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Messages - Fiverine

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Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: January 20, 2020, 05:10:02 am »
My fears were confirmed.  Sir Arthur walks again, as a shadow o' his old self.  Literally perhaps.  I am still grapplin' about how to handle this situation.  Deep down, I expected somethin' like this, but never figured out what I would actually do 'bout it.  Well, I do have one plan but it's unlikely to be approved.  Like most o' my plans I just pulled it out o' my coit. 

As if that weren't concernin' enough, Wren's been horribly murdered.  I personally thought her unfit for public service,  but gods, I never wanted to see her hurt or dead.  And I'm sad that our last interaction was the pair o' us squabblin' over some stupid book, which doesn't even matter anymore.  Shi and Astley are both blamin' Sjach for her death.  I did warn Wren that allowin' a shadow half-dragon into town without any sort o' oversight was a dosser's act, and her own head would be upon it some day.  But feck me, it's not like I wanted to see that happen.  Nor is there anything other than circumstance linkin' Sjach to this murder.  We can only await the result o' the official investigation. 

Knight-Errant Astley has gone walkabouts with Squire Astariel by the look o' things.  Casualties, defections, folks going away without leave... we're gettin' thin on the ground here.  I miss havin' a squire, someone to bounce all my fool ideas off.  But lawdy I seem to have done a shite job trainin' them.  None o' mine ever stick around.

There is some good news, but.  I had a date with a fella!  Quite an amazin' man, who I only met by chance.  Perfect skin like dark chocolate, eyes and teeth white like linen, and a voice that makes me tingle all over!  What a bloody fine thing he is.  And he wants to see me again!  ME! 

General Discussion / Re: Monthly Arena Events
« on: January 19, 2020, 09:09:31 pm »
There is a fighting area beneath the Frog & Toad too, isn't there?  (I *think* I have seen one there).  If so that one could be included down the track.  We also have the festival grounds.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: January 06, 2020, 11:01:39 am »
Sir Arthur felt his health was in irreversible decline and there was no time t' find a cure.  He told me over dinner that he had made the decision to sacrifice himself to close the abyssal portal in the snowy peaks.  Though our mission was apparently successful, a few o' us felt that not all was quite what it seemed.  Sir Arthur's body was snatched away, I have this horrible feelin' that I will see it again some day, and the circumstances will not be pleasant.  But what is, o' late?

He was a good man, the nice knight that everyone liked and that made him starkly different t'me.  When I was a squire he reassured me after my disastrous first outing with Koi where I was petrified by a stone giant shaman.  He told me I was special and in his last words, left me the mission o' rebuilding the Swords and makin' them stronger than before.  Only Koi had a bigger influence on me in my early days as a Sword. 

A knight-errant by the name o' Sarah Astley has returned to Moon Glow Keep from another deployment.  She joined in Sir Arthur's last hurrah.  She is oddly enough, not a warrior, but nevertheless carries herself like any aspirin' knight.  Already she's showin' some initiative in our strategic situation and also looks t' have recruited a squire.  This is grand, because most o' my allies outside o' the Swords have moved on.  Arcanist Meleghost, as often a rival as an ally, has been reassigned by his guild.  Fjord and Aardyn said they're done riskin' their hides after helpin' me defeat the One.  And that weird wee shite Moose has plain vanished.  Still got m'boyo Oscar, but my comrades in the Swords remain my true family.

Several people been askin' if I'm copin' all right with Sir Arthur's passing.  But honestly... I've lost so many people close t' me o' late.  Arariel, Koi, Mary, Trinra, all dead.  Teuivae, Wulvarax, Lycaria, Fjord, Aardyn, Meleghost, Moose... just gone.  Things are so awkward with Shi Lei some days he may as well be gone too.  So I've been feelin' distant now, and I knew days ahead what Sir Arthur was planning.  It was sad, but I had already made my peace with it.  Still.  Watching him die was... hard. 

General Discussion / Re: Theme song.
« on: January 06, 2020, 05:43:08 am »
Sir Arthur Boteler (post-sacrifice)

Dear dah

You tol' me to only write you if somethin' really important happened.  I think this qualifies.  Y' sent me to Hadrian with the request that I work towards becomin' either a Sunlady o' the church or a knight of the Empire. 

Though I have made a right haymes o' things at times (usually when I let the blood drive me, rather than your teachings), I have been made a Dame o' the Order of Everlasting Light, an order o' the Swords of the Guiding Hand. 

I have met some others o' celestial blood here in Hadrian, and you were right, most o' them were not like me at all.  I had no idea how incredibly lucky I was t' have been born where I was and t' have been raised by a good man.  It is because o' you and the people o' Hibernos that I stand here now as a knight.  Thank you dah.

Dame Neasa Lawley
Swords of the Guiding Hand

PS Please tell my birth family 'bout this, and especially tell my brothers that when I visit I can kick their worthless coits even harder than I used to now!

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: December 29, 2019, 11:08:28 pm »
At long last the dark master of the Wonbrie Woods, the One, has fallen.  So many, Swords and others, have tried and failed to defeat the fell spirit or simply given up,  but m'self and my allies have finally succeeded in banjaxing him.  Fjord and Aardyn proved they were more than worthy o' all the praise I 'ave heard about their prowess and trustworthiness.  In Dame Averil's words, "it is done."

But at what cost?  Those words were the last the Dame has spoken.  What did the One do to her, and can it be reversed?  And poor Mary... I utterly failed both o' the promises I made her.  I don't know if there is anythin' I can do to help her now.  I feel a right moran about that.  I was so focused on bearing the burden o' that accursed sword that I didn't consider that maybe I wasn't the right person to do it. 

The Keep is my home.  But I have a sanctuary I visit.  Amaunator is ever my patron but it is the goddess he shares this place with I feel watchin' over me at times like this. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: December 18, 2019, 01:34:03 pm »
The expected vote in Council came up, and I voted on the issue in front o' me.  Lots o' folk don't understand why I voted the way I did, primarily Wren and Shi, though that is t' be expected I s'pose.  I explained my reasons t'both of them afterwards, but I don't think they understood.  They find it easier to believe I was threatened or blackmailed.  The people are angry that their elected mayor was ousted, but they will have a chance to fix that very soon should they wish it.  I offered to Wren that I would resign from council in favour o' another Sword should she be re-elected, but oddly she didn't seem t'want that.

I'm not sure Meleghost or Oscar really understood my reasons either.  Even I'm feelin' horribly conflicted about it all.  Shi, Wren, Lysander... they probably think I'm delira and excira, but I'm really not.  It's times like this I wish I could go get langers. 

Sir Arthur isn't well.  Some allies tried to get him on the mend, and it seems t' have backfired badly.  We really need him on deck to face Menner.  He's all but leading our efforts there.  The One has fallen t' me, and the final confrontation with him draws near.  I've finally secured some help there, at least.

There is also a challenge I 'ave learnt I must take as my next step towards knighthood.  I had hoped t'do it today, but Moose and Belorfin grabbed me by the hands and dragged me off on a "Mooseventure".  Extra-planar monsters, undead pirates.  At one stage, I was faced by several unusually nasty zombies.  I've been feeling like I've just made a right haymes o' everything lately. It was only as Adellum carved through them and clotted blood and fragments o' flesh and bone spattered my helmet that I felt some measure o' peace.

A battered and dusty leather case containing a manuscript once again arrives at the Library...

Esteemed guild members, I pray that this latest essay arrives promptly and safely to your hands.  Alas, this is not to be as idyllic an account as my previous one.  Nevertheless, you must know of what I have witnessed.

I have spent the past few months travelling the great plains of Lower Netheril in hopes of acquainting myself better with the tribes of people known as the Rengarth.  My initial goal became somewhat left by the wayside when I heard some intriguing rumours about a man the Rengarth were calling “The Prophet of the Plains”.  They spoke his name with such a peculiar mixture of adoration and dread that I knew he was a fellow worthy of documentation.  He was both a holy man and warlord they said, who spoke the most brutal truth and was uniting village after village by a mixture of persuasion and force.  When given esteem, he was a man of capable of uniting inspiration.  When angered, he was a man of the most pitiless devastation. 

Seeking to hear this man speak, I attached myself to a band of Rengarth hunters who were travelling to hear an address by this Prophet at the end of their expedition.  They joked about taking me along for emergency rations, and demanded much coin for their escort.  I worried for my safety, but had few other options.  I spent a few weeks on the plains with these men and women, observing their hunting practices as they brought down colossal bovines and swine.  The hunters rode their horses with consummate ease, and would harry a few of their large targets away from the herd, then bring them down with a hail of arrows and thrown spears.  The carcasses would then be stripped with astonishing speed, with little discarded.  The hides would be crudely preserved, the meat smoked in the campfire, the useful bones (chosen by shape and strength) kept, and  most of the offal thrown to the hunting dogs.  Much of the meat they gathered was eaten during travel, with the hides and fur seemingly being the most valuable elements.  Horse-drawn sleds were used to transport the gathered resources. 

I was all but useless to the hunters, and when I made attempts to cast spears with them I received both scorn and pity.  But one of the men was gored by a bull during the hunt, and his wounds became infected.  They drew him on a sled for a few days, but his condition worsened and they discussed leaving him behind to the whims of the gods to decide.  But I stepped forward, and used some of the tinctures and ointments I always carried to treat the man’ s injuries before their sceptical eyes.  His health improved markedly overnight, and within two more nights he could ride unaided again.  Now at least I had some measure of respect among the hunters, and they treated me more like a slow-witted but loved relative than a useless mouth to feed. 

One night, we could see in the distance a myriad campfires glowing and the wind brought us snatches of music, predominantly drumming.  My escorts laughed uproariously when I asked the name of this great settlement we were approaching.  I learned why this amused them the next day when we drew closer: this was no mere tribal village.  It was a great assembly of many tribes, mostly Rengarth but also including a few of Angardt stock.  All the various campsites were arranged around a great flat slab of granite, quite an anomaly on the open plain. 

We waited for several days.  My escorts traded with the other hunting parties there.  I worried that I would be identified as Netherese by one of these other groups, but a few months on the plains had given me the dusky complexion of a plainsman, and by now through sheer necessity I was dressing as one too.  Nevertheless, I did not speak to anyone outside my group, even though I craved the chance to speak to some of the Angardt and hear details of their blood-rites.  Eventually, the awaited day arrived.  Word swiftly spread through the assembled people that the Prophet had arrived.

His retinue was immense, and his own mighty chariot was encircled by the impressive ones of his bodyguards.  Men and women of Rengarth and Angardt blood predominantly formed his circle, though I saw no few number of half-elves and half-orcs, along with a few men wearing the remnants of Netherese military units.  Though this man called to the Rengarth first and foremost, others seemed to be heeding him too.  The Prophet did not waste time with festivities.  Instead, he left his chariot and stood upon the granite slab, with thousands of pairs of eyes upon him.  He was a man of middle-age, weathered and tanned by the plains and clad in black robes to shield him from the sun.  Even the loose robes could not conceal a mighty, near perfect physique for a man his age.  He wore his greying beard in a trident shape.  The Prophet’s voice rang out, deep and husky, and with such power that every man and woman there felt he was speaking personally to them.

“I am Yusanga Hunn-Bekk, the Prophet of the Plains.  Hear my judgement upon thee!  You dare to call yourselves men and women of the plains?  You are mere CHILDREN.  Weak, afraid, grasping in the dark, terrified of a shadow you call the Netherese Empire!  When others speak of the Rengarth people, they now speak of hunters, gatherers, craftsmen, brewers, shamans… where are your feared warriors?  You trade with the Netherese, and think because you are curt to them that you are brave.  But your ancestors howl in anguish, for you have forsaken them to take coin from their enslavers and murderers!”

I quivered in fear at the ferocious words of the Prophet.  To my horror, I saw a sea of nodding heads surrounding me, including some of my own escort.  Though he spat insults at these proud people, he seemed to be striking through any sense of offence and instead stirring up their sense of injustice.  The Prophet bellowed forth another tirade.

“But heed my words, and I shall set you free.  I have sent forth my most trusted amongst you to observe your zeal.  Teach your hunters to hunt men as well as beasts!  Teach your gatherers to gather the heads, weapons and wealth of fallen enemies!  Teach your craftsmen to make weapons and machines of war!  Teach your brewers to make poisons to season your spears and arrows!  Teach your shamans to preach the hatred of the enemy as well as the love of your own people!  Trade not with the snakes of Netheril!  Completely bar your lands to them, make them pay for trespass with their very blood.  Kill them, weaken them, put fear in their hearts… and await the day that my mighty and ever-growing host arrives to cast down their wretched floating cities forever!  And if you fail me… if you reject my wisdom...then you too will be crushed beneath the feet, hooves and wheels of my hordes!”

The gathered masses cheered, the majority swayed by the empty but alluring promises of the demagogue.  A few of my escort muttered in Rengarthi (which by now I had became fairly fluent) about handing me over to Yusanga for a public sacrifice, but praise the Hidden One the others silenced them by saying I had healed their fellow and honour demanded they not throw me to certain death.  Instead, they led me away that night, gave me a fresh horse and some supplies and told me to ride for my life.  I  rode hard for days, not daring tarry long at any waterhole or village.  Though I have journeyed through many hostile lands, it is rare that I have ever felt such relief as this time when I set foot back in friendly lands.

During my hurried return, I still heard snatches of rumours that Yusanga has been as good as his word in one sense: trusted acolytes of his have been dispatched to monitor villages and kindle their rage.  I fear it is only a matter of time before one of these demagogues arrives near Hadrian…

Be vigilant, my brethren

Professor Leviticus Stone

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: December 13, 2019, 11:46:46 pm »
Sir Arthur Boteler has returned from a leave o' absence this past week, accompanied by his long-servin' dwarf squire Sturdy Ragefist.  The last time I saw Sir Arthur I was a squire to Koi and but a few weeks in to m' service.  Their return has given the collective efforts against our foe Menner a substantial boost, for Sir Arthur has more personal investment in Menner's defeat than near anyone else.  Though even his and Sturdy's presence couldn't stop us all from gettin' our coits kicked by a pack o' assassin monks.  They must have just been paid to teach us a lesson, not kill us, for they left us knocked senseless on the ground and hurried on.

I'm no longer the senior Sword regularly in Hadrian, and am now takin' orders from Sir Arthur when we're negotiating or out in the field.  That's all right, he's got the gift of the gab and knows what he's doin', though naturally I've had to update him on some matters.  What's gettin' to me is how well liked he is... fair play, he's a thoroughly decent fella and a shinin' example o' knighthood.  But all these people who've been shunnin' me right from the start are now eager to work with the Swords again.

All this time I've been feelin' that people hated the Swords and what they stand for.  But maybe... they just hated me

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: December 03, 2019, 12:22:19 pm »
I have the last piece o' the puzzle and Mary's long ordeal will soon end.  She has put immense trust in me, in a time when so many see me as a villain.  I've made a lot o' mistakes.  Not this time. 

I will not let her down.  My promise to Mary will be kept, the Swords' promise to her will be kept, a monstrous evil which has made the mightiest heroes quake in fear will suffer defeasance, and the people will see what the Swords are truly capable of.  Watch over me, Arariel.  I'm goin' to make you proud, sis. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: December 01, 2019, 05:30:15 am »
Misguided.  Dishonourable.  Unworthy.  He didn't say the words, but he didn't need to.  The look in his eyes tol' me what he felt.  No longer worthy to wield a blade in his stead.  No longer worthy t'be his friend. 

Unworthy.  I sat up in my room last night, thinkin' that over, and about how alone I was, with just fellow Swords as friends and a few fellow social outcasts for allies.    Even Teuivae has left now, unable to tolerate the impurities and compromises o' livin' in these lands.

I don't know how long she had been watchin' me and listenin' to my thoughts.  But at some point, she tired o' hearin' my internal self-pity and the words she spoke right t'my mind silenced me.

"I am sorry.  But it is true.  You were not worthy of that blade, aasimar."

Even inside my head, the voice was deep yet feminine, booming yet reassuring, and intimidating yet inspiring.  The solar stood in my room, her head almost touchin' the ceiling.  In her hands was the most exquisite weapon I'd ever lain my humble peepers upon, wrought o' celestial silver and steel and engraved with my name. 

"However, Arariel has deemed you worthy of this one.  You and her furiously disagreed, to the very end of her mortal life...  but you did not ever forget her and still hold her name dear and honour her memory.  Unlike some others.  Then you and your friends risked your very souls to bring her home to us.  So she personally chose this for you to remember her by."

The solar leaned down and pressed the weapon into my dumbfounded hands.  I cradled the sword like I would a wee child.  My palms and forearms stung slightly where the edges o' the blade rested on them.  But it was a warm pain, and it soothed the hurts o' my heart.

The solar abruptly vanished in a flash o' light.  It took me some time b'fore I could even vaguely remember what I'd been so depressed about.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: November 19, 2019, 11:30:50 pm »
I closed m'eyes last night, well knowin' there was no escapin' a dream about what happened.  It took forever to doze off, since I was dreading a return t'the dreams I used to have about Arariel.

But it wasn't like that...  I dreamed I was kneeling on the flagstones on the roof o' the Keep, eyes closed and praying for the strength I knew I would need to avenge Trinra.  I heard the clanking o' armoured feet before me, and looked up t'see a great knight, clad in gleaming golden armour.  He took a deep breath to speak, and I instinctively flinched, expectin' a mighty booming voice which could well toss me off the roof with its power.

Instead, it was the creaky but warm voice o' my mentor, Father McIvor.
"We talked about this Nessie.  You swore to me you'd never pursue revenge.  It is an emotional reaction.  It is NOT a valid motive for violence.  You know this.  You are better than this.  So stop."

Baffled, I said "Dah, what d'you expect me t'do?  I'm not like Teuivae, I can't just forgive them and move on.  They murdered someone under my protection!  I was going to redeem her!  We were going to become friends!"

"Tsk Nessie, all this emotion!  No, not forgiveness.  Not revenge.  Punishment.  That is your duty.  We both dream of a day when all are equally subject to the holy law... whether peasant, king, arcanist, dwarf, orc or even drow.  But you cannot fairly administer punishment if you are consumed with rage, grief and hate.  Get your head together, Nessie!  Then administer the appropriate punishments for the death of your ward, your lost future hopes, and the damage to your honour.  And do it with as much pitiless harshness or merciful restraint your clear mind deems necessary.  This is the Way, this is the Law."

I nodded, and was still noddin' in bed when I awoke. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: November 19, 2019, 06:12:57 am »
Sometimes I worry that all I know how to do is cause death.  Either with my own hands, or just by association.  Trinra is dead.  I swore no harm would come t'her, and I failed her. 

I asked her t'help me find out why the drow insist on campin' right beneath the Abbey o' the Moon.  It concerned me havin' a slave market that close to a site o' pilgrims and priests, and me regularly goin' down there to chase them off wasn't having a lasting impact.  Trinra asked me to show her where the camp was, and she'd try to talk t'them and find out why they chose that spot.  And then maybe we could convince them to bunk off.  She suggested I wait above, in case my presence angered them. 

I waited nervously... prayin' that she was safe, and wonderin' if I should storm down there.  Then... her bloodied, freshly severed head flew from the breach in the wall to land near where I was kneelin'.  Those feckin' barbarians murdered her.  I charged down like an eejit, ready to carve 'em all up, but they'd locked the gates and manned the camp with their best.  They refused to hand over the rest o' her remains, said they'd fed her to the hounds.  I could only retreat, and tell those who knew her the bad news. 

I never thought I'd ever shed tears for a drow.  But today, I did.  She was so brave... brave enough t'walk the streets o' a human city, and brave enough to face her kin on my behalf.  Right to the end, she was tryin' to help folk who distrusted her because o' what she was. 

We buried her on the grounds o' the Abbey, for her last act was an effort to help it.  Lysander performed the last rites.  Shi was so angry, wantin' immediate vengeance, as is his way.  Teuivae was just... immensely sad.  Things have changed between us, but today... with both o' us in grief... it didn't matter.  We were there for each other.  Mayor Wren came along too... but why, I wonder?  She didn't seem t'care much.  Just watched the whole thing with silence.  I met with Meleghost later to give him the bad news too.  Oddly... he and I actually found some common ground for a change.   

And now... Trinra Damaiv, a brave soul, the best drow I could ever hope t'meet… is just a name to remember and another face t'haunt my dreams.

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: November 14, 2019, 02:52:25 am »
These nightmares I've been havin' about Ara... I had them all wrong.  I had thought she was trapped in the fugue plane because it was me, a kinswoman, who struck her down.  Or that it was the oath she swore to Achanatyr, due t' my actions in the "Pattie" case.  Either way, I knew it was my fault.  If I ever saw her again... I planned to beg her forgiveness.

But she wasn't there at all... she'd created a personal hell for herself.  A twisted version of Moon Glow Keep, peopled by horrid things that were the Swords as she saw them.  And when I finally found her spirit... it was her begging me for forgiveness, and not believin' I was even still alive.  She'd seen me die over and over in that awful place she made. 

She's free now, though... we forgave each other, and I showed her that in Teuivae lay the path to redemption f'both of us.  It was a collective effort, but.  She drew Moose and Lysander into that pocket hell too, and they helped ensure no fiends were able to snatch her spirit while we lead her back home to Mount Celestia. 

The experience changed us all... Teuivae the most profoundly.  But I think I can sense some changes brewin' in the Swords, too.  The Jergalites had been driven out o' the Keep once upon a time, and yet a Jergalite still stood by us t'do the right thing.  And Moose... we all saw there was a wee bit more to him than there seems. 

As for me... the nightmares are gone.  I had my first proper night o' sleep in many weeks. 

Journals & Backgrounds / Re: Neasa Lawley: Champion of Hibernos
« on: November 11, 2019, 03:06:37 am »
M'boyo Shi Lei gave me a dreamcatcher made from Arariel's feathers a few weeks past after he saw me wake up howlin' from a nightmare.  It seems t'have helped, at least up til the past few days.  But I don't dare sleep without it nearby in case that makes the dream even worse.  I've gotten used t'the lack o' sleep at least.  Not takin' a kip when people are talkin' to me.  Still, I have t'get this sorted out.  Teuivae's dreams too.  At least hers are pleasant, if persistent, for the most part. 

I had t'kill a man just a few days ago.  A Sharran assassin, who'd harassed our friend Syclya.  The silly dosser wouldn't surrender and resisted arrest.  I didn't want or mean t'kill him, I wanted t'just knock him out.  But I hit him too hard.  I took him to the Church to have him raised.  But when the priests found his Sharran amulet and tools o' the trade, they preferred he stay dead. 

At long last I've made some progress on Mary's case.  Maybe...just maybe... we're nearin' a resolution.  I hope so, we all need a win here. 

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