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Sailing Away (Everyone)

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226 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:06 pm

Glen looks at Sithani and nods, a spark of an idea kindling in his eyes, but one he does not vocalize.
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227 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:21 pm

"Are the plague victims terribly alert?" Sithani asks, not having encountered many.
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228 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:37 pm

"No," Sunrise answers shortly, looking frustrated. "No, they are not."

Then she sighs. "How many people know?"
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229 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:45 pm

Tree exchanges a look with Korogur, several things going unsaid. "The plague began spreading after she made my amulet," Tree says, ignoring Sunrise's question for the moment. "It affects almost everyone, but people with the metal are especially vulnerable. I say 'almost everyone' because there's a weird, unexpected exception in the magic for people like Luther. Not that he knows--it wasn't his fault he was raised from the dead all those years ago."

"Mother realized almost right away, of course, and put the amulet away to work on a cure. Korogur's family is working on a cure, too. His aunt is a genius. But sometimes I don't really think there is a cure coming," Tree adds quietly, looking down at her hands. "I think our only option is to destroy the amulet."

"Which we absolutely will not do," Korogur says, very firmly, giving her a look. "And the cure will work. You're not putting enough faith in Mokoz, babe."
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230 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:52 pm

"Perhaps I'm just being naive, but might it not have helped matters had Mokoz offered to collaborate with Laerdya in this matter?" Sithani asks. "After all, both are working for the good of the people, aren't they?"
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231 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 3:54 pm

Glen blinks, surprised at hearing Luther was raised. "We all were raised as well."

Then his words are biting and his expression is harsh. "Ah yes. I figured as much. Good of the people, indeed. You're working with the Redfangs, who want to exploit the plague and the cure to take the city for themselves under the guise of being generous and gracious to the poor. Just as they abused and exploited Thorn."
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232 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:01 pm

"I don't know who that is, but Mokoz is a good woman," Tree shoots back at Glen. "She's been working tirelessly to cure the plague for months. If you want to question her honor, we can cross swords outside."

To Sithani, she responds with less anger. "Maybe? I don't think Mother would be much help, to be honest. She's too determined to protect me. If a cure could be found that she thinks would be a danger to me, for example, she refuses to explore in that direction. Mokoz is able to be more objective, if that makes sense?"
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233 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:04 pm

Sithani nods. "Of course. Where's Mokoz getting her resources from? Even if she's a sorcerer or a warlock, I imagine she'd need some material components for this kind of work."
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234 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:05 pm

"This isn't about Thorn," Sunrise says, shooting him a quick glance. "We've been assuming they're the villains of the piece because they were cruel to him, but it's sounding like it's more complicated than that. The fact that having the cure would benefit them doesn't mean they're 'exploiting' anything."

She sighs then. "Clarify, please. Is the plague coming from the amulet, or is it just amplified by it? And perhaps I'm missing something, but why isn't destroying it an option?"

In her head she adds, Are you getting all this?
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235 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:18 pm

"Oh, we have all the pirates helping," Tree explains, brightening at Sithani. "Mokoz is an absolutely amazing sorceress, so everyone has been stealing supplies and funneling them to her. It's really well coordinated, actually!"

Turning to Sunrise, Tree hesitates. "Mother believes the amulet caused the plague, yes. It really does work to keep me healthy and alert! But the magic went wrong and is attacking people who aren't me. Doing, well, the exact opposite to them: making them sick, tired, and then resurrecting them...badly."

She doesn't answer the question about destroying the amulet, but Korogur does. "The amulet was tied to Gwyn's life when Laerdya made it," he says, his expression clouding. "Destroying the amulet would very likely kill Gwyn too--and we might not be able to get her back."

"We're not sure about that," Tree argues with him, with the air of an argument which has been had many times now. "Mother created that… replacement body," she shudders at the memory, "and filled it with her metal. If she thinks she can get me back that way, there might be other ways. We don't know."

"We're not gambling with your life!"

The voice in Sunrise's head is frustrated and almost frantic. No! Honey is outside and the walls are too thick for her to hear anything. What's happening? Are you safe? Is Gwyn safe?
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236 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:23 pm

Glen fires back, "If she's a good woman, what did she do to stop Betreygis and Arnem from beating and abusing a defenseless young man, Betreygis' spouse?"

He shoots a glance back at Sunrise. "And Betreygis has already been looking for people to hail the Redfang family as heroes when they finish developing a cure. And they're stealing the supplies to make this happen, starving the people working on an actual cure of the things they need. How do you not see what is happening here?"
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237 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:36 pm

"If her power is limited in their family, she may not have been able to do much," Sithani points out. "She may not have been willing to hold the city to ransom by refusing to work on the cure until Thorn was safe. But yes, this kind of zero-sum bullshit is exactly the sort of thing that makes this world shitty, and exactly what I'm starting to expect of Betreygis." Turning to Tree, she adds, "So if it's your amulet that's the cause of this, can we be certain then that the plague is being caused by some kind of sympathetic resonance through the metal? Or is that just your mother's hypothesis? Because if the former, can the amulet be disentangled from your life? And if the latter, where did the plague come from in the first place?"
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238 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:39 pm

"She's very powerful and one of Arnem's most trusted advisors. And she's." He doesn't finish the sentence. "She knew it was happening. She could have stopped it. She let it happen." He's almost shaking with anger.
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239 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:43 pm

Sunrise stares at Glen for a long moment. "Is there anything else you'd like to tell me about that I already know?" Her voice is cool. "I'm aware that Betreygis is feeling out people on how to convince the city to accept a cure from the hands of the Redfangs, because the person he approached was me. You only know about it because I told you! And we knew they were stealing supplies - at least, we knew someone was, and they were the most likely culprit."

She shakes her head. "And I'll remind you that we know Laerdya is making poor decisions - case in point: aboleth - and being irrational, and that she's overprotective of Gwy- of Tree to the point of obsessiveness. Is it really that implausible that in her drive to protect her she may have made a terrible mistake? The plague had to come from somewhere, after all. And if that's the case, then no, I don't think she's the best one to find the cure. You see what they're doing as stealing materials from the people working to find the cure, but I think it's very likely that they're providing them to the people who need them for the same reason!" She makes a frustrated noise. "We don't know enough about Mokoz to know how culpable she is in what happened to Thorn, but even if she's irredeemably guilty that doesn't mean she isn't working on a cure, because this isn't about Thorn! Glen, we are finally, finally getting a chance to fill in the gaps in our knowledge and make sense of things that didn't make sense, and you're trying to pick a fight with the people who know the things we need to know? Stop."
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240 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 6:54 pm

Glen tastes bile in his mouth and falls silent, chewing the inside of his cheek.
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241 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:28 pm

Tree turns to Sithani and Ka'Ri, making the decision to ignore Glen and Sunrise in favor of metaphysics. "Are you mages? Because I haven't seen you before but I don't know all the students. Mother used a ritual which keyed the amulet into me as a target. I've read her notes and she believes the amulet is focusing on other people as imperfect versions of me--they get the same magical benefits, but twisted and warped into detriments. So whereas I would be made healthy, others are made sickly; whereas I would be rested and alert, they're drowsy and dull; whereas I would be resurrected after death with a proper resurrection, they're coming back soulless. Some people don't read as targets to the amulet: people who've been resurrected once before are invisible to its magic, and so is Mother for some reason--I assume because she's the creator."

She leans on her elbows. "So the amulet is the source of the plague. The enchanted metal scattered around the city just helped it spread quickly by rendering people vulnerable to magical effects. I was walking around the city wearing the thing for weeks, and every vendor with a magical ring, every cleric with a new amulet, every passing stranger with an enchanted bauble given to them by their cousin at the Feytower--I was infecting all of them. Then they took the disease home and infected others--more slowly, if they weren't wearing the metal anymore, but the infection still took hold."

Her face falls and she looks down. "She put the amulet away once Mother realized the problem, but it was too late--even without new infections from the amulet, the plague was spreading like wildfire. She's been trying to cure it ever since. And she can't tell people how it began or there'd be a riot. Maybe even a magic purge. Hangings and burnings. She'd be the first on the chopping block and I'd be next. Which... maybe that's how it should be, I don't know." She sniffles and looks away. "But then other mages--innocent ones--would be next."

Korogur leans across the table to address Sunrise and Glen, letting Ka'Ri and Sithani and Tree talk magic amongst themselves. "Hey. Uh, maybe it's not my business what's going on between you two, but if you're waiting for me to admit that my cousin Betreygis is a dick, there's no question of that. And I don't know who 'Thorn' is, but you said 'spouse' so I'm guessing you mean Ellwythorn? She's a good girl--although you're calling her a boy so it sounds like there's been some updates in that area since I last checked in--and I like her- him a lot. Deserved a lot better than Trey, no question."

He shakes his head. "But if you're thinking Mokoz is head over heels for Trey or something, they're not bosom buddies. Aunt Mokoz barely leaves her workroom. He's just supplying her with raw materials for her research. And, yes, she is amazing," he adds, thinning his lips. "She survived in the wilds on her own as a teenager after Brilight soldiers left her for dead. Walked here all the way from the border. Do you know how dangerous that trip is? I doubt there's a person in the Feytower who could do that. Then she survived this city as an orcish woman, which is a feat in itself. Tree's right that we don't impugn her honor around here. If you'd met her, you wouldn't either."
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242 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:36 pm

When Korogur speaks, Glen's face is screwed up with pain and anger, but as he talks, Glen's emotions slowly quiet and he flushes with embarrassment. He is quiet a long moment.

He addresses the pirate quietly. "Thank you. Yes, Thorn is his name now." It is easy to tell how fond Glen is of Thorn from the tone of his voice. "As for Mokoz, I know something of what she's been through, actually. Long story. And. Yes. She must be remarkably strong." He nods, trying to be more diplomatic and less hot-headed.
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243 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:25 pm

Sunrise nods thanks for Korogur's explanation, but seems more focused on what Tree is explaining. "So that explains why she didn't just issue a recall for the metal," she says with a sigh. "But then who does know? You said Luther didn't. Other mages? Any of the city authorities?"
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244 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:36 pm

Tree hesitates at Sunrise's question. "Okay, which part: Who knows that the Feytower metal wrecks your magical immune system, or who knows that my mother and I started the plague by accident?"

Korogur nods at Glen, looking faintly intrigued by his response but recognizing that now may not be the time to ask more of the man.
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245 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:40 pm

Glen looks relieved and grateful to Korogur at the lack of follow-up, and tries to key into what Sithani, Sunrise, and Tree are talking about, silently.
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246 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:38 pm

Sunrise hesitates. "Yes?" she hedges. "All of the above? It was my understanding that other mages in the tower were helping to find a cure; they wouldn't be much help if they don't know all the facts, I'd assume."
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247 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:46 pm

Tree shakes her head. "The only reason I know Mother is the source of the plague is because I broke into the library and read her private notes after I found the... replacement she made for me. She would never tell anyone; she's too afraid they'll destroy the amulet and consider me an acceptable sacrifice."

She looks away for a long moment before looking back. "As for the metal wrecking magical immune systems, a few of the Feytower mages know. Had to, to get them to stop using it for their enchantments. But Luther doesn't know; he doesn't have magic anymore and doesn't have time to keep up on theoretical research and development."

As if on cue, Sunrise hears his voice again. I am trying not to panic over the fact that you're not answering me, but it is not working well.
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248 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:52 pm

"Telling him," she says, trying to keep the stress out of her voice with limited success, "might have prevented him from putting a plague-stone around my neck and sending me home to my patron and sisters. To my temple. To the homes of my friends and their infant children. To the one old woman in Westside who can cure any childhood ailment. To -" She cuts herself off and closes her eyes.

"Sorry," she says after taking a breath, eyes still closed and hands raised to massage her temples. "Just. Give me a moment?"

Everyone's fine, she replies. Sort of.  Luther, it's... a lot. Laerdya... she created a metal that holds enchantments really well. You probably know that? But it also makes the people around it more susceptible to magical disease. That's how the plague spreads so fast. Those necklaces we were given to identify Gwyn - oh, she goes by Tree now - they were made of that metal. Keep an eye on Thorn and the babies? But there's more. There's a mental pause, the equivalent of drawing a breath. Luther, Laerdya created the plague. By accident! She made an amulet that would keep Tree healthy and energetic and bring her back to life if she died, but it backfired - it makes everyone AROUND her sick and lethargic, and brings them back wrong when they die. It started there, and spread because of how widespread the metal is, and there's no way to gather up all the metal without causing a panic and possibly a backlash against mages.  Mokoz of the Redfang family is working on a cure. Destroying the amulet would almost certainly work, but Tree's life force is all bound up in it and destroying it might kill her and MIGHT prevent her from being brought back. Anyway she ran away when she found out and oh, she left you a note so you wouldn't worry but Korogur took it to make sure they'd get away, it's a Thing. Okay. Now you're all caught up.

A pause. Then, Oh, and you're immune, as is anyone else who's died and been raised. And also Laerdya and Tree. NOW you're caught up.

Lifting her head with a sigh, she looks at Tree. "Do you know where the amulet is? I'm not asking so it can be destroyed," she adds, forestalling any protest from Korogur. "But we're making a lot of guesses as to what destroying it would do. Maybe studying it would give us more solid information. Or maybe there's a way to transfer its tie to you to something else, without transferring the rest of the magic. Then it could be destroyed without affecting you."
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249 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:31 pm

"I'm sorry," Tree says, sounding almost meek and very miserable. "I didn't know she was going to give out the metal again! She's collected most of it by now, and she knew how dangerous it was. If... If it helps, the fact that you're all immune to the plague means you're not infected, which means you wouldn't have spread it to anyone else, even with the metal? The metal doesn't carry the plague, it just makes it dangerous to be around someone who is infected. We just assumed you were infected because what were the odds you'd been resurrected?"

Over the link, Sunrise feels a rising sense of profound shock tinged with stifled panic. The amulet? She... She said it didn't work. She put it away to move on to this ridiculous ancient elf-friend ritual she's working on now. I thought it was a dud. You're saying it infected everyone? Nerull, this is... I don't know what to do.

"She keeps it in her room," Korogur adds quietly. "We've been discussing ways to break in and get it, but handling it is dangerous and the Feytower is essentially impenetrable--especially since we demonstrated the holes in their existing security."
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250 Re: Sailing Away (Everyone) on Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:39 pm

Internal Stuff?:
Ka'Ri had faded for a lot of the conversation, hearing as best she could amidst the panic flooding her mind as she imagined all the possible fates of everyone she loved, including Sunrise's kind patron who had gifted her a belt as if it was nothing.

Hearing her name called in conversation hadn't helped. She had been stuck for awhile trying to figure out how to answer. She had promised honesty, but did that mean saying yes or no. She knew she wasn't a mage. She was a thief and a pirate through and through, that's what she was and that's what she'd always be... but then, there was the practice sessions with Thimb and the combing through the tangled theory and the growing ability to affect the world magically. Did that make her a mage? Should she yes. In the end, she chose silence.

Ka'Ri shakes out of her dissociation at Tree's words and can't contain herself.

"Wait, do you mean we didn't infect them... they're okay?!? Or at least no less in danger than they were before? Oh Osprem, please tell me this is true."

Her eyes are tear-soaked at this. Hoping beyond hope for a confirmation.
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