We learned that the Tiger Monks and the Black Axe monks had had a full on scramble in the Firefly Lake and that quite a few of them had been hurt. There where talk of some of the younger people having been injured, and that the new guy was really impressive. I knew that Dyvim is one to stay out of trouble, but also that he’s not one to always choose the smart option. I was concerned to say the least. Guards – dressed as if officers – where gathered in the inn, seemingly to collect information. We sat down, to wait for N’doru and and Minna, the doctor. Before they arrived a retinue consisting of a Law woman of odd lineage accompanied by a few guards came walking towards the Inn. Blan was among them. While the law woman went straight for the officers to infer with them, Blan joined us. He told of us of the God Blooded, that he himself was a quarter one. Unlike himself how ever, the Law woman was an awakened God blood. The guards joining her are mostly for show, as awakened God Blood safe generally quite strong. He offered to speak to his grandmother and also warned us about the life giving trees – ittle did he know what was to come.(“What was to come?”, Ralph, as usual, looked confused. “I’ll get to that.”, Leesa says while shaking her head in nostalgic shame.)
After speaking to Blan for a bit, N’doru joined us. And later also Minna. N’doru had told of his plan, to get us in by being part of his staff. N’doru and Minna went to take care of… business, and left us with Bosco. Bosco was a very nervous man. He seemed to disliked armed people, or at least he was extra cautious around them. We went to stash most of our things at the Black Axe temple. And to my relief Dyvim was fine, actually unhurt, for ones! (“Your one to talk?”, Bo splurged out, without thinking. Linda, as per use, hit him over the head. “No-no, Linda. He makes a valid point.”, Leesa said with a disapproving tone. Not knowing exactly what she was disapproving, the comments to followed where killed before uttered.) After a brief conversation, we stashed our things in Dyvims room, and then set off towards N’doru’s estate. It wasn’t as grand and lush as I had expected, but compered to anything I’d seen in Great Forks, it was magnificent. I was dressed a chef, and Harkon was to be a body guard. The regular chef seemed to disapprove of the whole affair, but he followed directives. And so we where traversing the streets of Great Forks, on our way to the center tower. And what a sight that was! Impossible architecture, remarkable cleanliness… Words escape me, it was like the statue all over again. Something that shouldn’t be, is and is it well… If that makes any manner of sense.
Upon entering the pompous tower, we are greeted by big guards. And on the inside, we actually saw some Gunzosha guards. (An awe struck notion traveled through the crowd. “I know right!”, Leesa said humbly. “At the time all I could think was that they looked impractical. Shows what I knew! Anwyay, where was I…?”) Inside, the grandest halls, the lushest garden. Even on the Blessed Isle, had since such marvels. In passing, I also spotted a woman, pitch black, wearing nothing but a chain mail. At this point in time, there was little that could surprise me, this did somehow, though.
We where shown towards the cooking area, as N’doru went to present the slaves to the Dragonblooded. A scary task, to say the least. The kitchen was also quite a sight. Chefs practicing their craft with passion, and accuracy. Seeing the amount of feeling going into the art of cooking reminded me of my grandmother, and her teachings. I couldn’t help but to try to replicate her secret recipe, Peach-pear omelette, that she made for me every summer, when the pears where perfect! There where pear and peach trees in the garden around us. Nobody seemed to object taking from them, so I grabbed to pears and a peach. I grounded up half of both, and sliced up the other half, with the help of my staff. (“I actually had a staff!… Well, much like I do now, but for cooking!”, Leesa looked exhilarated. “I can cook!”, Ralph raised his hand. “Good to know.”, Leesa nodded back. Linda put her hand on Ralphs’ shoulder, and shook her head.)
As I finished the cooking, and the nostalgia was seeping out of me, a few girls looking like dancers showed up. They where looking for food, so me and my staff served them the omelette. And the loved it. (“Why wouldn’t they?”, Linda looked confused. “My father always told me that cooking with Love, is like cooking for gods. It makes it impossibly good!”. “Right you are Linda!”, Leesa said clearly showing pride that one of younglings knew this. “There was one problem, how ever.”) The garden was a celestial garden. And, upon eating the pears – and the amount of passion put into making them – called The Pear Lady, as she called herself, appeared. A goddess of sorts. She noticed my injuries and offered to heal them. The rational was in conflict. Firstly, she was most likely a Life Tree. And secondly, you don’t deny an offer from a Divine. I let her heal me, something I came to regret. (“An other thing you regret in your journey?”, Ralph asked, seemingly having completely forgotten about ranks, at this point. Leesa smiled and answered, “Nope. It would have been a great insult, had I refused her. And you don’t want to insult a god, let me tell you!”) It was a… unique… experience. A very happy one, as it where. It felt as if trees where sprouting in my wounds. Not far from the truth, as it turned out. The goddess also took note of the dancer who had first seen her, and blessed her with fertility. And which the Pear Lady left.
Not long after, a man with green hair and green eyes entered. He wanted some food. He was served some omelette, which he absolutely loved. We informed him our situation, and why we where there. He took us to a more private tent, so we could explain in more detail. He didn’t think that the Nodo wouldn’t believe him, and wanted one of us to speak to him. He showed us to a room that we’d stay in, in the mean time. He left to speak to Nodo, when ever appropriate. Harkon expressed that in order to minimize risk, only one of us should speak to the Dragon blooded. I made a case that it should be me, against my impeccable judgment, as we needed Harkon to return.Harkon approved, and we went to sleep.
I was awakened in the middle of the night by a voice calling my name. I got up. It was beckoning me towards the window, that had a dagger glinting in near it. The voice wanted me to hurt someone. (“Hurt someone?”, Bo asked. “It was the Life Tree, I believe it wanted me to assassinate someone.”, Leesa replied, shaking her hed. “I refused, and here is why I know you should not refuse gods.”) I went back to my room, and left the dagger in place. What followed was the most blinding pain I could ever imagine. Sprouts grew out of my wounds, and fell off slightly after. A big problem I had to solve somehow.
The next what ever it was, it’s calibration after all, we awakened by a guard. Apparently, we where in her room. We tried telling her that the partition, named Yang, had lead us here. She did not believe us and went to check. She left us with the other guard sleeping in the room. He was a very nice man! After a while, she returned with the parturition. He returned and told us that Dragon blooded was ready for us, and that he was in a good mood. He was a bit surprised, but understood why I was going alone.
And so… I came face to face with a dragon blooded. He was… High, at first. He activated his anima, to get rid of it. I told him what happened, and that we needed to get in touch with a Legion. He was cut off from the realm, due to a… disagreement with the Mnemon family. He mentioned something in terms of ‘she exalted during..’ which I refrained to comment on. (“During..? What did he mean?”, Ralph says with a clueless face. “Hmm… Let’s put it this way, at the time I was a bit old for him. And well, the Cynis family is known for… Very, ehm, ‘sinful’ partying.”, Leesa said rolling her eyes. Ralph still looked confused, so Linda leaned over and whispered in his ear. His response was to become as red as a tomato, and the subject was dropped!) How ever, he had heard rumors of one Legion being up north, to the west, near Sijan. How ever, they might’ve moved before we could get there. He did know of one Legion south east, how ever! That is supposed to be stationary for some time, at least. They had invaded a village, and taken it over. He also added, that he.. ehr.. liked me, and might call for me. Even though I was a bit old for him, as mentioned.
After which myself and Yang went back to Harkon. We where left alone, and I told him of the information. Seeing as the Dragon blooded had said that he might call upon me later. Instead of me going to Marissa, and Harkon going to Dyvim… I couldn’t leave. So Harkon left, to tell Dyvim and Marissa. So I stuck around, and Yang invited me to the party. (“For the record… This was before I knew about house Cynis.”, Leesa said in a a’don’t-judge-me’, kind of way.) Either way, she went with Yang, to the party. Yang had the funny idea of… Chatting with a god, because seemed like a good idea for him. He was pretty relaxed for being a parturition, I suppose. We went to the black woman in a chain mail, that I had seen earlier, named Glowing Stone. She seemed uninterested in us at first, until I mentioned that I knew Blan, her grandson. She had heard about me, from him. She had heard that I was hurt. I informed her regarding my encounter with a Life Tree, and what the life tree had wanted me to do. She offered to… Ehm… Fix me. And one thing lead to an other, I was in a deal that entailed that I was to fight her sisters’ champion. Her sister, Bright Smoke, was apparently always trying to one-up her. But smoke can’t exist with fire. She dragged me to her sanctum. She mentioned that she shared the sanctum with her sister. But I soon found out that she didn’t exactly have a sister, at least not ‘in-the-flesh’, to use mortal limitations. (“What do you mean?”, Linda asked. Everyone seemed to be equally confused. “Well… Gods don’t follow the same rules, if you will, as we do.”, Leesa replied. “You see, she and her sister… Share a body.”. “What does that mean?”, Ralph looked confused. “You could say that she had a split-personality.”) Essentially, Glowing Stone did the same thing as the life tree, but with iron. The exorcising at the start was very painful, followed almost equally painful… ‘re-forging’, of my arm and leg. She was talking to herself, back and forth as fire and smoke, during this procedure.This left me with blackened veins in the previously damaged areas. I had suggested sword and shield for dueling weapons, so Glowing Stone quickly fashioned me a pair. Quite different from what I’m used to. An iron shield, that was heavier then what we usually use. And a long sword, made less for finnesse – like our straight sword – and more for dealing damage. It was also heavier then I was used to. So, when she left, I started getting used to the sword and the shield. After a while, impossible to know how long, she returned to fetch me.
As we rejoined the party, Yang came up to me, having finished the outfitting. I was dragged to a room, and outfitted with a flowery dress and a rice hat. Afterwhich I was dragged to the snake pit, now – hopefully – drained of all the snakes. I couldn’t see any, anyway. I leapt down, and I saw my opponent. A tall, broad, northerner. He looked intimidating. We chatted for a bit, telling our stories of how we got to this battle. We where unsure of the rules of engagement. And Glowing Stone seemed unsure herself, Smoke wanted to the death, and Fire didn’t like that idea. I suggested until the first yields. They agreed, Smoke only if a bit begrudgingly. And so the first started. I tried to go for a faint, raising my sword to his left, and bashing with my shield to the right. It was a good plan, seeing as he blind to the right. How ever, he was also aware of his disadvantage, and blocked me. Afterwhich he managed to kick me in the gut,. As much as it hurt I was able to roll forward, and stab him in the side. He counter-attacked, but I was a bit shorter then he accounted for, and blocked it by raising my shield. I adorned our Legion stance, and – with a fierce look in my eyes – told him to yield, and he did. (“Now that’s the captain we know!”, Bo shouted. And everyone cheered. Except Linda, who asked, “What happened to your opponent?”. Leesa smiled, and replied, “Good question, Linda. He was picked up by Glowing Stone, and repaired.”) A slow clapping killed the cheering noise. And Cynis Nodo appeared, he looked pleased. And, aside from, at some point, stepping out into the fruit garden again and, believe it or not, vomiting on someones sandals, that is the last I remember of that. Cynis parties, man…