Meeting Under the Stairs

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So. Demons. It /would/ explain the tension there again, in the Temple. It /would/ explain why they're meeting in a sealed-off room. As sealed-off rooms go, it's comfortable. Which means they aren't on the floor. Which means at the least, there are chairs and a table to rest their boots on.

Just not much else.

Svarshan looks over at the cobbled walls, the closed door. He flicks his tail once, in the silence. And...

"Ssoo," he says. Opener. "There iss a ssmall gobber, hass a quick mind. Sshe got Un'eth to sspeak. The old wolf ssuggested to her that ssomething wass wrong with the Sspell Canon. Bassed on what we know of the Binder, he likely drained it, or hass it sset to drain onsse it iss fired."

"Or, he hass it sset to essplode and kill many people, and /then/ drain. Their life forsse. Thiss old one can ssee either possibility, though we do not know. What ssort of damage wass done. The old wolf iss not talking, but the gobber'ss ideass fit with what we know of Asumit. I will be taking her and ssome otherss, to sshare wordss with thiss temple, and warn them. You may wissh to go, if you are there."

Kaydin has arrived.

This is a revelation that gives Silmeria a great deal of pause, as her mind flickers through the implications of a trapped Spell Cannon.

The things have long been the sort of deterrent one hopes one never has to use, the cost for the users nearly as terrible as the targets... but they have also played their part in keeping Alexandria independent. Now, though...

Lifting her spectacles, Silmeria pinches the bridge of her nose. "Based on what we know of the Binder," she murmurs, echoing Svarshan's opening, "I'd put my wager on the third option. Why simply steal away *one* resource when he can claim souls in the bargain?"

The Sunblade and the Vardaman occupy a small, sealed-off room in the belly of the Temple, and Silmeria shakes her head in disgust. "Have the Arcanists been out to determine how he's tampered with the thing yet?"

Kaydin arrived into the sealed off room, watching the two. "Are you talking about the demons?" He asks as he watches the both of them. "I can infiltrate any wilds if need be." He says calmly as he watches and waits for their opinions on the matter.

"I do not think the old wolf sspoke with many yet. If otherss have essamined it, I do not know. The gobber ssuspects with what we've heard--Charn becoming more active, the Binder gathering power--there may be a pussh in ssome way for uss to usse the Canon. Thiss strategy makess sense to me."

Laughter. Hissing. "Which iss why I am taking a gobber to ssee a high priesst!" The mirth lasts a while though, and then a wry twist at the corner of his mouth. He leans forward enough, to rest his lips against a knuckle, as though he'd hold back the rest, lest it spill forward. ...

...but it fades. "No, I think there iss a danger. And thiss one thinkss, what we have heard of the sswaithe demonss--that wass my caution the other day, Kaydin," he says to the warrior, glancing the man's way, "--that we sshould be careful. Ssuch things are ssmall, invissible. Telepathic enough to reach into minds, and they do not need eyess to ssee. We wondered how the Binder kept hiss ears and eyess everywhere. That iss one possibility. They are too well ssuited," he says. "The other," he adds more darkly, "iss possession. When one removess the demon from the persson," he adds, again looking towards Kaydin, "the Binder burnss the persson alive, and then reapss the ssoul. He iss known for hiss lose-losse choisses."

"And I assume we're not likely to *ever* ensure that *that* particular trap is like to resolve itself anytime soon," Silmeria mutters darkly. Svarshan's mirth puts the touch of a smile on the blond's tanned face, but the problem spread before them is thorny enough to dampen even her natural good cheer. "I'll ask about, then, and perhaps point one or two toward the Cannon with appropriate warnings."

Turning to Kaydin, Silmeria smiles. While troubled, her attitude is gentle and welcoming, like that of an older sister pleased to see a sibling after too long. "It's always good to have another set of eyes in the wilds, friend... But this is an issue that requires a good deal of information, lest a willing scout put a foot wrong and be injured... spectacularly. If your offer is genuine, I'm certain that Sunblade Svarshan and I can tell you all that you'll need to know... But I warn, there will be a *large* amount of telling."

Kaydin looks to the woman and bows his head. "I dont need to know anything that can hurt the city." Kaydin offers as he watches the woman and the man. He would then turns back to the woman. "I want to help." He says softly.

The unugracious-sounding snort has all the hues of humor to it. And an acknowledement of the sith's own love of words. Or rather, dislike of them. He shifts in his chair some, as though to get more comfortable. Or as though preparing for a long day.

"You are not an. Unintelligent man, hunter. You knowing givess all of uss one more ressource. Any sstrategy against the Binder takess multiple layerss. It will require all our eyess, all our cooperation. ...and alsso minds like the gobber's, wordss like Ssilmeria's, eyess and a mind like yours. The Binder hass been playing thiss game for hundredss of years," Svarshan says and closes his eyes a moment. "He wass born one thinkss, in the town of Versiss, before the Daemon Warss perhapss. One of the firsst sorcererss, and mocked for it...but he took hiss sscars and dessides to become a god. Ssince then, he hass sacrificed entire villages to hiss power, corrupted Maguss Pointss and...raissed armiess."

When he speaks up again, the words are slow and thoughtful, almost to the point of drugged. But not quite. "Other word iss that hiss demonss were sspotted in the Felwood. We wondered what happened to hiss army, that he had gathered in the. Dessolation. It iss possible he hass hidden partss of it there, but we have no. Confirmation," Svarshan says then, as he leans back. "And it may make ssense for him to hide them other plasses nearby, if he sstrikes the ssity. If we have ssomeone good at sstrategiess, perhapss they could pick pointss for uss," he says wryly. He looks to Kaydin, rhwn, "Pleasse sspeak with other hunterss, and let them know about the Felwood. But, let them know of the sswaithe demonss, alsso. And, to pleasse usse handsspeech, sspeak in ssylvan or other tonguess during deep-planning, where it countss in thosse areas. These creaturess know the Trade, Abyssal, one or two otherss. The notess one hass are not complete," he says, "Thiss one wisshes he could sshare more."

He looks back to Silmeria then, and shifts in his chair. Looks uncomfortable. "The Chaoss Demon Mandy iss alsso moving again. Sshe is bored, sshe says, and harassing Lady Ssandiel. ...and hiring adventurers to ssow further chaos," he says. Looks that way. The brows twitch upwards, in silent comment. "Thiss one thought you might would know."

Then, "Are there any wordss more to sshare on the Binder? I...would like to sshare words on what might pussh Alessandria to usse the Spell Canon, if not."

Bolide has arrived.

"Of course," Silmeria sighs, rubbing her face. "Of course something wants to make trouble for Lady Sandiel now... I've nothing else on the Binder to speak of, save to echo what Svarshan has spoken. And to point out that should you desire to brave the Felwood, you'd do very well to make yourself known to the ranch that sits on its edge. I'm sure its owner could help you there, more than we could."

With that, she looks back to the towering Sith, bobbing her head and smiling.

Kaydin looks to the two and nods to Svarshan. "I know draconic, sildanyari, and hand speech." Kaydin says as he watches the two. He then turns to the woman and nods. "I can explore the wilds. Report what I find." He says calmly as he watches the two.

Svarshan takes a deeper breath, as though he isn't sure if he wants to ask the next question. "Thiss one has faith in you. Our mindss are our greatesst weaponss, here. Hunter Ssilmeria...the other day..."

He takes a moment. Readjusts himself. "The Charneth have taken my people'ss children. They have taken uss a sslaves, as...bombs, as...and now you are ssaying, they are merging uss with thesse. Thesse Trygonss?" he says, asking hoarsly. He waves the claws of one hand as though: please say something that tells me this is a joke. A very, very bad, horrible joke.

Svarshan has partially disconnected.

"Worse, I'm afraid," Silmeria says, blue eyes unutterably sad behind her silver-rimmed spectacles. "They're not being *merged* with these creatures... Trygons would not *exist* but for Charnese abominations, Sunblade. They're being made *from* the People." She lets that hang in the air for a while, then settles forward in her chair, lacing her hands together. "We're not sure of a great many things, Sunblade... but all we *are* sure of, points to at least one Charnese noble house creating and transporting these things as weapons for whatever war they wish to fight. They're as lost to reason as any tortured beast... believe me. I *tried,* but there was no way to reach it."

Murder has arrived.

Svarshan has reconnected.

Kaydin listens to the two and he watches the man and woman. "So there is a human house that is helping these demons?" He asks as he waits for a response. He reaches into a pocket and pulls out some pieces of stag meat which has been turned into strips and jerky. He eats a strip and offers the pouch to the other two.

Kaydin has disconnected.

"...the Binder'ss name is Asumit," Svarshan says in the lowest tones. "There may be a noble housse or housses in Alessandria who help him. At thiss time, ones doess NOT KNOW!" he snarls, bringing his fist down onto the table.

"...what one doess know," he says, angry perhaps, not at Kaydin but at what is happening. At the MULTITUDE of things that are happening! "Iss that while the Binder Asumit goess along, doing hiss thing...*my people* are the oness ALLIED WITH ALESSSANDRIA.* WE are your main alliess, at this time. At your time."

"And THISS is what the Charneth are doing to my people! During thiss time! Your alliess!" the hand comes down. Again. He looks at Kaydin, his nostrils slamming shut. "Where do you think the ssith-makar troopss will go? And where do you think I will fight, if it comess down to it? Againsst the demonss, that my deity hass ssaid, here iss your prey? "

"Or ansswer the ssmall criess of our tinesst, and mosst helpless?" The claws are in the table.

The sound of some disturbance in the distance can be heard, faintly at first, but getting closer. Louder. Until it is outside. "...have an invititation!", growls a high-pitched, female voice. "Stand aside.", that same voice says, more calmly. Then there's a thud. Followed by a second one. Then something like.. groaning. The door opens to admit a leather-clad goblin, who manages to look both annoyed and amused at the same time. The door is accelerated closed, but kept from slamming shut by something on the other side. Murder glances out the door... kicks at something twice, and the closes the door quietly. She glances at those gathered and smiles toothily. "Hello! How is everyone?", she says sweetly.

"You will do," Silmeria says softly into the ringing silence, "what your heart tells you to do. Your Lord may have named an enemy for you to hunt, but I think any Sunguard would agree that any oaths you have sworn would be honored by you helping your people." The Speaker looks down at her hands for a moment, then back up. "And you're not alone in this, Svarshan. I swear to you, I *am* not letting this go. And the moment I find evidence enough that even *Charn* can't slime its way out of acknowledging, I will do everything in my power to ensure that that evidence goes into the hands of those who can swing the club of *all of Alexandria* at Charn's head. And until then, every one of these.... *people*.... that I find will go to my Lady with their crimes engraved upon their souls."

At this point, the door opens, and the bespectacled Vardaman turns her gaze to the gobber, smiling. ".....We've had better days, admittedly. Come in... I assume you must be the gobber that Sunblade Svarshan spoke of?"

"The Dragonfather hass given much," Svarshan says, the words squeezed as tight as though by the Charneth's own fist. The stare he gives Murder then, when she enters, isn't kind.

There's nothing there. Just scale and fire, wing and fang, with a burning just beyond.

Deep breath. "Goblin," he says, voice empty. He looks over towards Silmeria and Kaydin. "Thiss is the goblin one sshared words of. Murder, goblin. Thesse are hunterss Silmeria and Kaydin." To Murder, "We were sspeaking of thingss that would make the Alessandrians want to usse the Canon, going with your. Theory."

"...hunter Ssilmeria iss thinking more clearly than thiss old one iss. Pleasse direct quesstionss to her," he says. The paladin retakes his seat and leans forward. Grips his head in his claws and digs in, as though /that/ might help with the stress.

Kaydin has connected.

Kaydin bows his head to the woman as she makes her way through. He then looks to svarshan and nods. "I am sorry for what they are doing to your people. If there is a way to rescue them, I would do what I can." Kaydin says to the paladin and then turns to the woman to see what she thought or had planned. He then offers the goblin from his pouch of stag jerky.

Murder nods to Silmeria. "I do recall that we met, somewhat briefly, a while back. Giving Svarshan some similarly bad news, too." She grins to the woman. "Is there any new information that I might not have heard yet? New to what you already knew?" She moves to Svarshan's side, and places a hand on the man's arm, and reaches up to gently pluck at the claws digging into his skull, trying to pull them away from his head.

"You are still alive. Your people live, your little ones still run around. We know that our enemies plan us harm. We will fight against them, where ever they may appear. I will go with you to your jungles, and I will stand and fight with you. I am, with my sister, all that is left of a tribe of goblins. Our tribe has a verbal history going back thousands of years. And only two of us left to remember. I remember one thing best of all. What do you say to Oblivion, should it come calling? Not today. Keep that in mind, Svarshan. Not today. They can keep coming, and we will throw them back. Not today. We are not lost." The Goblin woman pauses to stare hungrily at the jerky the half-elf offers, but she holds up a hand. "Perhaps later."

At the question, Silmeria simply shakes her head. "No... nothing new yet. But, Svarshan said you had ideas regarding the Spell Cannon? And how we could be pressured into using it, heedless of the doom Asumit would draw for us?"

At Murder's speech, the blond smiles gently. "Well spoken, Madam. And I thank you for your care."

"All one hass is. News and word of thiss one noble. ...there wass a lord who came to Mictlan, who oness people defeated. Thiss one would not be ssurprised if it he had tiess. ...but boness can talk," the sith-makar says to a black hole. To nothing in particular. A deeper, more shuddering breath. "Did you know. The wizard Astaren iss wanting to help find wayss to recover our Forgotten. ...but he pissed off a head sshaman by telling her how to ssummon ducklingss, when sshe was ready to adopt him. Wordss of the sshaman casste. ...and sso they have not sshared what they know."

Deeper breath. "You both are. You make more ssense than me. Thank you." Deeper breath. "Thank you."

The Goblin nods to Silmeria. "Sadly I don't know for certain. Just that it will be an event that will cause Alexandria to decide to fire the cannon. It will either be some great threat, or something contrived to be. And in firing the cannon, it will summon our doom. And as Un'eth has intimated, there are already many little corruptions in the city, the swaithe demons. Invisible. Reading thoughts. Even if they are small, they will cause great chaos. Panic in the streets. Impeding adventurers and guards alike from doing their duties. I am sorry that I am unable to be more... wordy, but that's all I have. If you pair that with the information you learned of, the... people bombs?, as well take into consideration the temple marriages in Charn, it is not a good picture being painted."

Murder peers at Svarshan a moment, and then balls one of her hands into a fist, and slugs the Sith-makar in the side. The pained look on her face is proof of just how much she put behind the blow, and holds that hand to her chest. "Your head will explode if you don't let it out a little, yanno? Take it from me, if you stew in rage, anguish and stress... POP!", she makes a fist with her good hand, and then splays her fingers outward suddenly. "Your people will be safe. I will make it so or die trying."

"One of ourss is looking into the boness. ...perhapss you might sshare words with him?" Svarshan says to Silmeria, and Murder. "The persson who sstands here with uss, iss a hunter of the Ssinging Death Dragon," he says to Murder. A slow smile follows, "And a talented one, bessides."

The compliment brings a touch of pink to Silmeria's tanned cheeks. "Last I knew, the hurdle was to come up with a means of ending the curse without killing the people so cursed. Likely it's still the largest obstacle, but equally likely not the only one. And it's very much a pleasure to make your acquaintance," she says, extending a black-gloved hand to the goblin. "I'm Silmeria Longmire, Speaker For the Dead."

"Murder, of the Not-Named Clan.", the Goblin replies, shaking the woman's hand enthusiastically a few times before letting go. "So you need to remove a curse without killing the people so cursed. Do you know any witches?", the Gobber wonders. "They seem to deal in curses most of all, don't they?" She shrugs then, and glances to Svarshan. "Sure, let's go talk to some bones! Can I eat one?"

Svarshan laughs. It's strained but it's real, and he gives in to Murder's having pulled at his claws, and draws them away from his face. "There iss a warrior-casste working on it. Being warrior-casste...I think he would appreciate hiss help. We have thiss...thiss insstinct to protect, but not alwayss the knowledge to go about it."

"I've only heard of one, who owns a ranch out by the Felwood. Beyond that, well... you'd have to talk to her," Silmeria says, shrugging. Then, she looks to Svarshan, reaching out and patting a scaled arm. "The moment I learn more, Svarshan... I'll come directly to you. I know it's likely to help more, when you have a trail to follow, yes?"