February 28, 2015 at 9:48 am #1365
Stern, you say your piece to Meela, who is actually walking silently beside you. You can see her fading away. She listens, and is just the vaguest ghostly outline as she begins to speak, but her voice can’t pass through the boundary between ethereal and where you’re going. She realizes you’re not hearing a word she’s saying, smiles, bows, and winks at you Stern.
You leave the grey behind and step into a world of morning colors and sunlit warmth. Down the twisting foot path, through the bright green park of standing stones and neatly pruned cherry trees, back to Tradeway and north to reach Red Town. To your right, a small orchard of peach trees runs right up to the road. To your left, the hillside of standing stones, and the Sleeping Mountain towering above you, it’s lower heights bathed in orange morning sun, it’s upper half lost in low hanging clouds. Founders Watch is in view, it’s red flags look as on fire from that bright sunlight. From this angle you can make out just the backs of the heads of most of the founders, looking off almost in the opposite direction you’re heading. Rounding a bend, you see the work crew on the side of the road. They are lined up like soldiers, their forman dressing them down. Their shovels are held almost like muskets and they stand at attention, except you one who is stooping over an impromtue fire in the shadow of a tree, nervously looking at the sky and apparently brewing a fresh pot. The Foreman sees you coming, and bows long and low in your direction, you realize they’re all arrayed like this, and have stopped their work to honor you.
DM SAYS: Chance to interact with these folks. You don’t have to. You have till about 11 and then I move on.February 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm #1368
They bow there heads looking happy and nervous (fan boys)
As you walk closer one of them nudges the foreman, who shoots him an annoyed glance, before puffing up his chest, not so much to look tough, but to summon confidence, and clears his throat
“I thank you, on behalf of Fanlu’s Town Keepers Guild, for what you did in Littlemountain.”
and he finishes this with a quick bow, fully intending to say no more, unless of course you say something to him. Dudes like this would not just talk your ear off, they figure wherever you’re going it’s important, and they would not like to look like they’re neglecting their job in front of you, other than this brief pause, to honor you as you pass on the road.February 28, 2015 at 3:43 pm #1375
You enter through the gates of Redtown. Redtown is the highest part of town, and so is currently lost in the same low cloud that hangs over the city. You all look meaningful at each other as you step into the fog, but this mist is damp and cool, it smells of recent rain, crisp mountain air, and the sweet, subtle incense the people of Fanlu like to burn on their front porches in the morning.
The gate into Redtown is wide open, it’s still early, people are very focused, setting up their shops, or still getting ready for the day.
It does not take long at all to reach the front door of The Mensheng Mansion. It is a fine house, but not at all huge. There’s a side yard, the one that housed the statue you slept by, and you can tell there’s a much larger piece of land fenced in out back. There are signs of wear and disrepair as well. The paint on the front door is starting to peel, one of the large front steps is sagging and half rotted, needing to be replaced, and the potted plants on either side of the door are overgrown and wild. The Front door looks something like this. PS, these pictures would have been cool to use when you guys were ethereal. Don’t ya hate it when you think of something cool after the fact?!
What do you do???March 1, 2015 at 5:42 pm #1383
There’s a long pause, then a man, the housemaster (butler) opens the door, looking tired and miserable, but you look right past him at the beauty standing on the old staircase about 20ft. behind him. Her jaw drops a little as she sees you Stern, and she stares into your eyes like a deer caught in the aim of a hunter, shes’ probably 20 years at most. A green dress, a flute held in her delicate hands.
(Like this but not showing so much skin)
“Meela! Get up stairs and finish with the curtains”
(Like this but all in black)
The voice comes from a 3rd figure, a regal, tough looking woman in her early forties. Thin, solid, she is old but not at all frail, and has a menacing presence, like an imperious queen, only intensified by the elaborate black dress and veil she wears. The Veil covers half of her stern features.
“Meela!” She sternly shouts as she gracefully walks between the girl and the butler,out into the entry parlor, not even looking at you yet, her eyes locked on the girl as she points back upstairs. The girl backs up slowly, still looking at you stern, then seeming to remember her manners, bows slightly before shyly turning and running up the stairs in almost girlish embarrassment.
What on earth are you….the older woman is saying as she turns to face the door and sees Stern’s massive frame towering over the butler.
Her expression does not move from icy calm, tinged with annoyance, but she does raise an eyebrow, folding her arms, and regarding you Stern, as an impetuous queen might regard a failed knight.
“Please sir, state your business here at Mensheng House…” The butler manages before she interrupts him
“A little early are we not? tell me what horrid news could not wait until after breakfast…we are already a house in mourning, now you would render us a house without the morning time to itself!?…just…what is it.”
This must be Leia Mensheng.
March 1, 2015 at 6:25 pm #1385
- This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by DM.
“Good day lady Mensheng”
Stern gives a bow.
“I am Stern, And these are my comrades Grey Threnody, Hrothgar Skul-dur, and Grognak. Manny apologies about the early hour as we have just journeyed down from the great mountain and bring word from lady Meela Mensheng. She heard your prayers and has been trying to protect your family from the other side. Its a long story but we were on the other side and she helped us come home and I made a promise to her to bring her message back and help bring protection back to house Mensheng.”March 1, 2015 at 7:32 pm #1386
Her demenor changes instantly, her taut jaw drops, and she seems flaborgasted
“Chu, please show these gentlemen to the reception garden”
And she turns, away, then looking back over her shoulder at Stern, and bowing her head a little as she moves back into the great room, in an almost wandering fashion, almost as one who has never been here before.
You on the other hand are led in the opposite direction by chu, who takes you out the the very gardens you were in that night. He bows, making no attempt to hide the wide eyed suspicious nature with which he views you, politly seating you at a set bamboo outdoor chairs arranged around a low garden table. A small stream of water tinkles down the statue of Ki Lo Knee, disturbing the surface of the pond where the brilliantly colored coy float.
Chu reemerges with Tea, and a moment behind him lady Mensheng comes into the garden, a knitted white throw draped over her shoulders. Chu poors all a cup of tea before retreating just inside the door back into the house, and standing at attention, doggedly eyeing all of you.
“Perhaps I should summon the constable to attend this meeting lady…”
she cuts off the butler speaking to you, and then to him, as if he had not even started
“Are any of you hungry? Chu, have the cook prepare eggs and spiced ham for these gentlemen,3 eggs each, and bring out fresh peaches…I myself will take oats with sugar.”
“I apologize for my manners…my son in law died just a few days ago and none of us have been able to sleep…” As she speaks, her hard features seem to melt, she is exhausted..utterly, yet when she sits in one of the chairs, she keeps the posture of a general having his portrait painted, back straight, chest out, shoulders strong and back. She raises her cup of tea in a toast, Grey, you notice the fine nature of the set, it is a masterwork.
“To my husband, my son, and my son in law”
“Four men in a garden
The sun breaks through the Fog
The dead have much to say”March 1, 2015 at 7:52 pm #1387
“Thank you my lady you are a most gracious host.”
Stern Reaches over to take her hand while casting Panacea
“A blessing from your ancestor and the spirits above.
As Stern sits.
I am sorry for your loss, the loss of a loved one is one of the hardest things the living must endure. Rest assured your family is looking in on you and that is why we are here.”March 2, 2015 at 1:09 am #1388
“You are a holy man…”
Her composure breaks as the minor miracle surges through her. She goes to one knee, pushing the table forward as she does with a grating sound as cups of tea rattle on their saucers.
She Kneels before you, leaning over the low table, which is awkwardly between you, pressing her face against your hand, hiding her face, but you feel the warm flood of tears, and her body begins to tremble. Her next words are forced, as what little composure she has left holds back a flood of emotion
“Please, I, I wish to be alone with this priest…please leave us”
The plea seems to be directed at everyone, including her gasping man servant who can only manage “My Lady…” before eyeing you all imperiously, as if to say, do as she says!March 2, 2015 at 3:28 pm #1391
So, the rest of you go into the parlor, you can see Stern and Leia Mensheng through the glass doors out into the garden. They speak for about an hour
Stern, she basically gives you the low down of her life, which, if it were given as a condensed version it would be more like this;
My father was killed in Shou Shan when I was a little girl. My mother and I fled the village, he stayed behind to fight, that was the last I saw of him, or any of my friends. We moved here because Evon offered to take in the refugees of Shoushan. I hated it. My mother used to spend all her time at the orphanage in Laketown vounteering, she felt like she owed it to Evon for all he did for us. One night the Orphanage received a huge donation. Some bandits got word of it. They came into town unarmed, dressed as worskipers on a pilgrimaged to the Shrine. The checked into an Inn in town, and the next night broke into the orphanage. My mother was there when it happened, and she was killed trying to stop them, killed over money. I felt like I barely saw her, and then she was gone for good.
I married a merchant of the Brotherhood. He was charming, the wedding was beautiful, but I barely saw him. He was killed by bandits out on the road south of here. I felt like I barely saw him too, and he was gone for good. His body was never recovered. He left me with 2 daughters and a son. I lost him 2 years ago. Like father like son, he joined the damn crazy merchants…he wanted to make his own way, impress his dead father…one day some fortune teller told him his father was still alive, so he went on some fools errand to find him, and was killed. I know my son is dead, I paid the keeper for a divination, and paid a finder to bring his body back. They said there were clues about how he died, but, I…I didn’t want to know….he died some place horrible and now he’s gone and done is done.
My eldest Daughter married and gave me two grand children who I dot over, but their father, my daughters wife…well, she married a brotherhood merchant as well. He rode out to fight Slags bastard raiders in Quarytown, and he didn’t come back. We now maintain the vigil of passing for him. I worry for my daughter and her children. I feel like Death haunts me, he shadows everything I love. I hated the gods, I hated the rites, they did nothing for me. I’ve doubted the otherside, I’ve openly cursed it…a week ago Chu noticed the sigils on the gate to our back yard were stolen…They are expensive to replace, and I don’t think they do any good anyways, it’s just another way for priests to make money, like that fortuneteller made money off my son and sent him to his death. I hate it all. Since the symbol was taken I haven’t got much sleep, so I started preying to my mother, I don’t know why, to pass the night I suppose…I stopped believing the dead really hear us a long time ago. As a girl I preyed but I just felt alone, and my life just got worse and worse….and then you show up at my door, and you say her name, you say you saw her. I don’t know what to say but I believe you. I must seek out atonement, forgiveness for my bitterness, peace from grief…can you perform an atonement on me Stern?
March 5, 2015 at 10:42 am #1393
- This reply was modified 5 years, 9 months ago by DM.
I, Myself I cannot perform these acts however I have friends who can, you may have heard of her, her name is Caris, priestess of Elohna. I will gather her and some of the local carpenters guild and some priest of the shrine to bless this house and all within, replace the missing sigils and do some of the needed repairs here. I made Meela a promise to look after you and your family. I am greatly sorry for all your loss and hardship, Your son in law did not die in vain, he died defending his home, his family, his land. We lost many on that battlefield that day, I am proud to know that I can help the family of one of the men who fought bravely by my side in battle, Crom welcomes all those who fight bravely in battle into his kingdom in the heavens. From now you must believe that your prayers are heard and that your ancestors are looking in on you.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.