To the lands beyond the Rhine.   Posted by Ben.Group: 0
Tahra
 player, 94 posts
Sun 24 Nov 2019
at 04:56
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Tahra responds. "As I said, they were created for this purpose; otherwise they would not exist. If justice is each having his due, then what's due them is to maintain this place and, because they desire to know, telling them how well they are doing their tasks.

And it is good, a promoting of justice to fix the broken machines and to recover the ones not present, if possible."
Alayna
 player, 101 posts
 Half Elf Equestrian
 Comely and young
Tue 26 Nov 2019
at 03:59
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Not involved with the discussions of the little creatures, Alayna made her way over to the Elves, not wanting to interrupt, but curious nontheless. After all, she was part blooded, and would always be curious of that half of her.

"Is everything alright, M'lord?" she asked her boss, oblivious to the conflict at the baths and happy with her own cleanliness for a change.
Ben
 GM, 109 posts
 Your Master of Ceremonies
Wed 27 Nov 2019
at 01:46
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
"Changing times are difficult for Elves," Phileas says to Alayna.  "Who can blame them, though, they've seen so much time, I suppose it must get difficult to keep up with.  Can you imagine the centuries?  To have seen the Empire- Humans- rise to unimaginable power and collapse in a single lifetime.  To have seen Humans go from scattered tribes to so many people... and then scatter again, as the Orcs come, and then regroup again and drive Orcs back.  So much has happened for them.  And yet all this time, they stay in their mountain forests and watch it all swirl around them.  How can that be for them?"

"Not all of them," Hylensia says.  "That's only the oldest of Elves.  Most aren't nearly so ancient.  Young Elves can be much like Humans."

Humans often misunderstand the lives of Elves.  Some Humans assume that since Elves can live for centuries, they must spend decades as children.  This was very much not the case.  Childhood is time for learning, and Elves do not need more than Humans.  They may hold on to youth a few years longer, but as young adults, Elves and Humans are very much the same.  But then, it changes.  While a Human ages and matures over decades, Elves will hold on to "young adult" for a century, and then the prime of their adult lives for a few centuries more, and then spend more centuries still in the golden years of maturity.  Half Elves inherit some of this longevity.  But not like the Elves. This is one reason why Half Elves often leave Elven society- they can see that their rapid aging is painful for their parents to watch.

"Entertaining Elves is very different from Orcs, I think," Phileas says.  "That's what we are here to do.  So... we shall try to appeal to the Elven soul.  Timelessness and nature and all that.  We have some planning to do."

*** **** *** *** **** ***

Being a Gnome with his characteristics, it is likely that Esher knows of the Gnomish Artificer and what they can do.  More than likely, as he has copper gears that only they make.  Intricate workmanship, and a touch of magic, and the Gnomes can make a Golem of gears and wires that will faithfully execute simple commands.  But to speak like these dolls do?  That's something Esher does not recall.  Great magic, beyond what Gnomes can do.  There is an old Gnomish folk tale he recalls, from the hills of Italia, about a toymaker Gnome named Gipetto who wished his puppet was a living boy he could adopt for a son.  Although the wish came true in the story, it was power from a being far beyond mortal Gnomish understanding... and besides, it was just a story.  No one goes around turning puppets into real live living creatures.

That he knows of, at least.

He looks over his patients.  Each would need time, and his repair skills and magic.  He could fix one a day.  But that means, to get all three, either the group must delay here, or he must bring one or two along for a little while.

Does he wish to start with one today?
Alayna
 player, 102 posts
 Half Elf Equestrian
 Comely and young
Sat 30 Nov 2019
at 06:09
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Alayna nodded, now understanding many things that she had not known. "To be so old, must be difficult. To one as young as I, it seems like forever just thinking of human lives, not to mention those of Elves."

She nodded to Phileas. "I shall go work on my costume. Perhaps I can finish the wings on it. That might make for an interesting show. Thank you." She smiled shyly, then made her way back to her wagon.
Nwofia Barandi
 player, 91 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Sat 30 Nov 2019
at 11:22
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia considers how best to impress the elves.  The skills she showed the orcs will be of little use, she needs to produce beauty from evanescence.  Perhaps decorating her body and letting the movements of dance in sunlight or moonlight.  Perhaps using her own dark coloration to show that one of her hue and shade can produce beauty.  After all, the elves of whom she is aware, the Garamantes seem much different from these elves, almost as if they were a different species.

This message was last edited by the player at 18:47, Sat 30 Nov 2019.

Marcos Conner Esher
 player, 34 posts
 confuse the senses
 confound the logical mind
Sat 30 Nov 2019
at 16:42
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Ooc: if I need to back off, let me know. Some events in my life have me on a civil liberties mission, but I don't want to take it too far here, if you and the rest of the party don't want to explore that facet of society in as much "depth" as I am pointing suspicious fingers at.

Not hearing the the elves wax self depricitive about being miss understood for living so long...




Speaking to the small constructs again.

I have a feeling that if the elves had ill will towards you as living constructs, they would make a point of avoiding where you all live and work.

Speaking of that...why were they not in this village when we arrived? The place seems all but abandoned. With the group of you all tasked to keep the lights on.

Anyway I am walking away from my point. The elves have always been the races least willing to change. They live for so long that they remember how things were when they were young and often chose the old way, which is not always the best way. They are literally one of the only races that live long enough to see multiple generations of humans, as they are born and then die of old age. They are so long lived that thier childish rebellious phase lasts decades, and believe me they know how to be rebellious...how do you think all the half elves exist.
They don't end up stopping thier childish phase till about 100.  Once they do stop acting like children, they go back to doing this as thier parents have always done them. Based on points of view thier parents have.

So once again if they had some malicious intent towards you all, they might be inclined to try and draw some parallel between themselves and the short-lived members of the caravan. In some hope to disingenuously curry an ignorant cooperation from members of the caravan. So that the caravan members are seen as doing the "right thing" in some blind obedience to the will of the elves. Probably use some unique point of view and and how they can act like adults long before they hit thier full childish rebellious decades. I mean it is true elves and humans stop soiling themselves around the same time, and learn to read, write, and speak at the same age. But that is not the same as no longer acting childish. The elves know they will live for over a half dozen centuries, so there is little to no motivation to start acting like an adult before they are forced to. Any one of them that says otherwise is either aberrant, or lieing.

So don't judge them too harshly, they are just elves, despite thier long view of history. You must remember that you will live long enough to see elven life span like the humans see mayflies. Here one day and gone the next. But don't trust anyone blindly, even the kindest and gentlest face can hide the darkest of intentions.

But like my thoughts that you are being kept in slavery, I may be wrong. That is why you must decided for yourselves. Choose the path you want, but remember that dark intentions are eventually met with great violence. So treat others how you wish to be treated, and don't accept treatment from someone, that they would not accept in return.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:56, Sat 30 Nov 2019.

Tahra
 player, 96 posts
Sun 1 Dec 2019
at 22:13
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Tahra has joined the discussion group and adds a possibility. I'm less than sure we should do anything that emulates elves. Instead, we could show how it feels to be short-lived but with hope of a fitting after life. And show what how...fulfilling...it is to cooperate with other types, other races—ones inclined toward the Good, anyway.
Nwofia Barandi
 player, 92 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Mon 2 Dec 2019
at 15:35
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia claps in response to Tahra. "Yes, we show them beauty that emerges on the instant rather than the slow accretion of elven works.  We show that the mayfly is as beautiful as the tree."
Ben
 GM, 110 posts
 Your Master of Ceremonies
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 03:12
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
The Elves leave the group to prepare, but as the troupe begins to plan, they note that some curious watchers are already gathering.  Elves, watching from a distance, making no real effort to remain hidden- it's their territory, after all.

But only a few.  Elves are thinly scattered, not town dwellers.  A few, but a slowly increasing few.  No one is telling anyone "get back to work", either, not even to the young ones watching.  The Elves seem to be taking great interest in this.

After a while, Elves return to talk to the Argentoses.   But these are newly arrived Elves, and they have news:  They already have a travelling performer with them.  He is coming.  Topaz, a Faun, and he has expressed an interest in seeing this interesting show.

Meanwhile...

Celeste helps Alayna get her costume ready.  She has her wings already, she acquired them in Cambete, but hasn't really had time to use them yet.  "They will like you," she says.  "I've met Elves.  Not these Elves, not here at least, but... all Elves appreciate grace and skill.  They are as far from Orcs as you can get, when it comes to that.  They like completely opposite things.  Are you sure these will stay on?  You don't plan on doing any actual flying, do you?  With magic?"

And Meanwhile...

The little doll golems have trouble following much of what Esher says.  They may be capable of thought far beyond the machine like obedience of a typical golem** but they lack any understanding of abstract philosophy.  They pluck out the simple messages "you will live for a long time" and nod along, the hard parts go... to use a bad phrase... right over their heads.

But the last part seems to have an effect.  Treated... Returning...

"We expect you to heal us... we cannot return this, we cannot heal you."

And another one makes a leap of logic.  "We can return service for service.  We can offer you service, because you heal us, it is the return of the treating, how we wish to be treated and how we treat you in return.  Is that right?"
Alayna
 player, 103 posts
 Half Elf Equestrian
 Comely and young
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 04:16
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Alyana giggled. "Nay, I plan not to fly," she told Celeste. "Not for real, anyway. The purpose of the wings is to make me appear that I may, either by nimbly moving on horseback, or going to the ground. They just need to be strong enough to say on, not even to spread. Think of a butterfly or moth who is so light, the wind moves them, but they do not need their wings to be such. A costume, no more."

Still, she has a young woman's joy of pretty things, and this is one of the more pretty that she has ever gotten.
Tahra
 player, 97 posts
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 04:24
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Tahra says If it's agreeable, I'm gong to a crone dealing with old age and death.
Topaz
 player, 3 posts
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 20:29
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
The Argentos, and their Travelling Show, are no strangers to Topaz.  He's journeyed with them in past, at times alongside, oft along with as a performer himself.  Certainly, he doesn't expect them to appear in Elvish lands.  The Schwarzwälder Elfen are generally quite prickly about allowing other races inside the core of the lands they hold; so much has been yielded over the centuries.  But for acting as an emissary of the minor Fey court of Princess Nia Sian Rosedrake, it's unlikely he'd have been given hospitality he's enjoyed while staying with them.  When word of a troupe of performers arrives, he has to come see for himself.

It's with this in mind that Topaz is pleasantly surprised to find Hylensia and Phileas at their familiar doings, here of all places.  He greets them warmly in his role as a former performer and something of a friend.  He asks after others, former members of the troupe and some of those new he does not recognize.  Everyone is so much younger than he remembers from past iterations of the show!

He regards each person briefly as they're described and named, perhaps their art or skills described.  Should eye contact be made, Topaz nods in acknowledgment and offers some some slight gesture of salutation, punctuates each meeting in a manner making it quite remarkable.

Concluding his reunion with the Argentos, he says in a rich and warm voice, "It's a great pleasure to meet you both again and I'm eager to see who you've brought along.". Afterward, the Faun wanders at apparently loose ends, greeting everyone as if he's never known a stranger all either a friend long lost or a welcome new companion.
Nwofia Barandi
 player, 94 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 20:46
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia smiles and nods as she continues to think about what her act will be this time.  Then she has a thought.  "Is anyone able to make ice?" she asks curiously.
Marcos Conner Esher
 player, 35 posts
 confuse the senses
 confound the logical mind
Wed 4 Dec 2019
at 20:57
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Marcos seeing that most of his words, are being lost without understanding. Looks to the small constructs as he is finishing his work.

I am happy I made your lives better

He returns to his waggon and prepared for the upcoming performance.

Setting out scripts for any members of the troop that wished to participate in his performance. A puppet play in five parts telling the story of two humans planning a wedding, and thier 4 day encounter with the fairy court, as they meet king Oberon the king of fairies, and his queen Tatiana.
The magority of it set during some extended dream sequence over a single night of the summer solstice.

He spends an extra hour re-preparing his spells, partially pre casting so in the moment he won't need material or verbal components,

Illusion spells for sets and lightning as well as costumes. Total performance time lasting 3 hours

This message was last edited by the player at 21:18, Wed 04 Dec 2019.

Nwofia Barandi
 player, 95 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Thu 5 Dec 2019
at 12:01
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia smiles at M C Escher.  "I would love to have a part in your play if I may."
Alayna
 player, 104 posts
 Half Elf Equestrian
 Comely and young
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 04:23
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
"And I would like to be part of the play as well, if there is a place for me," she tells Marcos. If there is something Alayna loves almost more than riding, it is play acting.

When she sees the newcomer, she is taken aback. She has never seen any such as him, but has heard stories. And as a naive part elf, she is more than aware of what the myths tell. Is this one called Topaz like that? She decides to be friendly, as she always is, and see if she can get to know him before judging him.
Marcos Conner Esher
 player, 36 posts
 confuse the senses
 confound the logical mind
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 05:43
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
those that choose to participate, Esher walks through the preparations and what is needed and how to control their puppets.

preparation takes one hour prior to show (to allow puppeteers to get comfortable with 3 concentration duration spells, and the simultaneous control of each)

script book is rechargeable, single charge, magic items (self crafted)

Major image (controls voice/wardrobe/puppet effects on "environment")
mage hand (to hold the smaller puppet "control cross"; controls face/hands/head rotation
mage hand greater (to hold the larger "control cross"; controls the legs/puppets movement in/around set and environment)

contains detailed images and texture swatches of costumes and cues and clues needed during performance, as well as lines for that character

those not wanting to control puppets can also control set and scene changes, as well as set lighting.

those characters not be puppeteer-ed will be handled as a single illusion (without physical puppets) by Esher.

much of his preparation is generally silent as he is checking and rechecking and mentally preparing and recharging the magic in the script books.

(ooc some of this is (game mechanics) beyond the capability of esher's level, but as puppeteer and an illusionist, I am blurring lines between reality and physical props)
Nwofia Barandi
 player, 96 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 13:21
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia frowns and scratches her baldness.  "Oh.  I'm afraid I don't know any magic nor how to use magic items.  Perhaps this is not for me after all.  I do apologise."
Marcos Conner Esher
 player, 37 posts
 confuse the senses
 confound the logical mind
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 16:03
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia Barandi:
Nwofia frowns and scratches her baldness.  "Oh.  I'm afraid I don't know any magic nor how to use magic items.  Perhaps this is not for me after all.  I do apologise."

Can you concentrate? Because like being handed a bowl of water, all you have to do is keep the water in the bowl.

This message was last edited by the player at 16:05, Tue 10 Dec 2019.

Nwofia Barandi
 player, 97 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Tue 10 Dec 2019
at 18:43
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
"Well it depends what you mean by concentrate." said Nwofia.  "I don't get distracted by every bird or butterfly but I'm not brilliant at concentrating, no."
Alayna
 player, 105 posts
 Half Elf Equestrian
 Comely and young
Sat 14 Dec 2019
at 03:37
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
"I can concentrate, whatever you need. I have small hands, and can move anything." She giggled. "Puppets are fun. Let me try."
Ben
 GM, 111 posts
 Your Master of Ceremonies
Mon 16 Dec 2019
at 00:37
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Marco has rehabilitated Willo, who, being fully restored by Gnomish magic, seems eager to follow him around the rest of the day, to help in whatever he is doing.

It is a little problematic because Willo doesn't have many usable skills.  Like the others, Willo was "programmed" to run a bath house, and that is the full extent of the little doll's ambitions.

Willo continuously asks things of Marcus like, "Would you like a warm towel?"

In bits and pieces, Marcus learns a few things about their odd existence.  They do seem strangely between Golem and Living Being.  They have feelings, they can be learn, they can express themselves, all things Golems do not do.  But they seem as focused and tireless as Golems, and like Golems, have no desires or needs other than doing their assigned job.

But one more thing that Marcus finds odd:  They have no memory of the Gnomes that made them other than some very dim vague knowledge: someone like Marcus.  And anyone who knows Gnomes could have guessed that.  But if they were conscious back then, why not?  They do not know why their early years are lost to them.

*****

The Argentos's remember Topaz.  They get around in their life, and they meet a lot of people.  While they don't remember everyone, they certainly will not forget a performing Faun.  Fauns are known for their music, but as they are generally reclusive forest creatures, it isn't often heard by others.  If one is running a traveling troupe of performers, one does not forget such a meeting.  Of course, Topaz is quickly offered an opportunity to travel with the group.

"It is my goal to see how far to the East we can get," Phileas says.  "I want to follow the Danube, and see what we find along the way.  Honestly, east of the Black Forest Elves, I know very little."

****

Elves continue to gather.  They know there is no show today, but they want to watch what happens anyway- some out of friendly curiosity, some with a little suspicion.  They are not used to getting visitors.

Elves are also proud of their skills in various arts, including entertainment, and a few want to perform as well.  The Argentos's tell them that while their talents are appreciated, this kind of show is not an open-to-all informal thing.  Everything presented, song, dance, illusions, puppetry and all kinds of spectacle, is designed around a theme and fits a coherent whole.

"At least it is supposed to," Hylensia explains.  "That is the plan.  But our staff is excellent this year."

"Rules and formality, are they not too binding for artists?" an Elf asks.

"Harmony is part of the art," Phileas says.

He asks one about visiting the Gnomes, next.

"I understand the Gnome Lands are in the Alps, south of the Rhine, and you Elves do visit their often," he says.

"It is true," an Elf explains.  "But we cross the Rhine with light, little boats.  You, with your wagons and animals will need a bridge.  There is one.  It is not always safe.  That region is not well settled.  Once, a terrible hag ruled there, but she was driven out.  Still, though... Neither the Gnomes nor the Humans of Germania will act to guard that bridge.  If you choose to go that way, speak with us before you depart, we will tell you what we know."

*** *** *** *** *** ****

Hylensia and Phileas address their crew.

"Topaz joining us is very good news!  He is an adept musician, and his styles are unique, built on the traditions of the Fauns, which few ever hear.  Are we planned and rehearsed sufficiently for tomorrow?  Are we rested and ready?"
Tahra
 player, 98 posts
Mon 16 Dec 2019
at 01:10
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Tahra reminds the group that the Huns of the Hunnish empire in Gaul have gone east.

She looks over the elves. If one of you is willing, we can perform together...I think four, let's say, incidents. Maybe five. You'll have to pretend I'm attractive.
Nwofia Barandi
 player, 98 posts
 Acrobat, Actress and
 A Living Surprise
Mon 16 Dec 2019
at 13:29
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Nwofia thinks and then says, "I think all I can do is dance.  I would like to do so with Topaz music if that's okay.  Sorry Mr Escher but I do not have the skills to operate your puppets.  A shame but perhaps some other time when I've had a chance to learn."
Topaz
 player, 4 posts
Tue 17 Dec 2019
at 00:15
Re: To the lands beyond the Rhine
Topaz is, as the Argentos suggest, a talented musician, conversant in diverse musical styles.  Some could be called exotic, while many are quite familiar.  In either case, the Faun is unabashed in his use of slight enhancing magics to complement performance.  Where one ends and the other begins is perhaps best left to conjecture.  Introduced, he gives a slight bow of thanks to the proprietors for their warm reception.

He watches the others at their performances, considering the merits of each.  After watching M.C. Escher at practice a while, the Faun juggles a few small leather bags for a time.  Topaz is not the singularly most polished of jugglers, but he's clearly quite capable.  He tosses balls in an idle, almost distracted cascade while he watches.  Eventually, he tosses one of the balls over his shoulder, out of sight, only to replace with a cup in the rotation.  "With a small, friendly, and willing audience, it's fun to pluck things from collars, pockets, and such to add to the rotation.  Much harder to accomplish, though, and far more risky.  It's do-able, but best left to the professionals," he says with a smile.

With Tahra, he is uncertain.  She's neither spoken with him nor shown any overt skill, so for the moment he he only considers her.  He's seen those touched with tragedy or strangeness before; she reminds him greatly of those souls.

The Faun regards Alayna, then inclines his head and offers the slightest of impishly suggestive smiles.  He is in no way a skilled scout, far too easily distractable by this or that, but her sidelong glance is all too familiar to him.  Perhaps he is like that, after all.  Perhaps.

"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, miss," he says in a mellifluous voice, a rich and warm baritone.


On Nwofia's announcement that she'd prefer to dance, his eyes light and he actually wags his tail in staccato rhythm.  A dancer!

Topaz drops his satchel without ceremony and offers his hand to hers.  He gives the slightest of formal partner's bows in plain invitation.  "Madame!  If I may?  It would be to my great delight."

<edited>

This message was last edited by the player at 16:48, Tue 17 Dec 2019.