Stormspeaker - Winds of Change
[OOC: This is a PRP arc likely to span 3 sessions. If you're interested in joining, please @mail Rysen.]
Nov. 4, 2019, 6 p.m.
Outside Arx - Northlands near Stormwall - Westwind Point
Comments and Log
There is a light breeze blowing in from the Frozen Sea when the ship carrying the travelers from Arx arrives in the docks of Westwind Point. The crew busies themselves with tying off the ship, and before long, the gangplank is lowered and passengers are encouraged to disembark.
The sky overhead is gray in the afternoon, but he wharf is considerably busier than those of Graywater Bay and Stormwall to the north. Small fishing ships are returning with their catches and locals are trudging along the snowy, muddy roads along the wharf, towards the fish merchant stalls, as servants to the wealthy do some shopping for the evening meal of their respective households.
Gwenna tugs her cloak a bit more tightly around her, the wind off the sea mixing with the air around the wharf seeming to give her a chill. "I never feel more like I've been in Arx too long than when I visit the lands this far north," she admits as she takes the last few steps from the gangplank and on to solid ground. "Is the port always this busy? I don't think I've visited here before."
Mirk disembarks, along with the rest of the travelers, his eyes drawn first skywards, studying it with an idle curiosity. He lets out a slow breath, misting in the evening air. "It does feel like home, doesn't it?" He comments idly, though if he notices the chill, he gives no sign of it. The leathers and fireweave might help there. He looks to the others, then, and offers a nod to the familiar faces. "Good question."
Rukhnis follows down the gangplank in the wake of the others, her own dark cloak pulled closely around her against the biting wind of winter. She has her bundle of medicines and medical implements slung over one shoulder, making a lump in her cloak that the crisp breeze tries to use as leverage to pull the garment loose, but she ignores the flap of fabric as she takes in her surroundings instead. Her dark gaze passes over the area with meticulous attention as she takes the fist step onto dry land, and her expression is sombre -- but then, that's not exactly unusual.
Rosalind is loving the smell of the sea, the feel of the on her skin,"It's almost like home!"stepping from the gangpkank and looking at her surroundings. "This is great!" Rosalind chatters on in her friendly demeanor as she watches the people.
Arcadia is almost bouncing with excitement. This is only the second or third time she's been north and she's excited! So excited she almost falls off the gangplank. A quick save by grabbing at Volcica's gown and she jumps the last little bit to the dock. "Oh. It's so cold. This is colder than I expected. But it's so pretty!" She immediately starts to wander the dock, checking out what's being sold and entertaining locals with her still lilting crownslander accent.
Volcica lingers on the boat for a moment, using the vantage to take in the scene. The shaman takes a deep breath of the cold winter air, a flush in her cheeks that makes her look far more hale and healthy than her usual pale complexion. She reaches out to steady Arcadia even after the Countess catches herself, and actually laughs. "This isn't even that cold."
"Ey there," says a large fellow with a great red beard to Gwenna. "Ye have ter pay the tax."
"Silence, fool," says a brown-haired woman, dressed in leathers and a wollen cloak. "Those are silks if I ever saw one, 'cept that one maybe," she says, nodding to Rukhnis. "So the silks got more silver, eh?" says the big man, named Groond. "No, you idiot. They'll find out," the woman named Velda hisses. Groond waves a hand dismissively at his more intelligent companion. "I says they pay." Staring at Gwenna and the others, and continuing to speak with jagged yellow teeth, he says. "Now pay, one hun - er, two hundred silvers," and holds out a large, unwashed hand expectantly.
One brow on Gwenna's brow arches up a bit higher than the other as she regards those who are talking about taxes. "A tax? Snowballs. I do a bit of bookkeeping myself and wasn't aware that there were disembarking taxes still. I'll have to check to see if I brought that much with me," she says and starts patting her pockets. "You said something about someone finding something out, though?" That is wondered with a shift of her gaze to the rest of the Arxian group, both brows raising now.
Rukhnis leaves off her inspection of the area as the large bearded fellow and his friend approach, her eyes sliding slowly over to fix on the man's hand as he holds it out with accompanying demands. She simply stares at that outstretched palm for a long moment, then lifts an unreadable ominous gaze to his face instead. STARE.
Rukhnis checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 2 lower.
Arcadia groans at Volcica as she rejoins the group, an apple in hand. Peering up at the big man, she asks. "Where does this tax go? What is it used for? How much do you keep? Do the Crovanes know about the tax? Who is in charge at the docks?" and finally, "What's your name?"
"Sounds like graft to me," Mirk observes mildly, his face expressionless. There's an idle look over the pair of them, speculative, and then mentions, "Shame we couldn't convince Lady Clara or the Duke-Consort to join us for this expedition to explain the local customs." He squints at Arcadia for a moment, and adds, "It gets colder."
Groond scratches his beard with his non-demanding hand while staring at Gwenna. "It's, er... a trad'nitional tax." To Arcadia he says, "To the Abyss with where it goes, silkie, pay, or ye might run in ta trouble. Ain't ye heard the good shaman's near dead, and it's finally time we all gets what we deserves." Velda, not liking where this is headed, starts to back away to the wharf, where an aged man dressed as a sailor seems to be speaking to a large group of people.
Mirk's works, bring a dark look to Groond's face. "What're ye accusing me of, m' Lord?" he says. He speaks slightly more courtesy to Mirk for some reason, which probably has nothing to do with his beard and shamanic appearance.
Volcica checked command + intimidation at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.
Rosalind is curious with the man,"What does getting tax have to do with getting deserving things?" She's a bit curious now, attention peaked.
"No, I don't think we'll be paying. What exactly is it that you think you deserve?" Volcica steps up, cold as the winter that surrounds them. "Go, or I'll ask the winter winds what they think of trying to 'tax' people here to help." She's a tall woman, with dark eyes that are just staring into Groond. Maybe she -could- convince the winter winds?
Arcadia checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
Gwenna tilts her heat to Groond, her expression full of curiosity. "A traditional tax, truly? What's the story behind it? I'm a bit of a history buff and would love to add another regional tale to share with others." She stops patting her pockets when Volcica makes things clearer for the bearded man. "It doesn't seem your partner is too interested in the tax anymore, my friend." There's a nod to the retreating Velda. "Though I suspect we all want to be sure you get what you deserve."
"I will pay the tax to the dockmaster," Rukhnis announces shortly, and with that assertion of dubious truthfulness, she turns her back to the man with complete dismissal and looks back the rest of the wharf instead. Her eye is caught by the movement of the cloaked woman, and from there by the grouping a little ways off. She gazes thoughtfully at them, and in particular at the man speaking, and edges a short distance in their direction, just enough to be within earshot.
Arcadia watches as the woman goes off. She sneaks away from her group and trails the woman over to where she's gone. Her eyes fall to the man talking and she listens to what is being said.
"Um," says Groond to Rosalind, moving from scratching his beard to pulling on it, and looking around for his companion who has left to join the crowd and speak with a number of others westward on the wharf. When Volcica accosts him, Groond actually takes a step back, and shakes his head. "Didn't realize you was a shaman, Sil, er, m' lady. Yer, uh, Exsempt from th' tax this time." As Gwenna begins asking him questions far beyond his intellectual capacity, he starts to back away and says, "Jes watch yer backs!" though he looks more frightened than intimidating as he hurries away into the crowd.
Meanwhile the crowd around the old mariner starts to grow, and the following words can be heard faintly from the dock: "...and that's why the time o' these shaman have passed! They're stiflin' growth! The Old Ways don't belong in the Compact no more, and the gods is far stronger than any spirits I ever seen!" A murmur is heard to run through the crowd, as well as a few cheers.
"I'm not accusing you of anything," Mirk assures the man. "And I'll pay your requested tax, and double it. But don't expect such payments from everyone, hm? Otherwise, I might have to include a question about the local taxes, next time I correspond with Duchess Fianna." He keeps his tone neutral, throughout the implied threat, and offers the man a handful of the more valuable gold pieces. The message is clear: Take the coin, walk away, and don't try this again next time a stranger walks onto the dock. "Though I think we'll want to see what's going on elsewhere, hm?" That more to his fellow travelers from Arx.
Rosalind hears the murmurs and turns in the direction of the cheers. The tall redhead grows more curious, wanting to go look,"Hey! What's going on over there!"probably already making her way over.
Mirk checked charm + manipulation at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Arcadia rarely looks like a silk and today is no exception. Dirt on her nose, old faded pants, she leans on one leg more, her hip jutted and crunches her apple. With a mouth full of apple, she raises her hand and puts on her best north accent, "Question. Which gods are you referrin' to?"
Rukhnis's eyes narrow a little as she begins to get the gist of what the seaman is going on about, and her lips press together in a brief expression of distaste. She shifts her weight, glancing back over her shoulder to the rest of the group, then studies the audience closely as she waits for the others, perhaps gauging the crowd's reaction to the mariner's sentiments.
There's a grin at the corner of Gwenna's lips and it seems she's at least momentarily pleased as Groond shuffles off. "I like to ask a lot of questions when people try those things. It tends to confuse them, though I don't think they'd have shied away without all of your combined efforts. It's not always a good tactic." Her shoulders lift in a shrug and then the words from the crowd farther off filter in. "Really," she wonders and then pinches the bridge of her nose a moment. "This is ironic."
To say Groond is shocked by Mirk's gesture is an understatement. It is likely he doesn't see that kind of coin - well - ever. He nods to the Elder shaman and plods off.
The mariner is continuing his rant: "And you, lass," says the aged man, with his good eye on Rosalind, "you want to see the Northlands grow stronger, do ye not? Want to see Stormwall and the good Duchess prosper. Then why not trust to Mangata and to Miss Artalia!" When Arcadia interjects, he grins and takes a swig of whiskey from a flask. "What gods are greater than the spirits? Why Mangata for one! She rules the oceans, but what spirit has done a lick o' good for any honest seafarer? I ask ee that!"
With that matter settled, Volcica's attention turns to the small crowd, and she sighs. "Why do so few see that it doesn't have to be one or the other?" It's spoken softly, mostly to herself but likely audible to anyone near enough. She's not trying to hide the sentiment, after all. For now, Volcica hangs back a little, drifting closer but not wanting to get involved just yet.
Arcadia hmms with a head tilt. She flashes the man a grin before flouncing off towards her group again. She tosses her apple core into the ocean, (That's considered a gift, right?) and shares with the group, "So. We should likely get moving. The woman mentioned to a group that Tookral shouldn't trust him to fleece the merchants. There seems to be a group of 'em working here."
Elements of the crowd are growing restless as the mariner speaks. Many who seem dressed in the garb of the Mourning Isles, and some from the Crownlands seem to be nodding and encouraging him, while others, who appear to be dressed in the style of the Northlands seem less pleased. "Fuck Artalia!" shouts a young Northlander, with shamanic beads braided into her hair.
Just then a boy with black hair touches Volcica's elbow. "Did you come from Arx to help, m' lady?" he asks the shaman of Bonespire.
Rukhnis inclines her head slightly in Volcica's direction, seemingly in agreement, then pulls a faint grimace at the growing restiveness of the crowd and turns more fully back to the rest of her group. "Does anyone know which residence is the Stormspeaker's? I would like to see him as soon as we possibly may, in case there is anything at all to be done for him."
Rosalind peers at the mariner, hazel green,"Who is Artalia?"purposely not saying anything about the rest. She does flash a kind smile to Volcica in agreement. Rosa then winces at a loud voice. No wonder she likes the woods so much better, adjusting her feathered cloak.
"I think you spooked him, long before i ever opened my mouth," Mirk observes to Gwenna in a wry tone, watching the man head off. "Hopefully he'll learn his lesson." He heads over towards the crowd, raising an eyebrow. "The Sea Wind," he says to the crowd, though he doesn't raise his voice, so it might be lost in the noise. "It is not greater than Mangata, but all who travel the seas depend on its favors. A wise sailor would say their prayers to both." He's watching the crowd's reaction, as he speaks, as if to gauge what might happen when he lobs something like that into the discussion.
The young boy, whose name is Gim, nods to Rukhnis. "I was sent to lead you to him."
"Artalia be the greatest captain and merchantwoman in the city, lass!" thunders the mariner. "And she'll lead us t' greater prosperity too! Bring in mountains a' gold ter Stormwall and Farhaven, ye can bet on it! She'll damn the river and erect a shrine to Mangata that will bring us 'ere into a new era!"
When Mirk speaks, though not ostantaciously, the young woman bearing shamanic beads in her braids, and a number of those who seem inclined to her view nod to Mirk. "Who might you be, My Lord?" she asks Mirk, her green eyes shinning with curiosity.
Volcica turns towards the boy, crouching down if necessary, to get more on his level. "We did, young man. I'm Volcica Stahlben, a shaman from the Bonespire, and over there is Lord Mirk Halfshav, who's also a shaman. Rukhnis is really good with medicine, and Princess Gwenna Redrain is a famed diplomat. Lady Rosalind Ravenseye and Countess Arcadia Stahlben are here to help." There's still a cool distance about Volcica, but she seems a bit softer in regards to the boy. "We want to help the Northlands thrive, including Westwind. If you know of anything that needs our help, would you let us know?"
"Even in Farhaven we're taught both," Gwenna says with some faint exasperation before eyeing the gathering crowd. She nods to Rosalind's remarks. "I'm curious who Artalia is as well," she admits and wrinkles her lips shortly before it's revealed. "I wonder who is in line to replace the current shaman, and why whoever it is that doesn't want them to succeed, doesn't want them to succeed. I can't think of any other reason for this..." She waves at the people. "To be a thing." There's a bit of a smirk to Mirk and she dips her head. "Thank you. I'm not sure I spooked him much, but it was worth a try." When he mentions the Sea Wind, the Redrain straightens a bit and then turns her attention to Volcica and the little boy. "Maybe we should seek out this Artalia while here."
"Very good," Rukhnis replies to the boy, with a small bow to him. Never mind that he's only a child; evidently no one is too young for the Eurusi woman's brand of courtesy. "We very much appreciate your help." She falls into place next to him, ready to follow his lead to the failing shaman.
Mirk nods his head to Volcica, and adds, "We're both from the Spirit Walkers of Arx. We heard that the Stormspeaker was close to passing. I hear there's several different candidates lined up to succeed him?" He raises an eyebrow at the woman curiously. "Rukhnis, are you intending to see to him privately, or...?"
The boy Gim smiles at Volcica. "We have heard of you and Elder Mirk here in Westwind." He looks over at Gwenna with a bit of awe. "A Princess?" he says quietly. Turning back to Volcica, he nods and says, "Yes, I have been asked to take you to shaman Gutherin's bedside, and speak with the successor he chose. I would ask that all of your companions from Arcks come as well," he says, slightly mispronouncing the great city's name with his Northlands accent. When Gwenna mentions Artalia, Gim frowns. "If you must, Your Highness. She's only about herself though. Would squeeze Westwind Point for all its worth if she could." As Rukhnis seems willing to follow, he prepares to depart, heading south and west.
Rukhnis shakes her head at Mirk. "From what little I have heard of his state, I do not imagine it will make any difference to have a few people more or less there. And it may well be a good thing for another shaman of the North to see him, and judge whether there is anything more spiritual to be done for him. Or in case there is something he says, which might make sense to someone with more knowledge than I." She pauses a moment, as if on the cusp of saying something else, but in the end she gives another, smaller shake of her head and only says, "You should come, along with anyone else who wishes to."
Volcica nods to Gim, confirming about Gwenna before rising to follow after him. There's a glance to Arcadia, but if Volcica notices her slipping off? She doesn't say anything about it just yet. She follows towards the Stormspeaker's house, quiet now.
Mirk blinks at that. "Is that right?" He didn't expect that, if anything. "Then I'll, of course, accompany you and examine him as well." He falls into step with Rukhnis and the boy, prepared to follow wherever those two lead, though he glances over at the mariner a time or two again, frowning at him and the crowd both.
Gwenna smiles wide at Gim. "A princess, yes. There are /hundreds/ of them in Arx, you know. You practically trip over them on your way to the market," is noted with humor in her tone before growing a bit more serious. "Ah. This Artalia sounds like bad news, then. A familiar tale, sadly, but one that might need dealing with later. The Stormspeaker is why we all came." She turns her attention to Rukhnis. "If you're certain the lot of us won't be a bother to him, I would like to see him as well before he passes. As much to thank him for her service as well as say good-bye." She falls in step behind the others, though does cast a glance around to see where Arcadia may have gotten off to.
"If it happens after all that he is in need of peace and space more than anything else, then I will send everyone away then," Rukhnis adds, with as much assurance as if it were actually her right to boss around elder shamans and princesses. Physicians.
Rosalind checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 5 higher.
Arcadia checked dexterity + stealth at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.
With light foot falls, Arcadia and Rosalind tail Groond and Velda through the streets heading north. The light is failing, and the gray skies slowly fade into darkness, and the chill turns to a biting cold. Torches line some of the dwellings, but the light is scanty, which helps the pair to move silently until they come to a wood-framed inn near the north end of Westwind point. Groond makes his way inside, while Velda looks around cautiously, before doing the same.
Arcadia is in the lead and pushes open the door of the inn. She's still speaking in her improvised northern accent and moves Rosalind and her to a table near Groond and Velda, but far enough away to avoid being seen.
Rosalind has lifted her cloak's hood over her head, hiding her bright red hair. Not wanting to standing out, but the woman -is- tall. No need to add to it. She orders a couple to drinks to somewhat blend in, her accent very much northern. Rosa gives a kind smile, nothing unusual about that, not giving anything away.
Inside the inn, Groond and Velda comes to sit next to a man sitting near the fire, with a number of folk of Northlanders near him. "Offer four iceflowers on the altar in the grove," he saying to a woman of middle age. "When the spring comes, make sure you bury these charms in each of the four edges of your field. Don't sow too deep, and you should have a fine harvest."
"Thank ee, Tookral," says the woman with a smile, and gets up to depart as the pair slide closer to Tookral. "Look, Took," says Groond, pulling out about half of what Mirk gave him, and showing it to the aubern haired shaman. "A silk shaman gave me this," he says. "It's true," confirms Velda. "He gave it freely too. Didn't buy the tax scam."
"A silk shaman? What'd he look like?" asks Tookral. Groond describes Mirk as best he can, and the aubern haired shaman frowns thoughtfully. "Go and find 'em. Tell 'em I need to speak to him."
"That might not be a good idea, Tookral. He warn't exactly happy with me."
"I'll go," says Velda. Tookral nods. "Thank you, Velda. The fate of Westwind Point rests with you."
So far, at least, Rosalind and Arcadia go unnoticed, save for a stout man behind the bar, who says, "'Ello, there. What'll it be tonight? Mead? Ale? Or whiskey?"
Arcadia almost asks for wine. Almost! She quickly answers "Whiskey." A glance to Rosalind, "One of us should warn 'em. Mirk is shit with a sword and I doubt they are wanting him for some peaceful negotiations." She glances at Rosalind, "Rock, paper, scissors?"
As the light of the day fades into night, Gim leads Rukhnis, Mirk, Gwenna, and Volcica through the winding streets towards the center of town. Passing through an open air courtyard, framed by carved wooden posts and lintels in the Northlands style, the group passes into a lodge, where a number of people sit with a young woman with blonde hair and deep, warm brown eyes. Gim smiles when he sees her, and runs to her. He wraps his arms around her and says, "Shaman Lykka! These are the shaman from Arcks!" He gestures to those who enter, and, nodding to Gwenna, says, "And she's a true life Princess from Farhaven." Lykka bows deeply to each in turn, her brown eyes resting for a long moment on Rukhnis.
Rosalind is quick to respond,"Whiskey!"before balling her fist up, set to rock it,"Right..."
Arcadia checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 3 higher.
The Redrain seems glad for the walls of the lodge once they enter, the bite of the wind put at bay for now. Gwenna, in turn, gives a deep dip of her head toward the young woman and offers a warm smile. "A pleasure to meet you, Shaman Lykka. I wish our visit were for happier reasons."
Rosalind checked luck at difficulty 10, rolling 1 lower.
Mirk offers the shaman a dip of his head, deeper and more formal than a passing nod, but not quite deep enough to be called a bow. The movement makes the charms dangling from his beard sway and clatter against one another, their motion slowing only gradually. "Thank you for inviting us to your home, Shaman Lyka. I'm Elder Mirk Halfshav of the Spirit Walkers." He glances aside at Rukhnis, deferring to her before going further than pleasantries.
Rysen GM Roll checked composure(4) at difficulty 15, rolling 2 higher.
Rukhnis's gaze flicks keenly about the lodge as they enter, before quickly settling on the young woman who seems to be at the centre of things. Making her way in that direction, she bows with deep respect to the brown-eyed woman. "Shaman Lykka. I am Rukhnis al-Katibi, of the Physicians Guild of Arx. I have come with these others to see your Stormspeaker, whom we have heard is very ill. I am sure all of you here have done everything you can to tend to him and ease his passing, but if there is anything else that I may do, I offer my services very gladly."
Volcica stands near the back of the group, perhaps last inside the doors. She seems more than happy to simply watch and listen, though she offers a respectful nod to Lykka and those in attendance.
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Your Highness," replies Lykka to Gwenna, with a hint of a Mourning Isles accent in her voice. The young woman gazes at Mirk smiles warmly. "You honor us with your visit, Elder Mirk." Lykka then nods to Rukhnis, and she says to the physician. "Thank you for coming as well. Please follow me, all of you. Gutherin would have been honored by your presence." Something in the past tenseness of her speech does not bode well, but she leads the group into a room to the south of the main lodge. It is warm, and comfortable, with a bed and small table near a burning fire set in a hearth. A variety of flowerless plants seem to luxuriate in the room, in spite of the season.
Arcadia balls her fist up too. "Right." Deep breath. "Rock, paper, scissors, go." She shakes her fist and releases it into a flat line. Paper. She wraps her hand around Rosalind's rock. "Alright. You stay here and listen and I'll go find this Stormspeaker." She gets up and moves back to the bar. Leaning close to the barman, she flashes her prettiest smile and asks, "How do I get to the Stormspeaker's home?"
Rukhnis checked perception + medicine at difficulty 30, rolling 62 higher.
Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 20 higher.
Rukhnis checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 12 lower.
Volcica checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher.
Arcadia checked charm + seduction at difficulty 25, rolling 8 higher.
Gwenna checked mana + occult at difficulty 30, rolling 27 higher. Gwenna rolled a critical!
Gwenna, having done no few endeavors for House Kennex and Stormward, might pick up that hint of Mourning Isles in Lykka's accent. She makes no remark about it, however, and quietly follows the young woman and her friends into the back room. There was no hint in that past-tense remarks about the Stormspeaker, however, and the Redrain has touches of a frown at the corners of her mouth. A flash of curiosity crosses her features at the plants, but it is fleeting.
Rosalind's hazel green eyes move to the table as Cady goes to..use her female ways. She looks at Tookral, her head tilted a bit. Curiosity flashes in her eyes, hidden behind her hood as she sips her whiskey.
"I wouldn't be givin' no directions to just anyone - but seein' as how you got the most beautiful, kind smile, and that yer lookin' for the Stormspeaker whose near his time, I may as well tell ya," says the barnman. He waggles a finger toward Arcadia to lean closer, and whispers some directions in her ear, and mentioning that she should return after she find him for a special brand of whiskey he'd not share with just anyone.
Rukhnis moves quickly but quietly over to the bedside, leaning carefully over the figure resting there. "How long has her been ill?" she asks, though she doesn't wait for a response to begin looking the man over. Touching one hand lightly to the Stormspeaker's forehead and gazing intently at his face, she proceeds to treat him to a meticulous inspection, putting an ear to his chest to listen to his breathing, taking his pulse with a touch to the wrist, and going over his entire form with deft but gentle hands. At the end of it all she lets out a slow, quiet breath, the expression in her dark eyes regretful but not surprised. "I will see that his last journey is a peaceful one," she says softly, and turns away slightly to begin to extract a few small preparations from her kit.
Arcadia gives the barman a quick smooch on the cheek "You're a darling. You know that?" She smiles again and gives Rosalind a wink before she slips out of the bar and takes off for the Stormspeaker's house at a quick trot.
Gutherin is lying on his bed, breathing shallowly. Lykka looks on him with sorrowful eyes. "He'd been ill a few years now," she says softly, kneeling beside him and taking his hand. She turns to Rukhnis and says, "Is there not anything you can do to bring him back a little longer, Miss Rooknes?" she asks. Her tone is not optimistic, but she doesn't want to seem to let go. A light breeze passes over Gutherin's hair and beard, breezing by Rukhnis and Lykka as well.
Volcica glances around the room with clear interest-- perhaps the most animated she's been yet. Her fingers brush against the nearest plant, lightly touching the leaves as her eyes track from the old shaman to the fire and back. It's almost like she's watching something, maybe? "..Thank you, young Breeze," is uttered softly, not really meant for anyone but the room.
Volcica glances off towards some of the plants, and steps over that way. She lifts a book from between them, reading what she finds.
Rukhnis pauses briefly in her preparations as she looks gravely to Lykka. "There are certain infusions I might give him to try to coax his spirit back into closer connection with this world, but it would be painful for him, and perhaps unsettling to his spirit. If there is a very great need for him to pass on certain information to those of us remaining here before he goes, I could attempt this, but otherwise to do so would only be an unkindness."
Where a frown had touched the corners of Gwenna's mouth just some moments ago, now a faint smile tugs them up. She shuts her eyes a moment and takes in a breath, holding it briefly before sighing it out. The concern soon returns to her features, for but a minute she let a bit of wonder replace it. Her gaze shifts from Gutheri to Lykka, and finally to Rukhnis, the princess nodding at the healer's words.
Rysen GM Roll checked composure(4) at difficulty 30, rolling 4 lower.
Mirk follows her to see Gutherin, though there's a frown at Lykka's phrasing. He follows after her to see Gutherin, though his eyes seem to slide around the shaman himself, focusing on something unseen. He reaches into his own pouch, and produces the feather of an eagle, which he sets at the man's bedside table, if one is there, or allows to flutter into the air if one is not. "As offering to the kind spirit of wind that tends him," he says by way of explanation. "And more, if there is anything we can offer that might empower that spirit to better serve in its role and to ease the final days of his life." He steps back, after, and blinks as he notices the book in Volcica's hands, leaning in to say a few quiet words.
Lykka bursts into tears at Rukhnis's diagnosis. She waves her hand, and says, "No, but thank you. He must pass on to the realm of the spirits." Her face is still a grimace of pain, and she rests her forehead on the passing shaman's hand.
Volcica shakes her head to mirk. "I can't, no." She pauses, though, looking towards the shaman. "Lagoma guide you to the shelter of the Queen, Gutherin."
Mirk checked mana + occult at difficulty 15, rolling 85 higher. Mirk rolled a critical!
Volcica says in Deathwhisper, "If you have anything left to do in this world, I will see it done.""
Rukhnis nods to Lykka sombrely but with a clear look of deep compassion in her eyes, and says softly, "I will merely help him to go, then." And she resumes her quiet work of mixing herbs and powders, stopping only occasionally to touch gentle fingers to the dying shaman's wrist.
Gwenna murmurs a prayer, one that seems to ask kindnesses from both the Gods and the Spirits. "No doubt he guided many along their paths in this world. He will live on in the tales told of him and the lives he has changed," she says earnestly. There is a curious glance to the book Volcica has, but she doesn't say anything about it just yet.
"May I, then?" Mirk asks, holding a hand out to Volcica. "I think a few words from it might be appropriate."
Lykka smiles through her tears at the words from Volcica and Gwenna. It is clear that whatever help she expected from Arx has been far exceeded.
Volcica nods. "Of course, Elder Mirk." She passes over the book, looking back towards the shaman. "Young Breeze, if there is a way we can repay you, please let me know."
Mirk flips through the pages for a few moments, settling on a short invocation, reciting only a sentence or two of a longer passage. It's in an unfamiliar language, and as he speaks, he lays down three offerings beside the feather: a winged seed, a pressed wildflower plucked from a mountaintop, and something more personal, a small piece of petrified lightning. He finishes by saying, "For your kindness, for your protection, and for your aid rendered to this man. See him to the spirit world, on behalf of us all." He glances to Volcica and Lykka, offering to lead them in the prayer, rather than recite it alone, inviting additions from them - in words or in offering.
Volcica is respectful and quiet while Mirk reads. She does, however, offer additional quiet prayers to Lagoma and the Queen of Death, as well as a few words to the spirits.
Rukhnis's eyes grow sadder as she listens to the words and invocations of everyone around her, and her lips move in some soundless sentiment of her own, as sincere as it is silent, as she carries on quietly with her work.
At Mirk's invitation, Lykka joins him in offering thanks and praise for the spirits and they cycle of life in which they participate. She removes a holly branch from a pouch at her side and adds it to Mirk's offerings. Suddenly the wind in the room rises, and all feel their hair and garments moving with the an unseen force. The fire blazes in the hearth and a rain of sparks rise to the heavens. All present feel the nurturing power of nature intensify in that room at Mirk's words and offerings.
Suddenly a voice is heard from inside the lodge. "Riot! There's a riot in the streets! Bar the doors!!"
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