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Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen)

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1 Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:37 pm

[Continued from A Needle in a Haystack.]

It is a moment before everyone can breathe again.

The carriage is anything but quiet; two angry cats howl from within a writhing sack on the floor, Quivyll's breathing is labored and stertorous with pain as the cleric works on his wounds, the orc babies wail their severe displeasure at the state of things and the foibles of stupid smelly big people, and a tiny kitten mewls from Jarek's pockets wondering if it might not be let out of the dark loud place.

Then Rik is crushing Thorn in a tight hug which somehow manages not to distress the babies much further than they already are, and Luther is rummaging in a ceiling compartment. "Here," he says, handing down waterskins to everyone, and two extra to Thorn and Sunrise (who sits next to Thorn). "Boiled milk and soft rice in those two," he says, nodding at the extra skins. "Safe for babies. Until we can arrange for a wetnurse."

He gives them both an apologetic look. "I didn't want to bring one into a war zone."
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2 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:40 pm

"I think I know someone who could help with that," Sunrise offers, passing one skin to Thorn and offering to take and feed one of the babies. "And she'd be grateful for the work. But for right now let's focus on getting everyone to safety."
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3 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:49 pm

Glen peers through the window in the carriage, accepting the water skin gratefully. He looks to those who have been injured. "Rik, Sunrise, Commissioner Rivvers, are you alright?"
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4 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:10 pm

Xilo is handed over to Sunrise with alacrity, the little boy kicking and fussing until he is finally made to understand that food is happening: then he latches with a will and guzzles greedily enough to make himself sick later.

"My wounds are of little importance," Rik observes with gruff modesty.

Luther nods to Glen. "I am not seriously harmed, thank you. A few scratches." Setting his sickle and chain aside, he bends to examine Quivyll. "My friend. I'm sorry we didn't come sooner."

"You came when it counted," the elven man says, wincing as the cleric continues to work on him.

"This arm is going to be agony to grow back," the cleric observes with quiet disinterest. "Do you want me to do the work now or wait until we can get you to the temple?"

"Now, please," Quivyll asks, gritting his teeth.
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5 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:18 pm

Sunrise, much to the baby's displeasure, feeds him slowly, giving his little tummy time to rest before he can drink too much, too fast. "I'm healed," she says in response to the question; dark red stains her white dress, but doesn't seem to be spreading. Sitting back, she sighs with relief. "And he's going to be okay?" She looks at Quivyll, wincing in sympathy.
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6 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:21 pm

"Rik, your wounds are important because your children need a father. Stop being stubborm and make sure you're alright before you pass out from blood loss. Pelor told me to tell you." He grins, relief and happiness washing over him.

At the mention of regrowing the limb, Glen winces. "Your bravery is considerable, sir. Is there anything we can do to help ease your pain? Something to bite down on?" He can't help but feel a pang of... something at the thought of Quivyll laying down his life for his charge. He's not sure what it is, and he dismisses it quickly as there is a lot else going on, but he definitely feels something.
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7 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:29 pm

"He will be restored to health," the cleric says. "He won't enjoy it, but."

Quivyll can't see Glen from his position on the floor, but he nods at the offer of something to bite down on. "If you have anything, yes, please."
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8 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:40 pm

Quickly, without hesitation, Glen pulls out his sword and cuts off a portion of his belt, a strip of leather about an inch and a half wide. He hands it in the window to Quivyll. "Set your mind at ease, at least, if you can. Everyone is safe, and it's thanks to you."
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9 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:47 pm

Quivyll chuckles at this. "To me?"

Carefully, he places the leather between his teeth and nods up at the man. "I am ready, Lord Madislak." The cleric thins his lips dispassionately and begins his work.

Light fills the man on the floor of the carriage until he is too bright to look at directly. They can hear him gasping at first, then groaning, and then at long last a full throated scream which conveys only pain without a shred of dignity. After what feels like a lifetime in the carriage as it trundles along, the light flares and dissipates, leaving a panting warrior who is hale and whole and in possession of all his limbs.
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10 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:54 pm

Glen nods, then watches as the man's arm is regrown right there before his eyes. Healing magic of the gods truly is miraculous. Blessed Eighteen be praised.

In the uncomfortable silence after the scream, he adds, "if you hadn't put your life on the line, who knows what would have happened, or what we'd have found upon arriving. Rest, sir."

Glen turns, letting himself sink down into the seat a little, his head next to the window, still listening. He takes a moment to pray, rubbing the ring on his finger again.

Obad-hai. Pelor. Thank you for bringing us through this safely. Please lay hands of peace and calmness on these people, that they may rest and forget their worries.
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11 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:56 pm

"Oh, thank the goddess," Sunrise breathes when Quivyll is again whole. She soothes the fussy baby in her arms, bouncing him. "And he's right, you know. You were very brave. We're all glad you're okay."

She grins suddenly at Luther. "Told you I'd find your friend."
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12 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:01 pm

"And so you did," Luther agrees with a warm smile. "I am both impressed and profoundly grateful."

The elven man rises a little shakily, moving to sit on the bench seat between Luther and 'Lord Madislak'.

"Thank you," he says to Sunrise and Glen both, seeming unsure what to do with all this praise. "My... my name is Quivyll Myghym, Paladin of Nerull and he of his temple. I believe you have met Thorn..." He blinks at the young man and a rare wisp of a smile crosses his face. "...who can probably remove the disguise ring now," he says gently.

Thorn jumps at the reminder and laughs softly. "Oh! Ha, sorry. Sorry." He pulls off a band from his finger and the tiefling horns fade away as the planes of his face alter in subtle places which add up to a very different whole. He shakes his head and looks about the carriage. "This is my, um, real face."
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13 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:29 pm

"It's a nice face," Sunrise says warmly. "Not that you didn't make a good tiefling. Nuh-uh, little man," she adds, continuing to bounce little Xilo in her arms. "Won't do you any good if you drink too much and make yourself sick." She starts to hum, something wordless and soothing. The sound seems to fill the carriage, low but rich, and while conversation can continue around it everyone who hears her song in the background suddenly feels more content, as if the act of simply sitting still and catching one's breath after an ordeal were somehow more restful, more refreshing. It's not enchantment, no one feels their thoughts clouded or sleep threatening, but there is a deep sense of peace carried in her soft voice.

(Ooc: this is Song of Rest; flavor-wise, it makes rest more restful. Mechanically, anyone injured who regains hit points at the end of a short rest will get an extra 1d6 back.)
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14 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:41 pm

Luther blinks at her in genuine surprise, then leans back in his seat and watches her through a heavy half-lidded gaze, pleased to be given this gift of rest.

"And I am Madislak, High Priest of Nerull and he of his temple," the cleric says in his bored monotone. He moves to heal Rik, but the orc bristles and refuses. "Who else is wounded and willing to be healed?" he asks, stressing the latter in the face of Rik's obstinence.
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15 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:16 am

Once they're moving and safe, Jarek is quiet the longest.  The mantras that drove him--swift as the river, heartless as the storm--have done their work and now they've been replaced with the words to bring him back to peace.  The fury is like the enemy's nightmare, grandmother taught him, unstoppable, implacable, but when it is over it is gone like a ghost in the moonlight.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Just as he's feeling like his everyday self again, the excruciating restorative light fills the carriage, and Quivyll's scream almost sets him back to the battle mantras.  But that passes too, and to his shock Jarek finds he seems unharmed as well. (Sometimes one doesn't notice these little things like an enormous bloody rend until the chimeras are penned up again and one has time to think.)  That means his next priority is the three cats, who clearly deserve a sausage to mitigate their ordeal.

"This was a remarkable rescue, commissioner," he says at last.  "And you two!  Glen, your shots to save Rik!  Sunrise, that fire!  Those... curses?  If I'd guessed the power we have together, I'd have been a sight less nervy about today from the start.  But, uh, pardon me if it's obvious, but where do we go now, since we've lost any shot at stealth?"
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16 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:46 am

Glen's face reappears in the window, bashful. "I don't know what came over me - the wilderness magicks I'm still acquainting myself with just kind of took over, and then I got off a really lucky shot. Jarek's right, though, Sunrise, you were amazing. And Jarek, you're no slouch either - you were dangerous even while holding just a shield and a bag of cats! I think we're going to be able to handle whatever gets thrown at us."

"Speaking of - Rik." He tries to look stern. He tries to give Rik the face that Dolores gives him when she's giving him instructions that may as well have come straight from Pelor himself - but instructions that come from a place of kindness, empathy, and caring. "Friend. I understand your worries, but you must let yourself be healed. What if we run into an even bigger problem on our way back? Surely we - and your family - will need you at full strength. And you're bleeding, badly. Please."
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17 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 7:57 am

The cats are grateful to be freed from their sack and moreso for sausage: which, in the language of cats, means their 'gratitude' is expressed in scolding wails and growls while they climb all over the food-giving orc.

"I will take no healing from Nerull," the paladin growls, brooking no argument. "Though my own healing is exhausted for the day, I am not in danger. I will rest and replenish. If we are attacked, I can still fight."

"I think it is unlikely we will be," Luther observes from where he rests. "We travel to the Sun District, Jarek, to an estate I maintain. Once we are free of the slums, I believe we will be safe." He takes a deep breath. "Though my predictions lack the certainty I carried this morning. I confess I did not expect quite that level of pitched battle in the streets," he admits. "I thought I brought overkill with me, not merely sufficient numbers."
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18 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:23 am

He's going to get himself killed, and it's not going to be my fault, Glen shrugs. "We're certainly glad you brought what you did, Commissioner." He glances around. "It seems like we're okay. Just can't be too cautious, given how today has gone.

"By the way, sir, it might be nothing, but we were followed today. A blue tiefling woman with dark hair. She might just have been following us because we're outsiders, and we lost her in a crowd after she used magic to jump safely off a building. I know it's not much to go on, but would you know anyone like that?"
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19 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:29 am

Luther raises his eyebrows. "Actually, yes, I know at least three blue tieflings with access to simple feather-fall magics, but I doubt any of them were in the slums this morning. Whoever she was, however, it might explain how the tieflings were able to organize so quickly to repel us. What happened today isn't supposed to occur in civilized Brilight, but neither--strictly speaking--is it normal for a commissioner to invade a residential area with a score of private guards and clerics."
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20 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:39 am

Glen nods, falling very somber. "I was this close to catching her. It probably would have made all our lives easier if I had. I..." Several long moments pass, Glen's eyes downcast, punctuated only by the sounds of carriage wheels, fussing babies, and a man whose arm just grew back trying to regain his strength.

"Sir, I'm sorry if any of the people you brought were hurt or killed because I couldn't catch her. I wish I could have done more."
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21 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:33 am

"You are too hard on yourself," Quivyll observes. "It is just as possible that catching her would have brought fury and fire upon your heads and prevented you from finding us. I have long suspected an organized criminal force among the Westside tieflings. Today's events seem to prove this theory."

Luther considers this and shrugs. "It is possible," he agrees. "And I am hardly the only man in the city with the ability to communicate over long distances with an affiliate. If this woman was a spy, there is no reason to assume her capture would have prevented her from reporting in."
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22 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:47 am

Glen considers this for a moment. Having been out on his own since he was a child, Glen has a penchant for putting the weight of the world on his shoulders. This penchant was compounded by the deaths of his unit. He hears their words and knows they are correct, but he still feels a twinge of guilt. Still, he doesn't want to be hard-headed, and the twinge certainly is less than it was a moment ago. He nods, grateful. "I hadn't looked at it that way. You're right. Thanks."

He uncorks his waterskin and takes a long, refreshing, calming drink. He listens to Sunrise's humming and closes his eyes a moment, trying to let go of all the tension and fear and distress of the day. He turns everything over in his head, coming back around to what he just discussed with Luther and Quivyll. 

At a break in the song, his eyes open. "Actually, that reminds me. Sunrise, how were you communicating with Commissioner Rivvers back there? I didn't ask because we had more pressing matters to attend to. Can you speak telepathically to anyone? Like, my vice-captain, if we needed to get a message to the military quickly?"
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23 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:44 pm

Sunrise shakes her head with a smile, letting the song fade into silence. "Only the commissioner, sorry. Very particular magic."

She clears her throat quietly, careful not to disturb the infant who is finally realizing his belly is full and he's somewhere soft and warm. "The tieflings weren't working with the orcs," she points out. "They said their boss wanted Thorn and the babies, but he wanted all three alive."
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24 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:50 pm

Thorn looks troubled by this, but also resigned at the same time--this is his life now, and perhaps it always was. "As long as he can't reach me in the Sun District, I guess it doesn't matter," he says softly, bouncing Eryn as she gurgles sleepily.
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25 Re: Drive to Freedom (Sunrise, Jarek, Glen) on Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:00 pm

"They might not have been enemies," Sunrise says thoughtfully. "They backed off when I convinced them we were protecting you."
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