On Stranger Tides.   Posted by Dread Pirate Robert.Group: 0
Anders Mendelsson
 player, 38 posts
 Vesten
Sat 28 Aug 2021
at 03:32
Re: Inside the Cathedral
Anders, too, keeps a closer watch on Prad as they investigate the next room.

"Is this a workshop or a museum?" he wonders as he looks around at all the items scattered around the room.
Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 30 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Sat 28 Aug 2021
at 03:46
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"The only difference is time." Fiora answers off-hand, still searching for anything that was or will be or should be with the pearl.
Dread Pirate Robert
 GM, 240 posts
 Master of Fate
 Danger Pool: 5
Sat 28 Aug 2021
at 04:21
Re: Inside the Cathedral
Between Valentino and Fiora, they soon realize that the workbenches and shelves have been set up in sections... a different section for each Syrne dynasty and a different section for each sorcery.

Fiora doesn't quite recognize the different sorceries, but she does know her own. There are three different Sorte decks sitting on the counter, along with several loops of knotted strings of various sizes. They appear to be made of silk with silver and gold threads woven into them.

There's no response from Prad, and nothing in here seems to have any connection to the Pearl.
Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 31 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Sat 28 Aug 2021
at 05:48
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"Syrne decks..."  she breathes, reaching out for the first of them, brushing her fingers over the back of the top card, feeling the strands of fate as they wrap around the ancient cards.  A flick of the wrist fans the deck across the workbench, and another flips them all face up in a wave.  Simple tricks of showmanship learned from her mother when she was small.  They serve other purposes of course, feeling the threads, feeling the finish, the quality of the paper or the... glass? in this case.

Leaning down to examine the faces, Fiora searches out the Major Tarot, looking for the faces they always show, curious as to what faces the Syrne would put on the cards.  Did they look human?  Did they look like something else?  What face do they give the Devil or the Heirophant?  The Emperor or the Fool?
Vasily Pavlychenko
 player, 175 posts
 Ussuran Sorcerer/Duelist
 HP: 0
Tue 31 Aug 2021
at 15:14
Re: Inside the Cathedral
Noticing that Fiora is examining sorte decks, which are commonly associated with the fate witches, Vasily looks at the tables to see what other sorceries are represented here. Some of these things are pretty well known; the Montaignions transport themselves through bloody doorways so they are probably represented, at least in part, by the gloves that they commonly wear, the Sarmatian sorcerers commune with some sort of demons, but who knows how that may be represented, sorcerers from the so-called Blessed Isles champion the causes of those Isles and are empowered by Faeries of some sort, The Eisen brew potions to help them deal with the dark monsters that live there, and the most common sorcerers from his own land are widely know for changing shapes in service of Matruska.

Still, he'd never heard of any sorceries from Castille or the lands of the Vestenmennavenjar. And he happened to know that, at least some places, there were less widely know magics. Was there anything that could represent any of those?

"This seems to draw a sort of likeness between the Syrne dynasties and current sorceries. I suppose that makes some sense for at least some of them; they're known to have their origins in one ancient powerful being or race or another. But I've never heard that Porte, Sorte, or Hexenwerk are tied to any kind of powerful being beyond the sorcerers themselves."
Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 32 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Tue 31 Aug 2021
at 16:22
Re: Inside the Cathedral
Fiora laughs softly at Vasily's statement.  "And who do you think holds the reins of fate when we aren't touching them?  Who kisses us in the womb and punishes us for overstepping?  Some might call the question heresy, but do you think we could wrest the strands of fate from The Creator's hands if she didn't let us?"

"No, the Heirophant might like to claim our power comes from Legion, but if they could wrest fate from The Creator, this world would be far, far harsher."

This message was last edited by the player at 16:23, Tue 31 Aug.

Vasily Pavlychenko
 player, 176 posts
 Ussuran Sorcerer/Duelist
 HP: 0
Tue 31 Aug 2021
at 16:39
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"Are you suggesting that The Creator is a Syrne?"
Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 33 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Tue 31 Aug 2021
at 16:43
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"What!?"  At that suggestion she actually looks up from the fascinating cards and stares at Vasily.  "No!  She created them too.  Obviously."
Vasily Pavlychenko
 player, 177 posts
 Ussuran Sorcerer/Duelist
 HP: 0
Tue 31 Aug 2021
at 16:50
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"So, then my original point still stands; Sorte, Porte, and Hexenwerk do not seem to stem, at least according to current knowing, from a Syrne or similar ancient race or creature.

If The Creator created everything, then, of course, everything ultimately stems from them. But that line of thinking is completely unproductive when regarding the link between Syrne and sorceries of mankind, unless this is simply a religious display. But if it is such as that, shouldn't there also be representations of virtually everything in Creation?"

Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 34 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Tue 31 Aug 2021
at 17:04
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"Oh, I misunderstood that original point."  She smiles and nods toward the spread cards.  "You didn't have my full attention.  An interesting thought.  Those three sorceries all manipulate the world as The Creator made it, demanding a sacrifice in blood as their price.  The others all deal directly with beings of less power than The Creator, but more than an ordinary man or woman."
Valentino Iocovelli
 player, 79 posts
 Vodacce Nobleman
Fri 3 Sep 2021
at 20:38
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"Sadly, not all men are created equal," Valentino adds. "Just as some men are great thinkers and others are great leaders or generals, so, too, some men and women are born with a talent for sorcery."

"Is that not so? The Creator's Hand moves in mysterious ways. Why cannot one of those ways be sorcery? Or the Syrne?"

"I've heard it claimed that one of the first races of Syrne were Dragons, and it is the remnants of them that result in Hexenwerk."

"I do not know the truth of that, and, in fact, I do not now that any person alive knows that truth. The Creator gave us minds with which to think. Does that not include finding the truth?"

"As for sorceries, the Knights of Avalon have their glamours, Ussura has the Mother's Touch, and there is Sanderis in Sarmatia. Perhaps there are other sorceries that have not yet been discovered or still remain obscure. It is not sorcery as I understand the term, but I've heard claimed that a Castillian's way with a blade is tantamount to sorcery."

"Perhaps the Crescent Empire has its own sorcery, or even far Cathay. And what of the Sidhe?"

"I think that as long as the Church denies the truth except as they know it, we will never see the real Truth. But I, for one, will not stop seeking it!"

Dread Pirate Robert
 GM, 242 posts
 Master of Fate
 Danger Pool: 5
Fri 3 Sep 2021
at 21:18
Re: Inside the Cathedral
((OOC: Bleh. I intended to post a reply to Fiora and then somehow got distracted and forgot to do it!))


Indeed, one of the Sorte decks appears to be made of green glass. As thin as it is, the edges are not sharp and each is flexible enough to be handled like a regular deck.

She guesses the other two decks are made of silk and paper and glue. One of them has silver and gold threads woven through the silk.

It is the other one that startles her--there are no strands connected to it--none at all!

DECK #1: This is the glass deck. While the images are familiar, they are only half there... but twice! The top half of the image is copied and rotated to match up with the bottom of the top half and then blended together. The symbols on these cards are unfamiliar to her.

DECK #2: Fiora can see that the faces are similar to what she's used to, but she can clearly see that there are different cultures being represented. Some are dressed in Vodacce fashion, some in Castile fashion, others in Montaigne, Ussura, Sarmatian, Avalon, Eisen, or Vestenmannavnjar garb. There are even a few in Sidhe garb, and two that she doesn't recognize.

DECK #3: Perhaps the strangest deck is the one without strands. It has pictures of animals instead of people such as a lion for the Emperor and a donkey for the Fool. The Devil is a snake, and the Heirophant is an owl. Each animal depicted appears to be standing and is dressed in what should be human clothing. The symbols on each card are unfamiliar to her.
Alessandra Castillo
 player, 44 posts
 A lady, then a pirate.
Sat 4 Sep 2021
at 23:35
Re: Inside the Cathedral
In reply to Fiora Ambrogia (msg # 536):

Alessandra decides that she has to read up more on witchcraft. She hasn't any idea of what Fiora is talking about!
Anders Mendelsson
 player, 39 posts
 Vesten
Mon 6 Sep 2021
at 21:47
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"So, what do you think? Are these all Syrne artifacts or Sorcery artifacts?" Anders asks.

"Since you seem to be well versed in Syrne lore, Valentino, are there representations of all those previous Syrne? And can you point them out to us? I just want to know what I'm looking at and what to look for elsewhere."
Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 35 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Mon 6 Sep 2021
at 22:00
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"The cards at least are Sorte decks, very strange ones, but still.  The glass deck has no reversed cards, or they are all reversed, I cannot tell.  They are engraved with images that remain the same when turned.  The silken deck is... odd.  The images depict men and women wearing modern fashions, so either they were painted by a prophet, or the images change with the passing of ages."  She points to the decks as she speaks, finally picking up the last of them and holding it out for inspection, cards fanned out.

"This one has been cut entirely from fate.  The stones of a dirt road have fates, just the thinnest of threads true, but if a merchant trips three years hence, is delayed five breaths, and misses a bargain, that's a thread."  She starts waving the deck about with her gestures, reminding onlookers of that joke about gagging a Vodacce by tying their hands.  "It caught my interest, provoked confusion, I picked it up and showed it to youIt's already changed our fates, but it has no threads!?!?"
Vasily Pavlychenko
 player, 178 posts
 Ussuran Sorcerer/Duelist
 HP: 0
Tue 7 Sep 2021
at 17:11
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"I suspect that it probably has ties to fate, it is simply that those ties have been hidden from your eyes. Otherwise how would it affect our fates?" Vasily responds, a bit absently, as he studies a different section of the display; likely the section that he's the most familiar with, since it is from his own nation. Vasily examines the different items from the Mother's Touch display, looking for clues as to how it may be exclusive or inclusive to his own nation and his own, different and much rarer, sorcery. He felt fortunate that none of his countrymen were here, so that, if it became necessary to discuss such things, he could be slightly more frank about it. Even so, he was meant to reveal as little as possible about such matters, if possible.

"This is an... interesting... display."
Dread Pirate Robert
 GM, 243 posts
 Master of Fate
 Danger Pool: 5
Wed 8 Sep 2021
at 02:44
Re: Inside the Cathedral
It's not easy to identify the section that deals with Pyeryem or Mother's Touch, but Vasily knows (kind of) what he's looking for.

The 'display' has a few stones and twigs, plus teeth/fangs, claws, antlers, bits of fur and a few other things that he can't quite identify.
Vasily Pavlychenko
 player, 179 posts
 Ussuran Sorcerer/Duelist
 HP: 0
Wed 8 Sep 2021
at 16:59
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"I'm not sure if it is relevant or useful, but I am aware that there are lesser-known sorceries native to Theah, however, it does not appear that such sorceries are represented here, at least not explicitly. Could it be that this display is actually simply a display of the most widely known or accepted mystical things in Theah? Presumably, it must, given the evidence, keep itself up to date, somehow, or have predicted the moment that we arrived and was set up for our benefit. Perhaps by studying it we could learn some info that is new to us about each of these topics. Do we have the patience and time to do so, though? Now that we have the pearl and its bearer with us, I suppose the urgency of figuring out the next step is greatly reduced, but I guess there must still be some urgency to it; after all, if Fiora could find us, even if only by sorcery and happenstance, surely eventually someone else could as well, right?"
Valentino Iocovelli
 player, 80 posts
 Vodacce Nobleman
Fri 10 Sep 2021
at 16:55
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"Did she? Or did Fate bring her here?" Valentino said.

"If I understand Mother's Touch correctly, there are no physical manifestations of it like the decks are for Sorte."

"I'm not sure these are displays so much as work stations. Is it possible that the ability to change into a wolf could be instilled in a talisman made from the fang of wolf? That's the only purpose I can think of for having these bits of an animal."

"I count 12 sorceries represented here. Are there more than that? A few of these I don't recognize."

Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 36 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Fri 10 Sep 2021
at 18:06
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"The decks are only a small portion, a way to read distant strands, like a telescope to a ship's captain.  Like a telescope, one can only see a small part of the horizon at a time, which is why they're as... fallible as they are.  As for the true physical manifestation of Sorte, why, that would be the Creator's Kiss.  She wears lipstick incidentally, and it never washes away."

She smiles at Valentino.  "There's a reason I always guided your lips to the right side of my neck, else you'd taste the makeup hiding it on the left." Reaching up and pulling her hair aside, she turns her head to show the red birthmark, indeed shaped like a makeup coated kiss, on the left side of her neck.  It's just under and behind her ear where her hair normally covers it, but not above the hairline.
Anders Mendelsson
 player, 40 posts
 Vesten
Wed 15 Sep 2021
at 04:10
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"I don't begin to understand about strands and knots regarding Fate," Anders says, "but unless you want to... do something here right now, maybe we should move on. We can always come back and play with things later."

"The question is still whether the Black Pearl has a specific location here in this cathedral where it can recharge, or is just the cathedral itself enough to recharge it. And that's assuming that was why it came here."

"We should give some thought as we go as to what we're going to do with the Pearl."

Vasily Pavlychenko
 player, 181 posts
 Ussuran Sorcerer/Duelist
 HP: 0
Fri 17 Sep 2021
at 14:22
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"Fair enough, Anders."

Since he's been the master of door opening thus far, Vasily heads back out into the hallway and continues opening any remaining doors in the hallway so he can see, at least, if there's anything else interesting here.
Fiora Ambrogia
 player, 37 posts
 Sophia's Daughter Strega
Fri 17 Sep 2021
at 15:09
Re: Inside the Cathedral
The one deck that at least looks like a modern deck makes its way into Fiora's pouch next to her own.  The two that are mysteries get a regretfull look, but they're too obviously Syrneth to take out of here without drawing significant attention.  Hopefully the ordinary looking set has some interesting secrets to puzzle out, or maybe a stronger connection to the pearl with which to draw better spreads for their current journey.

Setting the splayed decks back in order, she leaves them on display and follows Vasily out of the room.
Valentino Iocovelli
 player, 81 posts
 Vodacce Nobleman
Fri 17 Sep 2021
at 15:44
Re: Inside the Cathedral
"I also think we should be careful about attributing powers and abilities to the Pearl that it may not have," Valentino adds as he follows the others out of the room.

"I'd also add to not underestimate the Pearl, but we already seem to be paranoid about it... perhaps rightfully so."

"For instance, did we see the cathedral because the Pearl was present or nearby?"

"While I don't think there is any... mind... or entity or intellect or whatever... within the Pearl, it's always possible that it was designed for a purpose and it blindly tries to follow that purpose."

"Remember, too, that all we know about it is that it is supposed to have great power. Whether that is just runaway storytelling or the sages and rulers know what it is I can't say. Being a Syrne artifact, there is probably some price to be paid for using it, probably commensurate with how it is used. Turning an enemy's sword to dust, for instance, if it can actually do that, might just give you a headache for a few days. Sinking a ship could age you 50 years, or blind you or break a leg."

"So, let's just be very careful."


As if to emphasize his words, he casts a glance back into the room as he closes the door, and then continues to cast glances back over his shoulder as they go.
Alessandra Castillo
 player, 45 posts
 A lady, then a pirate.
Sat 18 Sep 2021
at 22:14
Re: Inside the Cathedral
In reply to Valentino Iocovelli (msg # 554):

Alessandra has to agree with that. Goodness knows what the pearl could do!