2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine.   Posted by The GM.Group: 0
The GM
 GM, 540 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Mon 15 Jul 2019
at 07:34
2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Padre really did not have anything better to to that march up and down the town square, down the street to the different districts, out to the edges of the city walls, and then back again. Padre had learned a lot. There was hardly an alleyway that Padre had not explored, and all in service, well not service, not anymore. He was free. To assist. Padre was assisting, and of free will. After all, order would keep the inhabitants of the city safe, and order needed to be maintained, and order was right and good.

And Padre saw the children who had no homes playing and hiding in the Rubble Warrens. They knew enough about their environment to prevent Padre from apprehending them; even if her would only try to find their parent or guardian. They vanished into the Rubble with such ease.

Padre was a member of the elite guards of the city; the Iron Guard; the city guards were weak and corrupt. Betrayed by their flesh: that's how Steeljack put it. They could not help but be weak, and fail in their duties. Padre saw that, too, most of the time. The city guards were as likely to accost an honest merchant for protection as to bring justice to a thief.  Steeljack put up with none of that; he was proud of his troops, warforged all, and he made sure they shined within and without.

Steeljack
Steeljack had regarded Padre's talent eagerly. "You have come at a most opportune time" he had said. "Your skills at healing people is much needed. The poor of the city are suffering, and they need guidance and succor." He'd shown Padre the charitable operations the Temple of the Sovereign Host had set up, and Padre quickly realized that this charitable institution was mostly due to Steeljack's efforts.

And though the Silver Flame had sent him here, Padre had no illusions that it was for any reason other than that he was... how to say it? "An inconvenient truth." the Cardinal had said. Padre's faith was pure and true, and the hierarchy were not in the least convinced that a warforged could be an effective cleric of a temple in Khorvaire. And yet the fact of his abilities proved it. But no, Padre would not be given a cathedral to run, nor a church, nor even a lodge. Padre was passed from diocese to diocese as an assistant, or even once as a janitor.

Finally sent to Stormreach to 'assist' once again, he was summarily turned away from the doors of the cathedral of the Silver Flame. Padre had wandered the streets a bit after, wondering and pondering fate.  The Iron Guard had chanced by, and by way of a familial greeting Padre had been introduced to Steeljack.

"Tell me, citizen, what troubles you?" His kind concern was followed by an understanding that surpassed anything the Church Hierarchy had granted Padre. His awa not a religious organization; it was a pragmatic one. The Silver Flame kept quite to themselves, all but for a small Lodge that they'd recently left to go to ruin. The Church of the Sovereign Host was willing to host such charities as Steeljack proposed, as long as they could preach, and take some credit.

Steeljack had fought in the War, and knew and understood well the feelings and conflicts that resided in Padre's mind. "They see you as an armored man, bearing unsheathed weapons where'er you go. But this is not you. You are who you are, and made as you are for a purpose. And now you are here. If you feel that your purpose, and mine coincide, I would have you as a comrade."

It felt right, for a time, and Padre got to know the rest of the Iron Guard as siblings. There were other warforged in the city too. Padre saw Tap, of the Distillery, making his humble rounds, and counting the bizarre stone heads as it roamed. And the fashionable Tydameira ruthless bodyguard and bouncer at the Pink Conch, which apparently dealt in such matters as those made of flesh were wont to pay for.

It was not all easing the suffering of their 'flesh-burdened brothers', though. The order in the city needed to be maintained; and everyone needed to put in some time on patrol. It was not a pleasant a duty as feeding the hungry on a Sul-day. But the advantage of the Iron Guard lay in the fact that no one who was intent on crime would think twice about it if they knew the Iron Guard was there. And so they marched, loudly and with no great rush, along the streets, and down the alleys and into the 'bad neighborhoods' and dangerous spots. And the criminals would stop, for a time, and head somewhere else, for a time.

But it didn't feel in Padre's faith or mind as satisfactory as Padre wanted. They all spoke together about 'wants'; it was not a welcome topic during the Last War, and there was considerable pent-up 'wants' that the warforged of the Iron Guard shared with one another. Some of the desires expressed verged on the vengeful, and to these Steeljack put a quick stop. "We are not here to exact punishment or payment for wrongs done. We are here to make a better place for all of us to live."

There was no argument to that, but Padre saw the conditions on the streets: the beggars dying slowly from whatever vile smoke they imbibed. The merchants closing shop because their trade had become untenable. The fishermen whos catch dwindled to nothing but the occasional shark tangled in their nets. And the rich planned their parties and pretended that the stench from the overburdened sewers was just a fart, aimed in their general direction, and not a symptom of some greater problem.

"You see it too. Good. I do have a plan, not ready yet for the telling. I share your concerns, citizen Padre, rest easy in the knowledge that it will all be resolved to the good. A better place for all of us."


And then word came onto the street, that a Priest of the Silver Flame had arrived in Stormreach, and that very day had re-opened the Lodge of the Silver Flame near the docks. The Lodge was a place of comfort, care, help and healing for the poor and downtrodden. Word was that the young priest had already taken in a dozen wounded and dying poor, and brought them back to full health.

OOC: You should consider yourself knowledgeable about the layout of the city: if you want to know where a thing is you probably already do. If you don't know where, then you probably know who. You know all of the Iron Guard, and can tell what warforgeds are not in th eIron Guard. And I can give you additional details if you request.
Padre
 player, 2 posts
Fri 19 Jul 2019
at 16:22
2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine



Padre's faith was strong, in spite of the treatment he had endured at the hands of church both here and  in Thrane, and when he heard of a young Priest opening up a lodge dedicated to the Silver Flame his hope sprung anew that he might be accepted. A strange feeling given he'd found such a reasonable home within the Iron Watch, still he needed to have his faith acknowledged.

Steeljack had been nothing but kind, charismatic even, and definitely had a way of inspiring those around him; but Padre had a deep seeded need, a need to be accepted by humans, dwarves, elves, all of the mortal races. Padre had resigned that if this did not work out that he'd stay with Steeljack and the others, build his life there and maybe one day start his own temple. He needed this one last chance those to integrate, with the larger segment of society, the growing segment. He maintained hope that one day someone would see past his iron exterior and see his soul within that burned with the Silver Flame.

That hope is what brought him to the door of the lodge where the young Priest had taken up his practice. Padre was nervous, not that it would show on his metallic face, but exhibited by his right hand grabbing the hat from his head and wringing tightly. He couldn't remember who he had seen do it, but it seemed an adequate way to express himself, and so he practiced it in his alone time and felt as though he had successfully mirrored the expression.

After a few moments of internal struggle Padre put his hat back on his head and straightened it, his leather clad glove reached out and rapped the door three times.

"Excu...ahem, Excuse me Sir, Padre callin'." Padre's voice was deep, baritone, and even though he had no throat or a need to clear it, showed yet another of his learned expressions.
The GM
 GM, 548 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Sat 20 Jul 2019
at 05:45
2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Olou
"Hello? Oh its another of the hanaʻia. I am Olou. What is your name, made-one?"
Mokoli Ali'i
"Olou, please! Let someone else answer the door. It's still not safe." The Tulita warrior was watching carefully to ensure the new arrival made no untoward motions.
Zalen Trafalgar
"Come in friend, and welcome. If you are injured, please sit over there." the priest of the Silver Flame was a youth, probably no older than Padre was.
Maliki'otou
A tall Tulita warrior closed the door behind the warforged. "Olou, no more risks, please."
The Lodge had seen better days. The building had been repaired in a haphazard manner, and there was still a pew or two that were overturned. Grasses had sprouted in the cracks of some stones. But there was a priest, and though his years might be thin, his dedication showed strongly.

Zalen Trafalgar was assiduously changing the bandages from no less than a half-dozen Tulita, and sailors, and doing what he could to ease their pain.
Rand Thorn
A man who reclined on a pew remarked to Padre: "They've been coming in all morning; shark bites--every single one!"
Olou
The youth nodded "Milliakua said! It is the Time of the Shark"
Arath
The tall gangly alien looked at Padre "Did you bring food stuffs?"

Padre
 player, 3 posts
Sat 20 Jul 2019
at 11:12
2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine



Padre was suddenly overwhelmed with new faces, questions being asked of him, and questions of his own. He was a bit stunned at first and his optical orbits expanded completely as he processed everything, "My name is Padre, I'm a member of the Iron Watch and a follower of the Silver Flame, I'm uninjured..." even as his answers to each questions came about Padre pulled his small travel satchel from his side and began retrieving his rations. "...I do not eat but I carry these rations for those who need them. I'm sorry I only have a few on me at this time." He handed out his five rations to Arath for him to disperse, and then sat his satchel down and walked over to Zalen's side, "Please...ahem, my hands shape the flames, who is the most injured?"

Padre could feel the same energy wash over him that he had felt while on the battlefield, caring for the wounded, except here there were no sounds of wandslingers chanting their weapons into action, or the explosions that followed, nor the uneasy sounds of squelching as the undead warriors of the Karnathi marched toward him. "If I may Olou..." Padre started as he began his work, "...what does this mean, Time of the Shark?"
The GM
 GM, 551 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 06:40
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Arath
Padre had never before seen the like of the creature that relieved him of his rations. "Ah! There is gratitude given you." The creature handed four rations off to a Tulita, and then set to on the one he'd retained. He ate it entirely, and then stood to examine a wall.
Zalen Trafalgar
"Oh! You are a blessed and chosen of the Flame? Thank goodness! I thought I was all alone out here." He looked about sheepishly, wondering if his words were mis-taken. "I mean in ministering to the needy. When did they send for you? I've had no word, and barely arrived here myself." He collected himself, and recalled the rest of what Padre had said. He indicated the five injured that "These poor fellows are all suffering after shark-bite. That poor fellow's lost his hand." He indicated the reclining man who'd exclaimed about the number of bites. "That's Rand Thorn, he's suffering from a mysterious wasting ailment. And this Tulita-- has a hang-over. You may have your pick. With the Silver Flame's blessing, and my own."
Olou
As Padre made his triage and set about doing what he could, the young Tulita scampered close enough to see, but stayed out of his way. "Milliakua has told us of the choices we made as a people when we came to the sea. That we could have the Turtle, the Dolphin, the Whale, and the Shark. But the Shark would not abide, and said that he would only accept those who abjured the others. There was a Time of the Shark before, Milliauka said. And many died. But we are going to find the Jawbone of Kaho Ali'i and that Tulita and hou'li will work together to save everyone. Just like the Three."

Padre
 player, 4 posts
Sun 21 Jul 2019
at 13:35
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine



This was surely a test of Padre's faith, so many injured, and so grievously. However he'd seen these types of wounds before. He approached the man who had lost his hand and took some of the bandages that Zalen had been using to administer aid, he began to wrap the man's handless arm carefully, "Don't worry, I am a priest of the Flame and her warmth will alleviate the pain." he then closed his optical orbits and began incanting the words that would carry the curing powers of the flame into his arm. He knew he could not regrow the man's hand but he could at least stop the pain and prevent the man from dying of infection or blood loss. Once finished he opened his optical orbits once more and nodded to the man indicating he should be fine now.

"The church did not send me, in fact the church here in Stormreach has turned it's back to me entirely. I do not know why" Padre modulated his voice to a slow pace on the last few words to show his sorrow at the church's actions, all while moving to the next victim of the shark bites. He performed the necessary triage on the victim before praying for healing over each victim.

Of piqued interest though Padre spoke to Olou, "Your culture is foreign to me. I would love to learn more, and help where needed once I am finished here with caring for your people. Can you tell me more about the Tulita as I pray?"

This message was last edited by the player at 13:41, Sun 21 July.

The GM
 GM, 554 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Wed 24 Jul 2019
at 16:19
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Zalen Trafalgar
"'Turned its back?' Surely not. At any rate you are a boon to this Lodge, and come at a time of need. 'Any flame is welcome during the time of darkness.'." he quoted.
Mr. Scratch
Mr. Scratch was sleeping fitfully "Ehh, no m'hand! Dragon below it's got m'hand!" He awoke while Padre was tending him, very alarmed. Padre calmed the wild eyed sailor. "'E was black as pitch, and his eyes the color of blood. An' I swear 'e winked at me as 'e was chewing m'hand. Ohh!" The Tulita stared at the man.
Arath
The creature called 'Arath' stepped near. "I have given him several doses of a local inebriant. Unfortunately I have no more. Fortunately, you are here to ease his pain. He was attacked three days ago. We fended off the shark, but it seems the sea was not yet done with us. I know there is little chance to restore him fully, but I do hope he can be healed. Or made a little better."
Olou
"Milliakua is the one you should talk to, she's on her way! She knows all the things about Tulita ways. She told me oh, so many stories about how we came to be, and how we came to the sea. She said there is a terrible thing that waits, and the Tulita must guard against it; but the now the Tulita and hou'li must work together, even though it was the  hou'li who made us leave our home. And killed so many." The Tulita were clearly a clan of the drow natives, but aside from seeing them in destitute conditions in the streets Padre had little knowledge of them. They bore tattoos on their face and body that did not look like they were mere pigment.
The healing was an intensive effort, but by the time he was through, Padre felt that the work had not been in vain. The patients all rested comfortably. Even Mr. Scratch seemed to be in better spirits, saying quietly "It's only a scratch." Indeed the injuries seemed, on the whole very superficial. Padre had no great knowledge of sharks, or shark attacks, but it seemed strange that a bite victim would be allowed to swim free after sustaining only the initial strike. But if it meant there were more survivors, and fewer dead, then who could complain?

Padre needed a rest, and Zalen had occupied himself looking through the disarray for a pot in which to make tea. He offered Olou and Padre some. Olou, pleased at being treated as an adult, was still for a moment, blowing steam from the cup.
Zalen Trafalgar
"You are quite the healer!" he said, praising Padre's efforts. "I despaired of getting everyone stable so quickly. Now I can turn some attention to the condition of the Lodge, for which I apologize for. The prior prior vanished under circumstances which are still a mystery to me. The Lodge was left abandoned, and the people had nowhere to go for succor, or help. I must confess I feel that this particular assignment may be my undoing. I may not be up to the task. But I need to try." He paused and sipped.
"The old priest, Archie Noellis had some ties to the Tulita; I think he was studying their culture. There might be more in some of his papers. He'd collected at least the one ritual: The Ceremony of Truth. I've not studied other histories as much as I have those of the Silver Flame. But the history of the drow goes back much further, here. Back to the Time of the Giants."
Olou
"I made the Ceremony work! It was a big turtle! We call Turtle Honu. Milliauka knows much about times gone by and times to come. She was the one who told me how to make ceremonies work."
Arath
"I go now to fetch back more food. These rations... I believe I can find better fare. There is a fisherman's inn close by and they are said to be inexpensive. I will be back shortly.  Do not allow these premises to be invaded."
Zalen Trafalgar
"Mokoli Ali'i and his warriors will repel any who dare force their way in, but I shall admit any who need assistance." This seemed to reassure Arath, who bowed oddly and then left. "He's called a 'githyanki,' I've never seen one before. Some kind of ship-wreck brought him."

Padre
 player, 5 posts
Fri 26 Jul 2019
at 14:34
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine



Padre listened to each of gathered people talk in turn, nodding along with what they said. He was truly puzzled by the shark attack, he thought surely Scratch was maddened by the attack and loss of his hand by the way he spoke of the Shark 'winking' at him why he chewed off his hand. That would indicate some sort of sentience; 'Then again...' Padre thought to himself, '...I am a walking talking sentient construct, so maybe a thinking shark isn't that far gone from reality'

"Olou, what do you mean when you said 'I made the ceremony work'..." Padre did his best impersonation of Olou's voice as he said the words. "And are you saying the ceremony of truth summoned a turtle?"
The GM
 GM, 563 posts
 Fair Winds and
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Sat 3 Aug 2019
at 23:00
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Olou
"Summon a turtle? No, silly! But it looked like a turtle-shell. They used to swim all over in the bay, before the ships came. The Ceremony of Truth just makes people tell the truth. I guess some people don't always tell the truth. My uncle, Mokoli, did not believe the hou'li when they said they would help; my Ceremony convinced him that we could trust some hou'li. Even hanaʻia, like you. There are old stories, and the hanaʻia were cruel, but that was long ago. You are for helping and healing. And so sometimes the bad becomes good!"
Zalen Trafalgar
"Not all that is bad can become good, Olou, and that is why we must help each other: so that we can together be strong enough to fight the evil."
Olou
"Yes! Like Dajobas!"
Maliki'otou
"Olou! Do not say His name! You give Him power."
Olou
"No! If we ignore him we give him power. Dajobas is the shark God, but he has no place here! How are we to stop a thing if we cannot even speak of it? He was here before; what do you think? He swam away? Why then must the Tulita stay? Our place is here; because Dajobas is here. That is what Olou thinks."

Padre
 player, 7 posts
Sat 10 Aug 2019
at 12:54
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine



Padre's mind swirled, between meeting all of these new people, the language barrier, and trying to decipher between what was history and what was possibly myth. Still he felt like the people here were at least honest, and not trying to con him in any way like so many others had tried in the past.

Padre nodded as Olou finished there speech, "I too believe we all have a destiny." he then turned his head toward Zalen, "I believe the flame lit my path here to be of service." he then looked back to the others, "It's apparent that there is a mystery to be unraveled in why the Sharks attacked your people, I'd like to help"
The GM
 GM, 577 posts
 Fair Winds and
 Following Seas
Tue 20 Aug 2019
at 04:57
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Zalen Trafalgar
"I, uhhh. You think this is... a thing? An evil? A ... shark?"
Olou
"A shark cannot bite through your skin, Padre! You can lead the charge!"
Maliki'otou
"I. Ahhh. How do you propose to do this?"

Padre
 player, 8 posts
Mon 9 Sep 2019
at 13:17
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine



Padre cocked his head slightly to the left and methodically lifted a finger to the side of his head and began tapping it lightly to indicate he was thinking, he stayed that way for a minute, possibly two before he stopped tapping and lifted his finger into the air, once more using body language to show what his facial expressions could not.

He looked to Olou, "Is there someone you know of that could tell us more about this Dajobas? In my travels I have found that learning about your opponent is often the best course to disarming them"
The GM
 GM, 590 posts
 Fair Winds and
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Wed 9 Oct 2019
at 19:32
Re: 2.0 To Be a Ghost in a Machine
Olou
Milliakua! She is our wise kahuna! She was the one who taught me all that I know about akua and the spirit forces that guide the land and sea. Mokoli Ali'i has sent for her, and when she comes you may speak with her."
Zalen Trafalgar
"My predecessor here at the lodge also had a strong interest in the Tulita belief system. His notes are scattered in this mess, but we can search further for more information."
Rand Thorn
"I've noticed there's a whole lot of concern over..." he glanced about and whispered "shark-bites... Do you think there's anything connected to that?"
Maliki'otou
"Milliakua is wise in knowledge, but ... I do not know if she is wise in action. I fear for her safety when she comes. She is headstrong, and not cautious in a time when caution is called for."