Waves of Condensation...

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Lilira
Sojourner
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

Waves of Condensation...

Postby Lilira » Sat Aug 13, 2005 2:26 pm

Here it is... I set this up as a new thread simply because I felt it worthy of its own. The RP meeting was so wonderfully done! I hope I did it justice. *grin* - Lil

I traveled through the Llyrath forest until I found the start of the Corwell Road. Each footstep more difficult than the last, I headed north until the path turned into a small dirt road then pushed through the vegetation to the campsite of the Sister Knights. I felt their regard as I wandered past, pausing for a drink at their stream.

Swirling, silvery mists filled the room, slowly forming a pool on the ground. A surge of hope rose in my breast. Sotana stepped out of the moonwell and I staggered her with my hug.

“Oh thank the gods!” I babbled. The druidess looked at me closely, noting my shaken appearance. “She sent another message.”

She gave me a puzzled look. “Who?”

“Lady Lysiana,” I stammered.

I could help battle marauding dragons, inspire my companions against devils, demons, and other foul and dangerous creatures, yet the simple thought of my great grandmother reduced me to that frightened young woman who had traveled to the isle after her mother’s death hoping for some kind of familial acceptance and received a denigrating slap instead. It was as though nothing in the past several years had happened, and all I wanted to do was crawl into a hole and hide, hoping she’d forget me. Sotana, bless her, was one of the only people who knew and understood this.

Sotana frowned, “Is she trying to force a meeting again?” I handed her the note and watched as her eyes scanned the words:

Child, it is time for us to meet. Come to one of our ancestral
homes in the northwestern quadrant of the city. You will not be
harmed.

Signed,
Lady Lysiana Silverdew, House L'thelias


“I'm... I'm on my way, would you come with me?" I stammered again.

“Absolutely,” she replied without hesitation, giving me a hug to bolster my courage.

Knees shaking and feet reluctant, I led her into Myrloch Vale and through the city of the Llewyrr elves to the elfgate, getting lost only once. I apologized, blushing. Sotana brushed my apology aside as we peace-tied our weapons. I had the presence of mind to remove my gauntlets as they were of orcish make, shoving them into the bottom of my bag before taking a breath and stepping forward.

As I entered the elfgate, there was a blinding flash of light. I was ripped through a dark and star-filled void, pain searing through my body. When I felt my feet once more touch the earth, I opened my eyes and found myself in a peaceful shrine. A huge oak tree grew in the center, its leaves creating a canopy that almost totally blocked out the weather. The tree seemed to look down at me with small glowing eyes near its center.

Sotana appeared as I staggered over to a huge marble fountain and splashed some water into my face to rinse away the disorientation of my trip through the gate as well as the road dust. Then together we stepped onto the trail, heading for the northwestern quadrant. Leuthilspar was as exotic to me as Calimport would be to a barbarian of the northern tribes. The trees were so close here, the smells richer, and everything was earthier. The greens here were just different, sharper somehow.

“She says I won't be harmed, but I'm not sure I can trust that,” I told Sotana quietly as we headed to the area indicated in my note.

“Why does that make me more nervous than if she had left out all assurances?” she murmured questioningly. I nodded in agreement. Together, we headed west on the Trail of Lost Gods until we reached The Sylvan Trail which was flanked with houses.

I muttered under my breath, “Guess we’ll peek through windows since she didn’t exactly tell us which one she was in.” I began singing quietly and as we headed down the trail. I used the ability of my song and focused my gaze through the doors until I found the house with my great-grandmother in it.

I ended my song and turned to Sotana. “That’s her,” I said, knowing my song had allowed her to see as I had. She nodded. My knees were shaking so badly, I almost couldn’t walk to the door. Sotana touched my shoulder and gave me an encouraging look. I had to do this. She would never leave me alone until I did.

With a shaking hand I reached out and knocked on the door. At the command to enter, I opened the door and stepped into the home wrought from the very trees themselves, Sotana on my heels.

My great-grandmother, Lady Lysiana Silverdew, Matriarch of House L’thelias, sat serenely waiting as though she had forever to wait. (Well, she is a full-blooded elf; maybe she did have a decade or two.) If she was disconcerted by Sotana’s presence, she gave no evidence of it.

Long, pale hair of fairest gold had been artfully arranged atop her head to almost form a crown. Her cheekbones looked raised, sweeping back to cast her features in an aristocratic mien. Her eyes were a rich sapphire hue, while all around her small, bow-shaped lips were the lines of a long lifetime of experience. Her hands, delicately sculpted, had a ring decorating each digit save one.

I nodded to her in greeting. “Lady Lysiana. You summoned me yet again.”

“Yes, it is past time we spoke about matters.” She looked me over appraisingly.

My mouth went dry and when I finally spoke it was in a harsh whisper. "When last we spoke, you made it clear you had no use for me." Mentally cursing myself, I cleared my throat.

“Yes, I did. Since then, you have fallen in with lamentable companions and fully embraced the sad state of your birth. But you have also been of service to our Lady, and so we may speak again.” A very small part of me wanted to respond sarcastically. I raised my eyebrow instead, almost chuckling as Sotana’s eyebrow mirrored mine.

“And those ‘lamentable companions’ would be?” I had to ask. I was curious how much she had watched the bastard half-breed she had previously claimed wasn’t worth the notice of the family.

“That you need to ask displays the very sad state that I speak of. Humans, and not even virtuous ones but those who follow dark gods and dark arts. Dwarves, gnomes. Truthfully, I have even been told that you speak with dark elves, civilly no less.” The disapproval in her voice was so thick I could feel it. (Now, I chuckle to think what the Carcophans might think of her description, as well as the drow hand of Vhaeraun. The surly duergar king hadn’t even warranted an honorable mention. Perhaps because he has a tendency to send me fleeing from his presence blushing and stammering. At the time however, her words sparked a tiny flash of anger which I am sure was her intention.)

“Perhaps because I see them for themselves, and not what their heritage says of them,” I retorted. I don’t know why I felt the need to explain myself to her. Perhaps because no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, I want the only blood relative I know to respect me, even the tiniest bit.

“That is as transparent an excuse as mothers who claim their daughter’s ugliness does not matter because beauty is on the inside,” Lysiana Silverdew scoffed.

“There is truth in those words,” I lashed back.

“Although all may not be blessed to see that truth,” murmured Sotana quietly.

“For some unknown reason, my own ugliness has not mattered to those who would fight beside me, and aid me when I ask of them,” I continued.

“No doubt they expect something in return,” came the icy words. They struck a chord of truth in me, but I pushed the thought aside. “No matter, that is neither here nor there. You still bear the ring. Will you yield it to me, so that it may return properly to the family?” Sotana and I once more mirrored each other as our eyebrows headed for our respective hairlines. It was almost laughable how closely our expressions matched during this encounter.

“What ring would that be? The rings I own I have picked up on my travels save one. The one I wear. It came to me from my Mother.”

“She had no right to bequeath it thus,” came the cool reply. I frowned.

“And why would a mother not be allowed to leave her property where she chooses?” Sotana interjected as I asked, “I was her only child, where else would it have gone?” I glanced at Sotana and gave the barest of nods in agreement of her words.

“Heirlooms predating the rise and fall of Myth Drannor are not 'property'. This is not a spare shirt, or a favorite belt but a treasured relic of the family.” What in the world was she talking about?

“Whose family?” came Sotana’s question before I could ask. Great-grandmother raised an eyebrow imperiously at Sotana who met her gaze steadily.

Toying with the rose gold ring on my left hand, I asked, “How did my mother come by this?” Sotana glanced at my hands to see what I spoke of.

“The ring belongs to my family, House L'thelias,” she informed the druid who frowned. I blinked. This was something I had not known. I had thought the ring an heirloom from my mother’s family, or something she had picked up in her travels. It had just never come up.

I clenched my fist around the ring as though daring her to take it. “He gave it to her, didn't he?” I asked flatly. Too many different emotions welled up in my chest. Irritation that one of the precious items I had retained from my mother’s death and worn at all times on my finger or around my neck on a chain was in fact a connection to this woman who loathed the merest sight of me and the man who I was still unable to locate; frustration that my mother hadn’t told me of its origins followed by guilt that I would blame her when she was no longer here to defend herself. This interview wasn’t going well. I wanted it over so I could hopefully go back to having Lady Lysiana ignore my existence.

“Your ignorance of the truth of the ring displays that my grandson has come into some wisdom after his dalliance. No doubt the human stole it from him before she was discarded.” Her words were a double blow. My mother wasn’t even half-elven in her eyes and a thief. I gasped with anger. I felt Sotana step closer to me in unspoken support. Her presence was like a warm fire against the freezing haughtiness emanating from my blood relation.

“Your grandson loved my mother...” I hissed at her angrily. “If nothing else I know that.”

“Yes, I'm sure he did,” she said condescendingly. It was like a slap in the face reminding me he had left and never returned to us. I paled slightly. Those words made my decision for me; there was no way I was handing this ring over now.

“If he gave her the ring, there was a reason for it. It came to me at her death. Until I find him, it will stay with me.” I forced myself to straighten up and give her what I hoped was a stubborn look.

“Then you are amenable to an alternative arrangement?” Lady Lysiana asked.

Sotana narrowed her eyes slightly and my eyebrow lifted once more. “I won't make agreements without knowing what I might be agreeing to.”

“You have aided our Lady in the past, I am offering you the option of doing so again.”

She had me stumped again. "Lady?"

“Queen Amlaruil.”

I gave her a blank stare before flashing a confused glance at Sotana who shrugged. ”I have done nothing to aid her that I am aware of.”

Sotana leaned in to whisper, “She does not understand that she would have stood a better chance of gaining your aid if she had not resorted to bullying.” I didn’t have a chance to explain that was how she did business. My great-grandmother is the head of her house and accustomed to others jumping when she tells them to. I shrugged at Sotana in response.

“The fiend which threatened us all, you battled it. Her own magic was bent towards thwarting some of his attacks, and your role there, as the other mongrel's, is known, “ she explained as though speaking to a small child.

Sotana grinned impishly at the slight, and dipped a brief but graceful curtsy. My temper flared once more. “Watch your words. This ‘mongrel’ as you call her has been a better sister than anyone your family has produced.”

“I understand she single-handedly slew some of the cretin who assisted you,” she said sardonically, and applauded the druid. Taking the sarcasm for its worth, Sotana fluttered her eyelashes demurely at the false praise. I have no idea how she did it as I didn’t have the willpower to behave the same under the barrage of condescension.

“We have come under a quiet assault, here on the Blessed Isle. Our Lady is constrained by oaths she has given, and it falls to others loyal to her to shield her,” Lysiana began. I guess the insults were done for now.

I calmed myself down and pondered her words. “Hmm. What do you mean?” Remembering something, I whispered to Sotana, “I spoke with Zhoanest earlier. I don't know if you've heard of him... the Geomancer? I will tell you all later.” Sotana nodded at me.

“But it requires one who is more familiar to digging in the mud to unearth the solution to our problem,” continued the elf while I whispered.

Raising an eyebrow, Sotana murmured, “Digging in the mud?”

“What you quaintly call 'adventuring',” was the reply.

Sotana grinned in response. “Adventures do seem to rather trip over Lilira when she isn't looking.” I fought the urge to laugh aloud. That was an understatement.

“And? My... part in this would be?” I had to ask.

“Patience child. There is enough elf in you that you should be able to hear the tale.” Her superiority was starting to rankle again. I bit back a retort and listened intently, my bardic training taking over.

“The Blessed Isle was brought here by the Father, merged with Faerun from the sacred glades of Arvandor itself.”

Sotana interrupted quietly, “Just so I am clear, do you intend to offer us a seat or shall we remain standing for your story?”

“Sit if you must, I'd not thought you would tire so easily,” Lysiana replied, voice once more filled with condescension. Sotana grinned and made herself comfortable. I continued to stand as the realization flashed across my mind that Sotana was actually enjoying herself. Pushing the thought aside I focused on Lady Lysiana’s words.

“The merging took place in a place of power, a primal pocket of Evermeet reached from a place known as the Chamber of Travelling,” continued the elf woman.

Sotana blinked. “I have traveled much of Evermeet and never seen this Chamber.” I held my tongue concentrating on committing this tale to memory.

“Yes, if it were something readily known I wouldn't need to be having this conversation now,” Lysiana pointed out to the druid before continuing. “I have spoken with Tanyl, and we both believe that the means to protect, nay even save the Blessed Isle can be found within this pocket where the Father first wove the magic to bring the land to Faerun.”

This was a name I hadn’t heard before. “Tanyl?”

“Tanyl Evanara, War Wizard of the Sun Tower.”

I nodded, then asked half under my breath, “I wonder if this is what Zhaonest was sensing...” Sotana threw me a sharp glance.

“I will relent on the issue of the ring, not send anybody else after you to retrieve it. When you die of old age, if you've not found my grandson and returned the ring to him, I will have it then. In return, you will find this primal pocket and bring what is found to Tanyl. Elements from the initial forging of Evermeet will aid us in preventing further damage perpetrated under the shelter of our Lady's oaths.”

I bit my lip and rubbed my forehead in thought while Sotana pondered the information, toying absently with a loose strand of hair. “And this tunnel is located here on the isle?” I asked.

“There is scant detail available about its origin, but its presence upon the Blessed Isle is a certainty. No doubt located in an area of antiquity.”

“Well there is no scarcity of those on this isle.” Sotana murmured. I raised my eyebrow at her.

“You know this place better than I 'Tana,” I pointed out to the druid who nodded.

“Do you accept?” Lysiana prodded. I glanced at her unsure.

“And if she does what you ask?” Sotana interjected. “Will you have no further need for her then?'

“She will be permitted to retain our heirloom, until she either locates my grandson or perishes. If she chooses to surrender it, then we will resume our pursuit at reacquisition.”

“I see. Well that is most...gracious of you,” was the druid’s sarcastic reply.

I ran my fingers through my short cap of hair, deep in thought. “To do this, we may need to bring help.” I mused. Lysiana’s next words snapped me out of my reverie.

“Your father would desire the result attained from completion of this task.”

I stared at her, surprised she’d brought him into this. “Until I finally find him, I wouldn't know, would I,” I snapped bitterly. Taking a breath to compose myself, I continued. “But... because it will help those I know who hale from here...” Here goes… “I accept.”

Sotana nodded at me in approval. I stepped over next to her and heard her whisper, “I will, of course, aid you in whatever way you need.” I mouthed a soundless “Thank you” to her and smiled before transferring my regard back to my great-grandmother.

“Then we are in agreement. Is there aught else you would ask regarding this before I return home?”

Sotana chewed her lip in concentration for a moment.

“I know not what lies in this tunnel.” I began cautiously, thinking furiously.

“Nor do I, I know only of its existence and that is only due to Tanyl's extensive research,” Lysiana interrupted. I continued as though she hadn’t spoken.

“There is a chance I may have to bring help to aid me in fulfilling my promise. If I find this tunnel, and bring others to aid me, I would wish them unmolested.”

“If you require assistance, see to it that they understand that they do not intrude upon Leuthilspar, save those already permitted by Her decree,” was the command.

“They will not enter the city,” I promised. I had heard the protectors of Leuthilspar could be overzealous and I would not willingly place any I knew in danger from the guardians.

“Is this Tanyl someone we might be able to speak with?” Sotana asked abruptly.

“It may be possible to arrange it, though normally he'd not have time for you. I have given you what information he has uncovered.” Sotana nodded at Lysiana.

“I’m just thinking it is usually easier to go straight to the source as more questions arise,” she murmured with a shrug.

“Send a message, and be certain to indicate that it pertains to the Chamber of Traveling. Tanyl will try to arrange time for you then.”

Sotana once more nodded and murmured, “Thank you.” During their exchange I had been thinking furiously, and nothing else had come to mind.

“I have no further questions,” I told Lysiana.

“Pay heed to your father's heritage, it will no doubt be of use,” she told me condescendingly.

I snorted derisively, I couldn’t help it. This woman had held the key to what was the only elven heritage I had attempted to touch, and she had hardly been a shining example in my life. “It hasn't done much for me before.” Sotana grinned at my retort, her unspoken approval of my words plain, as she stood to prepare for our departure. I continued. I had something to get off my chest after all it seemed. “Those humans and dwarves gave me the strength to be who I am today. I am no longer the cowed child looking for your approval.”

“Think how much more you would be if you paid attention to what it means to be elven. We shall speak again, when you are successful. Good day.” With those words, she touched a small golden bracelet, and disappeared in a sparkle of glimmering motes.

I met Sotana’s gaze, a look of slight surprise on my face at Lysiana’s dramatic exit.

“Hrm...although I am sure she hears you, I do not believe she is capable of understanding what you say,” Sotana said softly in an attempt to comfort. I shrugged at her helplessly.

We left the house and sat beside one of the many fountains in Leuthilspar, talking for what seemed like hours, trying to decipher the clues Lysiana had given us. I took that time to fill Sotana in on what Zhoanest had told me as well. We agreed to meet in the morning and attempt to search, looking for a place that was poisoned as well as for the Chamber of Travelling.

It was going to be a busy next several days.
Lilira
Sojourner
Posts: 1438
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 3:53 pm

Postby Lilira » Sun Aug 14, 2005 2:07 pm

I waited at the City Center for Sotana. We were going to go exploring and see if we could find either the Chamber of Travelling or the “poisoned” area, if it was even on this isle, that Zhoanest spoke of. For some reason in my mind, the two seemed connected some how, but I wasn’t quite sure where yet.

Sotana arrived and we departed the city, heading out the west gates. There was an area in the forest filled with ancient trees the druid thought might hold what we were looking for. We reached the area she spoke of and after searching for some time, Sotana gave an excited shout. She’d found something!

I cloaked us in my spell of invisibility and quietly sang a song to aid our search. Sotana paused long enough to cast some blessing of protection over us both, then we crept into the mines, alert for danger. We found some interesting creatures, including an illithid, which Sotana, in high dudgeon over his presence on the isle, slew while I healed her with my music. There was nothing resembling the chamber however, and we returned that night to Leuthilspar feeling slightly discouraged. We parted ways and I took to my room in the inn and sat brooding. I had two days left to search the isle before we were to meet with the geomancer.

The next morning, I received a message from Sotana that an emergency had come up and she would not be able to explore with me that day. However a friend and fellow guildmate of hers was in town and willing to help me with my search. Ashiwi had a few loose ends to tie up and would catch up with me later. I groaned internally. I didn’t know this isle at all. How was I to search it alone?

I wandered west on the road for quite some time, poking my nose into the little clearings and paths that branched off, not really seeing anything that looked like an “area of antiquity”. Finally, I peeked into an opening in the trees south off the road. The forest there looked old. Well this looked promising. I wandered around on the path for a while, sneaking past the occasional ogrillon and other creatures. The path ended suddenly, and I poked around looking for a way through. To my surprise I found a trapdoor. It led into some ruins. I wandered through the neglected chambers, avoiding the shambling undead with a shudder running down my spine, and rubbing my nose to keep from sneezing. This place sure appeared to classify as archaic. Confused by the sudden end in the hall at the bottom of the stairs, I poked around looking for a hidden door, and found one!

It led me into a carved wooden archway. The fresh air on my face told me this was an exit to the outdoors. As silently as I was able, I made my way through the archway and into the woods beyond. The fresh scent of water reached my nose, and I found a lake. Instead of walking around it, I decided to cut across blessing the helmet that granted me flight. (The interesting things you acquire as a “digger in the mud”.) The lake was as smooth as a mirror. The trees surrounding it were reflected so perfectly so as to appear as though they were twins of the ones above it, preventing me from seeing below its surface. I looked up to see a monolith before me.

Most of the monolith was covered with strange writings in an alphabet unknown to me. Part of the monolith was covered by water. The submerged part was covered with carved drawings of goblinoids. It seemed that the portion that had been covered with water seemed to have been protected from the weathering that had occurred on the upper part of the rock. The images puzzled me. It seemed to indicate a level of intelligence that was higher than that of the goblins I was familiar with. I reached into my handy bag and donned an earring made of fishbone, before diving below the water to look further.

Something else caught my eye.

I swam to the bottom of the lake and found a plate containing a key hole covering an entrance. I tried to open it, but of course, it was locked. Ahh. The joys of being an adventuring bard, it allows you to pick up all sorts of little skills. Muttering to myself, “I saw a rogue do this once,” I pulled out my trusty lockpicks and picked the lock. Swimming through the doorway I found myself in a submerged chamber.

Ancient writings and carvings covered every bit of wall in the chamber. Even the floors and ceiling were marked with the intricate designs. Images of goblinoid figures had been etched in painstaking detail, portraying rites of worship and everyday life. Each image was captioned with a block of indecipherable script. The script arced on a section of wall to the east, and there was a vague familiarity about the shape of the etchings there. I swam over to investigate them further.

The etchings had been drawn out in the rough shape of an archway, curving up from the floor, rising about six feet off the ground before curving back around to touch the floor again. They looked different from the other carvings and writings in this chamber, and bore the familiar shape of an ancient elven language. Further examination revealed it was actually the same set of symbols, repeated regularly throughout the entirety of the arc.

Mano hin naa lle?

I ran the phrase over and over in my mind. It had been some years since I’d had a reason to speak elven, and I was rusty. I had just figured out the meaning, when I heard a hail from the shore and I waved Ashiwi over.

“There’s something down there! Come with me!” I dove back under the surface of the water, and swam back into the chamber. Ashiwi swam in behind me with strong sure strokes. I gestured to the archway. “Mano hin naa lle?" At first she stared at me not understanding. I tried it again changing the inflections. My accent was horrible. "Mano hin naa lle? Whose child are you? What does it mean?” Ashiwi snorted, rolling her eyes at my obvious ignorance.

She spoke her answer clearly. The archway hummed, and something shifted unlocking the doorway. “You first,” the elf said. I stepped through the archway into a dry room, fresh with the smells of the forest.

I had found the Chamber of Travelling.

I made a small edit... not ready to give away all the secrets yet. They'll come, don't worry. :-)
Ashiwi
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Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 5:01 am

Postby Ashiwi » Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:56 pm

Ashiwi broke through the surface of the water in a darkened area, and immediately regretted the deep inhalation of stale air with which she filled her lungs. This place had apparently not been fully ventilated in many ages, and while there must have been some method of keeping the air from becoming befouled, it was still heavy and muffling, the dust around Lilira’s feet clouding only slightly before settling back down.

Lilira’s voice carried clearly to her as she waded from the water, the half-breed’s inflections ranging from excited and girlishly high to tinged with awe as her tongue tripped quickly over the story of how she had come across the watery passage. She gesticulated wildly with her hands, waving at something in the shadows, her eyes intent on whatever possessed her attention.

“I can’t believe I found it all on my own, and found my way in; it still amazes me, but here I am and here it is, and it feels so close, as if it’s something I should know, but I might not have the translation right …” The young bard paused and took a breath before turning back to Ashiwi, her arm still raised to gesture towards the far wall. “Mano hin naa lle.”

Ashiwillyrienne stopped in her tracks, the abrupt change in Lilira’s words taking her by surprise. While her pronunciation was somewhat garbled, the half-elf’s words were still understandable, but this question had come out of the blue and seemed to have no reference here.

Lilira gazed expectantly at Ashiwi, her arm still raised with one finger pointing, and Ashiwi’s eyes followed it to the wall beyond. She took several steps forward, bringing her eyes to focus upon the shadowy hieroglyphs and runes before her, and in one swift moment of understanding she felt a lurch in her stomach, her heart beginning to race as the only answer she could give to the question crystallized itself in her mind. Awareness washed through her like a current, a flush of tingling nerves and almost giddy awe.

“Mano hin naa lle.” Lilira had altered her pronunciation, her lips twisting around the words that were foreign to her, and Ashiwi turned regretfully away from the decorated wall to gaze curiously at the half-elf.

“Mano hin naa lle?” Ashiwillyrienne corrected the pronunciation and phrased it as a question for the young bard. Could she really not understand? Could she not know? It seemed almost beyond Ashiwi’s comprehension that this simple question could pose a riddle for the storyteller. The older elf was suddenly struck by an odd mixture of humor for Lilira’s naivety, and despair for the knowledge of self denied the young half-blood.

“Whose child are you? What does it mean?” Ashiwi snorted her contempt for whatever situation had kept the half-breed in the darkness of ignorance and raised her eyes to the heavens beyond the ceiling of stone and earth above them. The child would know the truth one day, and perhaps that knowledge would help to quiet the restless turmoil that wore at her thoughts.

Ashiwi turned her eyes longingly back to the far wall and felt a thrill rushing through her again. She could almost sense the energy crawling through her and through the room about her as her lips formed the only answer she knew to the question – a question that would never be a riddle to her. The earth seemed to shift, and the door behind them let loose a soft click before swinging open.

With a smile on her face, Ashiwi turned back to Lilira and gestured toward the open door, wondering if the young half-elf would ever understand how her very presence in this ancient place indicated that her answer to the question had already been given, whether she was aware of her knowledge or not. The older elf’s lips quirked up in a smile for the half-breed’s benefit. Lilira’s eyes were open, and she was not so blind that she could not see the limitations of her mixed blood, but she had not yet learned to see with her heart that the tethers which kept her bound away from her heritage were hers to undo.

“After you.” Ashiwi murmured in deference. The young elf smiled in anticipation and excitement, before passing cautiously through the open door. Ashiwi followed closely, wondering how much nearer this journey would bring the bardess to the knowledge of the answer for herself.
Gormal tells you 'im a dwarven onion'
Gormal tells you 'always another beer-soaked layer'

Inama ASSOC:: 'though it may suit your fantasies to think so, i don't need oil for anything.'

Haley: Filthy lucre? I wash that lucre every day until it SHINES!

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