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         Copyright © Randy Bowers. All rights reserved.


Adventures of Xavier: Part V - "Forest Meetings" (IRC)

Xavier: "Before we begin, Brother, there is someone I would like you to meet. Kinnowyer, I would like you to meet my elder brother Gamiliel. Gamiliel, Kinnowyer." I motion by way of introduction.

DM: "Ah...greetings fair Kinnowyer," speaks Gamiliel. She smiles and extends her hand forward awkwardly, after a moment your brother shakes it, eyeing her strangely. Your brother turns his attentions to you again.. Kinnowyer is pretty cute ya know.

Xavier: "On matters of more pressing concerns, I need you in the south, tonight." I speak as though half request, but half insistence.

DM: "South tonight?" he asks quizzically, "You mean to Elestinlor? ah... Severwind should be here shortly as well."

Xavier: "Yes. To Elestinlor. Where else?" I speak a bit peevishly. He would concern himself so with Kinnowyre and not with what is truly important. " I have found nearly 200 of our people, but they will not recognize me without you nor you without me."

DM: "That is a good deal of people, but still a sad fraction of what still needs be found. But still, a significant improvement over when last we spoke. how are they?"

Xavier: "They are poor and have been taken in by the dwarves. They seem to have very little pride and less in the way of hope. The giants about in our lands and, I fear, will not easily be led away. There is some type of giant clan that is driving trolls and what appear to be goblinoids to scatter our brethren." I explain what I heard about the feasting on of the last group of elves.

DM: "Little pride?" His brow furrows at the thought.

Xavier: "They need us to guide them. Surely, the group you have gathered here can spare you for a few days?"

DM: Shocked and dismayed your brother speaks out, "such things can not be left unavenged. Goblin-kin cannot be allowed free reign of the lands, of any land, much less should they enjoy a feast upon our peoples!"

Xavier: "I need more men and I fear the only way to get them is to recruit what I need from the ranks of our own people, but that seems to be a foolish thing too."

DM: "And so we must. Honor is only earned when blood stands behind its force. A sacrifice any worthy people must make."

Xavier: "As I asked, your group here must be competent enough to last without you for a day or two? The people need to see both of us deliver them as a whole."

DM: "Yes brother... let it not be said that I lack time for matters of my own lands..." Gamiliel seems to ponder some unasked question for a moment, "And how were you received?"

Xavier: "They thought me a fraud. One of their number claims to have met you and says that he will believe only when he sees you. I have arranged a meeting with the council that this group has set up. Tonight."

DM: "Then we should open our comrades eyes to the truth of our identities. Yes, tonight will do fine, let the nations leadership be obvious now, even in the beginnings of our resurrection."

Xavier: "I think that it would be good for the people to know exactly what we intend to do. We need a way to show proof of our intentions."

DM: "We must also gather more peoples... and it would not be so odd to find newly elected 'kings' and leaders of the peoples since you and I, I fear, have been gone far to long then we should have."

Xavier: "I agree. We need to let them know that there will be a place for them, but to do this, we must show the people that we can do more than sit on our laurels and let the dwarves protect us. We need to walk in with proof."

DM: "Indeed brother... and most importantly so since he who holds the people's confidence in rulership also holds the key to our vaults. Rebellion is not an option for you or I to ignore..."

Xavier: "Gamiliel, don't assume that because you are king means that you are the only one that is worthy of the people's trust."

DM: Kinnowyer speaks up.... "Vaults?" her eyes grin.

DM: Gamiliel ignores Kinnowyer's question and continues, "But there must be no denial or conflict as to who is the rightful leader of the nation... I have no problem with gentry emerging from this strife caused by our peoples crushing, but it must be obvious who wields the hammer of the forging of the new people, the gentry must follow in line as well."

Xavier: "And who holds the hammer?" Xavier can feel a bit of anger building, he thinks he knows his brother's answer.

DM: "Brother, you know that there must be no question of my leadership of our nation, even between you and I, for such question weakens both of our seats of power, not just mine alone."

Xavier: "I do not question your place nor do I envy it, but if I am to act as your hand while you are away, I will not be made to look like one who will be a great deal lesser. We have discussed this before."

DM: "You know as well as I that our claim to royalty is the same.... yes we have discussed this before... let us move on to more pressing matters then." He waves his hand about dismissively of the topic.

Xavier: "As long as we are agreed. And don't dismiss me like that in front of the people. In front of Kinnowyer is one matter, but the others..."

DM: "Brother, 'twas not you I dismissed. Just the end of the conversation concerning that past topic. Don't be so, touchy." he grins.

Xavier: "Understood. Things can be misread though. You never did like the lessons on court etiquette." I grin.

DM: "It's nothing but a tool, all the more for me if I have found better tools." He smiles, "People appreciate honor and worthiness higher then the courtly manners that they do not perceive."

Xavier: I wave my hand and grin, "To more pressing things."

DM: "Yes to more pressing things." He leans against the stone wall and then straightens back up.
    "Yes to more important things" says Kinnowyer... "like those goblins and stuff... much more interesting than etiquette, wouldn't ya say there?"

Xavier: "As I was saying, the people must be shown out intentions before we show a great deal of talk. I suggest an example..." To Kinnowyer "What have you learned from the people as to what they have seen from the giants and such?"

DM: "Well..." she says, starting off slowly, happier now that she is the center of attention, "I have heard a great deal told between the dwarves that the giants are of more than one clan, and more than one kind. Dwarves being dwarves though, all of the giants are bad news, but I have heard a couple stories of small groups of elves taking protection at night with lone traveling giants of other clans."

Xavier: "What type or which clan?"

DM: "Dwarves being dwarves, they care little for the various giant clan names so none are spoken. Its the old dwarven proverb of bad is bad as a giant is a giant.... you know... and the people, well, they don't really know the difference between one giant and another. Many have never seen them until this time when they should choose to migrate into your old lands."

Xavier: "Have there been any descriptions? Gamiliel might recognize one."

DM: "Well, it is all said that they stand four times taller then most elves, which to what I know is much higher then the common lowland giants, so I would suspect that they have descended out of the mountains much like the dwarves. Perhaps the dwarves know what kinds are commonplace to the mountains?"

Xavier: "Any distinguishing things that the people remember?"

DM: "Hmm, harumph, it really isn't much to go on you know. Tall, scary, leather suited, mail suited, some use axes, some use bare hands... its all rather vague if you ask me."

Xavier: "Leather suited. So not like the one that I helped kill?"

DM: "I didn't see that fight... you had run ahead, remember?"

Xavier: "I had hoped that you would have seen it when you followed with the rest of the group."

DM: "Well I wanted too.. Obviously," she stresses the word, "you weren't paying enough attention to me when you said for everyone to wait while you ran off or you would have seen me bouncing around wanting to cut in on the action with you." she frowns and pouts, cutely.

Xavier: I look at her sympatheticly "Let's discuss this later, okay?" in a hush whisper. I'm a little embarrassed she's acting this way in front of my older brother.

DM: Gamiliel raises an eyebrow, then returns to his usual impassivity.

Xavier: "What do you think, Gamiliel?"

DM: "Upon which topic, brother?" he grins slightly.

Xavier: "The giants." I make a mental note to keep these two away from each other.

DM: "Ah...ahem," his eyes flicker over Kinnowyer briefly, "They could be of several manner... I doubt that the forest giants that she describes are in league with the trolls though, the two tend to war against each other. It is possible too that it isn't even a giant that bullies the goblins and trolls into action. It could very well be some other creature in the guise of a Giant. I have encountered many such evil creatures while traveling those mountains."

Xavier: "What is your suggestion then?"

DM: "Well, goblins are rather weak willed, though not stupid, just enough of each so that perhaps with questioning of several of them we could learn more of our enemy."

Xavier: "How long will you be able to stay with us?"

DM: "Two days, then I must return for matters of meeting some new people whom I am unfamiliar with."

Xavier: "What have you and Severwind cooked up for our benefit?"

DM: "I have thought much on that subject," speaks a soft and old voice from your side, "There are several possible means to accomplish this goal forthright, though it will take a month's preparation to enact the proper designs to make the most convenient and least costly work." Severwind gazes about sagely at each of you.

Xavier: I knew he was going to show up. "Which is what, if I may ask?"

DM: Severwind continues, "I recognize your intellect in the divine young Xavier, but leave the matters arcane and mystic to me... but if the word pleases you, know it to be a gate of sorts." He arches a grey and wizened eyebrow at you.

Xavier: "That is all I wished to know. I had only wondered what manner of connection we would have. I completely submit to your knowledge of matters as such."

DM: "We will see, we will see. The forces of nature have not revealed its entire secret to me yet. So in time I will know all the better what its exact nature will be." he adds quietly. Kinnowyer is apparently fascinated with the ancient enchanter... her eyes dance over the assortment of strange adornments and scriptures which flow about his person.

Xavier: "Gamiliel, what do you think on the matter of proof of intentions?"

DM: "Hmm. If there is truely someone who knows me, then there may be little to worry about."

Xavier: "Guard your possessions well. These people are desperate. They need something that will give them back some of the honor and pride they seem to have misplaced."

DM: "That isn't lost on me." Gamiliel grins, "I think that my soul is ready for this endeavor. The more I think upon its challenges the more I relish it."

Xavier: "We shall be as Lord Elestinlor was generations gone. The creators of a nation."

DM: "May we become worthy of such fame. Let nothing cause us to falter in that quest then."

Xavier: There he goes again, making a quest out of every challenge. "You have been spending far too much time with a brother of mine from a former life." A look of sad knowing returns to my eyes.

DM: Gamiliel eyes you quizzically, "A brother?"

Xavier: "You were witness to it, Gamiliel. I do not wish to further the discussion of what transpired a week gone by. It is as a fresh wound."

DM: He nods slightly in acknowledgment, realizing of what you speak, but refraining from commenting on brothers-of-faith being hardly the same thing.

Xavier: "So, to Elestinlor?"

DM: "In due time. I cannot simply vanish. I must ready a few things first, will you wait here?" He smiles to you and then looks to Kinnowyer.

Xavier: "Of course. Tell me, do you have a spare fletcher or know of where we can hire one?"

DM: "Surely amongst our people there is somone who can help with such a thing. Let it not be said that we elves are poor bowmen." he chuckles.

Xavier: "We shall wait. One last thing, the man of whom I spoke? How does he fare?"

DM: "He has been gone a week now, he said there were a number of growing troll clans in the area that needed cleansing and left without further conversation."

Xavier: "We will wait then. Severwind, will you join us?"

DM: "It would interrupt my studies, but I can see a use for my skills in persuading people to our opinion." A thin smile, the only real smile he has, covers his lips tightly. "I'll join, but do not hesitate to leave without me if matters press you forward as they often do. I can easily follow along on my own."

Xavier: "I would never doubt your abilities, my great Court Mage and former teacher." A half smile lights Xavier's face.

DM: "Indeed!" he speaks softly. With a tired look about the glen of stone he turns to Gamiliel, "I shall enjoin thee sooner then later, lord. This evening perhaps." Gamiliel nods. Severwind then steps into the air and slips from sight like a fading kite in the sky. Kinnowyer stands there with her mouth hanging open, watching the mage disappear from sight. Gamiliel turns back to you and says, "When shall I meet you? The sun sets in five hours, should be enough for you or I, agreed?"

Xavier: "Yes, I have but to wait. What are five hours to us?"

DM: He smiles, "To quote our departed master of magic, 'Indeed'"

Xavier: When Gam begins to leave, I tell Kinnowyre that I will return shortly and I walk a bit with Gamaliel. When we're alone I say, "Leave Kinnowyer alone, Brother. I will not have her getting between us on this, or any other matter."

DM: He walks next to you a bit before saying, "You like her eh?" A roguish smile flashes at you briefly.

Xavier: "Just leave her to me. It's a not a matter for kings such as you to concern yourself with. She is only a bard. We must keep up our etiquette, my king." I say with a bit of sarcasm and just the right amount of mocking.

DM: "Two things brother. More than most, you should know my mind concerning etiquette since we have argued over such for quite some time. Don't assume what is proper for me to make my concern, I am well able to make such decisions myself. The other is that while she be only a bard, it is a powerful weave that a bard can make when she speaks to the people. You or I would do well to make ourselves paragons of worthiness before her eyes, since her lips, which I might add are rather fine, will be the ones telling our tale, not our own. While I speak of it, I never found your lips nearly as attractive. You really should do something about those ugly things." He grins and punches you in the arm with boyish roughness.

Xavier: "Just let me remind you that you always were a bully. I liked my books and you always wanted to fool with the swords," making mocking battle with a sword, "Why do you think that I originally hired her? I now care a great deal for her."

DM: "It wasn't her shapely hips that swayed your opinion?" he chuckles.

Xavier: "It was her mandolin that drew me to her. And her compassion that hooked me."

DM: "Yes, yes. The obvious did not pass me by, though you must admit she has a charm about her."

Xavier: "She is a bard. What can you expect? Do you think that I would choose less than the best to tell of the Rebirth of our nation?" I wink and a punch him back in the arm.

DM: He nods a couple times. "You and I never argued over what makes good womanly form either. I appreciate your choice. Never the less, I'll let her twine the tales of our fates, but despite the fact you obviously hold her for your own, at least let her tell my tale too and allow me my moments... it is so rare that I get to use my charms here in the forest with a bunch of men surrounding me. Believe me, her's is a sight for lonely eyes."

Xavier: "I was wondering how you were making it out here with all these guys. I was beginning to wonder...ha ha ha...but I don't think that I'll really have a choice as to whether she tells your tale or not. She is rather strong-willed too." I look appreciative.

DM: "I noticed... not often that a woman shakes your hand eh? So much for a womanly curtsey. Heh."

Xavier: "It is good that we can speak of things other than war and business at times."

DM: "There is little more to the world then war, business and women... I've oft found..."

Xavier: "Remember who I once was. War was my thing for a while."

DM: "Bah. War with a god as well, a fine match made if you are one to shirk the true meaning of honorable battle. Let's not get into that discussion again." He chuckles, catching himself in the act of picking a fight.

Xavier: "Don't let you-know-who hear you say such things. He'd likely get a bit upset."

DM: "Yes, he and I have made plain our relative beliefs to the matter. But there are other things of him to respect other then his... belief in a... his god."

Xavier: I begin to feel sad again. "Enough! I think I shall return to Kinnowyer and wait for you there."

DM: "Yes, fly back to that bosomed damsel which you have so hired for her lyrical skills, dare I say more then that," he grins, " I will see you at the fall of darkness."

Xavier: I turn and walk back to the Grip of Stone.

DM: The place looms formidable upon the hillside.. defying the slopes and remaining upright to the sky... but despite its granite foundation, a song to weaken the strength of a castle flies beautifully from the heart of its stone grasp.

Xavier: Xavier walks into the Grip, but not so boorishly as to interrupt the music. He sits to listen to the music and thinks of things to come. She'll be a part of this. Not just a story-teller, but one that makes a difference.