A Parle on Strange Happenings

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Log Info

  • Title: A Parle on Strange Happenings
  • Place: Lupecyll-Atlon House - Garden / Living Room
  • Summary: A group of Adventurers descend on the Lupecyll-Atlon to get Cor'Lana's insights onto recent strange events.

Lupecyll-Atlon house, late morning.

Blue sky, light breeze, cool shade, warm sun. These are what people dream of when they think of spring, and this Bernfleur day lives up to the dreams of spring that traipse through people's heads in the dead of an Alexandrian winter. The light is here in the University District, blessed by Daeus as it comes down in gentle beams, and it's what gives Cor'lana Lupecyll-Atlon the ability to see around the bushes that are in her front yard, inspecting the singed leaves with those inquisitive violet eyes of hers.

However, she is not alone. She is flanked by two tiny women, easily mistaken by butterflies, who are midflight on beautiful wings that match their petal-wrought dresses. One of them, a fair-skinned girl with ringlets of blonde hair and a dress made of white petals that match her white wings, makes an aggravated little squeal. "Ohhhhhhhh...! Lady Lupecyll-Atlon! You should find those crooks who did this and make them pay! KILL THEM! USE THEIR BONES AS FERTILIZERRRRRRR--"

Her pointed ear is yanked by the other flying tiny woman, a dark-skinned girl with a cascade of plant-green braids and a hot-pink petal dress that matches her vibrant wings. She sighs. "Lily-of-the-Valley, calm yourself. We are here to assess the bushes and help the Lady and her Lord with regrowing the parts that are burnt."

Cor'lana chuckles a little, a mirth in her eyes as she looks at the two pixies--for that is what they are. "Thank you for keeping her in check, Mirabilis," she says gently. "Should I leave the two of you to your work, then?"

"Yes ma'am!" the two pixies cheer in unison, and they begin the task of pruning the burnt ends of the bushes. This leaves their "Lady" (merely a sorceress) to look out at the street with a soft sigh. Life goes on.

Strange happenings seem to only be increasing in the lands of Alexandros. Where one mystery ends, more seem to appear like the heads of a hydra. After a particularly unusual encounter beneath one of the nearby villages, Rune was left with far more questions than answers. The one thread, however, seems to be werewolves.

And who would know better about werewolves than Cor'lana Lúpecyll-Atlon.

Of course, that isn't her only reason for seeking out contact, but it had been the suggestion that sparked matters. "If nothing else, I'm sure they've experienced things we can't even imagine. So maybe they'll know what it is we ran into..."

Rune's voice can be heard as she approaches, talking to others whom she has brought along for this particular visit. Jacob and Harkashan had also seen the werewolves and the creature in question.

As they approach, however, Rune stops at the sight of bushes that look as if they have seen better days. "What happened?" Shock touches her voice. The fay folk are no surprise to Rune, but the state of the garden certainly iss. "Is everyone alright?"

More strange happenings afoot, it seems.

Having had nothing better to do, this morning, and seeing Rune, Jacob and Harkashan heading somewhere together, Ous had decided to follow along. Dressed in his usual Woolen pants, Elkhide and Wolf pelt shirt, and weighed down with more axes than one man reasonably needs to carry, the Ranger whistles a happy, tuneless tune as he moves with the others. Padding along a half step behind him is a Giant Mastiff. Ous being a couple inches over 6'0", the dog, with the oversized paws, and giant head dimensions of a puppy, still matches the height of his hip at the shoulder. the giant Brindled dog panting happily as they make their way along, happy to be included.

Pausing as Rune asks about the state of the estate, Ous looks around himself. "It do look a wee bit like a cooking fire got awa' from ye recently ma'am."

GAME: Harkashan rolls Diplomacy+1: (1)+11+1: 13 (EPIC FAIL)

The cool shade and warm sun are nice upon the Sith-makar's body. The scales that are exposed playing with the light, yet something seems... different there. Certainly, the light has always played with his scales in unusual lava-like ways. But now, it seems like the light is truly coming from within him.

He looks like he might burn plants if he got too close!

"Maybe." Harkashan answers Rune. "I agree that they're one of our best bets." With some other names on the list. Yet, something has started scratching at the edge of his mind. This subtle sense of recognition starting to burn, yet won't quite reach him. Something older awakening within...

Something he hasn't spoken to Rune about yet. He hasn't had the opportunity to yet.

As they approach, he notices the burnt looks on the bushes, and furrows his brow a bit. Then, the fey folk. He is surprised to see such beings here, but his expression remains fairly causual about it. Not so easily giving way to that surprise given his more hard-to-read draconic features.

"Miss Ravenstongue." He remarks, favoring that name before the other, touching his hand to his chest, and bowing slightly. Then, to the fey present; "I am Harkashan, a Deathsinger." Making sure to introduce himself to those who do not yet know him, but his tone growls, and small signs of flame spark from his tongue, threatening the bushes.

Flanking Rune, Jacob comes with questions that require answers. He had it on a list also to speak with Dolan on the matters of Totems that seek to be sought and guarded by these strange creatures. "I would suspect so. Cor'lana is humble, but she knows a great deal of the goings on and the purpose behind them. We'd be hard-pressed to find one wiser in these matters."

He rolls his hand, remembering the cruel strike he had taken.

Noticing the burnt plants, a frown touches his face. "What happened here?" He asks of Ravenstongue as they draw close enough to speak, he looks at Harkashan. "Mind your fire, my friend." And he turns to Ous, giving the fellow warrior a pleasant nod.

Before Cor'lana can even respond, it's Lily-of-the-Valley who flies in a rage right up to the tip of Harkashan's snout, the blonde pixie throwing her tiny limbs around in a rage. "DEATH-SINGER? THEY'RE GONNA BE SINGING YOUR DEATH IF YOU BURN THESE--"

"Lily-of-the-Valley," Cor'lana says with a sigh, immediately quelling the pixie's rage. "Calm. These are friends of mine, although I do not know one of them." Her eyes land on Ous with the last sentence, and she offers a small smile to the crowd in general. "Please do not mind my gardeners. They help Telamon with the gardens."

"I am called Mirabilis," the calmer of the two pixies replies, dragging her cohort by the scruff of her neck back to the bushes. "My pixie-sister is called Lily-of-the-Valley. We are devoted to the gracious Lady and Lord Lupecyll-Atlon. We shall not trouble any of you so long as the fire does not touch our work."

And so the pixies return to their work. Cor'lana goes to the front door and opens it for everyone to come in. "Regarding the matter of what happened here--it's best we all gather indoors for it. I have tea and refreshments I can serve all of you."

Although she eyes Ous's dog. "Save for your dog. I apologize. I can provide him with water, however."

It isn't until it is nearly too late that Rune notices Harkashan is a bit more... firey than normal. Her mouth opens just about the same time that the pixie shouts her rage. "Hey, lava-scales. Cool your fire a little bit, will you? What is up with you lately..." Rune seems just as puzzled by the shift of behavior.

Her eyes sweep along to her other friends, past Ous and stopping on his ... dog? When did he get a dog. It seems the wrong time to ask.

Then, straightening a little, Rune seems to shift into 'polite mode'. It's the subtle signs that once, she was trained as an emissary, though some of the mercenary edges still show through. "I promise, we don't intend on causing any additional damage." Rune bows her head forward, ombre hair falling into her face when she does.

Then, rising up from the bow, she looks at Cor'lana, "I think you've met most of my friends before, Death-Singer Harkashan. Jacob Ben-Hassid, and the fellow with the dog is Ous." Does Ous have a last name? Rune doesn't know.

"We... experienced something a bit strange and were hoping maybe you might have some insight. It has to do with the lupine activity in the woods as of late." Rune leaves it vague at that, nodding at the invitation to step inward.

Harkashan ducks his head back a bit when the small thing moves to his snout, watching it throwing her little limbs about ahd yelling at him. "Apologies." He rumbles, nodding at Jacob and Rune both as they remind him of his more fiery nature.

At Rune's puzzled remark, he adds; "It is the same thing I spoke of when Skielstregar visited our camp." Which isn't a full explaination, but at least shows that he wishes to speak of it, and is summerizing.

"I will seek to keep my inferno at bay." A slight draconic joke in reference to his name.

"Pleased to meet you, Lily-of-the-Valley and Mirabilis." Very different names in nature, he notes to himself. Normally he's better at making first impressions.

He proceeds onwards, following after Rune and Cor'lana, looking to Ous as he's asked to leave his dog behind.

Once inside, Harkashan adds onto what Rune was saying; "A group of cultists in a village a good day from Alexandria were summoning a fiend of sorts." Letting Jacob or Ous give the description.

Grinning as he watches the Pixies, Ous leans closer to Harkashan and says. "They can be feisty things. They goes fer th' eyes. 'ad one try tae fly up me nose once on account of no no liking me smokin'" As Corlana addresses him, the big Aesir offers the grin her way. Surprisingly white teeth offering a stark contrast to the thick beard, Green eyes, and wild mane of shoulder length hair that makes up the rest of his face. "Aye'm Ous. Tha's Dog." motioning to the giant puppy, the ranger adds. "We're set fer the drinks, But Aye thanks ye all the same."

Stepping towards the door with the others, Ous pauses as he looks inside, then frowns and looks to Dog. Pointing at the ground, he speaks quietly. "Ye stay here Dog. there's a lot of pricey lookin' things in there, an yer still figurin' out tha' tail." Dog begins to grumble and whine as the ranger stops him, but reluctantly drops to lay on the ground next to the doors. Setting Baleful Yellow eyes on Ous. He does stay put though.

Jacob raises a low brow at the angry pixie who threatens Harkashan with harm. "Have no fear, Lily-of-the-Valley. We have no intention of harming your greenery. We've only come to provide good company and hopeful entertain a weary ear with our exhausting questions." Jacob smiles warmly, friendly and sincere with a bow of his head. A look to Mirabilis. "A pleasure. The fire will keep its distance, I swear if it on my tribe." A solemn vow, one that will be paid in earnest of walked upon.

"As you wish. I'd be delighted to try your tea." He clenches his fist tight then slowly exhales, relaxing. "We encountered a suspicious cult, seemingly comprised of most if not all of the town. They appeared to be worshipping a fiend of the Lower Planes. We were able to defeat it, in a way, but it left us with a strange warning. 'You cannot kill what does not die'." He clears his throat. "And that was just the most recent experience..."

The dog named Dog is provided a healthy bowl of water. In fact, the pixies reassure everyone that Dog will be cared for. Although one has to suspect that Dog might be more sparkly than the average pooch by the time that the group leaves the house.

The inside of the Lupecyll-Atlon house is a heavily elven-inspired affair. The furniture is all tidy, well-made, and in the elvish style, although accompanied with the fey flourish of little vines that have curled and wrapped around chairs--likely a decoration from the pixies. Cor'lana leads her guests into the living room, where a sofa, some chairs, and a rather large rocking chair in the corner all surround a large table.

This is where Pothy, the white raven with blue eyes known to the City of Alexandria as a minor spectacle in the Market on account of his legendary snack-appetite, makes his roost. Currently, he's seated next to a bowl of honey-roasted peanuts, and the crunching sound as he's shelling them is quite audible.

But he looks up at the group that assembles in the living room. And instead of greeting everyone with his trademark shout of "Snacks!", he instead opens his mouth. And the cherubic voice of a small boy leaves him. "Oh hello again, Rune. And Harkashan, and Jacob. Can I interest you in some snacks?"

"We have an enchantment on the house that makes it so all can understand each other, regardless of the language," Cor'lana explains. "It is the same ward on the house that makes it so entities of evil cannot breach this place. And you all deserve a safe space to discuss things--and the information that I have to give you. I will warn it is... complicated, and deals with concepts that might make you wonder what exactly you got involved in. I must ask you all to be very careful about who and where you discuss these things with."

She disappears into the kitchen to fetch the tea, leaving her guests to take a seat... and to behold the talking Pothy.

There is a long look that Rune gives Harkashan as he offers that vague explination for his strange behavior as of late. There is still much the two need to talk about, but for now, she just reaches up and sort of clasps his snout, holding it shut briefly. Then, she releases, holds up a finger of warning, and turns to follow Cor'lana inside. It's very much a 'behave yourself' gesture.

Though she leaves much of the talking to the others at first, Rune does add in a few tidbits of information, "The reason we thought you might be able to help, is that the entire cult seemed to be made up of werewolves." She knows very well it might be a sore spot, however.

At Pothy's greeting, Rune offers the bird a warm smile, "Hello again, Apotheosis. How are you doing? I imagine the warmer weather is probably making flight a bit more pleasant these days." She makes small-talk with the creature as easily as she does with Skielstregar's sword. Rune is just used to treating anything that seems to be people, like people.

Then, to Cor'lana, she adds, "Any information is better than none, especially where dangers are concerned, but please, take your time." Rune moves over to take a place on the sofa, seeming relieved to relax a little bit.

A snout is held. And Harkashan plumes some smoke through his nostrils. A questioning look at Rune. He always tries to be on his best behavior. And in they go.

Harkashan may not be Simony, but he has a certain kind of respect for Architecture. Softskins after all, have very varied ways of changing the way their typical buildings look. Brick certainly, but the interior decoration, the stone, the vines, all of it give a different flair that regales of the owner's desire to express themselves and their connections to their species.

He should perhaps connect with Simony at some point for the kinds of insights he might learn from these kinds of things.

As they enter the living room proper, he spots the white raven. He reaches into his pocket already, having actually prepared for this meeting. While the bird looks up after crunching some nuts, he is stepping forward. "Hey Pothy, I brought you Sna~"

> 'Oh hello again, Rune. And Harkashan, and Jacob. Can I interest you in some snacks?'

Harkashan pauses for a moment, and manages to do hold a surprised 'he talks?' before that realization of other Shamans with speaking familiars hits him. It's a quick and minute change for just a moment. It isn't that he's trying to play it cool. He's instead trying to be polite. Acting shocked around things isn't the best look for a Speaker.

"I'm good, thank you Pothy. But I brought you some Snacks." Lifting rather unique looking nuts. They're from the Am'shere jungles, with a bit more 'spice' to them than the peanuts from this region. "Try these." He offers, laying them into his dish.

"I see." Harkashan then notes, as she speaks of the enchantment and wards. "To add onto what they were just saying. The creature itself..." He proceeds to describe something with a 'tentacle beard'. Something eldritch.

Why does it feel familiar? That thing. Why can't he put his finger on it?

Rune will see this seeking look on his brow again. He's trying to remember something - she's seen that look before. But never this intense.

He tries to shake it. "Thank you for your hospitality, miss Ravenstongue." A name that feels better for him, it seems, as he moves from Pothy's spot to a chair, turns it, and sits on the now backwards-turned chair. That way his tail has room to linger.

Following the others into the house, Ous looks back at Dog, raises 2 fingers to point at his own eyes, then points at the puppy. Dog for his part Chuffs and grumbles under his breath Pausing as he sees a White raven talking, Ous rubs his eyes and peers at the bird. Leaning forward for a moment, though nowhere near close enough to make the big bird feel like his personal space is being inveaded, the ranger tilts his head slowly, considering the bird from multiple angles before he finally says. "Aye'm no trying tae be rude mis-ter bird. but aye find it pru..pr...Aye sometimes needs tae ask. Ye aren't some sort of Eldyrich horror summoned from th' depths of the earth, an brought forth tae eat the souls of th' innocent while disguised as a really neat lookin' Corvid-y type are ye?"

"Hello Pothy."

The shock of Pothy was performed a long time ago now. Now? Jacob sees Pothy with Sindr and awe at the creature who speaks with such elegance and innocence to be the gold standard of both noble terms. "I trust you've been well? And growing ever more resplendent my friend." Before he turns to Cor'lana. "A wise decision. With demons and fiends and werewolves increasing in their numbers, always good to advance the safety of the homestead."

A pause.

"I'd love a snack." He confirms.

"Complicated is far better to delve through than no information at all. We appreciate sincerely that you're willing to speak with us at all." He looks for a place to sit, but moves over near to the couch and remains standing. He raises a brow at Hark and Rune's snout-grab incident, but he says nothing. "Magic is a wonder, Ous. I don't think Pothy is a cruel, magnanimous eldritch monsterosity."

Pothy bird-blinks at Ous in that odd, slightly discomforting upside-down way that birds do. "I eat snacks," he says. "Not souls. I have served Lana's forebears for generations and continue to serve now as the repository of knowledge for the inheritor."

"He's my familiar, Ous," Cor'lana explains as she walks back into the living room with a tray that contains a teapot and enough teacups for everyone. "I inherited him from my mother, who inherited him from her father, and so on and so forth. It's a long story. Suffice to say, the only mean feather he has in his body is when he teases me."

"Only because you're my big sister," Pothy says, the voice suddenly more appropriate for the words that he says. Indeed, he looks up at Cor'lana with love and warmth in those eyes. He turns his attention to Harkashan, and his bird tail starts flapping up and down happily. "Snacks? For me!? Oh, you're so nice, Harkashan! Please share them with me and with everyone."

Once Cor'lana's poured and handed out tea, and everyone has accepted (or denied) shared snacks, Cor'lana takes a seat at the rocking chair that is really quite a bit bigger than she is, sitting on the very edge of the seat. "Normally I take the couch with Pothy, but you all need places to sit. This chair is Grandfather's chair. It goes unoccupied unless he is here."

She peers at the group with violet eyes that sharpen considerably into a fine focus. "So. The werewolves. How many of you know of the totems?" That's a question that makes sense to some, but not all.

"I will share." Harkashan answers Pothy, and does reach into his baggy and takes out a few more of those unusual spiced Am'shere nuts, and lays them into a tray on the table. It seems he has more of these.

He then quiets as Cor'lana speaks and explains the matter of the rocking chair. Trying his very best to drink the tea slowly... but he's got a bit snoot. The cup small in his hands, so he kind of has to one-hand the teacup.

"I do not know much of them. But I have come to understand that the Werewolves have been gathering the Totems in an attempt to summon a demon who has... intentions with these lands, yet desires nothing of them?" His hesitation in his voice shows that he's working off of third-party information, so is getting some of this wrong perhaps.

Looking over towards Jacob, Ous nods quietly. "Aye think ye may be right Jacob, but Aye find it ne'er hurts tae ask." Hearing the explanation, Ous nods quietly and rummages in a pouch on his belt. "Dinnae about snacks. Got some Jerky though." removing a piece, he sets it on the table near the raven. "S'elk." that done, the ranger moves to take a seat, considering his options for a moemnt before opting to stand. Not wanting to damage the furniture with his gear.

Hearing the question from Cor'lana, Ous raises a hand slwoly. "Aye got one. Aye've been huntin' the werewolves what strays too close tae th' city." the tea is considered for a moment before the ranger reaches down into his right boot and removes a long metal flask. removing the top, he takes a swig and re-stoppers it once more. the room briefly being filled with the mingled scents of Strong alcohol, nose burning spice, and mint.

There is a moment after Rune settles down where Jacob's shadow passes over her. It's subtle, the darkness causing the tattoos along her arm to take on a strange affect. Then, as if she didn't notice it at all, the half-elf reaches out and grabs the looming cleric's arm. "Sit down, will you? You don't need to be on guard." Rune doesn't know /why/ he's preferring to stand, but she tugs him towards the couch anyways.

Rune accepts the tea, being careful to lean forward when she sips at it, not wanting to spill on the couch. For right now, she allows the others to ask their questions, listening.

It's a subtle thing.

Jacob's always on guard, even in a place of maximum safety such as this. Old habits die hard. There's a weakness to everything. A spell that can cancel a spell. He doesn't know who could be strong enough to wrench the safety from this place, but...he's wary all the same. He feels the tug on his arm, being pulled by Rune to sit on the couch and sit he does next to her, his hands settling in his lap. "Very well..." He hums, looking away.

Asked about the Totem, Jacob takes the time to sip his tea and offer some of his snack to Rune. After, he reaches into his robes and pulls out a totem to present to everyone. "This is one such totem. I know very, very little about it. Namely, that attuning is extremely dangerous."

"Attuning should be done with supervision," Cor'lana agrees. "But let me back up for the sake of explaining. I may be explaining things you have already heard before. I apologize in advance."

She sips her tea that she has in hand calmly. Then she begins.

"Caracoroth, the Hound, is an evil deity. His aim is to consume and destroy without stopping, to claim dominion over all. His domain is that of Nightmares, the polar opposite of Eluna. His followers are evil lycanthropes--werewolves. Because even the other gods of evil fear him, they and the gods of light banded together to make totems. Each of the totems are a chain on the Hound, binding him to his prison. Every time the totem is attuned to someone working in good or a follower of a deity of good, the chain holds strong. Even followers of a god of twilight, such as myself, can hold one of these totems--and I do. I hold the one made by the Tyrant, Maugrim."

Cor'lana pauses briefly, long enough to take a breath. "In order to attune to one, you have to feed it your blood. A pinprick, nothing more, but if you feed it more of your blood, you can do more with it--but in the dream, if you are asleep or have shifted planes into dreaming. To keep and attune yourself to a totem is to safeguard an artifact of great and tremendous power--but the more of us who walk and do good who hold the totems, the better."

She pauses again to sip her tea. "Now. The werewolves we are dealing with seem to be led by a man known as Marsward Seraquoix. He has preyed upon those who are lost and in need of guidance, offering them power--and they do not realize until far too late what they have done. Zalgiman Joaki, the man who kidnapped my husband, was one of his recruits--and was tasked with recruiting more to Seraquoix's cause. There's another by the name of Dace Zinskas, 'the Miracle Man', who I have faced off against in nightmare and in the waking world. I believe he's one of Marsward's underlings."

Cor'lana's violet eyes go hard, dark, and most disconcertingly of all--filled with killing intent. "Therefore, those of you dealing with werewolves: if you hear Marsward's name. Let me know. I have sworn to end him so that no other lost soul may ever be seduced into darkness by his hands."

As Jacob sits, Rune gives him a soft nudge to the shoulder with her own, giving the cleric a smile. She accepts the offered snack, and has it halfway to her mouth when Jacob brings out the totem. Rune looks at it, some measure of surprise shown in the widening of her eyes. She had heard about such things, but had never seen one.

And then, it is to Cor'lana to start the story behind their current predicament. As is so common with Rune, she seems enraptured by stories of any kind, even if they happen to be simply recent events. She leans forward, obviously paying close attention.

As Eluna is mentioned, though, there is a brief look that she casts both Jacob and Harkashan. She may just be thinking of her own unusual relationship with the goddess in that moment. The darker tone in Cor'lana's voice snaps her attention back, though. "So... these dark servants. They're making more and more werewolves, aren't they?" There seems to have been an up-tick in them as of late, echoed by the lack of small game in the woods these days.

"Definitely going to invest in a silver sword before we head out again..." This, she murmurs quieter to herself. "I don't know that we caught any names of those involved at the village, but we did kill the ring-leader who was summoning... whatever that thing was."

Harkashan lets out a rumble of a sound when he spots that darkening around Rune for a moment. This isn't the first time he's noticed the shadows behaving... oddly around her. But now isn't the time to broach that topic.

Instead, he watches as Ous and Jacob both reveal they hold such a totem - as does Cor'lana. He and Rune do not, but this is still useful information.

He takes note of the name Caracoroth. He remembers being told this by a Deathsinger of the softskin variety. As such, quite a bit of this serves as a good reminder to him of some of these details. Some elements however are new. Such as The Hound's relationship to Eluna and Nightmares. As well as the purpose of the totems themselves.

"So how does this tie back in with this fiendish being we saw them summoning? I assume they are seeking to bolster their power on this side." He proceeds to give a better description of the tentacle-bearded thing that this group encountered at the time.

"I fear I've not heard the name Marsward or Dace Zinskas so far." But I will keep an ear out.

Listening quietly, Ous nods reaches up to scratch his chin under the thick beard. "Aye dinnae know who made my totem. Aye know it's th' totem o Pain. I calls it Gilly though. Better name." Fidgeting with the flask, the ranger watches the others, listening to Cor'lana, Ous closes his eyes as the names are mentioned. mouthing them softly to himself. "Marsward Seraquiox. Marsward Seraquoix. mars.. Just once Aye'd like tae come up against an enemy named Dave, or Sam. E'evn Becky. They ne'er has names that are easy tae say." this last part said ~mostly~ under his breath. Thknking for a moment, Ous adds. "Can ye tell me where Aye can find Silversheen? Aye feel it might be comin' by way of handy."

Jacob is nudged by Rune and he offers her a small smile.

Then to Cor'lana. "I...I see. So for as long as I have this totem, I'm able to help keep tight the chains on the Hound." Father of Lucan's? He must be held down and imprisoned. "As a follower of Serriel, I'm uncertain if I can attune to this item, but...if it will help, I would like to try." He tells Cor'lana with a look of set determination in his eyes, willing to be among the Totem-Bearers stopping this beast.

"Then I will attune to it." He looks prepared to shed blood right there in the moment! "Zinskas...I remember that name. I faced him with you and he exerted some kind of control over Verna." He grimaces. "...Then he is a manipulator and a coward. If I hear of his name, I will send summons...that his filth may be removed forever." Jacob's words are filled with a sudden hatred. Those who know him know him to be a very loving and patient person.

"I assume they summoned the fiend since it could be a servant of the Hound, assuming the best has many servants across the planes."

Cor'lana nods heavily to Jacob's words, seeing that they echo the dark weight in her own. "Indeed," she says. "Jacob, if you would like assistance in attuning--then I will help you. But as all of you have noted: there are not just werewolves involved here. There are fiends working in concert with these followers of the Hound. They have designs on our world that, it seems, they've chosen to align themselves with what they view as their most likely co-conspirator. A convenient ally for the moment."

She sighs. "It sounds like what you dealt with was a bearded devil," she replies in response to the description of the fiend. "I know that there is an ice devil that Seraquoix and Zinskas have been working with. That is an entity by the name of Jal'goroth. In order to bring a devil or a demon to this plane--you have to summon them. That's typically done by an individual or a group of individuals... such as a cult. I imagine you found yourself dealing with one such cult."

Cor'lana looks thoughtful for a moment. "Given that they no longer have Zalgiman for recruitment," she says, "they may be relying more heavily on their fiendish allies for help. You all must be careful."

Rune winces at the description of the totem in Ous' possession. It doesn't sound pleasant, but the ranger didn't seem to be in any worse condition for carrying such a thing. However, there is a look of concern she casts towards Jacob, especially given his sudden enthusiasm for the attuning process. "Uh, maybe just be careful? We'd make pretty poor house-guests if we got blood all over Cor'lana's living room."

Maybe she's just a little bit worried about the chains that those who are attuned now carry on them. It is a heavy responsibility, it seems.

"They were trying to sacrifice a woman Sildanyari, but we managed to cut her free." Rune explains, "The only problem was... when we stopped the cult leader from attacking her, we... weren't as careful as we should have been about not getting blood on the sacrifice altar." Oops.

Rune's expression is sheepish as she admits this, rubbing a hand along her neck slightly. "We seemed to dispatch it but... it left that haunting message about not being able to kill something that doesn't die. So I think we're a little worried we might have fucked something up."

"I am not familiar with Bearded Devils..." Harkashan remarks, though his brow furrows for a moment. "... I think." There's this confusion in his gaze for a moment, then clears up again. "But it seems we will have to prepare more magical weaponry to deal with these Devils and Fiends, otherwise we're going to be at a distinct disadvantage against them going forward."

It seems he's focused on how to dispatch them, because it is hard to track their larger plans from his vantage point. Remaining focused on how he can best contribute.

"But yes, I would like to know more about those words. What is it about this Bearded Devil that makes it so it cannot be killed. Is it that killing it will just return it to its home plane?" He inquires. "Or did it speak of the Chained Nightmare?"

Thinking back on the events of the other night, Ous kind of looks around sheepishly before he sighs and says. "Look. Aye dinnae know th' priest were a vir-gin ok? It's no like 'e were advertisin' th' fact...Plenty o' naughty priesty types out there. 'specially wit' some of the less inh-hi...the ones wit their naughty bits showin in the paintin's" Stopping himself, the ranger clears his throat. "Right. careful. We're good at Careful, no problems there." Looking at the tea pot again, Ous pops the top off his own flask to take a mouthful while considering his next question. "Ow do we fight th' fiends? They seem kind o' sturdy if ye ken my meaning."

Jacob listens carefully to Cor'lana, yet still he holds the totem in his hand. "I would like your assistance in the binding. My knowledge of magic rests in those of the divine. Arcane is...a bit difficult for me at times." Jacob remarks with a softness in his eyes, a solemn defeat and admission of his flaws. Yet he hears the words that fiends are converting themselves with the Hounds followers. "That we did. Magic hurts them, as I was able to discover, but mundane weapons are not effective."

Jacob turns his eyes to Rune. "If I cause a mess of damage, I will make amends with Cor'lana. Though I would hope to understand there is a place better than the living room for this matter? I would leave the hows to Cor'lana." Jacob sheepishly replies, as if now worried he's been a poor guest.

He nods to Harkashan. "I was made aware devils - and I assume fiends - possess great power in the material realm. We will need to find a way to remove them, either by banishment or by changing the location of the fight altogether. Magic is a good offense, but to kill one? I don't know if it's enough."

Cor'lana turns her violet eyes onto Rune and Harkashan. "The devil was gloating," she says. "A fiend cannot truly die for good unless it is killed in the Hells. There are some weapons of 'true death' that can kill a fiend outside of the Hells--but they are very rare and held carefully in private hands, as they are weapons that threaten the gods themselves. There is one that is owned by the Queen of Air and Darkness, an Unseelie queen. One that is currently unavailable, as it is out on loan."

Pothy, who has been snacking this whole time, stops at the mention of the Queen. He shivers lightly, like a burst of cold wind had come in--but yet there was none. Cor'lana offers him a look that's almost apologetic before she elaborates, "Demons are weak to cold iron, like the fey are--which is why I would thank all of you to not bring cold iron into this home if you can help it. Devils are weak to silver, as are werewolves. I recommend those of you who deal with weapons to invest in both."

Finally, the sorceress looks to Jacob. And there's a small turn of the lips that resembles a smirk. "Blood has been shed in this living room before for an attunement," Cor'lana responds, maybe just a bit too calmly for the subject. "It will not be the first. If you wish to attune to it--then let me make the wound, so that you do not hurt yourself too deeply."

"Please don't get blood all over my snacks," Pothy protests.

Harkashan notice that Cor'lana has a rather particular awareness of the location of the blade that was once owned by the Queen of Air and Darkness. Which at least suggests an familiarity. But with the presence of Fey already around this abode, this doesn't surprise him, so he doesn't end up thinking much else of it.

Instead, he focuses on getting a few of those nuts and noms on them. Listening more to the ways to deal with demons and devils. Cold Iron is one of them. Devils are weak to silver. Alright, two types of weapons...

"If I were to get my blade reforged, is there one you would recommend above the other?" He asks of Cor'lana. "Or would my divine magic to enhance a weapon be sufficient in the interim?" After all, money is... not abundant for him and Rune at this time.

And he wants to help.

He then quiets when they speak of wounds and blood.

GAME: Rune rolls sense motive: (10)+8: 18
GAME: Ous rolls sense motive: (8)+3: 11
GAME: Harkashan rolls Sense Motive: (1)+12: 13 (EPIC FAIL)

"I was warned that if we encounter demons or devils, don't say their names or offer yours." There is a brief hesitation from Rune as she looks first at Pothy and then back to Cor'lana, her next words a bit softer, "Similar to Fey in that way."

As for weapons, the rogue nods her head, "Why do I have a feeling I'm going to need to take on a few extra jobs just to cover weapon costs." Rune hasn't really looked into just how much outfitting herself with those sort of specific materials will be. Perhaps that crafter she met in the marketplace would know. She gives an audible 'hmm' of thought.

The fact that blood has been shed here causes the tips of her ears to twitch upwards, a curious and concerned look there. "As... long as you know what you're doing. You know I trust you." It really isn't about if Rune trusts her, but Jacob, but the half-sil says it, regardless. "Just... be careful." She may be a bit protective of the cleric, it seems.

Continuing to listen, Ous raises an eyebrow "On loan? as in Oi buddy, do ye mind if'n aye borrows her Sword of ul-ti-mate god slaying fer a costume party next week? Lot o big, important people there an aye want me costume tae knock 'em dead.' Type o thing? Ye gots tae be a realy good friend for tha' kind o borrowing. Aye dinnae even like tae lend me axes, an they's only special tae me." Making a note of the special materials, Ous makes a mental note to go hunting for gear in the near future.

Looking to Jacob, Ous raises the flask halfway to his lips once more before pausing to say. "Probably better'n what Aye done. poked me finger, bled on th' bugger an went tae bed. Aye had a shite load o' nightmares 'fore tha' though. They went away."

Jacob nods to Rune. "Keeping your name to yourself would be most wise in the presence of untrusted Fey or Devilry." Jacob tells Rune with a soft nod. "I know someone who could -potentially- help, but I don't know if she makes weapons." He remembers the tinkerer with the magic cart! Hearing of her concern, he turns and looks at her. "Always." He remarks, meeting her concern in that quiet moment.

He turns to Ous, nodding. "I'll try and prepare myself for a sleepless night." Jacob seems to look at Cor'lana as he stands to his full height, clearing his throat as he approaches. "I promise to keep cold iron away from here." Even saying the words seem to make his skin produce goosebumps and he shivers. Weird.

Totem in hand, Jacob offers Cor'lana his hand to make the wound. "You have given me no reason to suspect your trustworthiness. You may make the wound."

"Given that devils and werewolves are the most likely you would be dealing with? I recommend silver," Cor'lana replies to the questions regarding weapons. "Silversheen, I understand, is rare these days, as are silver weapons, and I suspect that's the doing of the werewolves for a reason. But it is worth looking nonetheless."

She looks to Ous with a look that... it's weighted. Like she's measuring him for something. "On loan, as in a bargain was made. A price was paid. And such a price is a heavy thing, for a weapon capable of threatening the immortal is a heavy thing. I hope you never have to experience such."

Then finally, she turns to Jacob. "It's true, do not offer your name to a devil the way you offer it to a person," Cor'lana replies to Jacob and Rune's sentiment regarding names. "That is why I say that I am _called_ Cor'lana, or Ravenstongue, and not that my name is Cor'lana, in response to the question, 'May I have your name?' It is always about the trickery of words with creatures that seek to steal from you that which makes you you." Then briefly, her expression and voice grow fond: "Although I know of one among the fey who is safe in all things."

"When's Grandfather going to come back and give me more snacks, anyway?" Pothy pipes up--although he quickly shushes when she sees Cor'lana reach into the sleeve of her dress and produce a small pin, like the kind used to hold garments together for sewing. Yes, she's _certainly_ done this before--and more besides.

"I will be quick, and I will not hurt Jacob more than must be," Cor'lana says, before she takes Jacob's hand and pricks his palm, then guides him to his totem. It soaks up the blood, and Cor'lana pulls away his hand a moment later to prevent the thing from taking more--

And the statuette turns into that of a robed and helmeted woman, regal in her readiness for battle. Cor'lana smirks a little. "The totem takes on the appearance of the deity that whomever is attuned to it worships," she explains. "Mine, despite the fact it was made by Maugrim, resembles Ceinara--or as my father's people call her, Vaire. As that is who I venerate."

"If you're worried at all, some of us could stand vigil tonight." Rune offers. The prospect of nightmares is one that has her expression becoming shadowed, but the rogue doesn't bring her own demons to light.

Instead, she just quiets to watch the ritual, even if it is not so grand as many stories might make these sort of deals out to be. "That is... so strange." Even so, Rune is still fascinated by such simple matters.

"And, that's it? He's now one of the guardians protecting against that evil creature?" She asks.

Listening to Cor'Lana, Ous nods. "Aye s'pose tha' makes more sense in th' situation. Though Aye'd no say it's on loan at tha' point. It were earned." Listening to the explanation on the totems, he adds. "S'why mine looks like Gilead now. Also makes sense." Reaching down to slips the flask into his right boot again, Ous sidles to where he can look towards the outside doors, checking on Dog.

"Noted. I'll see what I can look into." And silver works great against plenty of creatures! Jacob tilts his head about Silversheen. "I should come up with an alias that's just as effective." He doubts he'll have something as inherently effective as Ravenstongue, but there's always a chance!

"I recall many discussions of this Grandfather and one day, I hope to ask them." He keeps his palm open, a sacrifice for the greater good. His hand cut, blood seeps into the statue to bind it to him. With a wince, his hand is pulled away so he doesn't get sucked dry by the statue....which quickly turns into a statue of Serriel.

Awestruck, Jacob holds the statue in his hand. "Incredible..." He looks at Cor'lana. "Thank you. I know not what powers or curses this will bestow, but I count myself proud to be one more name holding the Hound in his chains."

Rune gets a warm smile. "I...would like that. Just to ensure no one suffers needlessly." He turns to Ous. "When you bound to the statue...did anything strange happen in these nightmares?"

Rune's question is his own mimicked, looking at Cor'lana, eager for the answer.

GAME: Ravenstongue rolls Perform/Oratory: (10)+23: 33

"I have had nightmares and dreams that were more vivid than before," Cor'lana says to Jacob. "More importantly--because you hold a totem, you may be able to visit people in their dreams. These things are powerful in the dream--feed it blood and it can create things beyond your wildest imaginations. If you'd like, I could potentially show you how it works in the dreaming--tonight or some other night. It is a bit like imagining but while asleep, and it works best if you have a will of iron."

There's a flicker of something in her eyes, and she smiles in a mischievous sort of manner as the words fall from her lips.

        "For while the waking world imposes on us,
        The dreamers given hope will know the way:
        Within Ni'essa's moonlit path and arms
        We are given the swords we couldn't wield;
        We are given the armor we couldn't wear;
        It is only our whim made will that keeps us
        And makes us, the dreamers, more powerful
        At night than at day. For this, we are free."

She pats Jacob on the arm. "In other words: use your imagination. Be free. You enter a world beyond your reckoning, but keep your wits about you--and embrace your whim, and turn it into will with your totem, and those of the Hound seeking to destroy you at night will be rebuffed. I nearly destroyed Dace Zinskas once before I had a totem that way. I believe those of us with the totems will need to defeat the Hound's minions ultimately with the power that the totems can provide."

Cor'lana turns to Rune and smiles. "That's just about it," she says. "It really is not much more than that. I only recommend now--if any of you are to acquire a totem and attune to it, keep it safe, on your person, but out of grabbing reach from an enemy."

She goes to clean off the sewing pin rather nonchalantly. Again, it seems she has more than a little experience with this. "Finally: I warn you all. There is an avatar of the Hound that is loose upon the world. It is called the Red Maw. It's a wolf the size of a mountain. It is beyond your ken to fight, and I know that there are people researching it. I suggest getting in contact with Magpie and Verna, however, if you find anything out about it and wish to know more. But we will win, no matter how small anyone's contribution they may think it to be. For we wouldn't have poetry in this world if there was no world to write of--and that would be the greatest shame of them all."

Glaring down the hallway, Ous seems to be having a silent conversation through hurried hand gestures with Dog sitting outside. As Jacob calls to him, Ous looks around innocently. "Hm? Oh. Nae. Th' nightmares were 'fore aye bled on th' statue. Afterwards it were just th' normal kind o' nightmares. Naught strange really..." Trailing off as Cor'lana begins explaining things, Ous frowns. "Jacob an' aye 'ave seen th' Red Maw. it were big." tilting his head to the side, he adds. "Aye've bled on th' statue. Ne'er been on a dreamin' adventure though. Dinnae 'ow Aye feel 'bout that."

Harkashan slips into something of a daze as Ravenstongue speaks further. His head tilting down, eyes closing. Listening to the poem being spoken while the words around him begin to flow around him. His focus shifting between the Now and Memory. The markings on his scales drifting to subtle little flares. As if embers are lighting within, and fading almost as quick as they come. Heat radiating from him.

Drawn into the poem itself. The words themselves. Until the poem halts, and his eyes open once more. In time to hear tale of a Red Maw. A Wolf the size of a mountain.

"This side of Am'shere truly is a strange place. Traipsed upon by such might and massive beasts. He rumbles. "It reminds me of the days of old within Am'shere. Of the stories they used to tell. When Dragons walked amongst us more commonly." His eyes drifting around the room for a moment as Ous mentions having seen Red Maw. "It must have been a rather wondrous experience. To see something so enormous yet living." He remarks to him. His body shifts, getting seated more comfortably. These totems, fetters upon a being of Nightmare.

Witnessing Cor'lana's poetry and stories always seems to bring Rune back to a child-like feeling of sitting, rapt, listening to her mother speak before an audience. They are two very different people, but that confidence and charisma is there, regardless. It's a feeling that both warms her heart, and makes it ache for a time that is long past.

"If you go dream-walking, I just ask you don't go peeking into mine. Trust me on that." Rune gives one quick glance to Harkashan before looking back to Cor'lana and Jacob. Just her posture suggests that there won't be answers on that point, even if asked.

"I've never seen anyting like that, but if I do, I'll know to run." There are some things she is /more/ than happy to leave to those who are far more equipped to handling them.

Then, to Jacob, she adds, "So, how does it feel to be a hero now?" Her lip quirks.

"I see." Vivid dreams? Jacob ain't scared of no vivid dream! "I tend to dream rather lucidly. Perhaps that will give me an advantage?" he jokes, though he looks at his hand, where the totem rests. And he slides the totem back into his robes. "Visit people in their dreams?" He questions. "I...may need some help with such a skill." he jokes playfully, before he shrugs. "Sure, if you so desire."

He listens carefully to that poem, and the things that Cor'lana suggests that Jacob will be able to do in the sleeping world, and his eyes alight with hope. "I hope to be a force for good in such a world. I don't know how powerful my will is...I've not yet tested it against such a foe, but I intend to put these foes t othe test and help others do the same. Beautiful poem." He comments with a smile.

And in this moment, Jacob's mind is free.

He hears of the red maw and he nods. Thoug hhe turns his attention to Harkashan. "I felt fear, for a long moment. It was terrifying to behold, as if it could open its mouth and swallow the world." He remarks to Harkashan. "I don't know if we have a way to fight such a foe." He looks at Cor'lana, as if for confirmation.

He nods at Ous. "I see. Then perhaps I will have good luck."

He turns to Rune, a big smile on his face. "I will try not to." He hums at her question, lifting a hand to his chin. "...really encouraging, actually."