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Legends of Taltos:Crusaders

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Aeolene arrives with 'Jane', prepared for a ceremony of blessing. This one should be much less stressful than that in the graveyard, for no great work of magic must be performed, nor must any contain the lightning of positive energy for spinning and weaving into a cloth whose organized nature is almost antithetical to the nature of the raw material.

 

Instead there will be a ceremony where politics and religion are the focus, not magic, and the only feat attempted will be calling the attention of Aurellius' to a servant that clearly has already basked in His blessed sight.

 

He will certainly have no desire to turn away from George, among His servants. It should be an auspicious day.

 

Aware that she is welcome, she does not hesitate to enter the chapel after paying proper respect to the Golden One at the door. But just as aware that she is consecrated to Another, she makes herself unobtrusive. The most logical place to sit - in the back, near Joe - is also the loudest, but Aeolene seems not to mind.

 

The very soul of modesty and respect, the wind priestess murmurs quiet prayers to the two friendly gods that they might bless this man - friend of her friends - while she waits for the ceremony to begin.

 

"A beautiful chapel," she says to half-orc friend. "If you are not knighted in the field as might be appropriate for a scout and friend of a Wanderer, I can't imagine a better setting for your own knighting ceremony, Janara."

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Waking early Licia is a bit disapointed to find no basket outside her door, but shrugs and finishes getting ready. Braiding her hair into a long braid, she finds her mosrt comfortanle clothes a pair a fawn colored breeches, soft cotten shirt topped off with her chainmail shirt For a splash of color she added a dark red sash-like belt at her waist. Then she settled her swordbelt into place, making sure both the sword and dagger waere in good shape. Satisfied, she headed out for the temple. Never seen one of these before, hope it's not a long ceremony.

LT

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Rai walks to the chapel by herself, lost in her thoughts as always. She doesn't make eye contact with anyone on the street nor does anything catch her attention. As she enters the chapel she chooses an empty pew toward the middle. I must be really early, she thinks as notices Ben has not arrived yet. She casts glances every so often at the door as she waits for Ben.

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Janara and Aeolene followed the nuns in their procession to the ceremony, but there was no conversation, as this was one of those solemn "quiet-times" that seemed to be designed to test a half-orc's limited will-power and short span of attention. It did not make any sense to her why a large gathering of people should remain so quiet and stoic at these sorts of gatherings when they ought to be talking, laughing and raising a happy clamour.

 

Once at the chapel, Sister Alma told Janara that she was excused from what few duties remained to be done by her order because she had a guest along, making it a special point to remind Janara that she had not been there the day before to help out either and was instead out "wandering around with heathens and hoodlums".

 

While Mother Superior Geneva sought out Halbarad and the other women began replacing the candles that had burned themselves down during the vigil, Janara followed her friend to the back pew, which she had already become aware was occupied by one very sleepy Joe. His halfling friend Zeke was nowhere to be seen, and Janara made a mental note to herself to remember to punch him in the ears for leaving Joe at the chapel rather than taking him home like he ought to have done.

 

Only a few people had arrived so far, mainly those who had been at Halbarad's meeting the day before and the nuns, who were going about their work in reverent silence. Roman was there at the altar along with George, and both were in quiet prayer. The pretty brown-skinned lady was knelt beside George too. The sight of George and his lady-friend made Janara wonder if Malachias had found the right words to say to Yvette, and if the two of them would get there soon. She spotted the lady-mage from George's group sitting alone in a pew and wondered why the lady kept stealing glances toward the back of the chapel. Somehow Janara suspected it was because of Joe. Erik was there in his full armour and in deep prayer too, so she wondered if she should wait and say her g'mornings to her friends after the ceremony. Aeolene's voice interrupted Janara's wonderings.

 

"A beautiful chapel," she says to half-orc friend. "If you are not knighted in the field as might be appropriate for a scout and friend of a Wanderer, I can't imagine a better setting for your own knighting ceremony, Janara."

 

"I use'ta come here alot just after...". She hesitated. "It's a good place to come an' sit an' think about stuff. It ain't like your temple though. I kinda wish it was maybe a little bit. I like your windchimes." She halted again as the lady-mage seated nearer the front of the chapel took another long look toward the chapel doors. The others continued in prayer in spite of the snoring half-orc on the back pew, so Janara figured it was okay to at least whsiper to her archer friend. "Have ya ever been to one of these before? When a wanderer gets made into a knight, is it like what happened to you? Whaddaya mean MY own knighting?"

 

A particularly loud snore punctuated the end of Janara's little barrage of questions.

 

"Listen at him, Aeolene. If he snored any harder he'd rattle the roof right down on us. I'm shure glad I don't snore."

 

There's no discreet way to wake up a sleeping half-orc. One of two things will happpen. Either he or she will wake suddenly and often violently, or won't be able to be roused at all without a good shaking, a yelling at, or a dousing with icy-cold water. Feeling as though it was part her fault he was out so late, she took it upon herself to wake him up. First she tried the trick most often employed by Sister Beatrice, and she spoke softly into the recumbant half-orc's ear. "Wake up, Joe, or you'll miss breakfast."

 

If that did not work, she planned to use Old Mother Constance's method and pinch his nose. She hoped it would not come to that though. Janara was only seven the last time anybody tried that with her, and the nasty little scar on Sister Elise's left hand still testified to the unfortunate results.

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"A beautiful chapel," she says to half-orc friend. "If you are not knighted in the field as might be appropriate for a scout and friend of a Wanderer, I can't imagine a better setting for your own knighting ceremony, Janara."

 

"I use'ta come here alot just after...". She hesitated. "It's a good place to come an' sit an' think about stuff. It ain't like your temple though. I kinda wish it was maybe a little bit. I like your windchimes." She halted again as the lady-mage seated nearer the front of the chapel took another long look toward the chapel doors.

 

 

As the half-orc falls silent, her not-quite-human friend smiles at the thought of the sound of the chimes. "The Empress does have a beautiful sense of music," is all the priestess says.

 

 

The others continued in prayer in spite of the snoring half-orc on the back pew, so Janara figured it was okay to at least whsiper to her archer friend. "Have ya ever been to one of these before?  When a wanderer gets made into  a knight, is it like what happened to you?  Whaddaya  mean MY own knighting?"

 

A particularly loud snore punctuated the end of Janara's little barrage of questions.

 

 

 

 

 

Aeolene smiled. For Janara the topic had suddenly changed to Joe's snoring and sleeping, but the Wanderer knew that such rapid changes of topic, the ones that occurred so frequently around her Archer friend, were no accident.

 

An Archer of Aurellius she may be, but however shocked she feels at the idea, even scribes may be knighted if they have either the correct birth or a worthy history of service.

 

Have you not yet learned the source of others reaction to you, my Archer? It is not merely your birth or your skin - thousands upon thousands of half-orcs are not treated as you are. The nuns do not berate their pupils for failing at the impossible.

 

Whether even they realize it or not, my friend, it is their high expectations for you despite your birth that are the source of the attention and criticism. They see in you the same greatness I see and dream of you being knighted here. And yet they cringe at the thought you will earn your knighthood, be brought here for elevation, and fail in your manners...

 

...they fear others will mistrust them for trusting you. And they fear that the church may not send you where you are needed should you once fail in manners.

 

Oh, my Jane - they do not fear for a moment you lack courage, skill, dedication or devotion. No, they worry that you have all these things and that your smallest failures in the cities or in the churches will deprive the neediest of your valor in the countryside.

 

Someday...someday your Holy Mother may even tell this herself.

 

Someday you may even be prepared for your ears to hear it.

 

Taking her eyes off the beautiful fixtures of architecture overhead, she looks to the woman seated next to her and places a hand on her knee.

 

 

 

"Listen at him, Aeolene.  If he snored any harder he'd rattle the roof right down on us.  I'm shure glad I don't snore."

 

"Well, then perhaps we should wake him before the facing cracks," the priestess responds, ignoring the last remark.

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The silent vigil that had up to this point only been disturbed by Joe’s snoring had been proceeding as planned. Janara was coming to the realization that Joe was not going to wake with simple matters and it would take extreme measures before he would open his eyes. Her hand was hovering over his nose when the real commotion began.

 

The main doors of the church flew open and a small figure in a cloak rushed in, making a large amount of noise, and slammed the doors shut behind it, making even more noise. The breathing from the figure was rapid and it was obvious that it was very alert. It leaned against the doors holding them shut with it’s back to the rest of the people in the church.

 

Joe awoke with a startled snore and looked suspiciously at Janara as if it was her that caused the loud noise. He was about to start into her when he heard the doors creak behind him. The figure at the doors had stopped holding them and had now opened one a crack and was peering out.

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The slamming of the chapel doors startled Janara, and she snatched her hand away from Joe's nose, and not a second too soon, for he reflexively made a grab for whoever or whatever was trying to invade his slumber. He quickly realised who was standing over him, and a look of extreme irritation came across his face. It was a look Janara half-expected due to the circumstances, but rather than berate him for being such a grouch or for snoring in the first place, she just flashed him her sarcastic toothy grin and bade him a "G'mornin'"

 

By now the eyes of almost everybody in the chapel were fixed on the back door and the short figure that had just entered so noisily. It was Joe's elf-friend, and he seemed to be hiding from somebody or something, because he was now easing the door back open to have a peek to see if the threat was still there.

 

Even if she had been excused from her duties as a member of her order regarding the ceremony, she felt the least she could do is try to preserve some kind of peace and quiet. At least Joe was no longer snoring, but it seemed to her that the elf had no clue how to behave in a church. She went over to him and tried to get a glance at what it was outside that had him so worried, but could not work out just why he was acting scared. There was no minotaur or dragon outside, and she guessed he was having yet another one of his day-mares.

 

"Dude Fin?", she spoke to him calmly. "We're 'bout to knight George, and it's s'posed to be quiet in here. This ain't the Leaky Stoat, ya know. Wanna sit with me and Joe and Aeolene?"

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Despite all the commotion from the west door of the chapel, George heeds Roman's words and takes his lead from the Paladin and Jasmine. And in doing so, he amazes himself in his ability to remain in silent prayer.

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Fin, who had not seen Janara come up behind him, spins around quick enough to take Janara by surprise. His hand going to his waist as he does so. Upon seeing the towering half-orc he squeaks and backs into the door. His eyes are wild with surprise and he obviously was not expecting anyone to be in this old building. As he backs into the door he closes loudly behind him and he spins around towards it wincing. The confused elf is left speechless and worried.

 

It takes him a moment to recognize Janara at which point he shushes her loudly. “SHHHHHHHHHHHHH you’re making too much noise!” He exclaims to her with a chastising look. He then peaks outside again worried that he may have been spotted.

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Janara takes a second peek through the narrowly-opened doors but still does not see why Fin is acting so odd. She leans down to whisper to him.

 

"What's the matter with you, you crazy elf. There ain't nothin' out there but nothin', and you're botherin' Roman 'n George. Why don'tcha just come away from them doors. If some big mean nasty ol' half-reven comes after ya, me and Joe'll save ya."

 

Grinning at her own little joke, she placed one hand lightly on his shoulder, but was quite ready to snatch him up and carry him out of the chapel if he continued carrying on as though he had been drinking dwarven ale.

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Roman has finally had enough. Joe's snoring was one thing, for the half-orc can't help it, but this last commotion was disrespectful and wrong. He gets up slowly and turns to face the gathered warriors. He seems about to say something, then thinks better of it, shakes his head, sighs, and heads back to his room to don his armor and sword.

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Joint post with LT, Stefan, and Ana

 

Ben is cheerfully making his way down the streets of the Spire towards the temple when he sees what appears to be a familiar face coming out of a side street and turning to head in the same direction. After a quick double-take, he confirms that it is indeed Licia. My, my! he thinks as he breaks into an easy trot to catch up with her, she cleans up quite well indeed!

 

As he gets within earshot, Ben calls out, “If my lady wouldn’t mind the intrusion, I’d be delighted to serve as her escort to the temple for the knighting of Sir George!”

 

Turning at the sound of ben's voice. Licia pauses and waits for him to catch up. "You seem rather cheerful this morn. I take it, it all went well then yesterday?"

 

Ben falls in stride with the lovely young warrior, "Indeed it went better than I could have hoped, and I have you to thank for it." Ben says "If not for you, I would have left things as they were and the problem may never have been resolved. But, because of your advice, we were able to lay our problems aside and begin our friendship anew. I would have thaked you yesterday, but I kinda got carried away in the moment. I also believe that I owe you some knife throwing practice, eh?"

 

Laughing lightly Licia tosses her braid over her shoulder "Well, like I said. Lot's of experience with my brothers...and " She cast Ben a sideways looks a twinkle in her eye "being female I do have all the inside information pertaining to those of the fairer sex. As for knife throwing...maybe after the ceremony if you have free time. Though gods help me I have no idea how long this thing is likely to last!" She roles her eyes. "I really don't see the fuss. But then I guess my leanings are more towards a mercenary life-style after all. I am hoping to be a light skirmisher or scout."

 

"The only reason for the fuss in my mind is that George wants and deserves this so much that a fuss should indeed be made." Ben replies. "After travelling with Rai and him, I don't think that there is anyone more worthy of knighthood than George. He has taught me much about honor and made me look into myself and my lifestyle and question a lot of the choices that I have made. He has made me become a better person."

 

Lost in their conversation, the two have almost passed the temple before they realize that they have reached their destination. Approaching the steps to the main entrance, Ben offers his arm to the lady. "May I have the honor?" He asks, his trademark grin planted firmly upon his face.

 

 

Meeting him grin for grin, Licia gives him her arm and says "Why not?"

 

The two friends proceed up the steps and into the temple, falling silent upon entering so as not to disturb anyone else. Ben's eyes quickly scan the assembled group and he easily spots Rai. He raises his free hand to her in a wave and gives her a wink when she makes eye contact.

 

Seeing Rai, Licia says quietly to ben "You DID explain who I was didn't you?"

 

"Hmmmm...." Ben says. "Um, I'm not sure that the conversation ever did get around to that. Why? Doesn't she already know who you are? I just assumed that she would. Maybe I should intrduce the two of you." He waves to Rai again and begins to lead Licia towards her.

 

Rolling her eyes Licia replies. "No, we have never formerly met, and after yesterday....I think we need to meet so she doesn't think you're off galavanting again." Men! she thinks.

 

As the pair enters Rai stands. She just to the end of the aisle when she notices that Ben isn't alone. Her bright smile is mixed some what with a look of confusion.

 

"Good Morning, Ben," she greets in a whisper. She flashes a quick glance at the pair's locked arms. She smiles hesitantly at Licia then says still in a low voice, "I don't think we've met properly. I am Rai." As Rai waits for Licia's introduction, she flashes Ben a quick glance as if she expected an explanation.

 

"Good morning, my lady." Ben says courteously but a bit nervously. "This is Licia...um...the young lady that I believe...um... you observed me speaking with yesterday. She's part of one of the other parties that were sent out when we were sent on our mission. The two of us ...uh... were discussing practicing throwing knives together. She also gave me some sound advice and I was just making sure that I thanked her properly. Licia, this is the woman that I've told you so much about. She's a really powerful magic-user!" With an audible sigh at having gotten all of this spit out, Ben wraps up. Looking at Rai earnestly. Suddenly realizing that his escorting of Licia may cause further tension, he hastily withdraws his arm from her.

 

Rai smiles as Ben releases Licia's arm and she lets her hand find his. Making a point not to hide their locked hands, she says, "It's nice to meet you Licia."

Laughing lightly Licia takes Rai's hand and says. "Nice to meet you. I can see why Ben is so enchanted with you. I hope I didn't cause you too much stress yesterday. I was merely asking for ben's advice on knife throwing as my teacher says I need a bit more practice."

 

"No, not too much stress. We just had a misunderstanding yesterday and I'm afraid you were caught in the middle. I think we have everything worked out now," she says smiling at Ben still holding on to his hand. "Perhaps when the ceremony is over, we could all meet up for a little practice? You and Ben can practice your knives and I wouldn't mind practicing a few of my newly learned ranged spells."

 

Ben sighs in relief and squeezes Rai's hand gently. "Sounds like a good plan to me ladies." He says quietly. "Perhaps we should find ourselves a seat and prepare for George's ceremony. Wouldn't want to cause a ruckus like that elf over there!"

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Janara noticed the lady Licia being escourted in through another entrance, and she rolled her eyes at Fin, her grip tightening on his shoulder. She tried hard to keep her voice down, especially since the commotion he had begun had already caused Roman to leave the room.

 

"Look what you did now. You done made Roman so mad he's got up and gone, and now them two people had'ta use the other doors because you got this'un blocked up. What'cha gonna say if Father Halbarad tried to use this door, huh?"

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Along about this time, Malachias and Yvette enter the chapel. Malachias in particular does not look like he has slept much, but there appears to be a truce between the two of them.

 

They sit down, neither looking sure what is expected of them.

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Looking around rather confused at all the people in the room that he knows, he watches as Roman leaves. Dude seriously needs to calm down, he thinks, hey maybe he might like some of the Ulic root I have, well maybe if I slip some into his tea. The thought makes him temporarily forget what he was keeping a look out for and he turns his attention to Janara.

 

"Look what you did now. You done made Roman so mad he's got up and gone, and now them two people had'ta use the other doors because you got this'un blocked up. What'cha gonna say if Father Halbarad tried to use this door, huh?"

 

“Hey where have you guys been?” He asks Janara using his inside voice as his father taught him. He grabs her by the arm and starts leading her towards Joe. “I’ve been looking high and….hey why is it so dark in here anyways? Can we open a window?”

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