Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)   Posted by Kerr Mollin.Group: 0
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 74 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Fri 30 May 2014
at 20:02
Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

Kerr watched the others depart, then turned to offer an arm to Liseth.  “Um, I’m not really a scoundrel.  I mean.  You know, he was joking.”  Kerr blushed.  “About that.  He does that.  Sir Jasper, that is.  Joke.  About people.  Like with Kellan.”  He coughed.  “Anyway.”

The dark-haired acolyte looked around at the still-bustling cathedral, with the other acolytes sending surreptitious glances their way.  “I feel a little guilty that we're not helping prepare for the funeral,” he said, still a little red in the face, “but not guilty enough to use the hour we have for anything other than getting out of this breastplate, taking a bath, and getting presentable for our meeting with the mayor.”  He tried to adjust his shoulders to make the armor more comfortable.  “This thing is heavy!  And it’s just gotten heavier as the day has gone on."

He turned to Liseth.  “So how about we head to our respective rooms and get cleaned up, and I’ll meet you out here once we’re ready and escort you to City Hall?”  He sighed.  “I can’t even remember what being clean is like.  Oh, and also, this.”  He looked at the other acolytes, then leaned over and gave Liseth a gentle kiss, right on the lips, as he held her close to him.  “I want everyone to know that you’re my girl.  And that I’m your guy.”  He smiled down at his blonde girlfriend.  “I mean, if that’s okay with you.”

This message was lightly edited by the player at 20:03, Fri 30 May 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 933 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Fri 30 May 2014
at 22:08
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
Liseth politely accepted Sir Jasper's light kiss on her hand when he formally introduced himself.  It was much different than those times that her hand had been kissed by Mr Foxglove; probably because Sir Jasper didn't stare into her eyes and look at he the way the nobleman had.  Or maybe she just felt safer in his presence because Liseth knew that Sir Jasper was a Paladin.  Or she was simply too tired to fret over it.

After everyone left and Sir Jasper followed with them, Liseth accepted Kerr's arm; even managing a light giggle when he worried that she wouldn't recognize that the Paladin had been joking about Kerr's status as a scoundrel.  He really was so very sweet; Kerr could always make her smile.  And that just went to show that the rest of the day could only get better now that they were out of that dungeon and Cato was cured.

"I'm sure that everyone will understand."  In truth, Liseth was also feeling self-conscious about the looks they were getting from the other acolytes.  But if she looked anything like she felt, they would have to understand.  That probably wouldn't stop any possible gossip though.

"Me too, I..."  the short blonde trailed off when Kerr leaned in to give her a kiss.  She quickly forgot about the other acolytes and her own discomfort; there was only one thing occupying Liseth's attention at that moment.  "That's...that's okay with me," the girl sighed.

"Thank you for protecting me," she wrapped her thin arms around her boyfriend's waist and laid her head on his arm, unwilling to immediately let him stop holding her.  "Even though you had to wear that heavy armor, and fight those terrible monsters."  Liseth tilted her head to look up at him, "Kerr, um...does it still hurt?  Where that goblin slashed you?  I'm sorry that I wasn't able to heal everything..."

Then Liseth remembered where she was.  She blushed bright red as she turned around to see the other acolytes watching them.  Sheepishly she hid behind Kerr, holding his arm.  "Um, can you help me to my room please?"  The diminutive blonde asked, "We don't have too much time...we should probably focus on cleaning up."

"I'm sorry everyone," Liseth called to the other acolytes before she and Kerr left for the Acolyte's Quarters.  "That we haven't been helping in the Cathedral very much lately.  I promise that we'll make it up to you!"
Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 74 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Tue 3 Jun 2014
at 23:02
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

“We definitely will!”  Kerr supplemented Liseth’s assurance as the pair walked off together towards a much-needed respite.  “Oh, and no need to thank me for protecting you,” he said with an air of excessive and exaggerated gallantry, as if he were a knight one of in Cyrdak Drokkus’ popular melodramas.  “That’s what I’m here for.”  He hugged her closer.  “I am, as they say, on a mission from the gods.”

Kerr stopped suddenly, as if considering matters.  “But it IS true.  The pain I’ve experienced on your behalf!  And have I mentioned the heaviness?  Of the armor?”  He grinned as they began to walk again.  “Oh, I have?  Unbearable, really.”  Kerr nodded with such an expression of clearly-feigned torment that Liseth was unable to suppress another giggle.  “And where the goblin slashed me?  UNBELIEVEABLE pain!  Urk!”  He said, holding his hand to his leg, hopping along as he did so, nearly falling on his face in the process.  “And did you see when that zombie nearly caved in my skull?”  He recovered from his near-catastrophe by pointing to his now-healed head.  “I thought I was going to pass out.  Or worse!”  The young man sighed dramatically.

“But!”  Kerr said, thrusting his index finger into the air as he accompanied Liseth to the Acolyte’s Quarters.  “There is nothing I wouldn’t fight, and no pain I wouldn’t fight through, to keep you safe, milady.”  He knelt and took her hand, placing a light kiss upon it in what might-or-might-not have been a parody of Sir Jasper’s greeting.

“That said,” Kerr went on stoically.  “A young hero can only do so much!  There are physical limitations, after all.”  He nodded sadly.  “I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true!  Even I,” he placed another dramatic hand on his chest, fingers splayed, as he struck a pose, “must bow to them.  But I’m sure they would be much easier to deal with if I were to, say,” he glanced sidelong at Liseth, “to receive a massage later this evening.”  He winced as he adjusted the heavy breastplate.  “Strictly medicinal, I mean.  It would definitely have to be from someone,” he grinned at his blonde girlfriend, “trained in the healing arts.  Don’t you think?  That something like that would be a good idea?”  He assumed an expression of great solemnity.  “I’m asking for your opinion.  As an expert.”

This message was lightly edited by the player at 23:02, Tue 03 June 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 935 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Wed 4 Jun 2014
at 21:15
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
"But I want to thank you; not just because I need to."  Liseth said when Kerr hugged her closer to him, "And the gods can't force you to do anything.  You're protecting me because it's what you want to do.  I know you would even if Iomedae and Desna hadn't asked you to.  So thank you, Kerr."

Then Kerr went on about how much he had to endure; he was so melodramatic about it Liseth couldn't stop from smiling and giggling enthusiastically.  "Next time, you should duck when a zombie tries to smash your skull."  She paused and the girl's face scrunched up in thought, "Although I think that I'd rather we didn't ever see zombies again."

The diminutive blonde blushed slightly when Kerr got down and kissed her hand, but it was with a smile on her face.  But the blush soon deepened and the smile was replaced by steadily growing surprise; Liseth's eyes widened and her mouth dropped open when Kerr asked for a massage.  ""  She could only stammer for several moments, her hands held protectively up to her chest, as the images of doing such were processed in her mind.

"I don't...I think that Father Zantus might be too busy to give you a massage."  Liseth knew that Kerr wasn't talking about Father Zantus, but she didn't know how to answer.  Luckily, they had arrived at her room in the Acolyte's Quarters, so she didn't elaborate right away.  "Thank you for walking me to my room..." she said as she shyly ducked inside and closed the door.

It wasn't as though she had never given a massage before, Liseth thought to herself after reaching the safety and seclusion of her room.  It was part of her training as a healer; magic didn't heal everything after all.  But something about giving Kerr a massage just didn't seem...proper.  Did it?

If it wasn't proper though, why was her heart pounding?  Liseth didn't know whether she was nervous or excited at the idea.  The images kept going through her head; Kerr laying shirtless on his stomach...with her hands running all over him.  She was shaking, and her face felt like it was on fire from all of the blood rushing to it.

Liseth had to put her mind to other thoughts.  She took the heavy knapsack from her shoulders and set it next to her bed; then rummaged through her outfits.  She could choose between her white robe or her white dress...Liseth really needed more outfits.  But she had had enough dresses for one day; so Liseth opted for the light, comfortable robe.

With robe in hand, she cracked the door back open to peek out and make sure that Kerr had left.  She still didn't know what to say about his...request.  Finding it safe to leave, the small acolyte slipped out of her room, taking her robe with her.

It was time to get a bath and clean up.  As well as doff her heavy, dirty, and increasingly uncomfortable quilted dress.

And try to stop thinking about giving Kerr a massage.
Elsbet Banilo
 NPC, 1 post
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 08:35
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

Liseth's Kerr-related thoughts were interrupted by the sudden entrance of Elsbet Banilo, the cathedral's irrepressible acolyte of Erastil.  Although Elsbet, the only other female member of the pastoral staff aside from Daena Broadleaf (and, for now at least, Liseth herself) was a very nice, traditional girl, without a mean bone in her body, she could also be something of a snoop.

"So!"  Said Elsbet, her long, curly raven hair bouncing along in time with her conversation, as it was often wont to do.  "Escorted to the women's quarters by none other than Kerr Mollin!  The fine-looking lad you just went jaunting off into a very mysterious adventure with!  SO important," she said impishly, "that you were excused from helping the REST of use prepare for the funeral!"

The acolyte's smooth, pale, oval face sported a broad grin as she looked down at Liseth.  She wasn't a tall woman, but almost anyone was taller than Liseth.  "Of course you have to tell me all about it!"  She shucked off the rough working dress she had been wearing to help with the funeral, and, clad only in her slip, flung herself onto the bed.

Four beds were arranged in the women's quarters.  Liseth's was in the far left-hand corner of the large room, while Elsbet's was closest to the door.  Daena slept in the far right-hand corner; the remaining bed was reserved for visiting women of the cloth who didn't rank an individual room.

Elsbet clasped her hands together under her chin and looked up at her blonde companion.  "But now that I look at you, I think we got the better of THAT deal.  You, my dear, are filthy."  Her face suddenly took on a shocked look.  "And is that BLOOD?  What were you DOING?!?  Everyone here, and by 'everyone' I mean 'Father Zantus,' was VERY hush-hush about the whole thing."  She sniffed, as if no recalcitrant chief cleric was going to keep her from an interesting story.  "Come on."  She drummed her feet on the bed.  "Tell me!  Was it," she swooned, "terribly romantic?"

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 947 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Fri 13 Jun 2014
at 19:15
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
Liseth had not expected one of the other girls to show up so soon after Kerr left to go do his own cleaning up.  She had assumed that everyone would be too busy with the preparations for the funeral; but maybe they were close to finishing.  Or Elsbet took a break in order to try and satiate her curiosity about what Liseth and Kerr had been up to today.

"Oh, hello Elsbet," Liseth said, her mild surprise detectable in her voice.  Or that could just be her weariness.  The short blonde looked down and fidgeted with her hands when Elsbet mentioned her excusal from helping at the Cathedral, "I'm really sorry about not being here to help everyone..."  But, as it turned out, Elsbet wasn't interested so much in Kerr and her being gone as she was in why they were gone.

Watching the other girl get out of her dress, Liseth figured that she must be finished with her own set of work preparing for the funeral.  The diminutive girl glanced once more at her filthy quilted dress when her raven-haired companion mentioned it; and the blood staining it in places.  "Well, I...I wouldn't say it was terribly romantic..."

There were so many things more romantic than fighting demons and monsters in a dark ruin dedicated to Lamashtu that it would be impossible to catalog them all.  She could have spent the whole day on the beach with Kerr.  Or they could have gone on horse ride together with Heily.  Or a picnic.  Liseth wished that it could have been that simple.

Finally she sighed and Liseth struggled out of her thick, heavy, filthy, stained dress.  There was plenty of time left to wash up, and she was sure that Elsbet wouldn't be satisfied by a simple response.  Or with Liseth trying to avoid the question.  Word was going to get out eventually, and Liseth couldn't lie to the other acolyte; not when asked directly.

Dressed now in her own underclothes, Liseth let her quilted dress simply fall to the ground in front of her bed.  Then she turned and sat on the edge of the bed before flopping over backwards and stretching out with a long sigh.  "I'm so exhausted.  The last two days took everything I have just to help everyone make it through alive; including myself."  The weary blonde stared up at the ceiling, "I feel like I could lie here forever."

"Yesterday we stumbled on the goblins sneaking in the glassworks.  Pisca was nearly killed, even Kellan fought to the limits of his endurance."  Liseth grimaced, "And I got cornered by some goblins.  I tried to defend myself like my brother showed me, but they still slashed me and cut me so many times...then when I finally got away from them another one shot me with an arrow."  She felt her shoulder, "I never felt anything so painful before in my life, and there was so much blood everywhere.  Even then I was too exhausted to do anything about trying to heal myself..."

It felt good to share her horrible experiences of the last few days with somebody.  Like a little bit of the burden she was carrying around had been taken from her.  Liseth hated secrets anyway and always had trouble keeping them.  It just felt almost the same as lying to her, and she was too honest a person to keep things like that away from everybody.  Liseth continued.

"But those goblins were only the beginning.  We had to go back to the glassworks again today.  Cato and Kellan and Pisca and me.  And Kerr too."  The blonde turned her head to the side to look at Elsbet now, then continued speaking.  "Desna and Iomedae asked Kerr to protect me, since they know he's a hero.  That's why Kerr came with me when we had to go back to the glassworks."

She paused, uncertain whether she should share about the demon.  But Liseth was too tired, and had already told so much already.  "We found out that a demon was hiding under the glassworks.  It had been there for thousands of years, according to Cato."  Liseth looked back up at the ceiling, "It was going to help the goblins attack Sandpoint, so Mayor Deverin asked all of us to defeat it before it could do that."  She closed her eyes; even though it was just a little past midday, Liseth could fall asleep right there.

"It was terrifying down there, under the ground."  She opened her eyes again, "There were savage mutant rune dog monsters everywhere, and the demon summoned a devil monster that nearly got me with its horrible claws.  And..." Liseth shuddered, "and there was undead zombies down there, a whole bunch of them.  One of them even clobbered Kerr while he was keeping them away from me, and a mutant three-armed goblin slashed Kerr with its evil glowing sword."  She frowned, "I couldn't even heal him to help; I had used up all of my divine energy again."

Liseth didn't think that she could do the entire ordeal justice with her words alone.  Elsbet could probably fill in the holes though.  "We just finally made it back out, after the demons and monsters and undead were...dealt with."  Thinking back on it all, the small teenager felt sick to her stomach.  "I don't think I could have done it if Kerr wasn't there.  Not just to keep me safe from the monsters.  Every time it was getting too much he would hug me and hold me and reassure me.  I was scared the whole time but Kerr was fearless."  She looked across at Elsbet again, "You should have seen it when everyone was fighting that demon and its minions.  It was more scared of Kerr than I was of it.  It tried to hide from him, even using its magic to become invisible; but Kerr saw right through it's evil magic and he and Kellan managed to slay it together."  The diminutive blonde sighed and swooned.

"But even now I can't rest too long.  We have to meet with the mayor again to tell her what happened, and then attend the funeral."  Slowly, wearily, Liseth struggled back into a sitting position on her bed, "Oh...please don't tell everyone what I said!"  She suddenly hoped that Elsbet wasn't the sort of girl who enjoyed spreading rumors; with the town preparing for a goblin assault, this kind of news could be received poorly.  Especially when given second and third-hand.  "I don't think Mayor Deverin wants everyone to know just yet; I'm sure she'll find a good time to tell everyone about it."

This message was last edited by the player at 19:22, Fri 13 June 2014.

Elsbet Banilo
 NPC, 2 posts
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 06:20
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

Elbet’s eyes grew larger and her mouth hung open as Liseth corrected the dark-haired woman’s misconceptions about exactly how romantic it was to fight evil.  Silence hung in the air for a few moments after the younger woman finished her story.  Then Elsbet’s mouth closed with a snap, only to open again an instant later.

“Liseth Thoradin!”  She said, marveling.  Apparently the woman hadn’t taken Liseth’s lesson to heart.  Or she had heard only what she wanted to hear.  Or perhaps Liseth hadn’t exactly deterred her from viewing the entire situation through a romantic lens.  “You may be the luckiest woman in the entire world.  You come here to Sandpoint, and what happens?  Immediately one of the nicest boys in the WORLD falls for you.  You know, everyone likes Kerr.  It was just that he was a little too . . . nice, you know?”  She shrugged.

“But then, out of nowhere, he becomes a honest-to-goodness evil-fighting HERO for you, striking down demons and devil-monsters while diving in front of zombie blows just to keep you safe!”  She rolled over on her back, arms outstretched, and let out a loud, envious sigh.  “And the GODS asked him to protect you?  So he went with you at their behest?  To protect you?!?  And now DEMONS are SCARED of him?!?”  The dark-haired woman looked a little shocked by what she was saying.

“Liseth, you have your own personal hero!  And he’s . . . CUTE!!!”  She said, rolling back over.  “Has he . . . KISSED you yet?!?”  She watched Liseth blush.  “He HAS!!!”  She squealed with glee.  “Liseth, you little VIXEN!!  You need to teach me your ways.”  She sat up on the bed, back straight, legs crossed, striking the pose of a dutiful student.  “How do you DO it!?!”

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 949 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Tue 17 Jun 2014
at 14:33
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
"Um..." Liseth was struck with the feeling that Elsbet didn't fully grasp the extent of the terrifying ordeal that she had just recounted.  But then, Liseth herself would have had trouble understanding it had she not just lived through it.  If someone had told her a story like that before the goblin attack after the festival, Liseth might have been just like Elsbet.

Not that Liseth felt like the luckiest woman in the world; as the other acolyte suggested.  Thinking about it though, luck did go both ways.  Maybe when she had too much bad luck, something good had to happen in order to balance things out.  And vice versa.  She felt like she could use some good luck right now, but with the impending goblin assault Liseth wasn't sure that was going to happen for a while.

"I don't know how Kerr could be too nice..."  Even through her blushing and fatigue, Liseth couldn't keep from gushing about Kerr.  Especially with how excited Elsbet seemed to be with the subject, "He's so sweet and kind, and he never complains about how slow I am.  And he's stronger than people give him credit for."  Maybe focusing on talking about Kerr instead of thinking of all those terrible monsters and dark pits would be for the better.  It already seemed to be doing a good job taking Liseth's mind off of her current fatigue and future ordeals.  "I was having trouble making it down a steep stairs, but Kerr just scooped me up in his arms and carried me all the way to the bottom."

"I always knew Kerr was a hero; I think that it was strange nobody else could see it.  Not even Kerr!"  The blonde laughed.  "Kerr is a very special hero though.  He has Desna's favor AND has become one of Iomedae's chosen Paladins!  He even received a blessing directly from Erastil.  On top of all that, Sarenrae Herself told me that Kerr was going to be a shining holy warrior, just like I always knew he could be."  Liseth swooned,  "Now everyone is so surprised to see Kerr being a hero and wearing armor.  He is so handsome!"

"Um, how do I do it?"  The small teen was a little perplexed by Elsbet asking to learn her ways.  "I didn't know that I had any, um...ways.  Kerr is the only boyfriend that I ever had, and I didn't even know he was my boyfriend until after Pisca kept telling me so."

"He was always helping me though, ever since I arrived in Sandpoint.  I was so scared and nervous during my first few days at the Cathedral; I'm sure you and everyone else must have noticed.  But Kerr was always so sweet and gentle, and understanding.  He really helped me a lot.  Kerr can always make me feel better."  A light frown touched Liseth's lips as that led her back to more recent Kerr-related thoughts.

"Kerr was just telling me how sore and tired he is from our...adventure today.  And I believe him too; as tired as I am, Kerr had to wear that heavy breastplate the whole time.  And fight monsters.  And he got attacked by those monsters too.  All that I did was follow and support everyone with my divine energy.  Every bit of divine energy that I have."

Liseth blushed; suddenly continuing was difficult.  Even embarrassing.  But she figured that getting the opinion of another girl would help with her own dilemma.  "He said that a massage would make him feel better.  You know, a medicinal massage."  Her blush deepened and Liseth had to look away from Elsbet, "I know that a massage would help get rid of his soreness and his aches, and I don't want him to be in pain."  The diminutive blonde frowned, "Especially because he did it all for me.  But...well...something about me giving Kerr a massage just feels...I don't know.  One part of me wants to do anything to make him feel better; after everything that Kerr has done for me.  But another part thinks that I shouldn't.  That maybe a massage is too close...too...intimate."

"Elsbet," Liseth turned to face her roommate once more, "what do you think?  What would you do?"

This message was last edited by the player at 15:37, Tue 17 June 2014.

Elsbet Banilo
 NPC, 3 posts
Wed 18 Jun 2014
at 05:31
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

“Oh, I’m not sure you want to know what I’D do,” Elsbet responded with a salacious smile.  “A handsome guy sweeps me up in his arms?  Carries me down the stairs?”  She coughed, blushing slightly despite her confident demeanor.  “And then he asks me if I could run my hands over his body?  Well . . .,” she said, drawing out her answer, “I would probably JUMP at the chance.  But,”  she said, tossing her curly hair, “it’s not about what I’d do, it’s about what YOU’D do.  And what YOU want.  And you’re much better equipped to answer that question that I am.”

As she talked, the two women left their acolyte’s quarters and made the short trip to the women’s washroom.  The washroom was cozy and warm, the warmth bestowed by a fire lit under a large pot of steaming water in the back of the room.  Two tubs stood three feet apart in the center of the room, and clean towels were hung along racks on the room’s right side.  Various soaps, perfumes, and scented bath oils were arrayed on tables to the left; Sandpoint’s female clerisy apparently did not lack for beauty essentials.

Elsbet used a pitcher to pour some of the steaming hot water into one of the tubs, testing it with her finger until she obtained the right temperature.  “Of course, this is Kerr we’re talking about, who is probably one of the most innocent guys in Varisia, so you’ll want to take it slow.”  She smirked as she slipped out of her underclothes and into the tub.

As she lowered herself into her bath, a thought struck the dark-haired woman.  “Wait, did you say Kerr received the blessing of ERASTIL?”  Her brow furrowed and her smile disappeared.  “And that he’s now a PALADIN?  Of IOMEDAE?”  The shock in the acolyte’s voice could not be more apparent.  “But . . . but how can that be?  He’s consecrated to Desna?  Right?”

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 957 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Wed 18 Jun 2014
at 21:12
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
Liseth slid off of the bed and picked her clean robe back up before following Elsbet out of the acolyte's quarters at her slow, careful pace.  She blushed furiously at the other girl's response to her question, trying to look away as though not making eye contact might somehow prevent Elsbet from seeing how embarrassed this conversation was making her.  Her heart was pounding again; the way that Elsbet described what she would do was just like Liseth had been imagining before.

Once in the washroom, Liseth was locked inside her thoughts and barely listening to the older acolyte.  She stared at the various bath oils and soaps even though her mind was elsewhere, "Take it slow?"  She responded, only half registering what Elsbet had said, "I've never been able to go very fast anyway..."

Elsbet's next, shocked-sounding question about Kerr's relationship to various deities brought Liseth out of her reverie.  She turned and nodded to the other girl, now in the bath, before walking to get her own pitcher of steaming water to heat up the other tub.  "I don't think even Father Zantus knows for sure, but Sarenrae told me it had to do with so much evil being in Varisia right now.  The evil gods are raising their minions and spreading evil throughout the land."  Liseth poured the pitcher of hot water into the bathtub; she wanted it to be hot and soothing.

"So the gods of good have been working closer together than ever before in order to combat the evil gods."  Liseth selected a pleasantly berry-scented bath oil and added it into the now-steaming tub, "They've been trying to get heroes to hear their call and gently guiding them.  But Kerr is a very special hero, like I said earlier."  The blonde selected some soap to to scrub off with, then set it on the rim of the tub.

Liseth still was unaccustomed to stripping down and bathing with other people in the room with her.  Even if it was just another girl acolyte.  With a quick glance towards Elsbet the thin teen slipped out of her underclothes and quickly climbed into the hot, welcoming, pleasantly berry-scented water.  She closed her eyes as the heat surrounded her, eager to let it burn away her own aches.

"See, Kerr has the favor of all the good gods."  Liseth continued the conversation, "He's consecrated to Desna, but even though they don't normally get along, both Desna and Iomedae agreed that Kerr needed to be a Paladin and a hero both; so that he can protect people better.  But Desna doesn't have any Paladins, so he also became chosen of Iomedae."  Liseth stretched out in the water with a contented sigh, getting herself to swoon once more now that she was talking about how great Kerr was.  How even all of the gods knew it too.  "And since Kerr is such a great archer, even Erastil gave him a blessing; along with Desna and Iomedae.  So that he could use his bow to strike down evil monsters and demons."

"Maybe..."  Liseth opened her eyes and stared up at the ceiling, "Maybe it wouldn't be bad to give Kerr a massage.  I mean, I don't want him to be sore and uncomfortable all night because he had to fight so hard today and wear that heavy armor.  And I have given massages to people before, at Sarenrae's temple in Galduria."  She glanced across at Elsbet to see if the other girl was listening; even though Liseth was mostly talking to herself, "It's just that, none of those people were my boyfriend.  And Father Garrick was usually there with me too; he's the one who taught me everything I know about the healing art."

"I should probably find Kerr anyway.  I sort of...ran away earlier after he asked.  He's probably confused right now.  I'll have to apologize for that too..."  Liseth sank back down into the tub and closed her eyes, leaving just her head and golden hair above the bubbles.  "After I'm clean, and dressed in fresh clothes..."

"So, um, don't have a boyfriend?"
Elsbet Banilo
 NPC, 4 posts
Thu 19 Jun 2014
at 00:40
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

“Boyfriend?”  Elsbet’s mouth was hanging open after Liseth’s presentation.  “Who cares about BOYFRIENDS?  You said that Sarenrae . . . told you?”  Elsbet’s face expressed all of the doubtfulness present in her voice.  “What do you mean ‘She told you’?  She . . . talked to you?”  She continued on, sounding increasingly skeptical.  “Desna and Iomedae agreed that Kerr needed to be a paladin?  And Erastil gave him his blessing?”  She looked over at the young blonde soaking herself in the water.  “How can you possibly know all of this?”

Elsbet’s voice took on a hint of anger.  “So you just show up here in Sandpoint, and in a couple of weeks SARENRAE is suddenly talking to you, and then you take up with Kerr, and now you know that ERASTIL has given him a special blessing?!?”  Her voice rose in agitation.  “I’m Erastil’s ACOLYTE and he’s never blessed or spoken to me in that way!  Kerr’s an acolyte of Desna, and now HE has Erastil’s blessing?  And you!”  She huffed.  “Didn’t you travel here because NONE of the gods wanted you?  And now they ALL want you?  That’s pretty special, isn’t it.  Very . . . freaking . . . special.”

Elsbet hopped out of the bath and grabbed a towel.  “Just because YOU want to feel loved by the gods is no reason to go making up stories so that the REST of us feel bad, Liseth.”  Her voice was choked with some unidentified emotion.  “I thought you were my friend.”  With only a towel wrapped around her, the raven-haired woman fled the room, leaving a shocked Liseth to her pleasantly warm, berry-scented water.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 959 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Fri 20 Jun 2014
at 01:52
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
"Wha-?"  The skepticism and anger in Elsbet's voice caused Liseth to sit bolt upright in shock, splashing some water out of her tub.  "I...But...They said...That isn't...I didn't..."  She could only stammer in her shock; Liseth's heart fell and she shriveled a little more each time Elsbet shouted.

"I wasn't trying to make anyone feel bad!"  The young blonde watched helplessly as the other acolyte fled the washroom, "Wait!  Elsbet!"  But it was too late and the girl was gone.

The rest of her body soon followed the sinking of her heart as all of her fatigue came rushing back and Liseth sank down into the water of her tub.  Water that suddenly felt so much less comforting and inviting than it had minutes ago.  It was just the same as with Katrine; another girl who had been going out of her way to be friends with Liseth, and she just chased them away with her tactlessness.  Made them angry at her.  She felt as though she could disappear under the water and save everyone the trouble of hating her.

With her face buried in her hands, Liseth simply sat in the bathtub; letting her tears run down and mix with the bathwater while she contemplated the difficulty and misery of being Liseth.  How could she have done that twice?  Every girl that Liseth had ever had an extended conversation with now hated her.  Why was it so hard for her to make friends?

I thought you were my friend.  Those were Elsbet's parting words after Liseth chased her away.  They repeated over and over again in her mind.  Liseth thought she was being friendly; Elsbet kept asking about Kerr and Kerr's connection to the gods.  All that Liseth did was to answer.  She never expected her answers to make the other girl as mad as she was.

Liseth wasn't making up stories, she told Elsbet everything just the way it had happened.  Hadn't it?  It had to have happened; she could still remember the feeling of Sarenrae touching her cheek, kissing her forehead.  Saying She loved her.  It was the most wonderful and amazing thing that had ever happened to her; but all that talking about it seemed to do was to make people angry with her.

Keeping her mind focused on Sarenrae and the image of the goddess saying that She loved her, Liseth scrubbed clean and finished her bath.  It was real, it had to be.  The knowledge of Sarenrae's smiling approval, Her love, Her acceptance; it was the only thing that gave her the confidence that everything was going to turn out alright.

She climbed out of the tub and dried off with a towel, wrapping it around herself before approaching the mirror and taking up a hairbrush from one of the tables.  Liseth studied herself while she combed out her damp hair, noting the redness in her eyes from crying, the small, weary frown on her face, and the way her body and shoulders slumped forward as though she was carrying far too much weight upon them.  For having just bathed, she still looked like a mess.

How could Sarenrae have selected her, from among all of Her followers, to be the one to challenge the darkness in Varisia?  An awkward, clumsy, weak girl like her who couldn't even walk straight let alone wield a scimitar in Sarenrae's name.  Who couldn't talk to another girl without chasing them away and making them hate her.

Liseth had heard of illnesses before, illnesses of the mind, that could make people believe things that weren't real.  Convince them that something had happened when really it hadn't.  When someone was so sad, so lonely, so desperate for something that their mind tricked them into believing it, because the reality was too painful...

But that couldn't be.  Kerr was there too, he saw what had happened.  He was blessed by Desna and Iomedae and Erastil while Liseth watched, while Liseth was spoken to by Sarenrae.  He must have seen Sarenrae with Liseth.  Unless Liseth's mind made that part up too.  All she had to do though, was ask Kerr and he would certainly confirm it.  Liseth had already seen him use the powers of a Paladin, the rest must be real.


The golden-haired girl finished her brushing and stared at herself in the mirror as her frown deepened and panic began to spread across her face.  What if Kerr was angry with her now too?  The same way Elsbet and Katrine were angry, because of Liseth's seeming inability to talk and connect with people her own age without chasing them off and making them angry?  What if Kerr stormed off and didn't want anything to do with her anymore, because of the way she fled earlier and left him standing in the hall alone?  Or something else, any number of things that she didn't even realize were being taken poorly?

She could see the girl standing in the mirror begin to tremble in panic and fright, but soon Liseth turned away and hurriedly got dressed in her robe.  She couldn't bear the thought of Kerr being angry with her, of Kerr refusing to speak to her.

Liseth hurried out of the washroom, unsure even of how long she had been in there.  Her anxious, panic-addled mind could think of only one thing as she limped through the Cathedral: she had to find Kerr and beg him to forgive her.

This message was last edited by the player at 03:04, Fri 20 June 2014.

Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 75 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Fri 20 Jun 2014
at 19:31
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

Kerr’s stomach churned as he soaked in the warm tub of the acolyte men’s washroom.  Had he made a mistake?  Was it too forward of him to have talked about massages?  What did Liseth mean when she said Father Zantus was busy?  Did she mean she didn’t WANT to give him a massage?  Was it wrong of him to have asked about it?  Was there some aspect of this he didn’t understand?

Kerr sighed.  That was probably it.  There were so MANY things he didn’t understand about women.  Sisters notwithstanding.

It was getting late.  Reluctantly, the young paladin dragged himself out of the bath.  It had felt SO good to get out of that heavy breastplate and wash the grime off of him.  Not that he regretted wearing the heavier armor; it had probably saved him from some serious injury.  But now that the threat was over it was nice to not be carrying that burden around.

Kerr winced as he raised his arms above his head and stretched.  He was pretty sure he was going to be sore tomorrow.

He wrapped one of the thick towels around his waist as he went to the wash basin and prepared some shaving foam.  He didn’t have the thickest of beards but he was getting a little scruffy and wanted to be clean-shaven, both for the ceremony and for Liseth.  The thought of Liseth caused his stomach to churn again.  Had he offended her?  Had he somehow misinterpreted what they had between them?  Did she just look at him as a protector and nothing more?  Were the kisses they’d shared just chaste expressions of friendship?

The young acolyte shook his head.  No, that could not be it.  Liseth had called him her boyfriend and the way she had acted indicated that she viewed him as very important romantically.  So why had she fled from him when he suggested a massage?  There was something he wasn’t understanding.

Women were so confusing.

Kerr washed the shaving foam off his face and rubbed his chin with a thumb and forefinger as he admired his work.  It wasn’t bad, if he did say so himself.  Now all he had to do was . . .

Suddenly the door of the men’s washroom banged open to reveal an angry-looking Elsbet Banilo, her wet hair hanging uncharacteristically heavy about her shoulders.  Kerr stared at her in shock, acutely aware that he was just wearing a towel.  What was she DOING . . .?

“Your girlfriend!”  Elsbet declared, as if the simple statement was an accusation.  “Your LYING ‘girlfriend’ Liseth.  She’s a STORYTELLER.  She wants people to think she’s IMPORTANT and SPECIAL!!  I don’t know WHAT you see in her!!!!”

Then, as suddenly as Elsbet had entered the washroom, she stormed out.

Kerr was stunned.  What?  There had to be more to this story.  What had happened?  Liseth was many things, but a LIAR was definitely NOT one of them.  His blonde-haired girlfriend wasn’t even comfortable HIDING the truth from people, much less misrepresenting it!  This had to be a miscommunication.

Yes, that was it.  Just a miscommunication.  They’d all be laughing about this tomorrow.  He hoped.

Kerr moved to the washroom door, hoping to catch the angry acolyte of Erastil.  “Elsbet!”  He said, moving out into the hallway.  But she was gone.

Right at that moment, however.  Liseth entered the hallway.  She looked as if she had been crying, with puffy red eyes and stringy wet hair.  Somehow, Kerr thought wonderingly in the back of his mind, she was still really, really attractive.  Gorgeous even.

And Kerr was now VERY acutely aware that he was only wearing a towel.

“Um, hi Liseth.”  He said, uncertain of how to proceed in this completely unfamiliar situation.  He wanted to give her a hug, but he was uncertain if that was proper given his attire.  He scratched the back of his head uncomfortably.  “It sounds like something happened with Elsbet?”

This message was last edited by the player at 19:39, Fri 20 June 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 963 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Sat 21 Jun 2014
at 01:17
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
"Kerr!"  Liseth didn't register that Kerr was standing in the doorway to the men's washroom wearing nothing but a towel and an uncomfortable and confused expression.  She merely saw him there and had to rush towards him.  She made it most of the way to him before her hysteria mixed with her clumsy, limping gait in the perfect way to send her crashing to the floor.

"I'm so sorry Kerr!"  She didn't even attempt to remove herself from her prostrate position, and the girl began blubbering in an almost incoherent manner as she started to cry again.  "I'm sorry that I ran away when all you did was say you're sore!  I'm sorry for all those things I don't know I said or did that might have made you feel bad!"  Liseth also didn't seem very aware that she was making little sense at the moment.

"Please don't hate me like Elsbet and Katrine and everyone else!"  The words came out hoarsely as she begged him.  "I know I'm bad at talking with people my own age; that I always say things to make everyone angry.  But I don't mean to, I promise!"  The distraught teenage girl struggled up onto her knees as she continued to sob into her hands, not daring to look up at Kerr before her.  "I never wanted to make anyone feel bad or angry!"

"Please forgive me!  I don't know what I'd do if you were angry at me too!"

This message was last edited by the player at 06:32, Sat 21 June 2014.

Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 76 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 06:02
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

Kerr wasn’t sure if he had ever been as absolutely dumbfounded as he was at this very instant.  First: angry Elsbet barging in to the men’s washroom.  Now: sobbing Liseth lying at his feet asking him not to hate her.  He might never understand women.  Why should he hate her?  What in Desna’s name had HAPPENED in the minutes they had been apart?

The young acolyte found that the hand he had been using to scratch his head was still up there, frozen in shock.  He lowered it to secure his towel as he knelt next to Liseth, putting his free hand on her shoulder, his discomfort only accentuated by the fact that he felt almost naked.  But the woman he loved was clearly far more uncomfortable than he was right now.  So he strove to put his embarrassment aside and concentrate on helping her.

“Liseth,” he said in what he trusted was a comforting tone, “you don’t need to apologize to me.  You haven’t done anything that you need to apologize for!  At least as far as I know.”  He glanced down the hallway that had so recently contained a departing Elsbet Banilo.  “I’m not angry with you, Lise.  I’m not even the slightest bit mad.  And I know you would never try to make anyone mad or angry.  People just take things the wrong way sometimes.”  He shrugged and essayed what he hoped was a reassuring smile.  “You can’t control that.”

“But there is one thing I am slightly upset about.”  He put a finger under Liseth’s chin and lifted her eyes to his.  “And that is that you think I might get angry with you about something you said without talking to you about it first.  Because I’m pretty sure if you did say anything that hurt me that you wouldn’t have meant it to be taken that way.  I promise I will give you enough grace to explain things.  And I hope you’ll do the same for me,” he gave her a self-deprecating grin, “because I guarantee you I’ll say the wrong thing sometimes as well.  Although in certain cases,” he leaned in and gave her a kiss right on her trembling lips, “no words are necessary.”

He put an arm around her, drawing her in for a one-armed hug.  “Okay, so what happened to set Elsbet off?  She can be a little tempestuous sometimes, but this is a little over the top.  Even for her.”

This message was last edited by the player at 06:04, Tue 24 June 2014.

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 968 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Tue 24 Jun 2014
at 23:19
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
Somewhere inside, Liseth felt that she was overreacting.  But the last week, the last few hours even, had been so taxing, so stressful for her that some kind of breakdown was bound to happen sooner or later.  Elsbet's sudden explosion, while Liseth was finally in a position to relax and, she thought, talk and have a little fun, was just that final bit which pushed her right over the edge.

Crying would let it all out though.  The last year had seen a lot of crying from Liseth; the last week especially.  But as Kerr picked her chin up and she saw his grin through her tears, as he kissed her and squeezed her close, she knew that as bad as everything might become, she would always have him there to comfort her.

"Thank you Kerr," the distraught acolyte sniffed and put her own arms around him; burying her face in his bare chest and letting out all of her tears.  After several moments she looked back up at Kerr, her protector and hero, "I shouldn't have thought you would be angry.  It's just that...I can't seem to ever make friends.  All of the other girls already hate me."

"Elsbet was just curious," Liseth sniffed again.  "She wanted to ask what we were doing, why I was so messy.  So I told her."  The golden-haired girl frowned and glanced away, "I guess I shouldn't have told her everything; but I didn't know it would make her so angry!  I told her how you and Kellan and everyone slew a demon, and all the monsters you had to fight.  She seemed excited, and then kept asking about you."

"I told her that you were a hero, that Desna and Iomedae and Erastil blessed you and wanted you to be a Paladin.  That's when Elsbet got really angry."  Another sniff, "I thought I was just being friendly, but then she started shouting and yelling, saying how I was just making up stories to make people feel bad.  I wouldn't do something like that!"

"Now she'll tell Daena, and then Daena will be mad at me too..."  She slumped against Kerr in defeat, "And then Katrine is already angry at me; one moment she was thanking me for saving her life, and the next I had managed to make her angry enough to send her running away and stop talking to me.  And I don't even know why that Cerlynne girl hates me; I never even had a chance to talk to her...and...and..."  Liseth pulled away from Kerr and finally looked at him; practically naked and wearing only a towel.

" don't have any clothes on."

This message was last edited by the player at 23:30, Tue 24 June 2014.

Kerr Mollin
 NPC, 77 posts
 Acolyte of Desna
 Chosen of Iomedae
Wed 25 Jun 2014
at 06:58
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

“Nobody hates you, Liseth,” Kerr said, trying to comfort her.  “People get upset about things sometimes, especially when you touch on something that’s very sensitive for them.  I imagine that’s what you did, unintentionally.”

He drew her closer.  “Think about it.  Katrine was sensitive about her boyfriend, probably because he’s caused so much tension and conflict in her family, so she vented some of her frustration on you.”  He paused, thinking.  “I imagine Elsbet was probably feeling a little overwhelmed by the goblin attacks and the preparations for the funeral.  Maybe dealing with those killed by the goblins even caused her to private question how much interest Erastil was showing in her or Sandpoint’s welfare.  Maybe she’s been beseeching Erastil for some sort of sign, and not receiving it.  Maybe she’s even been secretly questioning her own faith.  Or maybe it’s just the opposite, and the only thing that’s been keeping her going is her bedrock belief that she is Erastil’s representative to these people.”

“Then you come along and, innocently of course, tell her that the gods have, and perhaps more importantly, HER god has, been interacting directly with us.”  He shrugged.  “I can see how she might not want to believe that.  I can see how such news might cause her to doubt her connection to her god.  And I can see how she might have taken her fear, anger, and frustration out on the bearer of that news.”  He hugged Liseth.  “Not that she should have, of course.  But it’s understandable.”

“But the point is that it has a lot more to do with HER than it has to do with YOU.  I think that’s often the case when people get angry.”  He shrugged.  “That it has a lot more to do with where they are and what they’re dealing with than it does with whoever or whatever provided the spark for their anger.”  He looked down at Liseth.  “So you can’t blame yourself.  And please don’t worry about Cerlynne, either.  She’s always wanted to be the center of attention, and she’ll be catty to absolutely anyone she feels is taking that attention away from her.”  He grinned.  “In fact, I think that having Cerlynne dislike you is probably evidence that you’re doing something very right.”

Kerr was so focused on what he was saying and how Liseth was reacting that he had forgotten that he was wearing nothing but a towel.  That realization came flooding back to him as Liseth pulled back and remarked on it.

“Um, er.”  He said, rather stupidly he thought, as he blushed deeply.  “Yes, uh, well Elsbet actually came into the men’s washroom to yell at me, and then I came out here, and then you were here, and there wasn’t really time to get dressed . . .”  He stopped and took a deep breath.  “I’m babbling, aren’t I?”

He stood up, still blushing.  “Yes, well.”  He looked at the washroom, then at Liseth.  “Um, so how about I go back in there and get, um, dressed, and you go get ready as well, and then we meet up in the courtyard like we planned?  I think we might be running a little late for the meeting.”

Liseth Thoradin
 Human Oracle, 970 posts
 Deluge of Positive Energy
 HP 24/24
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 01:37
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)
Now that she had registered Kerr's nakedness, and recovered from her fit, Liseth started to blush right along with him.  She stood and nodded meekly to Kerr's mention of finishing their getting ready.  And him getting dressed.  "I think that's a good idea..."  The girl looked away as she continued to blush, "I'll see you in the courtyard."

"Kerr..."  Liseth turned away and had her back to him, to give him a little privacy.  What was left of it.  "I hope you're right.  About Elsbet and Katrine and everything.  Maybe after she calms down I can try to talk to Elsbet again."  She sighed, "At least I know where to find her.  Not like Katrine..."  The girl couldn't help but remeber the adventure that she and Pisca had had in tracking down Katrine, only to stumble on her by accident.  Katrine's father didn't even know where she was most of the time.

Having calmed down greatly, even though she still felt upset and her eyes remained red and puffy, Liseth made her way back to the washroom.  In her panic she hadn't finished brushing her hair.  And she could use some cold water to wash a bit of the redness out of her face and eyes.

Before leaving for the courtyard, the girl took a moment to make a pair of quick sandwiches from the Cathedral's stores.  She didn't realize how hungry she was!  Breakfast felt like a lifetime ago, and here it was mid-afternoon.  And Kerr was doubtlessly just as famished.  With the meeting with the mayor followed by the funeral, it was unlikely that they were going to be able to have a meal for a few hours at the least, if at all tonight.  So sandwiches may have to suffice.

Eating helped to lift her spirits a little bit more as Liseth sat in the Cathedral courtyard on a bench, watching the traffic of people going through.  When Kerr arrived she offered him the other sandwich; but by then it was time to leave.  Everyone else was likely waiting for them by now.

Linking her arm into Kerr's, Liseth just hoped that she could make it through the meeting and the subsequent funeral.  She was tired!
The Raconteur
 GM, 1025 posts
 Teller of Tales
 Writer of Wrongs
Thu 26 Jun 2014
at 05:46
Re: Chapter #7b: Two Tired Acolytes (Liseth)

Liseth did not have long to wait before Kerr appeared, dressed in his finest dress attire.  His dark blue robes were inscribed with light, shimmering butterflies that befitted an acolyte of Desna.  Although Kerr's godly allegiances were now a bit more . . . complicated, they had apparently not yet filtered down to his wardrobe.

Kerr offered Liseth an arm and gladly took one of her proffered sandwiches, munching contentedly on it as they strolled west through Sandpoint towards City Hall.  The arm-in-arm walk, with Kerr making sure to rein in his base for Liseth's benefit, recalled the much-more innocent stroll they had taken down to Hannah's Herb Challenge during the Swallowtail Festival.  Had that been only a week ago?  It seemed hard to credit, given how so much had changed.

But some things hadn't changed, including the easy conversation between the two young acolytes.  It seemed that no matter how bad things got, they could still talk to each other.  It seemed to both of them that such a thing was to be valued, even clung to during difficult times such as these.  All too soon they reached City Hall.  They knew that the fate of Sandpoint lay in the hands of only a select few, a group that apparently included them.  Kerr gave Liseth his best encouraging grin as he opened the door . . . who knew what trials and tribulations might beset them as they worked to end the goblin's threat?