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 Finding Allies

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PostSubject: Finding Allies   Wed May 07, 2008 8:09 pm

A quick synopsis from last session for John and Mike:

Having returned to Sharn after speaking to the Gatekeepers about the dimensional seals and what they discovered at Khesavuthir, the Angels meet various people. Six speaks to Smith about the war situation and the warforged’s place in it (and what he discovered in the Mournland at the LoB’s camp) and then joins the Wayfinder’s Foundation (note: any other PC who wishes to can become a member as well). Gareth proposes again to Lalia, who accepts.

The next morning, official announcements are made that the nations are mobilizing for war and about the situation with Xoriat. The Angels receive a 50,000 galifar reward from the monarchs of Breland, Karrnath, Aundair, and Thrane (i.e. 10k each) and Boranel also gifts them the Gray House. Luna promptly visits all the neighbors and distributes copies of the proclamation. They also receive sendings from Gareth's mother (who he asks to go to the Deneith Sentinel Tower in Karrlakton, along with his grandmother), from Elabenna (asking when they will be in Io'lokar) and Essirise (who says she's managed to organize a meeting of the Chamber two days later, which she will meet them at Io'lokar and take them to).

They then travel to Io’lokar and talk to Elabenna about both Khesavuthir and getting aid for Khorvaire. She is not hopeful of much aid from Io'lokar, but suggests they take part in a weekly martial competition which occurs the next day, which should lead to good will and some contacts.

After taking part in the competition, the Angels meet an aged half-elf Nalyna, a paladin of the dragon gods and highly respected former leader of the Io’lokar militia (the Union of the Shield). He is especially interested in Six's unusual fighting style and invites the group home with him. (note: Six, who gets to duel Nalyna, realizes that he's by far the most skilled swordsman he's ever fought; for the record, he's a 29th level NPC). Having learned of their interest in gaining allies, he says that he'd like to hear about it and can at least put them in touch with some who might help.

And now to IC stuff:

* * * * * * * * * *

Nalyna's home is a palatial set of apartments in the Terrace, the second tier of the city. Half a dozen people, consisting of friends and former students/colleagues of the retired swordmaster, accompany him and the Angels as they travel to his home. One named Honar, a captain in the wyvernriders known as the Union of the Spear, mentions as they go that Nalyna could live among the higher tiers of the city and even among the city's Masters (who he is qualified to join) in the highest level, in the Bastion. But because he is more interested in martial matters and knows so many in the Shield and the Spear, he prefers to dwell here.

Once they reach the house, Nalyna asks everyone to make themselves comfortable on the huge veranda and leaves to arrange for drinks and light refreshments.

Returning in a few minutes, he hands Six a bulky tome entitled "The Way of the Warrior," the definitive encyclopedia of fighting styles that he penned in his retirement. "Keep it," he smiles. "You might find it handy." His smile broadens. "And maybe I'll add your style in an expansion or appendix. So tell me, anyway, where did you learn to fight like that?" He looks over at the others. "And then you can tell me about this request for aid that you have come here with."

OOC: Feel free to start asking for aid before Six responds to his question. I'll assume that they just happen in another order.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 8:33 am

Gareth sits down and discusses the situation with Xoriat and their search for allies, "... and while Khorvare is large and has great power, this power is spread throughout the land. The forces from Xoriat will be in concentrated groups and pick us off one by one. When they are finished with Khorvare they will come and start working on Argonesson." Pausing for a moment, "Now while Argonesson may defeat Xoriat there are some things to consider - without the help of Khorvare the losses will be greater - even if by a single death, and the chances of Xoriat winning since they would have a foothold in Khorvare would increase."

"What we need is to find allies who would be willing to help fight the forces of Xoriat. We need allies who could help recruit new allies. In Argonesson we would like to head back to visit a dragon and put him down. This dragon has invaluable information - both in his lair and in his head - but alas he is very evil and very powerful."
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 9:24 am

Does Six know the maneuvers or is it from the harness? Either way he will tell the story of Mordrain's modifications. Fill our host in about the way of the nine swords as this seems to be a new developement in Eberron.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 9:40 am

Six of Six wrote:
Does Six know the maneuvers or is it from the harness? Either way he will tell the story of Mordrain's modifications. Fill our host in about the way of the nine swords as this seems to be a new developement in Eberron.

By story of Mordain you mean your portion not the rest of the group? Gareth would not want it to be known there are clones of him (or the group for that matter). it can't bring any good to know this.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 9:49 am

Gareth wrote:
Six of Six wrote:
Does Six know the maneuvers or is it from the harness? Either way he will tell the story of Mordrain's modifications. Fill our host in about the way of the nine swords as this seems to be a new developement in Eberron.

By story of Mordain you mean your portion not the rest of the group? Gareth would not want it to be known there are clones of him (or the group for that matter). it can't bring any good to know this.

meh

There are no clones of Gareth, you used it. The story is just about the fighting mods.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 10:13 am

Six of Six wrote:
[There are no clones of Gareth, you used it. The story is just about the fighting mods.

There are clones of the group, and mordain is making more of gareth/nameless (hence the 1 month of dont die) Smile

As long as it just includes six's mods (or at least does not include gareths) then i am ok with that Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 10:00 pm

Six of Six wrote:
Does Six know the maneuvers or is it from the harness?

The way I treat it is that some of the maneuvers (the less obviously supernatural ones) are known by Six and some are fully fueled by the harness. So in an antimagic field, when the harness becomes non-functional, he loses access to maneuvers such as the Shadow Jump or the Shadow Garotte, but can still use things like Moment of Perfect Mind or Emerald Razor.

Quote :
Either way he will tell the story of Mordrain's modifications. Fill our host in about the way of the nine swords as this seems to be a new developement in Eberron.

The way of the nine swords isn't really a philosophy that exists here (even for Six). I basically treat it as a mechanical toolkit which I can use to build certain things, so there are NPCs who benefit from something from the Bo9S without seeing themselves as a martial adept or a philosophical warrior or anything of the like. For Six, what he gets as a swordsage is a combination of a certain skillset and a magical augmentation.

* * * * * *

Nalyna listens with great interest to Six's story, asking a couple of questions, and at one point excuses himself and returns with a notepad and makes some notes. When Six finishes, he says, "That has got to be one of the strangest sources for an unusual martial technique that I've heard of. If you don't mind, maybe you could give me a more detailed demonstration of your abilities later in the day? I'm curious how they intersect with your natural abilities as a construct, if you don't mind me saying so, and how they could be used - assuming they can - by someone lacking your nature and that harness. It's a fascinating subject, and thank you for sharing."

When it comes to Gareth's story and the request for allies, Nalyna says, "I'm too old to be traipsing around Argonessen, leave along Khorvaire. Not that I was ever that interested in things beyond Io'lokar, actually. As you'll find of most here." As he says that, some of the others present nod, and Nalyna smiles slightly and continues, "But I'll get word of your request out to some people I know."

When he finishes, Honar speaks up. "Personally, I could stand to do some traipsing," he says, drawing a broader grin from Nalyna and amused chuckles from a couple of others present. "And while I'm not sure I'd like to actually go to Khorvaire, going to other parts of Argonessen, especially if it is a short trip, might be possible. What is this dragon you wish to fight?"
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 10:11 pm

Admin wrote:
When he finishes, Honar speaks up. "Personally, I could stand to do some traipsing," he says, drawing a broader grin from Nalyna and amused chuckles from a couple of others present. "And while I'm not sure I'd like to actually go to Khorvaire, going to other parts of Argonessen, especially if it is a short trip, might be possible. What is this dragon you wish to fight?"

ooc: oh so hell yes. not even you guys could disagree to go with a level 29 character

Gareth tells Honor of the story with the dragon fight and what happened. "We would like to find a way back there, though Six may not be able to, deal with this dragon. To say that he is immensely evil is an understatement."
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 10:47 pm

Gareth wrote:
Admin wrote:
When he finishes, Honar speaks up. "Personally, I could stand to do some traipsing," he says, drawing a broader grin from Nalyna and amused chuckles from a couple of others present. "And while I'm not sure I'd like to actually go to Khorvaire, going to other parts of Argonessen, especially if it is a short trip, might be possible. What is this dragon you wish to fight?"

ooc: oh so hell yes. not even you guys could disagree to go with a level 29 character

Gareth tells Honor of the story with the dragon fight and what happened. "We would like to find a way back there, though Six may not be able to, deal with this dragon. To say that he is immensely evil is an understatement."

Nalyna - 29lvl wants to stay.
Honar - ??? wants to go.

I am blood bound not to return, however if you wish to go perhaps you know more what the protector of the black well* would have at his disposal.
Six will go through a more detailed display of the swordsage abilities, then settle down with the encyclopedia and a zen garden sandbox. That is a 13"x8"x3" box filled with sand to doodle in.

*Six will use the proper name.


Last edited by Six of Six on Fri May 09, 2008 9:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 10:49 pm

Six of Six wrote:
Nalyna - 29lvl wants to stay.
Honar - ??? wants to go.

*Six will use the proper name.

I though Honar was the 29th level. Well lets find out Honars level. Shil do you allow the sense motive alternate rule to gauge someones power? Other then findingout the highest level spell a spellcaster can cast to determine level, how can we find out about Honar? Obviously I would only agree if our forces heading back are substantially stronger then before.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Thu May 08, 2008 11:31 pm

Gareth wrote:
I though Honar was the 29th level.

Nope. Nalyna is the 29th level. And remember, your characters do not know that.

Quote :
Well lets find out Honars level. Shil do you allow the sense motive alternate rule to gauge someones power?

Nope. Unless you see a manifestation of someone's skill, you can't really guess how powerful they are, and certainly not levels.

Quote :
Other then findingout the highest level spell a spellcaster can cast to determine level, how can we find out about Honar?

Ask him to duel you?
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Fri May 09, 2008 8:18 am

Admin wrote:
Ask him to duel you?

Gareth to Honar "What are your primary abilities? And can we duel?"

OOC: Is Naylana there, and if so has he shown interested in coming with?
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Fri May 09, 2008 11:00 am

"Nalyna. Do you know of any arcanists who are particularly knowledgeable about other planes or who might be interested in exchanging uncommon spells? I am "unique", so I suspect they will be willing to at least talk to me."
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Fri May 09, 2008 1:00 pm

Gareth wrote:
OOC: Is Naylana there, and if so has he shown interested in coming with?

Yes, he's there, and no, he said that he has no interest in traipsing around Argonnessen, leave alone Khorvaire.

Quote :
Gareth to Honar "What are your primary abilities? And can we duel?"

Honar looks mildly surprised and then grins. "And here I thought you were the polite and subtle sort! Someone else might take offense to that kind of question, but I don't mind. I'm a captain in the Spear, so I particularly specialize in fighting from wyvern-back and using a lance. I'm quite well-versed in fighting dragons. I'm much less effective at fighting on foot, but even there I can hold my own. And I'd be pleased to test our skills. Or let you test mine, as I think is your intent."

Nalyna and the others accompany Gareth and Honar to a well-equipped gymnasium, where the two indulge in a short duel. Gareth quickly realizes that Honar is a significantly superior swordsman, much more accurate and precise, though Gareth's divinely-granted abilities let the paladin hit harder. If Honar's skills are much better when mounted, he must be a very formidable warrior on his wyvern mount.

OOC: Honar has at least 20 levels and +20 BAB.

Nameless wrote:
"Nalyna. Do you know of any arcanists who are particularly knowledgeable about other planes or who might be interested in exchanging uncommon spells? I am "unique", so I suspect they will be willing to at least talk to me."

Nalyna purses his lips thoughtfully. "I'm an arcanist too, but only a very limited one, and the planes are certainly not my area of expertise. Even though none of our four Colleges specialize in the planes, you will find some people at the college of the arcane sciences who are very knowledgeable about them. You could speak to Rathuka, who is one of their premier lecturers as well as a skilled wizard. There are also some other individuals who might be able to help you. Thinrukidis, the master of the Black Stage (the largest of our theatrical amphitheaters), is a skilled bard and knows just about anything and everything. The sage Dragana is not just a city Master but also a legendary scholar and a powerful arcanist."

He pauses and looks at Nameless thoughtfully. "How exactly are you 'unique'?"
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Fri May 09, 2008 1:14 pm

Admin wrote:
Nalyna purses his lips thoughtfully. "I'm an arcanist too, but only a very limited one, and the planes are certainly not my area of expertise. Even though none of our four Colleges specialize in the planes, you will find some people at the college of the arcane sciences who are very knowledgeable about them. You could speak to Rathuka, who is one of their premier lecturers as well as a skilled wizard. There are also some other individuals who might be able to help you. Thinrukidis, the master of the Black Stage (the largest of our theatrical amphitheaters), is a skilled bard and knows just about anything and everything. The sage Dragana is not just a city Master but also a legendary scholar and a powerful arcanist."

He pauses and looks at Nameless thoughtfully. "How exactly are you 'unique'?"

"You may find this disturbing" He'll manifest the Aspect. "As you can see, I am no longer human. Though this is only the blatant aspect of it. Anyone knowledgeable about the Far Realm should recognize what I am and have become. I have transcended and are the first person to do so as far as I can tell. I have made pacts with one of the Great Old Ones, who are to the Daelkyr as we are to ants. But there is more I must know and time presses with Xoriat's invasion."
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Fri May 09, 2008 1:35 pm

Admin wrote:
"Nalyna. Do you know of any arcanists who are particularly knowledgeable about other planes or who might be interested in exchanging uncommon spells? I am "unique", so I suspect they will be willing to at least talk to me."

Bowing to Honar, "I most assuredly did not mean any offense, it's just with the Six not being able to join us we need to make sure that you are significantly more powerful then us. If we fight this black dragon again I am not sure if we are able to do so outside, and I am not sure what the flight capabilities of a wyvern are in a dragons lair." Pausing "To be honest, at first I did not think to go back there until we had more power, but with you it would be a lot easier. You would be willing to go, do you think Naylana would also or someone of your caliber? To convince the rest of the group, they would need assurance of the power we bring so we do not run into the same problem as before - my death and Nameless' death."

OOC: Keep in mind he is more powerful on wyvern and he specializes against dragons. He is at least level 20, and at least 20 BAB so he would be able to pound this dragon down. Plus we learned from our mistakes and know what to do (e.g. energy resistance cold/acid). I definitely think we have a great chance of winning...we also know that teleporting OUT of the cave works so we can use that as backup. We also know to keep disintigrates for walls of force. Lets rock this dragon.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sat May 10, 2008 9:41 am

Gareth wrote:
Bowing to Honar, "I most assuredly did not mean any offense, it's just with the Six not being able to join us we need to make sure that you are significantly more powerful then us. If we fight this black dragon again I am not sure if we are able to do so outside, and I am not sure what the flight capabilities of a wyvern are in a dragons lair." Pausing "To be honest, at first I did not think to go back there until we had more power, but with you it would be a lot easier. You would be willing to go, do you think Naylana would also or someone of your caliber? To convince the rest of the group, they would need assurance of the power we bring so we do not run into the same problem as before - my death and Nameless' death."

Honar begins to reply, saying, "I do not ...," and then stops and looks at Gareth curiously. "Your deaths? So you were both raised?" The amount of magic he is used to at Io'lokar probably explains his lack of real surprise.

Nameless wrote:
"You may find this disturbing" He'll manifest the Aspect. "As you can see, I am no longer human. Though this is only the blatant aspect of it. Anyone knowledgeable about the Far Realm should recognize what I am and have become. I have transcended and are the first person to do so as far as I can tell. I have made pacts with one of the Great Old Ones, who are to the Daelkyr as we are to ants. But there is more I must know and time presses with Xoriat's invasion."

The people around Nameless don't react with as much alarm as would normally be the case, but eyes widen and a hand or two drop to a weapon. Nalyna remains the calmest of all present, not twitching a muscle. After a second, he says, "That is ... interesting. So you have, um, connections with Xoriat? Is that a result of this invasion or something you were doing before it occurred?"
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sat May 10, 2008 10:12 am

Admin wrote:
The people around Nameless don't react with as much alarm as would normally be the case, but eyes widen and a hand or two drop to a weapon. Nalyna remains the calmest of all present, not twitching a muscle. After a second, he says, "That is ... interesting. So you have, um, connections with Xoriat? Is that a result of this invasion or something you were doing before it occurred?"

Not raised. Cloned by Mordain Fleshweaver a powerful mage, though lacking in "social niceties".

Yes, I have connections to Xoriat that predate the invasion. It's not so much something that I was doing though. I have been marked by Xoriat and the connections are both deep and subtle. I do not fully understand it myself, but I have done several things that should have been impossible with regards to Xoriat.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sat May 10, 2008 10:50 am

Admin wrote:
Honar begins to reply, saying, "I do not ...," and then stops and looks at Gareth curiously. "Your deaths? So you were both raised?" The amount of magic he is used to at Io'lokar probably explains his lack of real surprise.

"As Nameless has said, we have clones - not willingly, but currently it has benefited us" Looking from Honar to Naylana and back, "I definitely think with you we stand a great chance of winning. We also know some of this dragons strengths which can be made into his weaknesses. I ask if there are others of your power who can join us not as insult, but to guarantee our victory - I would not want to see anyone else die. I also believe that doing this will serve us greatly. The amount of information we get, and the magical equipment we get will help us destroy Xoriat. In addition, one of the most rewarding aspects will be to destroy a horrendously evil being."

OOC: Is dragon breath admixture allowed to swap energy type on demand or is it a fixed feat. So if the dragon picked cold he is s tuck with it?
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sat May 10, 2008 7:27 pm

Nameless wrote:
Not raised. Cloned by Mordain Fleshweaver a powerful mage, though lacking in "social niceties".

Yes, I have connections to Xoriat that predate the invasion. It's not so much something that I was doing though. I have been marked by Xoriat and the connections are both deep and subtle. I do not fully understand it myself, but I have done several things that should have been impossible with regards to Xoriat.

The others look a little uncertainly at Nameless and glance at Nalyna, but the aged half-elf simply says, "Very well. Perhaps your knowledge will help with persuading people to aid you," though the tone of his voice suggests some doubt. "Now please resume your ... er, original form, please."

Gareth wrote:
"As Nameless has said, we have clones - not willingly, but currently it has benefited us" Looking from Honar to Naylana and back, "I definitely think with you we stand a great chance of winning. We also know some of this dragons strengths which can be made into his weaknesses. I ask if there are others of your power who can join us not as insult, but to guarantee our victory - I would not want to see anyone else die. I also believe that doing this will serve us greatly. The amount of information we get, and the magical equipment we get will help us destroy Xoriat. In addition, one of the most rewarding aspects will be to destroy a horrendously evil being."

Neither Honar nor any of the others show any real response to the comment about a horrendously evil being, though Nalyna says, "Eliminating evil creatures is a virtue, though there are too many such creatures here in Argonnessen to deal with them all." His eyes flicker to Nameless and he adds, "And apparently even more than usual in Khorvaire, from what you say."

In response to Gareth's other comments and questions, Honar replies, a trifle proudly, "I am the most skilled wyvern rider in the Spear," a comment which draws grins from some of the others and a teasing jest about how his ego is bigger than his spear. Ignoring them, he continues, "But perhaps I can find one or two other skilled people willing to accompany us. Maybe among some of the few guides in Io'lokar, who are willing to go into the Vast from the city. I will ask around. It is likely they will want payment of some kind. What are you offering? Also, where is this place you want us to go to and what kind of dragon is this?"

Quote :
OOC: Is dragon breath admixture allowed to swap energy type on demand or is it a fixed feat. So if the dragon picked cold he is s tuck with it?

Breath Weapon Admixture and Breath Weapon Substitution are both spells, not feats, and the caster can choose the energy type when casting it. Xagygyrag used the Substitution one, not Admixture (which uses your normal breath weapon and adds an equal amount of damage of another type, rather than substituting it, as Substitution does).
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sat May 10, 2008 8:12 pm

Admin wrote:
It is likely they will want payment of some kind. What are you offering? Also, where is this place you want us to go to and what kind of dragon is this?"

Feeling a bit relieved for the help, "What kind of payment would you want? The dragon is bound to have a treasure trove, including the items he stole from me. It is a black dragon and these are the abilities we noticed from it" (ooc: Gareth lists out what he knows about the dragon and it's location).

OOC: As for the breath weapon we will protect the group from each type then.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sun May 11, 2008 10:05 am

Gareth wrote:
Feeling a bit relieved for the help, "What kind of payment would you want? The dragon is bound to have a treasure trove, including the items he stole from me. It is a black dragon and these are the abilities we noticed from it" (ooc: Gareth lists out what he knows about the dragon and it's location).

"An equal share of whatever we find there would suffice, I think," says Honar. "Excluding the things you lost, of course."

The description of the dragon and, even more, its location, significantly interests the hearers. "Khesavuthir?" says one, half disbelievingly, "You found the Black Well and returned to tell of it? Very impressive!"

Another says, "Mistress Elabenna at the Colleges will be very pleased to hear of this. She's been trying to find it for nearly a century now."

Nalyna adds, "That reminds me - I had been told that you had spoken to Elabenna. I presume she's one of the reasons you went looking for Khesavuthir. Congratulations on your success, partial as it may be."

Honar beams at the news and says, "The rediscovery of the Black Well and the defeat of its guardian? That would be a tale worth telling. Now I'm definitely interested in accompanying you to Khesavuthir, whether others come along or not."

They ask a few more questions about Khesavuthir and Xagygyrag, and by the time explanations are done, it has been a couple of hours since the Angels arrived at Nalyna's home. The aged warrior now calls a halt to the proceedings, saying to his other guests, "Now I must bid you all goodbye. My guests could use some rest, I think."

The others take their leave, Honar promising to stop by the next day and discuss more details of the proposed trip to Khesavuthir. After they go, Nalyna says to the Angels, "Feel free to relax here if you wish, or in the rooms I have set aside for you. My apprentice Hiten will show you to them as and when you wish." A young man who has helped with bringing in the refreshments steps out of the shadows at the back of the verandah and bows.

Nalyna continues, "Excuse me for a few minutes. I will write and send off a couple of letters to people in the Shield and the Spear, asking them to give you a hearing." He rises and then pauses. "And, of course, if you wish to go elsewhere in the city for some reason, you are free to leave and return when you will. Dinner will be served at seven, so I would prefer if you return before then, assuming you go out."


OOC: You've got most of the evening remaining, in case you want to do something else in the city.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Sun May 11, 2008 11:26 am

Gareth being very happy with the results of the meeting, "I think we can come to a mutual division of the items." OOC COUGH: coughdrgonarmorcough"

If Naylana has time Gareth will speak about religion and being a paladin, if not Gareth will look for the nearest place of worship to discuss theology with the priest there.
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PostSubject: Re: Finding Allies   Fri May 16, 2008 8:55 am

Gareth wrote:
Gareth being very happy with the results of the meeting, "I think we can come to a mutual division of the items." OOC COUGH: coughdrgonarmorcough"

Very Happy

Quote :
If Naylana has time Gareth will speak about religion and being a paladin, if not Gareth will look for the nearest place of worship to discuss theology with the priest there.

Nalyna does take some time to speak to Gareth on the subject. He explains that he is a worshipper of the draconic gods, as almost everyone of a religious bent in Io'lokar is. The aged paladin venerates the draconic pantheon as a whole, rather than worshipping one particular deity. As for paladinhood, while he always was fairly religious, Nalyna only became a paladin when he was well-advanced in his career, receiving the gift while serving in the Shield.

He is somewhat interested in Gareth's own religion, but it is clear that the interest is more a matter of politeness than a really strong interest, as is his attitude towards martial matters. If Gareth asks about places of worship, Nalyna explains that Io'lokar has always been a fairly secular city, and while there are many who have a religious bent and there are clerics and adepts (and a few druids) in the city, there are no large centers of worship. People have personal shrines in their homes (as Nalyna does) and usually worship as individuals, though some may be joined by friends or like-minded individuals at times.
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