 3rd eye allowed Xuan to cut through the barrier imposed on human kind.
     Xuan moved closer for a better vantage point. Here he was able to see 3 men congregated around a campfire, two seated, and on in a tree.  The man in the tree was part animal...cat...panther...more than either combined. Then he caught the fire with its changing lights and protective energy. Xuan some how new that the fire would keep negative energies away from this area, and that was comforting to him. It helped to assuade some of his apprehension. Xuan quickly scanned the entire area, now realizing something, this part of the jungle was thriving, growing, and didn't show the signs of death as the other parts of the forest.

__________________________________________________________________________________________

The finch flew from Aeviternus's shoulder and flew to a man sitting by the fire, he spoke in a loud audible voice,"Hello Elizabeth...you have brought friends?...good...Osa...she says to be good, they are warriors and have no sense of humor...yes Elizabeth...they are welcomed into my fire!""
Aeviternus
 player, 414 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Sun 1 Jul 2018
at 23:18
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Stay here.

Avery instinctively removed Lotus from his pack but dropped it into a non-combative placement along his hip, keeping the anchor in place without brandishing for a battle.

Not for the first time, Aeviternus mused to himself how improved his spirit travel would be if he could bring Avery, soul and flesh, with him into the spirit plane.  He might not be as fast at covering great distances, but certainly the convenience of moving them together could aid in any number of efforts, combat not the least of them.  This would require some time and contemplation, but Avery's control over bio-electricity might reveal some shortcuts to what might otherwise take a seance to complete.

Aeviternus returned to the immediate concerns.  He took the spirit version of a deep breath and moved towards the bear and the finch.  His approach was of unfettered curiosity and he moved into the group looking for the path that took him as little through the middle as possible, finding an unassuming position next to the fire to sit at.  When it seemed appropriate, he offered; "I am pleased to know that my guess this was Elizabeth was correct."
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 742 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Mon 2 Jul 2018
at 01:40
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
"I know my English isn't perfect, but I'm pretty sure I'd prefer to sit next to the fire rather than into it. If that's an option."

Xuan understood he was taking a risk, approaching as he did, speaking with little apprehension. However he had already been given away somehow, perhaps by his own poor traipsing through the brush. Also, this place and these people seemed to be quite the opposite to the demonic nature he was preparing for. He doubted he'd get such a reception if discovered by demons first. These circumstances were curious indeed.

Without closing his Inner Eye, Xuan approached confidently, albeit somewhat guarded. Ace was still out there, probably keeping a watchful eye, and even if he couldn't see Xuan, he'd hear him. This sure was a lot of trust that Xuan had to yield, and that may have been the most uncomfortable part of the situation.
Aeviternus
 player, 415 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Tue 3 Jul 2018
at 03:24
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
His connection with Aeviternus more internal than he understood, Avery knew he didn't need to watch in order to know where the old soul was.  He always felt it.  And though his curiosity regarding what was taking place was requiring every ounce of control he could muster to follow the directive he was given, there was something else that wouldn't stop tugging at his brain.

He looked around the forest to see if he could catch a glimpse of their large, unearthly companion.
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1236 posts
Fri 20 Jul 2018
at 04:15
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
     "Our guests are here," the older man said to no one in particular.  He stood looking in the direction of the Xuan's voice. He was a well built man in his fifties, with white hair tied back into braids. His face was kind, and his smile broke it made his face crack into dozens of sun dried wrinkles. "We also have food to share if you're hungry. Elizabeth? would you let your friend know that he is welcome at our fire?"
     There was no Elizabeth or woman that anyone could see, other than Aeviternus, who could see the finch fly back to him happily chirping.


Tiengue was no where to be seen.
Aeviternus
 player, 416 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Sun 22 Jul 2018
at 17:14
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
You can approach, we are welcomed.

Avery moved into the clearing in the physical world and found a comfortable position to lower himself into.

I can't see Tiengue.

Aeviternus sensed the trepidation in the statement.  He glanced around himself to the reaches of the spirit plane he was able while he waited patiently for his hosts to kick off whatever they had planned.
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 743 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Thu 26 Jul 2018
at 01:47
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Elizabeth is the bird? Or is that just coincidence?

Xuan had heard of a student within his own caste that could merge with the consciousness of animals, or at least had a certain empathy with them, and he had even seen evidence of it once or twice as a child. A bird sitting on a shoulder or a panda that would wander too close to the temple and wave. He wondered if that was the case with this bird and Elizabeth. However, the student had disappeared suddenly at some point, and there were a number of rumors as to why. Some said the Demon Clan coveted his power, wishing to use it for themselves, and so abducted the boy. Others said that he died to one of his own animals, a case of an overextension of his skills where either a misfire or backfire caused the vengeful beast to retaliate with extreme aggression. The last, which Xuan had chosen to believe, was that the boy got lost within one of the animals, casting aside his human existence and allowing his body to perish as he lived on within that creature. Maybe none of it was true. Perhaps the boy simply fell off of a ledge and was swallowed up by the wilderness or snow. It was not unheard of for such a thing to occur, especially when one would neglect their training or instructions. Without supervision and discipline, The Mountain could be a very dangerous place.

As Xuan approached the fire, he was encouraged by the presence of Ace. Except, uncharacteristically, the Ancient Boy's attention was darting to and fro. Xuan puzzled over what he might have missed, or hadn't considered in the first place. It was a reminder, at any rate, not to let his guard down completely, no matter how good the circumstances seemed.

With a nod and small bow to the older man, Xuan introduced himself.

"Thank you, and no thank you to the food. I am not hungry. My name is Xuan. Forgive our intrusion, but we were not expecting to encounter... well, you." Xuan sat and motioned to their surroundings as he looked around. "Or even all of this. Apologies if this is rude, but we would love an explanation as to our 'chance' meeting."
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1237 posts
Wed 8 Aug 2018
at 06:03
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
In reply to Xuan Tien John Wu (msg # 118):

     "Hello Xuan, my name is John, and this is my brother Osa, and our sister Clarice," he motions in the direction behind Xuan's head to the left. Xuan casually looks, and sees a black panther hiding in the tree just above head level. "And this lovely creature you've already met, this is Elizabeth Smith. No chance encounter at all Xuan, Elizabeth has been trying to get your group to us for some time. She tells me that you are trying to help her and John Kae, and...huh...oh yes and her grandson Kirby."
     The bird begins to make a whole bunch of noise, "Ooh, and that she is thankful for your help exorcising the foul creature who had kept her captive. And I am sorry Elizabeth, that I could not come to help you. My apologies...chirp tweet...yes I know you know...chirp chirp tweet...I am here to help now."
Aeviternus
 player, 417 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Sat 11 Aug 2018
at 19:57
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Aeviternus moved to sit next to Avery, though nobody on the physical plane would see it.  It wasn't something they'd had an opportunity to do yet and it felt good, like two partners joining in camaraderie instead of a symbiotic joined consciousness, or super-galactic omnipresent oneness, as Avery liked to joke.  Avery even moved his head as though to look at Aeviternus as the ancient spirit lowered himself to the ground once more, appearing to those on the physical plane to either look at nothing or the next person in line.

The conversation started, Aeviternus took his usual role of silent observer for the first few rounds as was his custom and therefore the opportunity to try a new form of communication.  They were still missing one of their party and the old soul was pretty sure he'd spotted him.  He lowered a hand to the ground and, his fingers buried in the lush boskage, focused his attention on calling out, calmly, to Tiengue.  His intent was to send his message through the earth they sat upon, teeming as it was with life so starkly contrasted to the dying woods they'd traversed to get here, he thought the message might go swiftly and effectively to one so connected to nature.

Let them know about our friend.

Avery spoke with brevity.  "We have one more joining us, we're calling him now."
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 744 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Wed 15 Aug 2018
at 01:36
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Xuan nodded to awkwardly to each of introduced, and then glanced inquisitively at Ace as he spoke, as if to ask 'really?'. He tried not to let the others on to his curiosity, instead diverting the attention back to their host.

"You said you were here to help. Forgive me for being blunt but, with all respect, who are you? I mean in relation to the Smiths, and what is it that you can do to help? Apart from shapeshifting."
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1239 posts
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 20:48
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
     "Great band, but they never asked me to play with them," the big man named Osa said in retort.
     The older man looked at his brother as if to say that wasn't helpful. "We are friends of John-Kae and Elizabeth. She asked us here to help with this problem," he waved his hands in an outward gesture as if he were referring to the jungle, "but when Aeviternus showed up, she asked me to help in a different way. And here we are waiting on you to get here."
Aeviternus
 player, 418 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Sat 18 Aug 2018
at 21:01
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Aeviternus and Avery spoke in unison.

"What way would that be?"
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1240 posts
Mon 27 Aug 2018
at 03:54
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
In reply to Aeviternus (msg # 123):

     The light of the fire made the older man's skin glow and it seemed as if moths danced about in unison. John poked the fire a bit, tilting his head to the side ever so slightly as if he were listening to a little birdie.
     He turned towards Avery, fire a light in his eyes. "You are very important to Elizabeth, she tells me that you hold the weight of the world on your shoulders, and in order to fight back the darkness you will need to be freed. I see no soul in you, not necessarily bad, sometimes I send my soul out for a stroll. It is helpful, walking a mile in someone else's shoes," he chuckled to himself, "but you are blinded to what you could see and do." "I can't find your soul either, which happens from time to time, in special cases...souls could be trapped, or held prisoner, or traveling far away, but I know you are here, my friend Elizabeth can see you.  You must have a special bond with her...mmm hmm...he nodded to the finch...someone has placed a very powerful protection on you, even though it has protected you, it has hindered you and will now keep you from learning the truths you seek."

     "I can remove this protection if you desire," John said warily.
Aeviternus
 player, 419 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Fri 31 Aug 2018
at 03:16
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Aeviternus rejoined Avery at once seeing clearly there was no longer a need for presence on both planes.  There would be other times to practice the manipulation of their travel anyway.  Immediately Ace's tones took on the more eloquent and professorial etiquette standard to the old soul.

"You are the second to offer this in the last couple weeks."  He absently pointed to the sky as though that indicated where they might find the other miracle worker.  "While my mother had the best of intentions, and obviously effective means, for protecting me in this state it has become increasingly clear to me in the same time period that it is time to shed them."  His eyes moved to Elizabeth the Finch in curiosity, wondering if he was imagining a similar maternal nature from the woman's soul as from his mother's.

"I have been warned of the dangers at length.  I am as prepared to face them as I think I shall ever be.  Yes, I desire to remove the protection."
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 745 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Sun 2 Sep 2018
at 15:18
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
"Hold on."

Xuan hesitated. He exchanged glances between Ace and the others, a little unsure of why. He'd been listening intently, although more confusion had grown even as the conversation progressed. There was nothing threatening about this situation, and yet Xuan found himself growing increasingly uncomfortable with the direction of the conversation.

There had been a lot of changes recently. He'd only really just begun to trust Aeviternus recently, and while he hadn't completely understood what he was, he could accept him as he was. However what they were talking about sounded a lot like yet another change, and  potentially at a most inauspicious time and place.

"Ace, what do we truly know about them? You have existed for, what, thousands of years? If there is a protection on you, why remove it? Or, at least, why now? I understand that this may not entirely be my place to intervene, but..." Xuan trailed off, not sure exactly how to finish, or even if he should. Was it not his place to intervene. There and then, who else did Aeviternus have but Xuan? He was well aware that he may have offended every one present, but he didn't care. There was plenty at stake, and these new people, no matter how good they seemed, had no stake to his trust yet. Aeviternus, and their mission, were his priority. He would have to hope that Ace would understand that his concern came from a caring and honest place, even if he wasn't willing to say it.

He searched under the hood for any clue as to what the ancient boy was thinking or feeling, then resolve set in.

"Are you sure?"
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1241 posts
Mon 3 Sep 2018
at 22:48
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
      John spoke immediately,"It's good your friend shows caution...he paused...I'm curious, who has talked to you about the protection on you? And more importantly, who said they could remove it?"

      It was at the end of that question that the black panther leaped through the trees, jumping from limb to limb to land in a low hanging branch hanging directly in front of the new comers on the other side of the fire. The light fully illuminated the cat, and it was now that Xuan and Ace could see a grayish muzzle, and grey flecking around the eyes. It settled its head looking into Ace. It lazily pawed to the side of the branch and produced a limp furred animal and began eating.
      Osa breathed out finally, which the group only now realized that he had been holding his breath. Looking relieved he leaned forward picking at something that he pulled out of the fire on a stick. Again he held up the spitted meat to Xuan and Ace. It looked to be some sort of roasted lizard.

This message was last edited by the GM at 22:49, Mon 03 Sept 2018.

Aeviternus
 player, 420 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Tue 4 Sep 2018
at 03:29
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
The lizard offering brought Aeviternus a memory from Egypt, a cabal member with a fancy for the flesh of reptiles who, despite his penchant, would always offer to his camp-mates before taking a bite of his own gourmet meal.  To his delight, he was often rebuffed by all but the ancient one who had eaten far worse in the years leading to it.  With a glassy look in his eyes and a smile, Ace tore a part of the animal from the spit and chewed a bite while he brought himself back to the present question.  Compared to the unnamed gruel on the spaceship, this was at least familiar in texture and taste.

"A being named Malcohm," Ace said once his mouth was empty again.  "A generous and magnificent individual.  He spoke mostly in warnings of what he wasn't sure of, fairly, and only speculated what I could expect if he were to remove it.  He said if he were to lift it from me, I would learn of the True Danger this world faces and the forces that are entwined, and undeniably apparent was that they would learn of me."

With this he looked at Xuan.  "No," he answered the question outright that had been delayed by their host.  "I am most definitely not sure."  In this moment he trusted the warrior who might not know just then how much he'd communicated with his succinct question, and the warmth in his voice came unbidden.  Aeviternus had already learned much of the behavior intrinsic to the man, this showing of concern was not common but moreover to somebody who was otherwise, but for show in battle, a stranger.  Though much can be learned of a being from battle.  Perhaps they spoke more than two languages in common.

"You have the right to intervene and I respect your hesitation, even understand it.  For me the answer is in your question; I have existed for thousands of years without relief, without achieving my goal.  That is reason enough to remove the protection.  If not now, when?  If not them,..." he gestured to John, Osa, the panther and the finch in a sweeping gesture; "Who?"  Aeviternus looked once more around the group before bringing his gaze back to his companion.  "Do you not have sight beyond sight?  Can you see in them what I see?"
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 746 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Tue 4 Sep 2018
at 10:47
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Xuan had almost forgotten about Malcolm. Maybe not forgotten, but rather pushed aside any thought of him and his kin. The single focus of the hunt for the demon clan was more his speed, but those opportunities appeared in shorter supply as of late.

Xuan took in a slow breath of unease, and released resignation. He appreciated the straightforward truth Aeviternus offered, and it granted some small shame for his own frequent reticence. Had he omitted anything important? Perhaps in the future he would try to be a little more forthcoming with personal information, if asked.

"No." He answered Ace plainly, neither upset nor anxious. "Though perhaps I hadn't tried hard enough."

His gaze moved through their surroundings and over the others, though without using his Inner Eye, before coming back to rest on Aeviternus. Xuan should have been more unsettled than he was. He wasn't entirely sure what that meant. "In times like this, when so much is happening, has happened, and happenings to come, it is good to have a moment to meditate. In that, I could gain some clarity, or at least some peace of mind. Part of me thinks you should wait. This is the philosopher. The warrior in me wants you to take action, bare your skin free of armor and face your demons head on, with honor. There is usually a place in the middle where warrior meets philosopher, and I haven't seen it yet. I believe this middle is the Tao."

Xuan stopped and thought momentarily. "Perhaps that is exactly it. Twice you have had this offer. Two paths of water converging downstream, urging you along. The other way is up. Upstream is arduous, and down is treacherous, but it makes sense not to battle against the current, which may be what you have been doing for so long now. 'Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Do not resist them - that only creates sorrow.'" Xuan chuckled slightly and clapped the Ancient Boy on the shoulder. "I just thought of another one of Lao Tzu's sayings. 'You may abandon your own body but you must preserve your honor.' I almost wonder if he had you in mind when he said it. Anyway, I have said more than enough. I support your decision either way, for it will be the right one for now."
Aeviternus
 player, 421 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Thu 6 Sep 2018
at 02:35
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
"Had me in mind?"  A twinkle shown in the ancient boy's eye.   "I convinced him to write it."  That eye winked just before he bowed his head graciously to Xuan and turned back to their host.

"I choose to battle the current no longer.  If you have the means, I am ready to shed my mother's gift."
Seeker of Truth
 GM, 1242 posts
Thu 6 Sep 2018
at 03:21
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
     John's look of worry was replaced with a wary resignation. He moved over to Aeviternus, walking past Osa and stealing a piece of his meat as he passed. John placed his hand on Aeviternus's head and closed his eyes. "Elizabeth has told me that this magic was used long ago, in a time before men, a time of spirit travelers, where the soul was bound only by blood and must be removed by blood, and not that of the host. I have performed this ritual of protection to the spirit walkers of my people until they were full brothers, but I have never removed it. They have shed it like the skin of a snake once they have outgrown it. Your protection is much stronger."
     He opened his eyes looked down into the old soul. "This will be very difficult...If I were to place this protection on you, I would need only myself and a loved one of yours. It seems as if your mother used a very big group to place this protection, and we will need a big one to remove it. Seven people, including a being of your blood...a relative. I count six here, we need one more, and Elizabeth cannot help in this matter unfortunately."
      There are a few things that I must gather, how long will you need to gather your final and most important participant?"

Aeviternus
 player, 422 posts
 Call sign: Skyfall
 "Ace"
Fri 28 Sep 2018
at 02:38
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
"As ready as I am for this step in my journey, the decision to take this action now is not mine alone."  Aeviternus looked at Xuan.  "If you're willing to pause our pursuit of the Demon Clan for as long as this ritual takes, perhaps Tiengue can get us back to the homestead much faster.  To our benefit, I have a blood relative there."

Anticipating the question, he offered; "Kirby."
Xuan Tien John Wu
 player, 747 posts
 Call Sign: TSUNAMI
Thu 11 Oct 2018
at 22:03
Re: Chapter 3: The Secrets Within
Xuan gave Ace a look that implied the question, 'really?' though he didn't vocalise the thought. It was something his students at the university often did, even though it was obvious Xuan wasn't joking. His short time in his position as lecturer at the university must have had more of an influence on him than he gave it credit for. The thought itself wasn't just about Aeviternus's relationship to Kirby. That certainly wasn't coincidence, but it still came as a small shock.

Xuan wanted to go on, to chase after the Demon Clan. That drive was strong, but it was possible that he was letting his feelings be the wind to that sail. Was time really pressing on this? Xuan didn't actually know how close they were to their destination, so it might not be that great of a deviation anyway. But what if they were close? Could they take them by surprise, wash them away like the flood from a broken dam? Xuan never felt more ready to face them, or more determined. He had never been stronger. He could finally make an impact, land a devastating blow to leave them hurting, and make them pay for their evil, at least on this side of the world. It might have been right around the next hill or copse.

These musings were folly. They were the rumblings of an angry child and were not fit to influence, nor lay any claim to Xuan's path. Besides, he realised, maybe for the first time, that the friendship he made was more important than his immature desires and selfish goals. Events had led them here, after all, to this opportunity of Ace's. Even if the rapids changed course quickly, it was best not to fight the current. It was time to lean in to it and hold on.

"Let's do it."

This message was last edited by the player at 07:10, Fri 12 Oct 2018.