Getting the sorceress home, for one - that was the point of the story, after all.
Yeah...I admit that I seem to recall forgetting about that when I first planned the last post...I remembered (I think) as I wrote it, but there was the problem of placing the characters far enough away that they would not simply immediately return to the battle. Sorry about that 😞
All right, as far as I can tell, all the OoCs except two posts are gone (and these I might remove myself if the posters have no objections).
For now, I'm going to go ahead and lock it. If no one minds, I'll delete the remaining OoCs in about a week. If you'd rather that I not edit the posts to do so, please let me know and I'll unlock it for you 🙂 .
Unfortunately for everyone else, the grape milk was a very odorous drink, with vapors that acted like a sedative for the surrounding patrons. The conversations in the tavern slowed to a crawl and people began sleeping at their tables. The bartender looked out the window, noticed it was almost dusk, shrugged and accepted an early end for his job tonight. He glanced at the sleeping patrons strewn about the tavern and smiled, before closing the door for the night.
From his own corner, Selax watched with little interest. He noticed one of the Tavern's drunken inhabitants get up and stagger toward Silverfish; he frowned wondering what was going on.
This make this Tavern's 200th post. Although there was never any official word on the other topic concerning 200 posts in a Tavern, the poll was unanimous; thus, I am going to go ahead and start the next Tavern. For anyone unfamiliar with this process, I believe the next Tavern Topic is identical to this one, just a new topic. It'll also pick up where this one stops. So if everyone agrees with restarting at 200 posts, head on over to the new topic, which I shall make presently.
The burly guard saw both of his companions fall before an angry crowd and quickly ducked outside. He turned to the line of guards that were waiting outside in case there was trouble. "All right men, we've got a couple of rowdy hooligans in there. Get your butts in there and show them who's in charge!"
The patrons of the tavern weren't expecting the surge of city guards that came pouring in. Several of the more cautious members stayed out of the fray, reluctant to attack authoritative figures so openly. The more rambunctious members were quickly subdued by the sheer number of opponents they were up against, though not before taking several guards out of the fight. Once the more vociferous characters were pummeled into unconsciousness and an uneasy silence broke out, the guard spoke up again.
"Effective immediately, I am ordering the permanent closure of this establishment. Any who resist will be arrested and brought in for trial on charges of assaulting a city official and not complying with the Judge's orders."
Avatara remained silent, just watching the group with an expression of deep thought on his face. After a couple hours, when each was satisfied with what they recieved, Avatara spoke.
"Lets go home."
Everyone agreed, except DF who was thinking about something. Avatara walked over to the wall, and picked up an object leaning against it. He walked back to the center of the room, and raised the staff, the gem clasped at the top reflecting sunlight entering from the hole blasted in the roof earlier. The air in front of the staff rippled, like tears falling in a pond. Following the ripples, an image of Cythera appeared. The group hesitantly stepped into the image one by one, and found themselves on a grassy hill overlooking Cademia.
Avatara turned to Desert Fox. "Are you coming?"
DF nodded as he stood up. "You know I won't be there for long."
"I understand. And I fear my time is coming as well. Just not yet..." Avatara replied.
Desert Fox stepped through, followed by Avatara. The portal shimmered out of existance, as the group found themselves home...most of them anyway...
"I'm a controversial figure. My friends either dislike me or hate me."
Moonshadow sighed with relief, just before blacking out. Verran caught her just in time and put her down carefully. "She must have used up all of her energy..." he suspected.
"Probably." Avatara agreed. "What a foolhardy thing... I could have helped her..."
"Well, but at least Talos is back to normal." Katze remarked, staring at the snoring Talos 😉
"Yeah..." Flynn nodded. "Yet we're now two people short, and will be, until they recover. I fear that speed is of the essence now. We must go and gather whatever help we can get against this undead army."
"I doubt that would be enough." Ferazel said. "From what I've heard I figure it would be of more use to track down that Magpie person, and eliminate him. From all tales I've heard, most agree on one thing: Destruction of the 'creator' of undeads also desposes of the undeads."
"Or at least it confuses and seperates them." Verran agreed. "It might not be that much, but it could be decisive for all our fates."
"Yet we must keep the army at bay, too." Katze spoke up. "I think we should inform the guards of all Cytheran communities, as well as Pnyx, and anyone else we know who could be of use." She got up from where she had been sitting. "I'll 'take care' of the Cademian, Odemian and Catamarcan guards.Anyone want to join me?"
This is not dead which can eternal lie,
and in strange aeons even death may die!
(This message has been edited by Avatara (edited 12-31-2001).)
Just off the coast north of Land King Hall, K stood among the trees a little apart from the others, keeping watch. She listened intently for any sign of being followed, but the forest was silent.
She turned to look behind her at the makeshift camp they had set up. Katerei was tending to Rapierian's wounds and seemingly ignoring everything else. The ranger himself passed in and out of wakefulness, but Katerei said little else than that he seemed to be developing a fever. The news seemed to worry her and she immediately returned her attention to his care.
Avatara was keeping watch over Moonshadow, who had yet to wake. He had spread out his black cloak on the ground and gently laid her down on it, her long silver hair falling softly around her. He sat near her now, keeping close watch in case she woke. K looked on in silence, trying not to think about the bitter taste it left in her mouth.
It would do no good to antagonize Avatara right now though. Not more than she had to. K sighed and approached him quietly. "I think we'll be safe here. No one seems to have come after us."
"I suppose we'll find out for sure soon enough," he replied dismissively.
K frowned. She wouldn't be able to speak to him properly while he was distracted with her. "Av," she said softly. "Can I talk to you? I mean... away from everyone else?"
He quietly looked up at her for a moment before nodding agreement.
She glanced over at her alternate, still focused on setting Rapierian's leg. "It shouldn't take long. I doubt they'll even notice we're gone."
He followed her into a small copse where the trees grew closer together, where they would be out of earshot. K turned to face him, biting her lip nervously. She hadn't really thought through what she was going to say. "I know we've... seen some strange things in this world," she began haltingly. "I'm still getting used to having another me around. I'm sure it's hard for you to see... her again."
He was slow to reply, as if choosing his words carefully, "I never thought I would see her face again."
"You understand though, don't you?" K studied his face, but found him as frustratingly unreadable as ever. "You understand that she's not the same. She might not even know you when she wakes. She might... not feel the same way as your Moonshadow did."
"I know that," he replied softly. A wave of sadness crossed over his face, "I know that even though she may look the same, she has led a different life, just like you have."
His words stung more than expected, as the image of the other Katerei flashed into her mind. She remembered when Avatara said that the other her reminded him of how she, herself, used to be.
He continued, "Besides, I saw the ring on her finger-"
"She's married?" K was momentarily distracted. She hadn't noticed the ring - hadn't gotten close enough to see. It made her skin crawl just to be near the Elf.
Avatara smiled wistfully, "Even if we had a similar life in this world, I'm not the one she married. No, the Moonshadow I knew is gone, and no amount of wishful thinking will ever bring her back."
"I'm sorry." K felt tears prick her eyes and wondered, in some part of her mind, if guilt like this ever faded.
"I didn't mean it like that..." he started.
She shook her head, paused to steady her breathing. "None of this was supposed to end this way." She stepped forward and almost reached out to touch him, before pulling back. "I'd change it all if I could."
"You can't change the past."
"No. Just the future."
Avatara looked straight at K. "You've fulfilled your promise. You risked your life to help me fight Selax, and though it didn't turn out the way I had hoped, you've done more than I asked for." The hint of a grim smile crept onto his face, "In fact, I'd probably have died if it wasn't for you." Just as quickly, he cleared his face of all visible emotion, "I hereby absolve you of your burden and forgive you for the choice you made."
K looked at him in stunned silence. I don't deserve that , was her immediate reaction. She should be relieved - ecstatic - and yet... that was it. Closure. Now he didn't need her anymore. Forgiveness had never felt so much like rejection. "Thank you," she said, her voice barely audible.
When she said nothing else, he waited for a moment before turning back toward the camp. "Wait," she cried out and grabbed his arm, suddenly terrified that this was her last chance. "Where does that leave us? Do we just go our separate ways and never see each other again?"
Avatara paused before replying, "I'll leave that for you to decide. But, you shouldn't feel forced to follow me around out of guilt anymore."
"That's not the only reason I promised to help you before." She looked at him sadly, realizing that even now, he thought that was all that mattered to her. "I still care. I want to come with you."
"Are you sure? I don't know what will happen. I don't think Selax really died in that explosion; he's too crafty to let something like that end him. If that's the case, he probably won't let us just walk away and pretend none of this ever happened."
"Then we'll be better off together."
"It'll be dangerous." He seemed to watch her for signs of changing her mind, but she stared back resolutely. After a moment of silence, he finally turned back towards the camp and gestured.
"Well then, what should we do now?"
This post has been edited by Avatara : 04 August 2011 - 11:18 PM