|7-11-09: Comin' down the world turned over, angels fall without you there; I go on as you get colder
||[Jul. 17th, 2009|06:20 pm]
The Chronicle of Aldencia: Saving the Kingdom
Night came quickly to Romdas, though it was a restless one for many. Oertan and Dora slept little and fitfully, as did Matthias. Theodor, well sated with drink, slept soundly and woke comfortably. Nahla, however, was left with Bendigar who needed to be reminded of the location of a convenient basin more than once over the course of the night due to his heavy sympathizing with Theodor that evening. Early in the morning, Dora woke, met a bleary-eyed Bendigar for breakfast (and helpfully made him some tea), and went to sit with Oertan and Elara. Matthias, after his own morning meal, set about gathering information. First, he located Myalin, a gypsy woman with knowledge of the occult. Though she could tell him nothing about the person named Andrew Wellin, she did know a bit more about the eternal and hidden ones, that they were everlasting individuals in the world, seemingly reborn each generation, and forever at odds with one another. The eternal one was said to be incredibly, incredibly dangerous, while the hidden one was not what she would deem “good,” but certainly not evil. Matthias also asked Myalin about the magic that had been used on Elara, if there was any record of it, and though she had not heard of it before, she mentioned that if it were a new kind of magic it wouldn’t be within her cope of understanding; in parting, Myalin mentioned how useful that magic might be against one such as the eternal one.
Next, Matthias met with Keleroth to speak with a local historian; the firemage was happy to accompany him due to his own research being periodically quite frustrating. The historian had been based out of Cath and focused primarily on very ancient history and lore. He knew in general terms of the eternal one and the hidden one, saying that they had been commonly spoken of in ancient times but somewhat lost after a sharp change in Aldencia’s civilization, perhaps due to their direct will. Of magic he knew nothing, but upon mentioning the name Andrew Wellin, the historian was much more helpful. He stated that the Wellin family was a very old one going right back to Lornam’s City, one of the favored families of the gods. He explained that when the gods cast men out of the City, some families were remembered well, and the Wellin was one of those, along with a handful of other known noble families (interestingly including the Vane family). Matthias speculated that Andrew Wellin might be in some way connected to Lornam’s City, or might have special, gods-given knowledge of it, and might therefore be a target for Dahlia. The historian also pointed out that the Wellin name was often used as a pseudonym due to its meaningful roots, and could therefore simply be a false name.
On their way back to Romdas, Matthias stopped again at the gypsy camp to ask Myalin if she knew anything about Lornam’s City, but she confessed that the truest knowledge of the City among the gypsies at all was with Elara, who had studied it intensely. However, Myalin thought she might have passed some of that information down to Oertan. Therefore, Matthias made his way to Elara’s room where he met both Oertan and Dora, alternately telling the comatose Elara stories. Dora, quite cold to Matthias after what she had perceived as his intention to sacrifice Elara to save Aldencia, listened stiffly as he asked Oertan what stories Elara had told of Lornam’s City. Oertan gave Matthias as much as he could, including the knowledge that the City could not be found but with a purpose, and not just the desire of one human heart. He also described how it was covered, each wall and stone and floor and ceiling, in the wisdom and knowledge of the gods, and therefore more precious than any other place in the world. Oertan asked if he might be able to join the party in whatever they did to help Elara, but neither adult in the room seemed in favor. Matthias spoke gently to Elara before setting out to find Bendigar, his next source of information.
Bendigar, having spent the entire morning sitting on his backside and drinking the restorative tea Dora had made, could shed a little more light on Lornam’s City. He knew, which Oertan had not, approximately where it was located – somewhere on the far eastern coast of the continent between the northern and southern mountain ranges. He also knew that more than once in history a criminal had been sentenced to journey to the City and return with proof – as it was tantamount to a death sentence – resulting in several missing criminals and one who had returned completely mad. This information combined, Matthias felt more and more that a trip to Lornam’s City was a part of the answer, possibly the key to either thwarting Dahlia, saving Elara, or finding Andrew Wellin. Therefore, the ex-general called a meeting, sending Nahla around for the usual party as well as Connor and Gentford, to discuss what he had learned. While Dora was on the way to the meeting, reluctantly, as she was still uncomfortable with Matthias, she was handed a message to be delivered to the ex-monk directly.
The first order of business was to investigate the message, which turned out to be from Rumor himself, stating that he would do business with Matthias but only face-to-face in Irenia. Matthias realized that Rumor must be operating either through magic or with some other aerial form of transferring information to have gotten a response to him so quickly. Thus, it appeared there were two competing courses of possible action: journeying to the east and the Holy City, or journeying to the west to Irenia to speak with Rumor. The group debated back and forth, eventually deciding that, while the Holy City might hold answers to some questions, Rumor was more likely to be able to provide greater information on several different issues more quickly. Matthias asked for volunteers for the trip to Irenia, and Theodor, Keleroth, Nahla, and Bendigar spoke up. Dora, however, looked upset about something, which both Keleroth and Nahla noticed. After the meeting, while Matthias spoke with Connor and Gentford about the state of the army, determining when they would be prepared for a full assault on Adzoral (and preparing the two in case Matthias were not to return from this mission), Bendigar and Theodor went to spar with one another, Keleroth took a nap, and Nahla went to speak with Dora privately.
At Nahla’s interest, Dora explained her conversation the previous evening with Matthias and her disgust with her continued presence within the rebellion. She had not yet made it known, but fully intended to leave the group and simply stay with Oertan and look after Elara until such time as her sister was restored. Nahla argued vehemently that Dora’s aims of protecting Elara could be much better served beside Matthias – only there would she have the power and opportunity to influence the ex-general’s thinking and encourage him not to sacrifice her if the situation arose. Dora left the conversation troubled, and took a walk to gather her thoughts. There, she realized that she, as the only one who could bear the Ojaluche, had no real choice but to continue down this path and hope Nahla was right in that her power to sway Matthias would be sufficient. She also stopped by the Menderskin camp to determine when they would vote on whether or not to take this attack on Elara as a call to arms themselves and join the rebellion; Baska confirmed that the vote would be that very evening and asked Dora to invite Matthias to join Oertan and herself, Oertan to vote in Elara’s absence, Matthias as a prospective member of the clan. Meanwhile, Nahla dropped in on Oertan and Elara, and promised the boy that she would send Bendigar in sometime soon to tell him some stories that the boy could repeat while they were gone.
Around dinner time, Keleroth sought Matthias out and mentioned that Dora had seemed upset during the meeting. They subsequently met her in the hall on the way to the evening meal, and Keleroth made his polite escape to let them talk. Dora explained her frustrations and was able to get some clarification from the monk as to his true intentions. In a whisper, Matthias confessed that he fully intended to get Elara’s soul back from Dahlia without revealing the information she desired, and that he knew such a course of action would probably lead to his death. Dora told Matthias that his solution, while admirable, was certainly not the only, or even the best one, and that Elara would be hurt to learn she was given back life only because he had lost his. However, they both felt better about the truth and were able to continue on to dinner more comfortably.
After the meal, while Bendigar and Nahla went to bed early for some time together, Keleroth spent a few hours reading the end of the book he had picked up in the labyrinth under Cath. To his surprise, he learned that the mage had met the eternal one, a man he said was incredibly, chillingly dangerous, and from whom he was very glad to hide the Ojaluche. Meanwhile, Matthias joined Dora and Oertan on the way to the gypsy camp. There, Baska pulled Matthias aside to discuss the upcoming vote, not only its significance to the clan, but the invitation to let the monk vote as well – Baska explained that he made this offer to Matthias as one close to Elara, whom Elara had evidently loved deeply, and that it was not meant as a political maneuver, but rather an invitation to join a family he might potentially be offered to join. Matthias, touched by the reminder of Elara’s love and also by the willingness of the closest man to her father there had ever been to invite him to a status so close to kin, accepted. The vote was taken after Baska’s explanation of what was at stake, what risks might stand, and what he felt, and it was very nearly unanimous, with Matthias, Dora, and Oertan all voting in favor for their own reasons. The Menderskin decided that, when Matthias went to war, they would join. The clan sent messengers out to the other clans to proclaim their intentions, and they settled into celebrate for the evening.