One More Addition


Dwynn saddled his horse and attached his bags. There was nothing else that needed doing so he went outside. "Well met Garber, how is breakfast progressing?" He looked around for any sign of Elwynn or DeMorte and added with a big smile and lilting voice. "So what doth thou thinketh about yonder sable gentleman?"
He followed Dwynn outside, and paid for his horse's boarding. The coin purse feeling ever thinner! "Ah well," he said, to no one in particular. "Where we're going I'm not going to be needing much cash." He smiled, then headed over toward Dwynn and Garber. "What do you two think of the man with the mask?"
"The rest should be out soon, I think," Garber said as he pondered the second part of Dwynn's question. Finally, he continued, "He certainly seems charming enough--and that sort of charm may well indicate magical powers. He could be useful. But, as I said, it'll be up to Ceridon and Linna if he joins us." He fell silent, wondering what their decision would be.
"Naturally. They excepted us readily enough, though." {Why don't I tell Ceridon that he is coming and 'warn' them about his charming demeanor.} He concentrated for a moment.
::Ceridon? Dwynn here. We, mostly Breannyn, met this priest with a mask that is just oozing charm and he wants to come along. We decided to leave it up to you whether or not to take him so we are bringing him after breakfast, which should be soon. Oh and if you see Elwynn could you check if she has my flower?::
::Good morning, Dwynn,:: Ceridon replied. ::Linna and Melyda are just finishing breakfast with Elwynn. I'll check with her about the flower. And thanks for the warning--I'll keep it mind when we meet him. See you soon!::
"Well I've been wondering. He said he was priest of Averniaus. I thought that must be a deity, but it turns out to be a place, a home worthy of the gods, even. If this man is a priest what god does he follow and if he is such a man as to live in a home worthy of the gods what is he doing here with us?"
Brea finally pushed her plate back with a sigh. "Delicious, Hugh." She stood and looked around at the others. "Well, time ta go." She stopped a moment as she slung her pack over her shoulder and looked at DeMorte. "Ye comin?"
Her curious demeanor was even more pleasant than he had thought of before. He was amazed how she was able to take within her all the portions that she had on her plate. As she rose to her feet and asked her question, he laughed softly and with that same familiar tone he had in his music replied, "If there is room for a man of the cloth, I would be honored to partake of this journey. I hath been without a home or reason for one for many a day. Mayhap it will give purpose for one such as I."
She watched the man a moment, blinking at his words. Finally she simply shrugged her shoulders and turned to head for the door. She was beginning to learn that some questions just needed to wait til the one being questioned was ready to answer. Glancing back at the priest to make sure he was following, she decided that he probably wasn't ready as of yet. Then her thoughts turned to the night before and her brow furrowed slightly at the "dream" of Takayoshi's.
Having polished off a good chunk of the offered breakfast (and stuffed a few rolls in his pockets for later), the Apprentice stepped out of the Inn and waited for the others to assemble. Once that was done, he began leading the group down the street and out of the city gates to the Hall.
[At the Hall]
In the main courtyard of the Bard Hall, Elwynn was directing the placement of three large energy crystals. Each crystal was equidistant from its neighbours, forming a perfect triangle. Within this triangle there was a large space, big enough to fit the entire party. Nearby stood a wagon with two draft horses, and the dappled grey mare that Elwynn usually rode.
The elf-maid herself was seated at a small desk next to another elf, a short blonde dressed in green and brown. They appeared to be arguing over a few lines on the parchment that Elwynn was writing on.
"Are you sure I've factored in enough for wind resistance?" Elwynn was saying, "what about the Heisenberg Variables? I don't know if the quantum slipstream has been taken into account."
The elf arched a curious eyebrow. "Heisenburg Variables? You mean the Uncertainty Principle? Of course you can't violate the laws of physics. But really, you make this far too complicated."
Ceridon, Linna, and Melyda were standing at the edge of the courtyard, all three watching the proceedings with great interest. Linna, especially, was fascinated. "This is *such* a different mode of teleportation than what I've learned about," she remarked.
::Indeed it is,:: Ceridon sent to all of them. ::And I've got to agree with Jynna--it seems awfully complicated. Give me a good, old-fasioned Gate any day.::
"Oh, like *you've* ever seen one," Linna said teasingly. "We've learned about the theories of Gate formation and control," she said to Melyda. "But no one at the orphanage had enough mage power to actually create one."
Melyda nodded, then turned her attention toward the main gate of the Hall. "Here come the rest," she said as the group of humans and horses entered the courtyard.
Dwynn immediately jumped of his horse as he called out "Well met, mystical makers of metrical magic." He gave the crystal constalation a curious look and Linna a bright smile. He went wide of the crystals and came over to the desk acting interested.
"Oh hello, Dwynn." Elwynn said. "And hello everyone. I trust breakfast was to your liking? Hope you ate hearty and all that."
[Takayoshi T.]
The oriental didn't say much on the way to the Bard's Hall, his mind was in thought of DeMorte.
"Yep, he sure isn't Pluton Hadessi," the ninja concluded, "But I'll bet that High Priest of Hades would love to to meet DeMorte. So much to talk about between them."
The oriental shook his head in personal amusement as he eased up on his cautious state against DeMorte. However, to the former ninja, the warrior priest seemed as though he knew what they were up to before we told him.
"Don't think such silly things, Tak," the oriental told himself, "Maybe he would be helpful in Linna and Ceridon's 'curse'!"
On that note, the ninja smiled as the party arrived at the Hall, listening to the existing conversation on the Uncertainty Principle (?) and the always dangerous Gate spell.
"I have had a rather interesting and bad experience of the 'Gate' spell. If we decided to use the spell, I just hope we stay on THIS plane of existence, for once! I do not want to get thrown into the Nine Hells or come face-to-face with an inherently evil demigod...again," the ninja commented loudly, upon hearing the "theories of Gate formation and control."
He looked over his horse & tack carefully as they walked the animals to the Hall, tucking in a tent flap where needed. Satisfied that nothing was rubbing, he patted the mare's black shoulder and said, "Star, we've a bit of work ahead of us today; I guess what they say is true," smiling almost evilly, "there's no rest for the wicked." As they walked into the courtyard proper, he was impressed, by both the quality of the mundane _and_ the magical.
To Ceridon, Linna, and Melyda he raised his hand in a fond gesture of greeting. "Hello, all. How fare your preparations?"
::Good morrow, and Ashtara's blessings to you all,:: Ceridon sent to everyone. Her attention quickly focussed on the newcomer, taking in his clothing, his mask, his demeanor. ::And to you, sir. I understand you wish to join our company?::
This first mental message caused Sherwood's jaw to gape. He finally thought to breathe, and said, "Uh, ladies? We have another wanting to tag along with us. Have you two met Master DeMorte before?" With that he waved over to the masked(?) man. Sherwood tried to catch one of their eyes as he talked, to try to intimate a need to speak with them in private. "DeMorte, the young lady is Linna, and her mount," he seemed to stumble over the term, "is Ceri. She is, after all, the real reason for our quest."
Not having heard the personal sending to DeMorte, he continued, "Ladies, Master DeMorte was wondering if he could come with us."
Dwynn couldn't help but watch and look expectantly at what was to come. {Would the mysterious priest come along? Was he a threat? And, if so, in what way? He centainly seemed to draw a lot of attention from the group.}
His eyes shifted towards Ceridon for a moment. He had not ever encountered a voice within his mind before, especially as well being spoken from a unicorn. He was not certain that she was all she seemed at once, and also felt as if the voice in his head came from deep within her. Nor was he certain it was a good thing. His memories were well hidden as well as quite painful.
However, he smiled to her politely. He figured that it might have been something she had been accustomed to doing and that no harm was meant. His eyes blinked softly and he simply nodded to her in a slight "yes" fashion. He then walked over to her and gently put his hand delicately on her developed shoulder in a reassuring manner. He then leaned forward and whispered within her ear, "I am to come, should I so be allowed. I will not intrude if they wish me not to go. But I am willing none the less."
Ceridon relayed to Linna what DeMorte had said to her. ::What do you think? Should we let him come along?:: she sent privately.
::Yes...I think so,:: came Linna's abstracted reply. After a moment, she suddenly seemed to realize that she'd need to say more than that. ::He could probably be, well, useful.::
Ceri looked sharply at Linna, then studied the rest of the group--their postures, the way they looked at DeMorte. There was an undeniable charm and fascination at work here, one that Brea and Linna were definitely reacting to, though the others seemed to be trying to keep neutral. Finally, she focussed her attention on DeMorte. She could, with some work, have read some of his thoughts, but she decided not to. She and Linna allowed that liberty with each other, but Ceri was very careful about doing so with others. Instead, she observed him closely, and carefully drew some empathic perceptions from him--ideas expressed not in thoughts, but in feelings. She gained a few impressions from this study, impressions she would mull on later. But there was one she would act upon now--his genuine desire to help her.
::You may come,:: she sent for all to hear. ::I do believe you wish to help me. And we don't know what we may encounter on this journey; we may need your help along the way.::
She winked at Linna and gestured with her horn to Elwynn, who had gone back to discussing the crystal set-up with Jynna. Linna grinned and walked over to them.
"I think we're about ready, Elwynn," she said.
Turning to Dwynn she smiled. "By the way, I have that special item you asked for." Reaching into her hat she pulled out a long rectangular white cardboard box wrapped with an almost-garish looking pink ribbon. Presenting the box to him, she said, "Here you go. Fresh picked from my own botanical garden."
"Were it proper I would kiss you!" He peeked at the delicate pink orchids and smiled.
Dwynn reverently took the box over to a quiet corner and fiddled with the content a bit. Then he smiled to himself and walked over to where Linna was standing. He flourished a bow and presented her with the box. "This is thyne, a vessel for my sincere wish for thy wellbeing. And a pledge also."
Linna blushed and opened the box. "Oh, they're beautiful," she breathed, and smiled warmly at Dwynn. "Thank you very much." The orchids' delicate scent wreathed her head as she carefully lifted them a bit out of the box.
::Not the most practical of gestures, since we're about to go on a trip.:: Ceri's private telepathic sending tried to stay mild, but there was an undertone to it that Linna couldn't quite identify.
::Perhaps,:: she replied privately. ::But it's sweet, nonetheless.::
::I suppose,:: Ceri sighed. ::You'd best put them in the wagon and saddle me. Looks like we're nearly ready to go.::
Linna nodded and carefully put the box on a pile of blankets inside the wagon. She grabbed her saddle and, with the ease of long practice, placed it on Ceri's back.
"You put a *saddle* on her?" Garber's astonished voice grabbed their attention. Linna laughed, and Ceri looked amused.
"I know. We used to feel the same way," Linna said. "But we quickly discovered that it really is more comfortable--for both of us--if we use it for long rides. She doesn't mind." Linna gave Ceri an affectionate slap on the withers and carefully tightened the girth. The prospect of coming another day nearer to finding the answers they wanted was exciting both of them.
Sherwood's jaw gaped again as he saw the saddle slide onto the unicorn's back. In fond wonderment with a wry smile he mumbled to himself, "There's no end to the surprises with these folk!"
The priest's eyes slowly moved towards the one called Dwynn, smirked slightly and turned in the opposite direction. His smiling features were hidden by his long hair. He then rose back to his feet and looked to the ground once more. He frowned slightly as he saw more of the sage that lined his cloak had fallen away.
{He's provoking me! And he doesn't seem worried at all. He's pulling my strings, but I will not let him.} He smiled a friendly smile at DeMorte's back and ignored him for now. {I will watch and see if I can find out what it is he does and how he does it. But he had better be careful around Linna!}
He immediately turned towards the unicorn and the woman in her keep. "I must away for a moment. I shall be only a few motions of the sun, not long I assure thee." He then bowed slightly and headed for the nearest general store. He returned to the group around fifteen minutes later and wore a new smile on his face. He then went back to Linna and Ceri to await their call.

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