(20:56:56) ***Magnus_ sits quietly in his small quarters. His arms and legs are in an almost eastern fashion, which is saying a lot for such a large man, and he meditates. Pondering the four questions he has prepared for this evening.
(20:58:17) Magnus_: (I have a d100, but it would be better if you do it since you'll see the numbers for yourself.)
(20:58:32) D_M: Indeed. And what are the four questions of the night?
(20:59:16) Magnus_: First, Where did the "Hunter" Rod that contained Caleb originate from?
(21:02:11) D_M: Ok. Go ahead and give me a preview of the other three, as they stand now? We'll still address them in order, so you'll be able to change your mind.
(21:02:38) Magnus_: What is Caleb's true name and form?
(21:03:15) Magnus_: Is the rod still obtainable?
(21:04:36) Magnus_: and last but not least...Is there a way, within my power, to take the danger away from the rest, knowing full well that I can not defeat Caleb?
(21:05:19) Magnus_: (incidentally I know he is a plot point, but I'm very curious to see what I can do with that)
(21:07:22) D_M: Hmm... You know, I hate to ask you this, but could you perhaps give me one more night? Or at least a few hours to ponder exactly how to use this? Your questions go right to the roots of the campaign, and I was not expecting that.
(21:08:39) D_M: I know it's an imposition, but in order for me to give you good divination, I really have to think about this, and do some research into what is already established in the game history.
(21:09:17) Magnus_: Alright. Sounds good. I don't mean to overstep my boundaries being that I am new to this group, by the way..
(21:09:42) D_M: Not at all. How late are you up tonight?
(21:10:16) D_M: If you can give me a little time, I can probably figure this out tonight and give you a good response. These are great hooks; I just have to be careful how I use them and respond to them.
(21:10:27) Magnus_: I've actually had it running through my mind to offer Magnus well being in turn for the freedom of the others from Caleb....but I was going to see how that played out.
(21:10:43) Magnus_: Alright. Sounds good.
(21:11:05) Magnus_: Incidentally, not give up as in Kill Magnus...but more like make himself the torture subject.
(21:11:43) Magnus_: but then it occurred to me that at Magnus' eventual death, Caleb would not be satisfied.
(21:11:59) Magnus_: Even if Magnus lived to be a 100 years old.
(21:12:44) Magnus_: I'm up all night, by the way.
(21:16:53) D_M: Hmm... all right, let me think for a bit.
(21:18:09) Magnus_: alright
(21:33:23) ***Magnus_ continues his meditation.
(21:38:08) D_M: All right, let's see here.
(21:38:38) Magnus_: Take your time, man..I just didn't want to log out accidentaly.
(21:38:57) D_M: Hehe, yeah, no, I have my thoughts together.
(21:40:34) D_M: So, set the stage for me. You have been following Vargas around for the better part of a month, maybe more, and then you get the dire update regarding Faisail and the supposed death of Miriam, etc. Vargas jumps you home, and holds his little council in the tent.
(21:41:02) D_M: He elects not to move that night, so you have a night to meditate before this going to blazes.
(21:41:04) Magnus_: right..and you can add out accounts in Sil.
(21:41:20) Magnus_: add OUR accounts
(21:41:24) D_M: Accounts?
(21:41:48) Magnus_: the conversation last night that made Magnus knowledgable of the rod.
(21:42:27) Magnus_: but yeah..Magnus has a night to meditate. He took only bread and some water from the dinner and asked to not be disturbed.
(21:42:29) D_M: Ok, so in game time, that took place while the two of you were still in Sil?
(21:42:37) Magnus_: right
(21:42:49) D_M: Ok. So yes, he has all of that to ponder.
(21:44:03) D_M: How and where does he settle himself own for meditation?
(21:44:50) Magnus_: Bhuddist sort of pose. On a small cloth in his quarters. The lights are low.
(21:45:06) D_M: Heh, the oil lamps are low, roger.
(21:45:36) D_M: Or are the lit? Just a couple of candles, perhaps? Or just one for self-hypnosis?
(21:45:49) Magnus_: One candle
(21:46:04) D_M: Roger that.
(21:46:53) D_M: All right. Meditation. That process of stretching the gaps, of extending the silence between thoughts until there are no thoughts, but only silence.
(21:48:01) D_M: Holding up the void, and peering into it with your mind's eye, and with the echo of a prayer left behind. Prayer is thought. This is... Metaprayer.
(21:48:37) D_M: Does Magnus normally use incense for this? Or drugs?
(21:49:01) Magnus_: Sometimes incense..he has no need for drugs. He might not give them up. heh
(21:49:14) D_M: Roger. Any incense tonight?
(21:50:14) Magnus_: a small stick that is native to Akor. He found something there that wouldn't draw his mind to his home, and would calm his ork blood enough to do this.
(21:50:41) D_M: Very well.
(21:51:33) D_M: That does complete the image nicely. It is dark inside the tent. It would be pitch black except for the candle. The candle sits in the center of a clear space, and Magnus sort of looms at the edge of its halo.
(21:52:21) D_M: A figure of bulging muscle and primordial shape suggested by dim highlights of reflected candle fire.
(21:53:21) Magnus_: and for a rare time he is not in his glammered armor
(21:53:24) D_M: So there is the edge of Magnus, at the edge of this tiny universe. At its center the bright point of the candle. And occasionally, through its small space, drifts the occasional tendril of smoke, again faintly highlighted in orange and gold.
(21:54:01) D_M: Aside from one too many occasionals, it's an atmospheric portrait.
(21:54:59) D_M: You have to go in with your questions already known, to some extent, because once you're in, you can't think. You have to simply move, as a mind, over the face of the void.
(21:56:12) D_M: What do you seek, priest of Pharasma?
(21:56:22) D_M: Your first question.
(21:57:55) Magnus_: What is the origin of the "Hunter" rod that contained the entity known as Caleb?
(22:00:54) D_M: The Hunter's Rod. Vargas's tales replay in your mind, and through it races the images that your imagination conjured as you heard the narrative, and these draw forth memories of other tales and of rituals witnessed and researched, of legends shared amongst priesthood and lay persons.
(22:04:12) D_M: You've heard of such items before, tools of divination created by binding--or simply contacting the spirit realm and those beyond. Stories abound of witches and kings making deals with the gods, bargains of eternity.
(22:06:22) D_M: You can imagine how the rod might have been made, in such a ritual, sacrificing some animal, pouring its blood, burning its flesh. Priests--or not priests--calling upon no one in particular. Whoever might answer. Guide us! Guide us, as it is written in the ancient rituals!
(22:06:39) D_M: Arrogance.
(22:07:56) D_M: You see it plainly as the day, when you think about it. The arrogance of the people who make such tokens. Pharasma chooses her avatar as she will; she does not answer to some human incantation.
(22:08:15) D_M: Except it please her to do so.
(22:08:27) D_M: Such arrogance.
(22:08:38) D_M: The images fade.
(22:08:43) D_M: Stillness.
(22:08:55) D_M: What do you seek, priest of Pharasma?
(22:09:44) Magnus_: What is the true name and form of the entity Caleb, brought about by such arrogance?
(22:10:21) Magnus_: (would that be why Magnus can never find a temple of Pharasma?)
(22:10:35) Magnus_: (because so few priests of hers exist?)
(22:11:38) D_M: (No, he can never find a temple because he never wanders where his mother's ancestors lived and used that name. :-) )
(22:12:12) D_M: (But he doesn't know where her ancestors lived, so he wanders in vain.)
(22:12:26) Magnus_: (Which is why finding his past is so important...if he can)
(22:12:42) Magnus_: (And why his mother was the only one he knew that knew of Pharasma)
(22:12:49) Magnus_: (Like I told V)
(22:13:56) D_M: "Would you like to know me?" asks the elf, sitting across the candle-light from Magnus.
(22:14:40) D_M: He is unremarkable, what you can make of him. A male, of middle elf age, in some type of ordinary, elfish, draping garn.
(22:14:45) D_M: Garb, rather.
(22:14:53) ***Magnus_ opens his eyes, looking at the elf that merges with the candle light.
(22:15:17) D_M: You can't discern the color of his clothes, since all is just highlights by candlelight here.
(22:16:00) Magnus_: "I wish to know your name, Sir Elf."
(22:18:18) D_M: "My name is Calvan," he says. "What else would you like to know?"
(22:18:46) Magnus_: "What has tormented you so, that draws you to torment others?"
(22:19:05) D_M: Magnus, something nags faintly at your ear, possibly a mosquito's buzzing. To attend to it, though, would draw you away from this meeting.
(22:20:04) ***Magnus_ ignores the buzzing.
(22:20:44) D_M: "Whom have I tormented?" asks the elf.
(22:22:05) Magnus_: "Did you not lead the half-elf known as Serribon towards his demise? Are you not the one responsible for the death of the human woman known as Miriam? Forgive me for thinking you are, if you are not."
(22:23:19) D_M: "Oh, dear, yes. I know the half-elf well. It was a terrible tragedy, that. I am so sorry for it. It is good to see him well."
(22:23:35) D_M: A little itching at your ear, Magnus.
(22:24:09) Magnus_: "What happened during your time with him? What were you trying to accomplish?"
(22:25:06) D_M: "Accomplish? You are cruel to me, priest. Do you think I willed such illness on him?" The elf shakes his head.
(22:26:16) Magnus_: "If you did not, and again I apologize, why were you with him?"
(22:28:49) D_M: "He used the rod. I can't help my nature. I can control it, but... you of all people understand such things," says the half-orc. He gazes down at his massive, black-skinned hand, pondering. "Like you, I was made... imperfect."
(22:30:07) Magnus_: "Did he use the rod for destruction?" He notes that what was an elf is now of his own kind.
(22:31:48) D_M: "What? No, the Hunter's Rod hunts. That is all. It is... it is the contact, you see. With those of us from Beyond. We were made so that only a mortal with the most profound training can survive contact with us."
(22:32:22) D_M: Not an itch, really. Just a nagging something, trying to draw your attention away.
(22:32:30) Magnus_: "He was not strong enough for it?"
(22:33:16) D_M: "Of course not. How could he be? Foolish mortals. They seek to touch us without knowing the danger to which they expose themselves."
(22:33:43) D_M: The half-orc's brow is heavy with sadness.
(22:34:25) Magnus_: "Did I see you in a previous vision, Calvan?"
(22:36:29) D_M: "See me? I don't know. I generally only show myself as I am doing now, to those of great training. If I have a choice."
(22:37:36) Magnus_: "Do you know of my Queen Pharasma?"
(22:38:50) D_M: It's almost like the mosquito is crawling in your ear. It's not actually a mosquito, but some sort of distraction. It takes all your concentration to remain focused on the conversation.
(22:39:06) D_M: "Oh yes!" says the half orc.
(22:39:22) D_M: "I know her well. We are of a kind, we and the others."
(22:39:57) D_M: "And I know you. She speaks of you, her avatar in this time."
(22:41:09) D_M: He peers at you with a wry, tusky grin. "It's a pity she holds herself apart from you. You would greatly enjoy meeting her."
(22:41:34) Magnus_: "My time has not yet come to be face to face with her."
(22:41:55) Magnus_: "I can wait until then."
(22:42:07) D_M: He shakes his head. "And it will not, I fear. She is... of a different mind about certain things."
(22:44:39) ***Magnus_ moves back to the original subject, "Do you know where the Hunters rod is?"
(22:46:34) D_M: "The Hunter's rod? Oh yes. You can find it if you look for it. It's still out there, and still very powerful. But you've seen the cost of using it. You might--MIGHT--be able to withstand it, but I can make no guarantees."
(22:47:21) Magnus_: "Do you like being a part of it?"
(22:49:21) D_M: "Part of--? Oh, no, no. I am not part of the rod. The rod is... a tiny bit of me. Don't you see? It's direct contact! It's THIS, only a cheat, for the layman. And it's too much for them. The exposure destroys them."
(22:50:02) Magnus_: "And where is it? If I might ask."
(22:50:25) Magnus_: "Or is it my task to look for it?"
(22:50:48) D_M: The little distraction is growing more faint.
(22:51:32) D_M: "Honestly, I don't see why you're looking for it. You don't need it, because you can just talk to me. Want to know where something is? Ask!"
(22:52:10) D_M: "The rod is some mortal's gross attempt at communion."
(22:53:11) Magnus_: "Perhaps I will wait. One arrogant enough to create such a thing, believing they have the power to do so and control it, would be best to deal with later."
(22:55:05) D_M: "Good! Good. You must remain focused on what is really important. You have friends in peril, and a bit of a battle coming, I understand."
(22:55:53) Magnus_: "I thank you very much for your time, Calvin. You have been most kind. May I speak with you again at some point?"
(22:56:16) Magnus_: "And are there any questions you have for me?"
(22:56:28) Magnus_: "I have not been the most gracious host."
(22:57:40) D_M: "Oh no, I am actually here for you. It is a pleasure to have been invited, for once. I envy her such polite priests. But we all look after mortal kind, even if they do not...
(22:57:45) D_M: (Cont.)
(22:58:36) D_M: ...always thank us for it. I came to speak to you about the matters at hand, and about the curse of my presence which has afflicted your friends."
(22:59:03) Magnus_: "Has it passed to Miriam?"
(22:59:13) Magnus_: "Or is that another?"
(23:00:39) D_M: "That's just it, you see: they were all exposed, after a fashion. It's not like a fire, where you can draw your hand away and begin to heal. It's... I hate to call myself a disease, but it's like that. They have meddled in powers for which they were not trained, Magnus...
(23:00:43) D_M: (Cont.)
(23:01:55) D_M: ...and the consequences will continue to afflict them, I fear. Without the right help, they are doomed to further misfortune and... a kind of spiritual decay which We, beyond, are powerless to reverse."
(23:03:29) Magnus_: "Am I powerless to help ease their suffering?"
(23:05:32) D_M: The half-orc purses his big, orcish lips for a moment. "Not ultimately, perhaps. You have the beginnings of it, in your very humility. But there is training you must receive, and a choice you must make. I can give you the beginnings of it here, but only the beginnings, and I warn you: it will not be easy."
(23:06:23) Magnus_: "If I start, there is no going back."
(23:06:33) D_M: "Truly."
(23:06:37) ***Magnus_ studies the being.
(23:07:07) D_M: That little nagging distraction in your ear remains, but you have just about put it aside at this point.
(23:08:28) D_M: The half-orc waits for your decision.
(23:09:58) Magnus_: "Very well, I will start down this path."
(23:10:16) D_M: "Then I will tell you the first steps."
(23:11:54) D_M: "There are two. First, you must cleanse yourself of the trappings of mortal priesthood." The half-orc reaches forth and sets two small objects upon the tent floor under the candle light.
(23:13:08) D_M: "To take the second step, you must be of absolute humility, which means you can not claim any god as yours. Before you are the holy symbols of your order and mine. You must break them both--but wait," he says, holding up a hand.
(23:13:19) ***Magnus_ watches the half-orc.
(23:15:01) D_M: "These symbols represent not Pharasma and myself, but rather your bond to us. They are inherently distracting from the true path, in which you fashion yourself into a holy symbol, by eliminating your own self. Do you understand?"
(23:15:40) D_M: "It is critical that you do this in the right spirit, because the second step can not be undertaken except in conjunction with the first, and that is this: ..."
(23:15:44) D_M: (Cont.)
(23:17:28) D_M: "As you break the symbols, you must take upon yourself the suffering of the innocent. You must accept in their stead the torment of being connected to us. You must have faith in yourself as a vessel. This is done first by sacrificing the mortal crutches represented in these trinkets."
(23:18:08) Magnus_: "Must I do this now?"
(23:19:10) D_M: The half-orc folds his great hands and takes a deep breath. "There is only now. You are at a point of choice, which exists outside of time. You can never come back to this moment."
(23:20:07) D_M: He nods to the symbols. "If you accept this burden; if you are willing to take the suffering of your friends on your shoulders, and sacrifice all that you have loved for the power to save it, then break the symbol which you hold most dear."
(23:20:19) Magnus_: "Will I be lost to all of you should I choose this path? Will I cease to be a priest?"
(23:20:47) D_M: "This is beyond priesthood. You will become the walking vessel of us all."
(23:21:01) D_M: "Not instantly, of course," he adds.
(23:21:25) D_M: "This is not an instant way to power. This is a first step, on the long road of training, as I said."
(23:21:36) D_M: "But you must take this step correctly."
(23:22:18) D_M: "You must break the symbol you hold closest to your heart, and you must accept the burdens of those you love. The burden of Our weight which lies on them for their past sins."
(23:22:52) D_M: "The path to their salvation is through you, but you must begin walking it, here, now."
(23:22:57) Magnus_: "This will mean that returning an old gnome's site to him will never have been in vain. I felt a deep sorrow for him, and for the journey that brought him to his point...his loss...it was all in him."
(23:23:36) D_M: The half-orc nods. That faint buzzing in your ear is almost a memory now.
(23:24:24) ***Magnus_ reaches forth with an almost trembling hand and picks up the first seal.
(23:24:34) D_M: Which is first?
(23:24:36) Magnus_: (does he recognize either of the seals?)
(23:25:15) D_M: One he does not recognize. The other is clearly a holy symbol of Pharasma, as expected.
(23:25:50) Magnus_: (he takes the one he doesn't recognize)
(23:26:20) Magnus_: (he has to break both, right?)
(23:26:39) D_M: He does, but again, in the order closest to his heart.
(23:27:06) D_M: Calvan made that plain. You have to break the one that means the most to you, and the break all other ties with mortal priesthood.
(23:27:17) ***Magnus_ sets it down and picks up the Pharasma one.
(23:28:13) ***Magnus_ mutters "Please, do not think ill of me." He breaks the symbol.
(23:28:19) D_M: The tickling distraction kicks up a little, trying to keep you from your focus--
(23:28:46) Magnus_: (I'm guessing you know who that mutter went to)
(23:28:57) Magnus_: (And so would she if she's listening)
(23:29:00) D_M: The symbol snaps with a wooden sound, and for a moment, you see... Miriam.
(23:29:54) D_M: She is giving you that knowing grin with which you became familiar in your short time together, and you hear her say, "He's a sly devil, isn't he?"
(23:30:00) D_M: And then there is darkness.
(23:30:16) D_M: And we will pick it up on Sunday! Or tomorrow if we have enough folks for a twix.
(23:30:18) ***Magnus_ picks up the second symbol, "I accept the burden of my friends. I accept the burden of those I will encounter, and those I have encountered." He breaks the second symbol.
(23:31:03) Magnus_: Okay.
(23:31:22) Magnus_: Probably not my most well thought out decision...especially since he just lost his deity.
(23:32:35) Magnus_: Did he lose his deity, and the powers that came from her?
(23:34:10) D_M: Surprises await! Feel free to talk OOCly (not ICly) with G when he gets on. If we can get folks for a twix tomorrow, we'll continue. Otherwise we'll continue on Sunday.
(23:34:40) Magnus_: I honestly don't want to have just lost a clerical status.
(23:35:05) Magnus_: But....I think this is actually getting me more involved.
(23:35:06) D_M: Hehehe, fear not. I would not let you make a decision that would make the game permanently un-fun for you.
(23:35:51) Magnus_: Actually...what does this do for the symbol in his shield..can he no longer turn undead with it?
(23:36:06) D_M: You just really want to know everything tonight, don't you?
(23:36:09) D_M: :-D
(23:36:30) Magnus_: Okay...just tell me if this is going to be cooler for me? lol
(23:36:52) D_M: Well... It'll be character development at the very least.
(23:37:07) Magnus_: Cause up until recently I've felt a bit out of place and lost. In all honesty.
(23:41:12) Magnus_: look
(23:41:16) Magnus_: oops
(23:41:22) Magnus_ is now known as Nacht
(23:41:40) Nacht: Good Twix
(23:42:26) Nacht: Will we start with the breaking of the second symbol?
(23:42:40) D_M: That will not be necessary.
(23:44:03) Nacht: Good job of describing the hunters rod and why it affected Serribon.
(23:44:48) Nacht: Not to claim Serribon is arrogant, but if he knew the rod was powerful, and knew it's contents, then using it was in fact a bit of arrogance.
(23:46:18) Nacht: Which just means keeping the rod concealed from any others would be a good idea...probably best in fact to NOT dig it up. (4/20/2013 00:48:29) D_M left the room (quit: Quit: Leaving). (01:00:53) Gerhal [~email@example.com] entered the room. (01:02:32) Nacht: Yo