Gerhart & Iawen
Written by: Iawen Penn, 2016Sir Iawen Penn, a gray elf (and very recently made into a whole soul after two and a half years), takes a brief break from the many papers she's been transcribing in the office, and sighs as she leans backward in the rough wooden chair, popping noises issuing from her back and neck. The knight puts her hands to her temples, removing the glasses for a moment and rubs slowly, making a small groan of exhaustion.
Date: December 9th, 1010 M.R.
So much to do, and so little time. And with the rumor that my sister's actually been spotted on the mortal plane again... I wish I knew what was going on as of late so I could give the prince better reports.
Five people walk into her office, looking slowly around the room.
When she places her glasses on again, she is startled by the people suddenly in her office. Grumbling mentally about her lack of hearing, she stands, and offers a hand. "Greetings, and welcome to Paradise. I am glad you made it all here in one piece. You did make it all here, yes?"
When she speaks, they all place their right hands on their left breast and bow slightly. Each of them are wearing similar clothes; sturdy walking boots, tan woolen pants and a well worn dark cotton shirt, all of common make. In contrast are the white tabbards they wear, being both finely stitched and well crafted. 4 thin vertical strips running the breadth of the tabbard adorn the white field, two on the left, two on the right. In the very center about chest height is a large black circle, within which was a curious crest: what seems to be golden compass points encircling an oddly shaped symbol that looks like a 7, but more of a curve to the lines. They also carry long, thick walking sticks, each with a dimly glowing stone on the top.
The tallest of them steps forward. "Well met, Sir Iawen. I am Arch Priest Gerhart. These are my Comrades in the Order of the One," he says, indicating the others in the room. They all smile and bow slightly again. "Thank you for your concern, we met with no troubles on our road; thank you for your invitation. How may we help you? Are you interested in our faith?"
"In your letters," Iawen retrieves the hand and moves around the desk to stand in front of it, "you mentioned magical negation and the like. And while I did not understand this to be a religious undertaking, I am interested in listening. But you and your companions have probably traveled far: can I acquire you lodgings? Warm baths? Food or drink? We do have these available in Paradise, but I do ask that you do not go sight-seeing: there are places within the city it is not safe to travel at this time."
Gerhart smiles broadly. "We thank you for your hospitality, however depending on when our conversation concludes, we would prefer to not impose upon you and your people. But if it becomes very late, we will of course be grateful for what you offer. I do apologize if there was a misunderstanding; our missive did say we would teach Advanced Abjury by way of Devotion to the Great Lady. However while this is one of our goals, we do wish to speak to people with... what is the phrase? .... yes. No strings attached. To listen and to learn from each other is not contingent upon following Her.
"However our power and ability comes from the Great Lady, so it is difficult to actually teach one how to use the power without devotion to her. But if you wish to see a demonstration of what we offer," he says, motioning slightly forward with his staff "I can show you our most powerful of abilities: the Abjury Cannon." The stone pulses warmly. "Do you have a magical item worthy of destruction, or a magical creature you wish removed? Even just a scroll or potion would be enough."
Iawen hands over her glasses, squinting a bit. "Here you go. Besides being a nice pair of specs, they grant magical properties to a wearer to see into the Spirit Realms while dead." Iawen fumbles around on the desk and then pulls out a small Teng Huanese-style painted case, and retrieves thick, black wire frames. Placing them on her the bridge of her nose, she asks, "Should we go outside before this takes place?"
Gerhart shakes his head. "No, the power of the Cannon is directly related to the person's time in mastering it. Meaning you start off with a small amount and work your way up, giving you the ability to control the fire power."
He steps back with his left foot , while sliding his hand to the center of the Cannon. He then tilts the top end of the staff so that the stone on it is level with the item on the desk.
There is a quick flash of light and a small sound of thunder. Once her eyes re-adjust, Iawen looks at the gold-rimmed glasses. At first inspection, they look somewhat... duller than before, as if a light that was shining on the object had been turned off.
"Go ahead," says Gerhart "and try them. You will see they are completely devoid of magic. It will return to the item in time, however I could have easily broken it as well, rendering it useless. Depending on the magic, I could have even destroyed it permanently."
"I'd rather not kill myself for science at the moment," says Iawen, seemingly impressed with the Cannon as the glasses are devoid of magic, as Gerhart said. "From where do you herald from? Over the Western Mountains, or the Eastern Seas, pass the Isles? Why do you wish to teach this sort of thing to people like us?"
Gerhart smiles. "We are from much farther than that. We are from Red Autumn, a different world from a different plane. We have been watching your people for some fifteen of your years. We have seen your abilities, your politics, even walked among you and talked with you now and again. This is how we have always approached new places. We look for trade, for exchanges of knowledge and should trust be gained, Travel between worlds." Gerhart smile fades. Although his tone is still pleasant, a grim edge can be heard as he adds: "We have seen the troubles you are facing, and we speculate where your future may be going. The Council has decided that we should make our presence known and to offer you knowledge in exchange for faith. This is not the only thing we seek, but it is the primary aid we can offer. Only the Great Lady can grant the powers of magic negation on our world, and so we offer our services as individuals where we can, but in the end we are looking for those that may follow Her."
"I would need to know a heck of a lot more about your Lady first, my apologies," replies Iawen. "I don't like just 'randomly' petitioning a god, goddess, or powerful force in the hopes of gaining power; I've been taught to study, meet, respect, revere, and then if applicable, worship, but its something done with your whole heart and soul. One shouldn't be divided at all, either all your Lady or none. Is this too far off-base with your customs back home?" Iawen looks at each one before settling her gaze back on the arch-priest. "As for knowledge, while I can freely grant 'much', it certainly depends on the subject lore. There are just some things I do not know, but can ask others about. What is it your people are searching for in knowledge?"
During her speech, Gerhart turns a moment and nods to the others. They bow respectfully and take their leave. He places the Abjury Cannon at one corner of the room, leaning up against the corner. He then returns to stand in front of the gray elf. "I have sent the others back to go to the other appointments we have made. Since it is clear you do not tend us harm, it seems more respectful that we speak in a more informal manner, and one person to one." He smiles.
"I mean no disrespect... but I am a direct descendant of the Five Ladies. While I do revere them and to two in particular I owe special favors and service for a year and a day, they are but gods that are family. A child should always respect their elders. The next would be gods that have 'marked' me as theirs, but without my permission: Marduath and Edaonae of Blackwood, a land where all other gods are kept out. Strangest thing. And lastly, I have defended Antioch and Minerva's altars alone against a large troop, and they have so noted this and have watched for me and over me. The Grey Man, sharing close pantheons, granted me my True Name, and out of all of them, he is the closest I have come to 'worship'."
"No apologies are needed," says Gerhart. "We have stated the purpose of our mission and it is very understandable that you should have many more questions before entering into a relationship with the Great Lady. Again, out forward actions are somewhat unorthodox for us. But since it would take time to teach, it felt we needed to step up our intentions. There is the risk of people wishing power for power's sake trying to gain the Lady's favor. This, sadly cannot be avoided. Sometimes the sinful are the first to reach for what they do not understand. And thus we are here to speak and to clarify.
"I will say," ponders Gerhart, "that there are two real methods of thought when approaching faith. One is that you should immerse yourself body and soul, to surrender and not to question and to let Her wash over you like water upon the sand. Others believe it is not possible for anyone not of the faith to find true devotion without the journey of discovery, that through the learning of faith and its practices, one learns what the goddess' role is in their life. It is some time within that process that people will either choose to devote themselves totally and surrender to the goodness that the Great Lady is, or they will turn aside from the path. Some continue to believe but never obtain complete devotion. These are all choices, and all are valid. Much of our world's faith come from our salvation and so it is much more tangible for us.
"In order to explain our faith, some of our history must be understood. Several hundred years ago, or people were on the verge of complete destruction. We were a violent, warring race. Brother fought against brother for the sake of land, power, whatever they could covet. They did so by the names of the Dark Gods, or in the name of themselves, having ripped their power from the elements. So destructive, so terrible had we become, all of the Gods decided to leave us to our fate and left our world, never to return. When this was done, the Weavers of the elements took control and began to slaughter us all in the name of anarchy, chaos and destruction. They cracked the world, leaving Lines of Power open and bare upon the world. We should have fell into oblivion. But the One goddess had remained to watch and could not let us die. She came to us in the form of a woman, both beautiful and kind yet ferocious in her wrath upon the destroyers.
"If you read our histories, the Great Lady has been called many things from Healer to Life-giver, to Vengeance. Some have said Justice and others the One Light of Goodness and Truth. Many attributes have been doted upon Her, such has been the thankfulness and devotion given her. And, in absence of other powers, many have given Her the aspects of their hopes and dreams. But in Truth, her dominion is not so wide as all of this.
"In the Lore that gives the first accounts of the Incarnation, the Great Lady Called herself Deidre, Goddess of Balance and of Protection. When she came to us Incarnate, we were shown Her symbol and given a sacred name that only the Devoted will use in closed company. We were taught many new powers that through our devotion, she would grant to us. It was through her teachings we were able to keep from destroying ourselves. I would like to say that our world has been peaceful since, but this is not the case. It has been only through vigilance and dedication that we have continued to keep from destruction. It is this faith that has allowed us to achieve a level of greatness, allowed us to Travel between the stars and continued to prosper. But it has not been easy.
"As for knowledge, we mostly search for new methods of protection, Travel and the like. Your world is able to create a large selection of what you call Magical Items, and many of been interested in how such things are designed. Others in the Court simply wish to establish trade agreements. Our world does have some difficulty with maintaining various grains and vegetables, and we will usually trade for the spices we are able to produce as our major crop. As the leader of Paradise, perhaps you would be interested in setting up a trade agreement with Red Autumn?"
"I most certainly would, as the trade agreements with Teng Hua, Eagle's Rook, and Achoria all fell by the wayside a couple of years ago. I must warn you, however: the most Paradise can give at this time is herbs, herbs, and more herbs. Some are medicinal in nature: can be made into salves, poultices and the like. We also have well-trained healers who tend these gardens within and around the Tower of Luna, so we can also spare some if you need someone to train others how to cultivate these plants and how to use them. There are also many plants used for cooking, baking, and some for incense and religious purposes.
"We no longer own any ships out in the Gwenethlin ports, and although Ivory has taken over New Illinar, no aid or offers of replacement for cows, sheep, or any livestock have come through. Also, as mentioned before, parts of Paradise are still in flux, sliding across into a different plane. I personally would love to give all that I can, until there is no more."
Iawen pulls open a small tin from the desk, and offers Gerhart a smoke. He smiles and politely declines, as Iawen removes a match from the tiny wooden box that was next to the tin, strikes it across her boot, and lights the smoke, spilling the scent of cedar and cloves into the room as she exhales. "We also have a writing trade with the Ivory Library. In return for parchment, ink, and many other writing and drawing materials, many in Paradise work hard to scribe old documents for them and send copies back. This, good sir, is what we can offer from our end, besides knowledge. Does any of this sound like something you and your people would be interested in?" asks the gray elf, raising her eyebrows as she puffs on the smoke.
"Medicinal herbs would be of great benefit to Red Autumn. In return, we can import incense that helps with meditation. Does this sound reasonable? If so, I will send for one of our Travelers that brokers such deals, as in he will set the price; quality and amount of your herbs for the quality and amount of our spiced incense. If you wish an exchange of information and would transcribe our Histories for your Library, I will send for a Historian who will spend time with you and you can transcribe what he says for your people. In return, if we could arrange access to the Library in Ivory, this would be of great interest to us."
"I can certainly say 'yes' to the first offer. As for the the Historian, while I would love to transcribe and offer it in return, I personally cannot get you access to the library. Everyone, of their own volition, goes and signs a giant book in the City of Light, the City of Ivory. And once it clears with the Lady that they are, in fact, not evil or will use the Library for great evil, then things are allowed to be written and shared. This is not something their Lady takes lightly," says Iawen.
Gerhart nods. "That is understandable. We are still willing to have a Historian come to you to transcribe. We can talk to Ivory directly then."
I then offered Gehart and the others a place to stay, and drew up an official trade agreement when he had time between Red Autumn and Paradise.
Also: I noted at that time I had 'some' speaking leverage with the following nations: Eagle's Rook, Teng Hua, Achoria, Coventry, Idaris/Blackwood, Nymphus Yarrow (the heads of Clan McKrye and Rua Tharr Cinn) of Chimeron, should Gerhart would like a point person to go to to perhaps speak of the same things, and offer trading or history lessons.
Eagle's Rook: Maple items (syrup, candy, furniture, fine crafted heirlooms, and so forth), Birch items (drink, wands, wooden jewelry, sacred staffs and crafts), Silver items (they have many silver mines), Arrows (the best known Fletchers in the Realms at that time).
Teng Hua: worship sea gods and their own gods, the Emperor there respects the gods but its unknown if he worships any. They export silks, rice, different types of beautiful flowering plants, different types of incense/smokes, and tea.
Achoria: main worship is The Five Ladies, exports apples, sand, glassworks, incense, spices, woven tapestries, and many plants and goats.
Coventry: The Sacred City of Aurora (the Lady, or the Lady of Light), which currently exports weaponry (mainly swords, shields, hammers) and adventurer's kits, specializing in the components for making light spells and other smaller, Cantrip-type spells. Their history is also long and impressive.
Idaris/Blackwood: if he was really interested, there is a place called Idaris, in a land called Blackwood, where no gods can be reached and thus all mortals are on equal footing. However, there is a kink to this sort of ban on gods: almost everything here is animated/undead, or in various states of decay, even some of its people. However, they do have a want to learn about other gods and goddesses (namely because none really walk there), and some really are interested in Abjury but have no good way to write responses to general inquiries (some are illiterate, but mean well). Their history, however (usually recited as oppose to read) is also impressive and long.
Nymphus Yarrow: A land with a few villages, watched over by Clan McKrye who live in the Palisaide, who have 'granted' land to another clan named Rua Tharr Cinn to work and live on. There is much forest here, and many farmers/Earth-keepers (so gardeners, livestock keepers, lumberjacks, and others that have a healthy respect for the Earth/Mother Gaia, and for good honest work and trade). I pointed out that Rua Tharr Cinn is the more magically-inclined clan, and Clan McKrye is the more mundane and fighter-heavy one (but not to underestimate their intelligence).
"Rua Tharr Cinn, since its creation," adds Iawen, giving Gerhart the Realms map copy she was pointing out the lands on, "is also a 'soft place' of sorts. Take care if you wander there, or you might find yourself on another plane; a plane called Faerie. That is not the safest place to be." Iwen then offers once more tea or any food, or anything they might need (especially if staying the evening), and also offers to grant a tour of the Towers of each of the Five Ladies here in Paradise if he wished, so Gehart might understand better should he come across it again in his travels.
Gerhart says, "Once you are able to see their product and trade has been established, they will ask you to speak on their behalf for trade with other countries. But for now, this first contact is what his people will focus on. Thank you for the list of goods the other countries would have. We will take up your offer of a place to stay for the evening, then will leave at dawn for I do have other appointments. For now a loose agreement of trade is fine. A woman of the Order will be asking to meet with you in a more public venue (i.e. the agreement should be officially drawn up at an event if we can). She will be the primary contact from this point on and she will be supervising most of the shipments."
Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 01-11-13 12:30 PM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 03-11-16 04:30 PM