Post by scottenkainen on Nov 2, 2015 23:51:39 GMT -6
Day 15, turn 3 for Ramon:
A lot of priests were busy with final preparations, but Ramon noticed a lack of higher-ranking Cuthberites about. He did find Archdeacon Ferrero, who could spare him a minute. "You will find them busy in the shrine of Cuthbert," Ferrero said, "but they are too busy to work on your training now."
Ramon arrived at the shrine and found the four highest clerics specialized in the lore of Cuthbert of the rank of prefect or higher, including the reclusive, 80-year old Haraldo Tulio Winoc Evaristo, Highest High Priest of the Velunese Pantheon in Verbobonc, present. They were busy tossing carved sticks onto the broad alter stone, itself engraved with the holy sayings of Cuthbert upon its surface top.
One of the clergymen approached Ramon with an upraised hand, saying, "We will not be able to help you--"
"He can stay," High Priest Evaristo commanded. "Throw the sticks again."
As Ramon watched, the four elder priests poured over the landing of the sticks on the alter stone, looking for meaning. Ramon stepped forward and saw the results, but could not glean their meaning.
"The results seem clear," Evaristo said. "There is to be another attack today -- but not on our temple. Services must go on, but this threat cannot go unanswered. Someone must find the Cult of the Flaming Eye and stop them."
Ramon kept his eyes downcast and searched inside himself for the peace of Rao. His own desire was to take up the charge of Evaristo but he also knew he must continue his training and service. He felt the priests' eyes upon him for a moment and looked up.
"Fathers, I fear for our city but I also fear for my soul. My heart cries out to take up this mission but everything I have learned these past few days makes me doubt my heart's yearning. Please, Fathers, tell me. Is it right for me to go out into the city and seek out the Cult to stop it? But I do not even know where to go..."
Clybe gathered up the coins and began to wash them as the Archdeacon suggested. At first, his individual prayers were slow and stilted, but over time he began to find a peculiar rhythm to the words.
He poured himself into the task. Sometimes, Clybe found a strange peace with a solitary repetitive task like this one. Often, when he was around others, he found himself easily able to talk to them and manipulate them, which sometimes made him feel proud and superior but at other times would leave him feel a bit empty. Here, alone with thoughts and prayers, he could step back from the worries of the world for a while. His mind was open to all kinds of things.
Strangely, as the words of the prayer flowed over and over through his mind and across his lips, he had an occasional thought in his mind of two confused children in a bank being instructed by a strange old man and his assistants about the value of saving money... but that was just his occasionally overactive imagination, surely.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 4, 2015 0:08:20 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 3 for Clybe:
Clybe could only assume that opening his mind to all kinds of things was the goal of his first day of training, because no explanation was forthcoming when he was excused for the day. It was still early enough to dine with the other clergy in the chapter house. Tomorrow was Godsday and Clybe was very much aware that this was one week since the Dracolisk attack on the temple on Godsday services. Everyone else was aware of it too; you could tell by the tension in the air. Some clerics tried to ignore it by practicing out loud for tomorrow.
Danilo moved closer so he could sit across from Clybe and just stared at him for a bit. Then Danilo said, "I suppose training is going to keep you too busy to help out with services in the morning. How convenient..." he said, as if he were trying to provoke an argument.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 4, 2015 10:32:21 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 1 for Caltaran:
Caltaran had prayed at the inn that morning and found the gods denied him one of the 2nd-order prayers he felt due to him. Maybe he needed to pray at the temple instead?
So Caltaran left the inn early and went back to the Inner Bailey, and the Temple of the Heavenly Virtues. He found most everyone was busy preparing for tomorrow's services. The shrine to Heironeous was vacant. Caltaran also overheard that Clybe Sando was training to become a curate now, and Ramon Orfino was nearly done with his training. Was it just coincidence that all three of them had advanced so quickly around the same time? Or did they share some special destiny? Caltaran did not know either of them well, yet.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 4, 2015 10:43:36 GMT -6
Day 15, turn 3a for Ramon:
"Wisdom guides you to wait for our counsel," Ramon was told. "But, since you need this for your training...let us have you read the signs yourself. Come forward and cast the sacred sticks upon the altar and see what Cuthbert guides you to..."
The sticks landed on certain phrases on the altar stone. "Square corners can", "understand only one thing", "Capricious behavior brings knots to," and "a large cudgel handy".
The high priests waited for Ramon to try and interpret these portents.
Caltaran heads over and gets some breakfast and will check in with a higher up cleric to see if Ryemond dungeon new leader has been assigned, if Nydia Funderal has been set and also if Caltaran has been assigned any other tasks. All in while he wonders where he went wrong. If he finds the paladin who was training Marcel he will ask the trainer for guidance
Last Edit: Nov 4, 2015 18:50:59 GMT -6 by dtspurrier
"I see no reason why my training would preclude me from assisting with the Godsday services. My personal growth, after all, comes after aiding the people," Clybe said coolly. One of his favorite things to do was to throw off people's expectations, and besides he loved working at services as it allowed him to see and be seen, particularly after the service as people were filtering out.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 5, 2015 9:58:28 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 4-Day 15, turns 1-2 for Clybe:
Initially, Clybe had suspected this was another test for him, but Danilo only glowered at Clybe after his polite answer. Could it be that his rapid rise was creating jealousy, and enemies, in those he passed up? It was a thought that pestered him well past when he would normally fall asleep...
The next morning was Godsday. Father Bureau found Clybe bright and early. "Clybe," Bureau said, "we will be needing you in services this morning. How is your baritone? We'd like you to lead the hymn, 'With a Stout Stick'. I've also been working on some new choreography for the shield-beating ceremony. If I can show you the steps with the acolytes, then you can lead them through that too. Right this way..."
They passed the Cuthbert shrine on the way back to where the acolytes were drilling on the building's east end. Clybe noticed the highest priests of Cuthbert in the temple were gathered in the shrine and it looked like something important was going on.
"Fathers, please forgive a humble man's best efforts. The gods seem to be telling us that we must ready ourselves for one overwhelming strike against the Cult," Ramon answered.
Ramon was not sure which of the older men had spoken but he obeyed nonetheless.
"'Square corners can be pounded smooth.' No problem is immune to assertive and aggressive action. 'Some good folk can understand only one thing.' There is but one way forward for us. 'Capricious behavior brings knots to those lacking wisdom.' A warning against spreading our efforts too thin. And 'Preach quietly, but have a large cudgel handy.' Trust in those who ready themselves for battle with humility."
Ramon fell silent and hoped he had gotten it right.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 6, 2015 10:17:17 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 2 for Caltaran:
Caltaran broke his fast in the chapter house of the temple that morning, but no one talked to him. And, when he sought out a higher priest -- or even a lower priest! -- he found everyone was suspiciously too busy for him. Was he being snubbed for his "failure" at Ryemend...or did everyone somehow know that the gods were withholding a spell from him?
Caltaran had always felt a kinship to the paladins of the temple and knew he could always count on Elba to help him. Elba, just 10 years his senior ((and played by a young Maggie Smith, when she was 29)), was devoted to caring for the paladins of the temple. As a fellow devotee of Heironeous, she always was helpful to Caltaran as well.
Elba stopped cleaning armor and listened to Caltaran's questions. "I've no idea about who will lead the next Ryemend mission, of course," she said, "but I can tell you about Nydia. Because she died a warrior's death, her body will be on display in the shrine to Heironeous for the next two days, for those who wish to pay their respects to her. Then her family has requested a river burial. If you wish to officiate at that, I'm sure you can arrange it."
Next, Caltaran found Peio, waiting for his armor in the paladins' quarters on the second floor. Peio, also, listened to Caltaran's needs before answering.
"It sounds to me...like you have an issue with always following orders..." Peio said carefully, but also with sincere concern. "Given that you chose the most lawful temple in the city, I can see where that would be a problem. If you really want the gods' forgiveness, then maybe you should try to follow every rule you can. If you can't get fresh orders, for whatever reason, then do some research. Maybe there are some obscure rules you can find and follow. That should please the gods, I should think."
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 6, 2015 10:35:10 GMT -6
Day 15, turn 3b for Ramon:
The four elder clerics asked for Ramon to excuse them, and then they stepped away and huddled. Ramon could not hear everything they whispered, but he knew he heard "He's right" at least twice.
When the clergymen stepped back to face him, High Priest Evaristo -- the most powerful cleric in the city -- spoke directly to him.
"You have shown great skill at divination; Cuthbert has clearly already blessed you with the wisdom you needed to finish your training. What's more, we had planned on asking you to lead the next attempt to gather information at the Ryemend dungeon, but this instead is the sign we have been waiting for to take the battle directly to the cult. Curate Ramon Orfino, we would like you to lead the assault on Dieg Manor. You may handpick your forces."
"I am honored, Fathers. I did not know such a plan was in the offing. I will pray on it and consider my forces carefully," Ramon knelt before the other men. He stood back up, "Please excuse me, I would like to join in the day's preparations."
Ramon headed for the choir to see if he could figure out where he belonged in today's ceremony.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 9, 2015 18:37:57 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 3 for Caltaran:
Caltaran was not going to give up on getting one of his superiors to acknowledge him today. So he looked further...and found someone surprising in the tombs at the rear of the temple. Caltaran had not seen Gaspar Cloutier in two months; the wandering cleric was known as a "lama", which was odd because Caltaran was not aware of there being such a rank, formally, in the church hierarchy.
"Caltaran...belated congratulations on your meteoric rise," Gaspar, a man in his 40s, said. "Something I can do for you?" Gaspar listened. "Ah, so these funeral services are personal to you. I don't see any reason why you would not be in charge. Let me double check with my superiors, but most likely, the job is yours. Now, tell me, now that you're a curate of this church, with all the responsibilities that entails...what do you should be doing now?"
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 9, 2015 18:47:15 GMT -6
Day 15, turn 3c for Ramon:
Ramon found that Clybe had been given leadership duties in the Cuthbert portion of the ceremonies. Visiting lama Gaspar Cloutier was going to have the lead sermon today, but any cleric of priest rank or higher could ask for time at the pulpit, if they had something important to say. At Ramon's rank, he could ask for up to four minutes.
Ramon found Gaspar making final preparations in the vestry. "I plan to talk about being more aware of the world around us," he told Ramon, as the only sneak preview he was willing to give.
Caltaran says "lama Gaspar I was the curate leading the expedition to the ryemond dungeon that cost Nydia her life. She and the other adventurers fought bravely and with honor. This was sanctioned as a scouting/intelligence gathering mission. We were immediately assaulted by a tribe of goblins. We fought bravely and even though I was leading j listened to the advise and strategy of a magicuser that was with us. His strategy worked and we did managed to escape. I reported the mission to my superiors who then releaved me of command. Also when I asked for spells I was denied a spell which I don't understand where I went wrong. Any guidance or advice or is this the caust of being a leader?"
Clybe watched the gathered Cuthbertites very carefully, trying to glean what information he could from their gathering, but continued to follow Father Bureau and participated in his song and dance, doing his best to lead the acolytes.
Ramon greeted Clybe, "I hear you too have been blessed to ascend higher in the ranks. Congratulations. When the services are over I would like to speak with you. And if you know where Axen might be, him too."
Ramon was content to let others preach this day. He had spoken his peace to the crowd outside at the petrified victims. He would use the periods of quiet contemplation to consider the gods' will as best he could.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 11, 2015 10:02:14 GMT -6
Day 14, turn 4 for Caltaran:
Gaspar seemed to want to help and spent more time than he probably should letting Caltaran describe the expedition. Gaspar asked many smart questions and seemed to have a good grasp of how things were before he spoke. "So, the mission was to gather intelligence and not just to wipe out the goblins. The first encounter with guards, that cost you the life of Nydia -- that I can see no way you could have avoided. But, after that, you encountered an unguarded room with stairs going down. It seems to me that unguarded rooms are exactly the sort of places one should be looking for if on an intelligence gathering mission. Instead, you led the party into the tunnels to make sure there were no goblins around who could attack you from behind if you went down. Perhaps that was a sensible precaution, or would have been had getting bogged down in combat not run contrary to the mission. When you encountered the goblin herders and their monstrous young, you made no mention of an attempt to fall back and avoid the fight...
"I wonder, could you have been motivated, at that point, by revenge on the goblins for what they did to Nydia? Revenge runs counter to the teachings of all the gods of our temple...and is held dear only by gods that dwell in dark places. Perhaps -- just perhaps -- the gods want you to make amends by returning on the next expedition and making sure it is done right this time."
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 11, 2015 11:08:10 GMT -6
Day 15, turns 4-5 for Ramon, Clybe:
There was little time for Ramon and Clybe to talk now, as the Cuthberites were leading the ceremony this week. Clybe led the acolytes and adepts -- all 15 of them -- through a parade up and down the aisles of the chapel, pounding clubs on their shields to the beat of the song they sang, "Pounding Sense". It gave the proceedings a more militaristic opening than they normally had, but perhaps the high priests felt that the congregation needed this, for reassurance that they were safe here, and that the clergy was remaining vigilant.
Gaspar Cloutier gave the first sermon of the day. "I have walked far afield from Verbobonc," he said, "and have not been able to return for services as often as I would have liked. The younger of our congregation might not even recognize me." Gaspar alluded to, without specifics, recent events like the orphanage arson and the Dracolisk attack. "But do not be disheartened by recent events into thinking the rest of the world is a safe place and only Verbobonc is the focus of all the dangers in the world. The gnomes of the Kron Hills are seeing ogres again. The elves of the Iron Forest are fighting orcs. A dragon has been sighted near Hommlet."
No doubt Gaspar was getting to some words of comfort soon, but Ramon and Clybe were distracted by Curro Crespo, walking along behind the line of Cuthberites now in the side aisle, whispering, "The Temple of the Journey is under attack."
Ramon looked at Clybe, "We must aid them. To remain here would be to allow the Cult to continue to strike at us piecemeal!"
Ramon did not wait for Clybe's response but began quietly making his way to an exit. Once outside he planned to take charge of a detachment of Church's Army soldiers and rush to the Temple of the Journey. Perhaps he would be lucky and find Koldo outside.
Caltaran listened to him and says "you are right and thank you for your wisdom. I need to complete this mission and take a back seat in leadership as a penance. Thank you again and I would to say a few words during the funeral for nydia if I am not tasked to lead the funeral session. " caltaran then goes to to the location of the funeral procession to see what needs to be done. If this is not ready then he will check in with his superior about the next Reymond investigation.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 13, 2015 10:20:08 GMT -6
Day 15, turns 5a for Ramon, Clybe, (Koldo):
While Clybe waited behind, deciding what to do, Ramon acted.
Luckily, Ramon did not have to go so far to find Koldo; he had spotted Koldo earlier in the audience, attending the service. Ramon made eye contact with him and gestured for Koldo to come outside. Koldo had to disrupt the service in his row as he made his way out to the aisle.
"What's going on?" Koldo asked, once they were outside. Ramon noticed that Koldo was, disappointingly, bereft of arms and armor at the moment.
((I'll let you decide how much of your arms and armor Ramon wore to services. It is unlikely he would have any of his other gear with him.))
There was indeed a patrol outside of the Church's Army, but they had strict orders, from higher up than Ramon, not to leave the bailey as a group. "We can spare you two men," their leader suggested.
Clybe decided that the best course of action was to quietly pass the word around the other clerics in the service as to the impending attack. This felt like a bit of a no-win situation for him, for he was likely to see disdain if he left or if he stayed. So, Clybe began sharing Crespo's warning to the clerics near him and encouraged them to pass the word to the other clerics. Let one of the higher-ups interrupt this service if they so chose.
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 18, 2015 19:47:28 GMT -6
Day 15, turn 6 for Caltaran, Clybe:
Clybe spread the word around carefully, and received appreciative glances from those priests he told. He was looking for Caltaran to tell, but it was time for the priests of Heironeous to perform. With battle axes and longswords in hand, they marched down the aisles in single file, their whirling blades a blur of deadly, but precise and well-coordinated motion. Caltaran was among those priests*.
Caltaran, for his part, had to regret a little having spent so much time lately on funeral arrangements and planning for dungeon expeditions, for this could have been his first time leading the Procession of the Heironites, had he left more time for rehearsing. He could still say a few words to the congregation afterwards, if he had something prepared.
((*Clerics can use edged weapons in special ceremonies, just not combat))
Caltaran gives a normal business like stereotypical message/speech. The thought of the funeral and the possible leaving verbobonc has been on caltaran mind. Then for a brief moment towards then end ofhis boring speech he finally has a moment of clarity. He needs to complete the funeral and then a vacation is in order. He needs to forgive his past and if he has to stop his father and brother. He will need to speak to his superiors about his temp leave of absense/adventuring career.