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Porthca Landing II: Lost & Found

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If the noble Tyrius is buying, we should have some fun with this.

Trying to peek over the counter, Mags found it hard to see. "Excuse me but my friend tells me you sell a treat called frozen yogurt... Can we get two with everything on it! And how much everything have you got?"
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra rubbed her chin. "Maybe. Maybe." She could see herself possibly chasing another mystery just to stay occupied with something meaningful. But would the others stick around? Banrigg's job would be finished. Valerie had her business with the ring which might or might not conclude when they returned to Porthca. Ander and Eliza both had priorities that seemed to be drawing them to opposite sides of the country, and she couldn't predict what Mags and Ty would want to do. It seemed foolish to hope that they'd end up sticking together in any real sense.

She looked among the shelves, her eyes already glazing over. "Weeeeell... maybe I'll just browse and see if anything jumps out at me." With half a dozen fun people to talk to and a nearly-hatched wyvern egg on standby, she didn't imagine she'd find any time for reading when they hit the road even if she did miraculously find a book that appealed to her.

Would the Chimera stock anything about raising wyverns...?
 

DevilishEgg

Member
A tiny pink nose peeked out of Eliza’s pocket and took a few sniffs before the rest of Faust’s beaming face looked out.

”I don’t think the the desserts would travel well. Are you sure you want to eat stale cup cakes a week from now?” Eliza said trying to reason with the hungry cleric. ”I am not sure how a frozen yogurt would even taste like.”
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Toasty Coin Bakery:

The owner gestured to a small chest off to the side that seemed to have small curls of chilled air floating away from it. "I don't have much, but I do have some ice cream yes -- and I definitely still have some donuts."

Peering over the counter at Magnolia, "Yes, frozen yogurt. I've got small chocolate chips, some cherries, syrup, little sprinkles, which are like drips of frosting you can spread on things ... strawberries."

Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Royal Chimera Writings:


With a shrug, Niradnam wandered the aisles, the only sound in the building their footsteps and the occasional flip of a page from the store owner. After a few moments of browsing, a tsk sound came from Niradnam as he seemed to have pulled out a book and was skimming through it. If Virra came to investigate, the cover read "Unambiguous Teachings on the Elven Lexicon," and the scholar muttering to himself, "... that's just ... no ... that's wrong ..."
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra ran her fingers along the spines of a great many books in the shop, and even went so far as to open a few, but none of them seemed concerned with the rearing of baby wyverns. Frustrated, she finally went to find Niradnam and had a peek at the title of the book he was criticising.

"Ah, heck. That's the second thing I was gonna look for," she sighed, moving around to peer over the mystic's arm. "I guess that's not gonna teach me much Elvish, huh?"
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius smiled to the owner of the Toasty Coin as he listed off everything he still had in stock. 'Today's your lucky day, pal.' thought Tyrius as he reached into his jacket and pulled out his coin purse, having decanted it into his bag so that it held just enough spending money as Tyrius thought he'd need for a day. "How about an ice cream each, some frozen yoghurt and as many donuts as we can carry?" suggested Tyrius, figuring whatever they didn't eat would find its way into the Silverbane's kitchen for the staff to help themselves to. Had Pyria's demiplane been more stable Tyrius would have taken some more baked goods to share with the denizen of the demi plane. "How much will that be?" asked Tyrius, not particularly concerned with the price.
 
As Tyrius was buying, Mags was no longer listening. Instead she had found her way over to the chest of frozen goodies a d began stacking her yogurt high with... Well everything.

In the end there was probably more toppings then yogurt... She was going to be wired after this.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Toasty Coin Bakery:

Watching the group scavenge among the toppings and treats, the bakery owner coughed lightly, "Er... about five gold all together, especially if that halfling keeps it up."


Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Royal Chimera Writings:

Turning the book towards Virra so she could see the pages, there were bits of what she could assume to be Elvish noted to the side with paragraphs of explanations written in Common. "I know few outside of the Elves understand Elvish -- it's viewed as a nearly dead language but ..." he gestured to a word on the page, the description read: "Elvish phrase for 'what's yours is mine' -- elves are very greedy, taking their neighbors items for themselves. If challenged they will fight, and the winner keeps whatever was originally argued over."

Lowering his voice, "That phrase is ... not entirely translated. 'What's yours is mine, for we all shall gain in sharing' is the full phrase." Sighing, "There is trade in the Forest, but the Elders don't tend to own anything themselves -- the younger are expected to offer them things they need to live as they help maintain things with the Protector and the Guardian. They are a living ledger of history, and must pass down their knowledge to their acolytes ... sharing so we all may gain, remembering the past and the lessons from it."
 
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WetHawk

One Thousand Club
Valerie walked into the shop, ready to greet the owner once more before she realized that her previous trip had been as the Knight. She instead opted not to complicate things and watched her friends as they began to go wild for treats. When Tyrius was making the order, she added. “No ice cream, just vanilla frozen yogurt for me, please. Grandfather always said that ice cream was far too indulgent.” She paused for a moment before asking hesitantly. “Although... perhaps strawberries would be acceptable?” She turned to Tyrius and smiled. “Thank you, Tyrius. It is a crime that the generosity of the Silverbane family is not sung to the heavens, after all that your family does for us.”
 
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DevilishEgg

Member
“I am sure strawberries are acceptable. They are fruit after all.” The half-orc selected the strawberry ice cream and, after some insistence from Faust, caved and had it drizzled by the chocolate syrup and the chocolate chips. “This is quite a lovely establishment you have here. I always wondered how the cold desserts were developed. Are there any spells involved or enchanted items used?”
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra took a long look at the passage Niradnam pointed out to her, raising her eyebrows. “That's... really bad. Kinda feels like a hit job on elves as a whole, huh? Makes you wonder if the author had a bad experience with one.” The other mystic's explanation of elven customs turned out to be far more interesting than the book that had prompted it. “Really? That system works?” Virra was incredulous. “How many Elders are there? Is it mostly their acolytes or whatever who give them what they need to live?” Truthfully, she was still trying to wrap her head around the idea of not owning anything as she rattled off her questions.

She scratched at her ear. “And... sorry if I'm just being ignorant about this, but what are the Protector and the Guardian?” Figuring it would keep her from blurting out anything sensitive again, she quickly put up another telepathic link to add, And what do the Elders have to do with them?”And what do the Elders have to do with them? Dry history lessons were never her thing, but the secrets of an ancient and insular race certainly were.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Royal Chimera Writings:

Flipping a few more pages, Niradnam shrugged, "Or things were told, warped, and forgotten over the years." Smiling at her surprise he nodded before glancing at the shopkeep. Placing the book back he nodded towards the door, "Perhaps if we're going to discuss the theorized workings of the Elven Forest, we should find somewhere comfortable to sit?"

Bowing his head towards the store owner he added, "We appreciate your time, hopefully we didn't bother you too much." Guiding the gnome back outside, they walked towards a bench off to the side, out of the main walkways. The scholar leaned back, looking up towards the sky, the sun nearly set at this point. "The system works because ... well, it was established and reinforced over generations. With the cycle of Elven lives, people can vaguely remember their prior life and see within that that it's how things were -- or perhaps at one point they were an Elder as well. Much of Elven lifestyles are based on paying things forward I suppose, returning the favors given by others."

Reaching for a lock of his hair he started braiding it, "There are ten Elders at any time, though there have been times in the past where there are less, someone's life ends before an acolyte is truly ready to take the position. And yes, the acolytes work to serve the Elders. They bring clothing, food, books and so on from the rest of the Forest so the Elders may focus only on their work, since they act somewhat as a Council within the Forest." Pausing, "The Protector and the Guardian are two parts of a whole ... one maintains the Elves, and one maintains the Forest itself -- preventing creatures from entering the village, and keeping intruders out. That's the Guardian. The Protector acts ... hmm," Niradnam thought for a moment, "Sort of ... like a king and sheriff together I suppose? They're the final say on something if the Elders can't decide and often those under them act as a ... guardforce through the village."

Releasing the half-finished braid, he turned to Virra, "I've been saying village, but that's ... not how it really is." Connecting the telepathic link, instead of a message, Virra received a vision -- a massive tree trunk, though it seemed wrong somehow ... hollowed out perhaps until she realized she was looking at the inside of a tree -- branches like pathways went back and forth, crisscrossing and rising up, up towards an area at the very top, where faint sunlight broke through with the sway of branches. Faint trails of fireflies flickered through the air and small flowers offered light, wrapped as they were along balconies and pathways -- every structure carved from the wood that surrounded them. Houses, businesses and structures opened from the branches, on a large flat section there looked to be an open market, more elves than Virra would expect anyone non-elven had ever seen before, their conversations muted, their clothing varied.

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Pulling out of the vision, Niradnam had a faint smile, "Unfortunately that's not anywhere near how it feels to be there ... but it's home."

Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Toasty Coin Bakery:


The woman wiped her hands after handing out the treats and collecting the payment, "The cases I keep them in are enchanted to stay cold on the inside. Weren't cheap, but in the summer, they've definitely paid for themselves. Mostly I mix up creams and sugars I get from the farmers around here and store them for a bit. Got a larger crate in the back for storage."
 
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Ash-6116

Senior Member
Having handed over the money, Tyrius was intrugued at the mention of a larger crate in the back. Seeing Faust tucking into a treat Tyrius asked, "Say, Ms Carabelli here has an interest in such enchanted items and she's a student from Azarad, would it be possible for her to see that larger crate?" Handing the treats to Valerie and Magnolia, Tyrius added, "And my friends here are both magically inclined, I'm sure they'd be interested as well." Tyrius said with a big smile which he hoped would charm the store owner into letting Eliza is the enchanted crate.
 

NotHaruka

Member
Virra followed Niradnam out of the shop with a brief wave to the owner, trotting to the bench and hauling herself up onto it to sit in her usual cross-legged position. She didn't fidget or glance off at passers-by or display all that many Virra-isms while he spoke, taken up as she was with trying to commit each thing he said to memory. It turned out that, with the right combination of factors, even a lesson on government functions could be fascinating.

But a simple talk was leagues apart from what he showed to her through the mental link. Expecting a simple message, she was utterly unprepared for the living image that rose in her mind. There was no scent and all the sounds were muted, but the sight of the mystic's village was as real as if she were seeing it with her own two eyes. The great firefly-illuminated tree, and the great host of elves that lived within it – a sight that she was quite sure no gnome had ever seen before. It dazzled her.

When the vision came to an end, it felt far too soon. “That was incredible,” she breathed, raising a hand to the side of her head like she could physically touch the after-image. “That's how your people live? Above the ground, with all the lights and the flowers and... I can't imagine.” Forget the Guardian, she decided. One day, she was going to see that place with her own eyes.

Realising that she had been spacing out for an unusually long time, she reached for a way to continue the conversation, but for once in her life she found herself coming up empty. Niradnam already knew how beautiful his home was and how amazing it was that he knew how to share visions like that; if Virra started gushing about them, she'd just sound like an idiot. That seemed to matter, suddenly.

Her eyes fell on the elf's half-done braid. “Do you want to finish that?” she asked, giving her own braid a little flick. Then, without waiting for a response, she knelt up on the bench and took the lock of hair in her hands, picking up where Niradnam had left off. “Gotta look your best for your last night in town,” she said as she playfully styled the mystic's hair.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Royal Chimera Writings:

Smiling at her response, Niradnam nodded, "Yes -- hardly anything is actually at ground level beyond those who maintain the Stags used in crossing the forest..." He looked at the structures around them in Wyford, "To be honest it took me awhile to get used to the idea of everything being so ... flat. There are 16 levels to the Tree -- each one roughly having some set purpose, like districts in towns." Raising a hand all the way up, "The Guardian, Protector and Elders live on the highest level, only the tips of branches above them, acolytes the next level below, and so on and so on."

He enjoyed the brief silence, listening to the wind in the trees, watching a few clouds pass by, the scholar was startled at Virra's offer of the braid. "Oh -- heh, I suppose ... mostly I do that to keep my hands busy ..." Idly scratching his face, "Travel back to Azarad is going to be ... very awkward to put it nicely. Honestly wouldn't be surprised if Rowanne leaves before me just so we're not together ... I'm not looking forward to walking all that distance again ... though with the funds from everything I might buy a horse here to sell in Azarad when I get there."

Hands resting in his lap while Virra messed with his hair, he looked down, "... I really hoped I'd get to try and explain things, not ... just have my situation thrown out in the open. At least I doubt she'll tell anyone ... but I expect I've lost my garden friend..." Rubbing his eyes he sat straighter, "Apologies -- not the sort of conversation I expect you want to hear. It's my mess to figure out, and I expect the Thief is still giggling to himself about it." Glancing sideways at the gnome he continued, "... with that aside, it has been ... very pleasant to meet someone else like me that wasn't my mentor. I wonder how many others there are, especially with that ... 'now-sphere' or whatever you asked me about before."

Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Toasty Coin Bakery:


The owner glanced at the half-orc, already in deep focus with the smaller crate for her ritual, and twisted her hands together, "Uhm ... I'd really rather not have so many people in my back room? I know you're Lord Tyrius, but ... this is still my store. If you lot wanna try to figure out things, it'll be less expensive to fix the small one if it gets broken."

Evening of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford | Silverbane Castle:


With the rest of the group gone for one reason or another, the paladin had left as well, leaving Pyria and the kitchen to their task. Wandering somewhat aimlessly, it might have suprised him at one point to realize he'd grabbed a chunk of jerky and had been gnawing on it as he'd gone through the halls. Eventually, he bumped into Tyrius' older sister -- the cleric Sabine -- stepping out from her room. She grunted from the impact before looking up to see who it was, her expression softening as she noticed Ander.

"Ah -- hello again. Didn't expect ta literally bump into you -- your friend Sybeth is inside, if you'd care to see her? Got her set up in my bed for now, hardly use it as it is, or so the family jokes." The halfling tried a small joke, laughing half-heartedly before coughing. Pushing open the door, she offered Ander entry, and if he stepped in, would see Sybeth propped up in a large bed, surrounded by pillows, a few books, and various breads and fruits on small plates.

The woman seems to be looking off vaguely, but at Ander's entry, her gaze works over towards him with a smile, "Little Ander ... come to visit have you?"
 
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NotHaruka

Member
Virra nodded along as she finished tying Niradnam's hair in a fetching braid. By the time she took her hands away, the conversation had shifted to a place where she felt a lot more confident in speaking. “Forget the Thief,” she said firmly. “And forget Rowanne if she ditches you. Don't ever feel ashamed for keeping secrets, especially if it's to keep yourself safe.”

A few seconds passed while she considered her next move, but the elf-in-disguise prompted it far better than she could have. “Uh-huh? Hasn't it been great?” she laughed, nudging his arm with hers. “It's pronounced noosphere, but you're right. There are more of us here, on this plane – and when I stepped through the gate back in Faded Knoll Forest, I could even feel a presence there too. There might be a dozen of us, or a hundred, and it might be I can find them, if I try.” She said it on the spur of the moment; it hadn't even occurred to her to go in search of other mystics through the noosphere until that very minute. She practically bubbled with excitement at the idea.

Then she let it all out with a sigh, her smile returning to something more neutral. Her arm was still pressed up against Niradnam's. “Still,” she said quietly, “they're not the most interesting thing out there. None of them ever saved me from drowning, or showed me things like you just did.” She uncrossed her legs and sat properly on the bench. “I know I've said stuff like this before, but... you're my favourite, Niradnam. Really.” She gently kicked her legs while looking sideways at the elf.
 
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Evening of the Twenty-sixth Day | Porthca:

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Night of the Twenty-first Day | Wyford:

At Virra's confidence in her reply, Niradnam laughed, "If only it were that easy -- but I'll keep your advice in mind." Messing with his sleeve he continued, "That could be an interesting task, even a ... parallel somewhat to my own intentions. I wonder though, what if you find others attempting to keep themselves secret as well?"

The scholar leaned over to try and hear Virra as her voice dropped and shrugged, "I ... I couldn't let you die, and I'm sure you'd meet others who could show you far more interesting things. I was just doing the right thing -- fairly sure my Master would have set me to copy scrolls for a week if I'd allowed someone to die when I could have done something about it."

Across the streets, a temple bell rung out the hour, Niradnam's eyes widening, "Damn -- it's gotten so late? We completely missed the dinner the Silverbanes made ... and their, er, kitchen guest." Pushing himself to standing he offered a hand to Virra, "We should probably head back -- I still need to pack all my things I left here during our trip ..."

The various groups returned, either from their conversations or their treats, climbing into their beds for the night -- the last time they'll likely lay in such comfort until Porthica, assuming the port city hasn't burned down in their absence.

A vague anxiety plagues Valerie as she sleeps, the ring on her finger at times tightening then loosening, almost its version of pacing. In another room, the Paladin Ander seems to roll in his sleep as well, restless, concern for Sybeth and thoughts of what awaits them.

Morning of the Twenty-second Day | Wyford | Silverbane Castle:

The sun rises as everyone gathers outside the castle in the courtyard once more, Rowanne had done as Niradnam expected and left before the sunrose, saying nothing except a few muttered farewells to those she passed. Niradnam meanwhile stood with reins in hand, having purchased a horse from a stablemaster, his books and belongings wrapped tightly to the back of the saddle -- Egnaro rested easily in the seat, while the Wyvern egg, the darkest shelled of the clutch, was tucked tightly into a pouch at the man's side.

The scholar bowed to the collective group and Silverbanes, "Lords, Ladies, Master and Madame, it has been a pleasure to meet you all, and I have gained many experiences I doubt I shall soon forget. I will speak kindly of your generosity and generously of your kindness." He patted one of the satchels, "The gifts from your kitchen will definitely be enjoyed on my trip as well," he added, smiling. Doing another pat-down of his jacket, with a nod he checked his stirrups one last time before climbing into the saddle. With another bow, "I hope to see you all again sometime, hopefully without such dire events surrounding everything. Have a safe trip to Porthca!"

Pulling a hand to the side, he directed the horse's head and with a light kick it began trotting, hooves sounding out on the cobblestones and left the inner walls of Wyford, towards the closest gate.

Moriana turned to the rest of her guests -- her son Tyrius and those he had traveled with, gesturing to the wagon, once more loaded and ready for travel. "We wish you all safe travels as well. Sabine has suggested Sybeth stay here for now, to recover her strength and her mind, as we're much more peaceful than Porthica, especially from what it sounds like you all will be doing. You know you're all welcome here -- however, dear Tyrius," she smirked, "I suggest not trying to sneak so many women in. The front door is as good as any."

Finishing any last goodbyes or preparations, the group headed out as well -- a few from Wyford itself waving them off, having recognized the familiar red hair of the Silverbane Lord.

Evening of the Twenty-sixth Day | Porthca:

It's strange to realize at first -- it's been nearly a month since you all last saw this port-city, how it made such a dive from the cliffs straight down to the sea. Or the Sea, if you knew more than the average person around here. The horses step carefully down the hillside, the weight of the wagon behind them, as Banrigg speaks up, "Where do we head to first?"
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Having gotten in late after staying out buying treats and managing to miss Pyria's food because they'd been distracted by magic items, Tyrius had barely any sleep the night before they set off. Staying with the group as the wagon was loaded up, Tyrius couldn't have even tried to hide the blush that came to his cheeks as Moriana gently chided him about the fact that it seemed every night they'd been in the mansion Tyrius had turned up with yet another woman who had some form of magic of her own. Pyria, Valerie, Rowanne, Magnolia, Sybeth.

---

Seeing the sight of the city once again, Tyrius blearily opened his eyes and looked at the rising sun as it shone over the sea. The redhead was in a foul mood, and had been for a few days. He'd spent two nights in a row reading or writing in his journal instead of sleeping. Though that wasn't the source of his sullen sulky mood - the fact that he wasn't sure if Bookwyrm would even hatch was. Tyrius hadn't given up on the wyvern yet, instead he'd decided to spend the last night in the wagon going to sleep as a dragonborn curled up around the egg with his tail looped over the top of it. Having reverted to his human form overnight, Tyrius gently rubbed the egg. 'Please, please hatch little one,' thought Tyrius as he heard Banrigg speak up.

"Um, think we should go see Master Anthol and Madam Sidwae first." suggested Tyrius, "Mostly to check on Lady Joane and Lord Robern."

'And to check that Benito hasn't done something stupid in the meantime like try and sacrifice himself to The Sea again.' thought Tyrius, shaking his head a little as he remembered the scene on the beach.
 

NotHaruka

Member
Wyford

Virra stared at Niradnam in open astonishment as he chose to focus on the surface level text of what she was saying, and not on the fact that she was obviously enamoured with him and practically hanging on his arm. How was she having so much trouble getting him to respond? He was a cute, gently-spoken guy who liked books and his pet cat. It should have been easy.

She clasped her hands tightly and opened her mouth to spill her feelings once and for all time, but in the heartbeat before she spoke the temple bell began to ring -- and in waiting for it to finish, she let Niradnam get in first. Talking about how he needed to pack, to prepare to leave early in the morning. Virra shut her mouth. "You do," she said sullenly. She took his hand, used it to pull herself to her feet and then let go of it very quickly.

The walk back to Castle Silverbane was taken in near-silence, and once she was inside she went almost immediately to bed with an empty stomach and no new clothes, thinking back on all the conversations and private thoughts they'd shared and how hopeful she'd felt less than an hour ago. Even idling time away in a bookshop had felt meaningful, then.

Why bother, she wondered, staring up at the dark ceiling. Why did I even bother.


Porthca

Virra's mood that morning as they crested the hill before Porthca was a mirror of Ty's, dour and resentful of just about everything around her. Last night she had been the opposite; all through the evening she'd laughed merrily and shared dumb stories and challenged everyone to a board, card or word game, even Banrigg. That, too, had marked a change from her behaviour around noon, when she had complained bitterly about the weather and the food and then refused to speak to anyone for hours. This pattern of mood-swings had held for four days now, ever since the morning they set off from the Silverbane household. Virra had offered no explanation for it, or for why she sometimes woke up with reddened eyes.

"Fine," she said simply. "De'Porthca residence. Let's go to work." It was the most she'd communicated all morning.
 

WetHawk

One Thousand Club
Valerie was in high spirits as they reached the city of Porthca, even though the world around her felt as if it were determined to bring her down. The five days of travel had been gratefully uneventful both in terms of bandit attacks and in terms of the ring. It grew more and more anxious as they drew near to the city, but the young warlock refused to give in to its control. When she woke up for the last morning of their journey, Valerie was practically giddy in excitement, chattering away at anyone that would pretend to listen. At the moment, her poor victim happened to be Eliza. "-so that got me thinking, I really do believe that I should do something different with my hair. I mean, I know that I could always just use magic to make it look different, but that does not really feel different, right? Grandfather always liked it properly braided, but that has hardly been practical given our usual circumstances, and I have taken to keeping it in a bun during days when I expect to be fighting, but I was thinking that I should just cut it short, after all, it's not like we are going to be attending any balls or galas any time soon." She laughed before another twitch from her ring pulled her away from the conversation. Valerie glanced down at it before realizing Banrigg had asked a question and agreed with her companions. "Yes, we should finish our task first. I am not eager to have to explain my prior deception once more, especially seeing as Lady de Porthca appeared to have ways to see through my illusion, but I suppose it has to be done." The sooner the pearl is gone, the sooner the urges end. Valerie thought to herself, although there was no guarantee that it was actually the case. Regardless, she turned back to Eliza with a smile. "Sorry, where was I again?"
 

DevilishEgg

Member
When Eliza had returned back the the table, she was greeted with an empty ice cream bowl that was licked clean, and a mouse happily napping in said bowl. She was too distracted by the fascinating crate as she picked up Faust and plopped him back in her pocket to even be annoyed by her familiar’s antics.

Sitting now in this confectionery thousands of miles away from home, the half-orc wizard couldn’t help but chuckle at her current state. Feeling delirious and relieved in equal measure, she couldn’t believe her life. Not only had she lucked upon a stash of some of the most enchanted items in her life and had the time to study each item to her heart’s content, but she had also now seen a coldbox powered by an offensive spell all for the sake of keeping dessert cold.

If it wasn’t for her parents...she shook her head as if to dispel the thought out of her head. There was no point dwelling on something that was out of her control for the moment. She could only hope to find a way to send them a message through magic.

She knew it was possible, she had done some mild research about such spells back in Azarad but it had seemed like such a waste of time when the regular mail was reliable enough and there were flashier topics to read about instead.

Now she regretted her hubris. It had taken her much longer to piece together what she had skimmed through years ago about the topic and try to bring it together into one coherent, usable spell. She was pretty close, she felt it, but she was still missing a piece of the puzzle. She needed to gain access to an arcane library, maybe the Accomours’ she decided. Of course there was something else she could do meantime.

She had been so engrossed in her thoughts that she was pleasantly surprised to find herself back in front of the castle. She smiled at the group, ”Thank you for the dessert, Lord Tyrius.” She teased and waved good night to the rest of the group.

She hurried hoping to catch Niradnam before he went to bed. With the help of one of the servants, she headed straight to his room and knocked thinking back of the fight she had with the elf almost a month ago in the same, exact spot with some amusement. She knocked on his door and when he answered she stuffed some papers in his hands, “Sorry for the late hour but I was able to transcribe the runes from the manacles. I know you are going back to Azarad and you would probably have a lot of work then but I would appreciate your help in deciphering their meaning and figuring out their long term effects. I don’t think I will have much access to libraries on the road.” Eliza felt out of breath at the end of it and extremely awkward but soldiered on, “Also can I please borrow the orb one last time. I would like to check up on my parents one last time.”

Looking over the copied notes, he trailed a finger along some of them, frowning. "I'll see what I can do, but no promises of course. Personally I'd rather never see such things, but if they can potentially be used to release others ... it'll be worthwhile."

“I know,”
she sighed rubbing her forehead, “but I feel their power stems from these ruins. I am hoping if we understood what they meant...well, we could try and repair their damage. Help Sybeth and the others like her.”

When he handed her the black orb, Eliza hesitated for a moment before nodding curtly. “I will give this back to you before you head out.” She felt there was nothing much left to say.

After spending an hour attuning to the orb, she peered into its depth bringing to mind the images of her parents. As the fogs swirled within the black orb, the Carabellis came into view as the vision took her away to a familiar scene. They seemed to be buried under small children who are all sleeping. She heard them mutter things catching mention of components or potential spells to use.

She returned the orb back to Niradnam the next day and set off on the road to Porthca. Feeling heartened from seeing her parents again, even for a few moments, she spent the next three days transcribing her new spells and tried to make some sense from the jumble of runes again getting more frustrated with each failed day.

She gave up midway and wanted to spend the rest of the journey in a sullen funk echoing those of her companions, but was gladly distracted from her mood by Val, “Oh, you could try making it look how however you wanted it first, short or dyed or whatever, for a time. If you liked it you can permanently commit to it.” Eliza had always had short, neatly cropped hair so she hoped her advice was sound, “You were talking about galas?”
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Twenty-sixth Day | Porthca | De'Porthca Manor:

Nodding at the agreement of the group, Banrigg guided the wagon towards the manor, the streets feeling somewhat muted, however there's still the almost constant roar of noise with the city built into the cliffs that act as an amplifier. As the wagon descends down the side, from some points you can see what looks to be construction around the harbor, some gaps where you get the sense buildings used to be.

Considering the near month away, it's strange to be back where things started, and how much your own positions have changed -- some who left with only a few gold to their name could likely set themselves up as nobles without much effort, were that their desire. The casual wealth Benito had tossed around now feels like pocket change in comparison.

Eventually arriving at the vaguely familiar De'Porthca Manor, the windows are still blocked off, the interior looking dim, but as a servant approaches to take the horses, footsteps sound out off to the side. Those who look into the dark see a tired looking human man, quiver and saber at his hip, and a bow that appears to be made of scavenged wood in his hand, an arrow half-drawn as he continues to step forward.

Eventually reaching the light he speaks -- "Oh. We weren't expecting guests, but I assume you return with good news. Didn't think you all were going to return at all, actually." Though it's been almost a month, it's hard to forget the voice and tone of Benito De'Porthca. Placing the longbow over his shoulders he continued, "It's about time -- we dealt with the harbor stuff a week ago finally, but now the Sea has been playing with our sanity in other ways ..." something crunched behind him and he quickly spun, drawing the bow and an arrow once more, ready to fire as he stared off into the dark.

The servants continued their work, unloading items from the wagon, a few gasping at the wyvern eggs, unsure what they were, and others grunting at the weight of the wealth some had tucked into their packs. Eventually Benito eased up and continued his walk towards the party, the bags under his eyes evident. "Lestone has been ... visiting. Here and there. Riling up people, spinning up the rumours which have only grown after news of what happened at Cyne's funeral spread." The noble growled under his breath for a moment then adjusted his doublet and sleeves, "Regardless, as head of the De'Porthca household now, I must greet you and welcome you all inside, even those I do not entirely recognize." He bowed towards Magnolia, "I am Benito Encogerse De'Porthca, son of Anthol De'Porthca, graduate of Azarad Foxe University, master of the bow, and leader of the De'Porthca shipping company, as well as De'Porthca Representative amongst the Porthca council." Standing straighter he motioned towards the manor, "Now, come inside and explain what happened while you were off -- and hopefully have what that bitch asked for."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Looking at the state of the De'Porthca Manor as they entered, Tyrius could only pray that they weren't too late. The place looked as if it had been hardened against a siege for a while. As a servant came out to deal with the horses and he saw the way Benito looked, Tyrius felt immensely guilty about the fact that he'd been enjoying his family's company while Benito had clearly been barely able to snatch rest protecting and defending his.

"Oh, that's okay, that's with me." said Tyrius with a brief smile to one of the servants that had come out to take care of unloading the wagon and gone for Bookwyrm's bag. Slinging the strap over his shoulder, Tyrius gave Benito a polite nod. Disturbed at the fact that even with the harbour dealt with Lestone had still been visiting, Tyrius wondered if The Sea would keep to her own debts.

"Benito, my friend," said Tyrius, "Lady Joane and Lord Robern, are they safe? How about Master Anthol?" Tyrius would have included Madam Sidwae, but he'd learned from many nights drinking in taverns exactly what Benito thought about his stepmother and decided it would be more prudent to find that out himself if Benito did not bring it up.
 

Abrahms

One Thousand Club
Evening of the Twenty-sixth Day | Porthca | De'Porthca Manor:

Benito waved a hand idly, "The twins are fine, Rob finally stopped coughing constantly, though it took quite a few visits from a cleric. Father is still around, watching over my shoulder and I'm sure constantly comparing my work to Cyne's, though he won't say it outright."

Watching the others get out of the wagon, he squinted in the dark, "If I'm not mistaken you see to have lost a few -- what happened to the golden cleric and the salt-encrusted knight? Did you trade them for those two?" he gestured towards both Magnolia and Valerie.

The servants nearly finished unpacking the wagon he once more motioned into the Manor, "The rest will be interested in seeing you -- we should head inside before too long ... it seems Lestone is elsewhere tonight as it is."
 

Ash-6116

Senior Member
Tyrius gave an awkward smile, of the kind he'd usually reserved for whichever poor tavern owner he was having to pay damages to after one of Benito's drinking sessions got out of hand and Lord De'Porthca had smashed or broken something resulting in profuse apologies to prevent scandal or either of them being booted out of Azarad. He wondered idly whether 'the cleric' to whom Benito referred was Cate, though he thought Benito would've shown a little more respect and named Ms Pryce if that was the case.

"About that - the golden cleric decided his fortunes lay elsewhere and wandered off, only bothering to tell Ander and Banrigg when he was off," said Tyrius, deciding not to tell Benito about Pyria. The less people knew about Pyria the safer she'd be and also he was pretty aware that Benito could go into a rage at them if he thought they'd 'wasted time' in his opinion. "As for the knight..." said Tyrius, trailing off a little and looking to Valerie, figuring it was really her call whether to admit to the deception she'd adopted in Porthca - or play it off as the knight had died or left and she was a new friend altogether.

At the mention of Lestone being off somewhere else, Tyrius asked, "You've a way of tracking Lestone?" Somehow the idea that Lestone could be tracked didn't improve matters - Tyrius wondered how much of a nuisance The Sea had been making of herself in their absence.
 
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