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Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by revanne on Today at 01:22:06 am »
Lovely scene, DerynifanK. Lots of nicely intertwined plot threads to enjoy.
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2
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Laurna on November 16, 2018, 10:05:16 pm »
Revanne, that was wonderful!. I love Duncan sharing Columcil's trouble with the Washburn's stallion and seeing Kelson get a laugh out of it. I love the rapport between Kelson and Duncan, it just feels right. So well done.

DerynifanK, nice story for Fiona traveling, getting in trouble and meeting up with Jaxom. Love that she joins up with Iain, oops Darcy.  We shall have to see how Darcy explains that.  I like the thought that the ruins are becoming crowded like a medieval faire.
3
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on November 16, 2018, 09:15:16 pm »
Nice scene DerynifanK!  Yes, the ruins are getting crowded.  It's starting to look like a medieval fair.
4
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DerynifanK on November 16, 2018, 08:49:18 pm »
Now we just need Iain, Wash, and Sidana to reach the ruins. They are getting  downright crowded
5
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by DerynifanK on November 16, 2018, 07:30:45 pm »
As her horse continued along the Cuilteine Road, the sky gradually brightened and the landscape on either side emerged more clearly. Fiona noted thick trees to her right and the Cloome Mountains gradually giving way to rolling foothills as she rode toward St. Brigid’s Abbey, where she would seek shelter for the night. She planned to continue toward Trurill,where she would turn off to the south to reach Sir Roland’s holding. She hoped to arrive there by around noon of the following day. There had been few people on the road so far, but as the morning advanced and the day grew lighter, the number of people she passed had increased. Twice, she had been forced to leave the road, once to avoid a patrol and once to avoid a small party of neighbors who would surely recognize her.

As the day advanced, there were more people on the road,  and the possibility of being recognized increased. She considered leaving the main road and taking a less used road that roughly paralleled it. However, that would definitely slow her down, and she wanted to reach
St. Brigids before dark. She planned to ask for shelter for the night there. The next morning she would have only a half day’s ride to reach Roland and Maev’s holding.

About an hour past noon, she decided to find a place to rest and water her horse and eat some of the food she had brought. She had already covered a respectable distance toward her goal, and she began to look for a suitable place to rest. After a short while she noticed the sound of running water to her right. She turned her horse’s head toward the sound, and forcing her way through some thick bushes, she entered a small clearing where a creek tumbled over stones between banks lined with ferns and more bushes. There was an area of thicker green grass which would provide grazing for her horse. She dismounted and led him to the creek to drink his fill, then tethered him loosely to allow him to graze. She made herself comfortable on the grass, leaning against a rock warm from the sun, and ate some of her bread and cheese and an apple. She then drank water from her waterskin. She relaxed for a brief time, reviewing her plans. She then refilled her waterskin, packed away the remainder of her food, remounted and rejoined the main road.

The road narrowed ahead, and thick trees and brush crowded the edges. As she approached that part of the road, the bushes rustled, alerting her to possible threat. As a precaution, she slowed Edric and unslung her bow, taking an arrow from her quiver. Three rough looking men appeared. Two were mounted, and the other one was on foot. There were no other travellers in sight, and they moved quickly to block her passage. None seemed to have swords, but she could see knives in their belts. One of the mounted men had his hand on his knife.

In a rough voice he addressed her: “Now why would a young sprout like you need a good horse? As you can see, we need another horse. If you get off and back away, we will take this horse, and you will come to no harm”.

Fiona backed Edric away a few steps and quickly nocked an arrow to her bow. “Stay away from me or I will shoot. My friends are not that far away and I will soon have help.”

The ruffian drew his knife, laughed harshly, and gestured threatenly toward her.” I don’t believe you have any friends near. We have been watching this road and no one else has passed.” The one on foot moved toward her, reaching his hand toward her reins.
((Fiona Initiative Test:
06:49 <derynifank> !roll 2d6 for Fiona
06:49 <*derynibot> 4,3==7
Ruffians initiative test:
06:50 <Derynifank> !roll 2d6 for ruffian leader
06:50 <*derynibot> 2,2==4))*
Fiona makes her move

Fiona quickly hauled Edric’s head around and spurred him toward a narrow side road she had  just passed.  As she galloped down the road, the two mounted attackers spurred their horses after her. She hoped Edric was fast enough to outrun the thieves, but he was bred for endurance, not speed.
 
The road went down a slope toward a valley, widening as it descended. The ruffians pounded after her, beginning to narrow the gap between them. She looked for any alternative that would help her pull ahead and escape. A short distance ahead she saw what looked like the end of a  lake with ruins rising out of the water. She recognised the Michaeline ruins,  having been here once in the past with Uncle Mac. The road appeared to skirt the lake, and between the road and the lake, she saw a camp of what appeared to be soldiers or guards. As she galloped toward them, she cried out, “Help, help, these men are trying to rob me!”

A tall man who appeared to be a leader gestured toward several of the men and shouted a command, “Pursue those thieves and capture them. Bring them to me!’ The men quickly mounted and galloped toward her. The thieves had already seen the guards and were riding away, back up the track toward the main road in an effort to escape. If they regained the main road they could quickly turn off and melt into the dense forest and rough terrain that bordered this part of the road. The soldiers passed her as Fiona continued toward the camp. Although she would have preferred to avoid them, she owed them thanks for their help. If she tried to avoid them, it would only arouse the very suspicions she hoped to avoid. She didn’t want their leader asking too many questions. She was quickly among them and reined in her horse. The leader who was clearly a member of the nobility reached up to grip her horse’s bridle. The young squire lit down and held onto the horse’s reins.

“What is a young squire like you doing alone on the Cuilteine Road? Are you by chance acting as a courier although you seem young for such responsibility?” He studied her closely while waiting for her answer.

“No, I am not a courier. Actually I was hurrying to join a group of friends for an afternoon of hunting. I was late as I had some extra duties to complete. I had sent word to them to go ahead and I would soon catch them up. But I was later than I thought to be and have not caught up with them.”

“Where are my manners?” The young man nodded to her, “Lord Jaxom Trillick.. And you are…”

Fiona inclined her head, “Ben Andrews, squire to the Baron of Dumbarton. I thank you again for your assistance. I still hope to join my friends.”

Jaxom frowned and  held himself stiffly, appearing offended. “Do you not doff your cap in the presence of your betters?” Suddenly he reached up and grabbed off the offending cap. Fiona’s braid tumbled down her back. Looking astonished, Jaxom blurted, “But you’re not a squire, you’re a woman!  What on earth are you doing riding alone disguised as a young man? Whatever your reputation, you will certainly be ruined. What can have induced you to engage in such a venture? You need to explain yourself.”

Realizing she had no choice, Fiona told him of overhearing a treasonous plan to seize the manor where she resided, confine the elderly baron, and hand the manor and all its assets to the rebellion as he turned his coat and joined his fortunes with the Mearan rebels. “I have to get word to King Kelson about what is happening and the planned treason. I was riding to the holding of a trusted friend who could help me find a way to reach the king.”

His attention was briefly diverted as the men he had sent after the thieves reappeared, entering the camp and reining in. The guard, Hamish, who had ridden with them, reported to Jaxom; “Sorry, my Lord, they had too big a start and disappeared into the dense forest on the other side of the road. We did try beating the bushes, but fortune was against us and we did not raise them. At least we have driven them off.”

Jaxom returned his attention to the young woman,“You cannot continue on this crazy venture. I cannot allow it. You will have to remain here with us. We will need to return you to the manor and find out what is happening there.”

Fiona confronted him angrily, “You have no right to detain me! I am grateful for your help with the attackers, but that does not mean you can tell me what to do or order my actions. I need to continue my journey to find a way to reach the king.”

Jaxom gripped her arm tightly, repeating his assertion that he could not allow her to continue alone on an unsafe route. Their voices got louder as they argued. Suddenly another voice interrupted the continuing wrangle. “What is happening here!”

All parties turned toward the voice. They saw a  lord, accompanied by a squire and a priest. ”You, cursed seaman!  What are you doing here? You are not part of this mission. You were left behind in Rhemuth when Prince Javan’s army marched out! How did you get to this place?”  demanded Jaxom in an angry voice.

“Father Columcil and I are on a mission for King Kelson. Young Robert is serving as my squire. You left Rhemuth with the Prince’s army. Why are you and your men here separated from the army? You should be marching to Laas with them. And why have you seized this young woman?”

“.Prince Javan sent us, along with Earl Brendan, to assess the ruins and look for clues to what happened to Sir Washburn. We rescued her as she was being pursued by ruffians trying to steal her horse. As you can see, she was disguised as a young man, riding alone. She says she learned of treason planned by  the son of the baron at whose manor she was living, and she  was trying to reach a trusted friend who could help her reach King Kelson and inform him of the plot.”

Darcy turned to the young woman and asked, “Is this true?” The young woman was staring at him in amazement.” But you’re Iain, and you are the person I need. Don’t you recognize me, Fiona, your cousin? And why is this man calling you Darcy?”

Darcy studied the young woman who was claiming to be a cousin, unknown to him but apparently known to his brother. She obviously knew enough about Iain’s activities on behalf of the King to expect that he would be able to help her to reach Kelson and inform him of the planned treason.  As Darcy exchanged looks with his companions, he heard Aliset’s voice in his mind; “We should help her.”  He then turned to Jaxom, “It seems that we have a situation here. We need to hear everything that this young woman heard and communicate with the King. We also need to determine how best to provide her  protection until we receive Kelson’s orders.”

Darcy again addressed Fiona, “Where were you headed when you encountered the thieves, and what was your plan?”

Fiona studied Darcy and his companions as well as Jaxom, whom she certainly did not trust. She still could not understand why Iain didn’t appear to recognize her, nor did he correct Jaxom who addressed him as Darcy. She was feeling confused. He certainly looked like Iain, but he didn’t behave as she would have expected Iain to behave. However, she felt that she had to trust him. “ I was trying to reach the holding of Sir Roland Althorpe. As you know, I had stayed there before, and I was sure he would remember me and help me reach you. I was certain you would know what to do with the information I have and how best to share it with the king.”

“Perhaps it would be best if we made camp here and discussed this further after we are settled,” suggested the priest.

Darcy smiled, “I think the good father has the right idea.”  He turned to Jaxom, “I think it might be best if the young lady joins our party. It will relieve you of responsibility for her and the presence of a priest in our party will help alleviate concerns about her reputation. We will be able to get in touch with Kelson and share her information with him more quickly than you could”

Jaxom was silent, considering his mission here, to assess the ruins and help find clues to what might have happened to Sir Washburn. That was his main responsibility and if he succeeded, it was more likely to lead to favor with the king and advancement.  That was more important than dealing with another young woman whose reputation was doubtful. He nodded shortly to Darcy, indicating his assent to his proposal. “I agree, it is more important that I complete my mission and the good father is better equipped to deal with the young woman and her situation.”
6
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on November 16, 2018, 06:17:07 pm »
Brilliant, revanne, brilliant!
7
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DerynifanK on November 16, 2018, 05:35:11 pm »
Revanne, the last scene with Kelson and Duncan was so touching, highligted again the difficulties of being a king and the support he gets from his faith and his oldest friend, the archbishop.
Bynw, that letter from Feyd was a work of art.  Waiting anxiously for what happens next.
8
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by revanne on November 16, 2018, 05:01:29 pm »
It took Duncan many minutes to calm his distraught king, and more still to help him sift through his self-accusation in the confession that followed, before Kelson would finally accept the words of absolution.

“You are sure that I will not be sinning even more by daring to receive the sacrament.” The look of pain in Kelson’s eyes, red and bloodshot with weeping, tore at Duncan’s heart but he put the sternness of his archiepiscopal authority into his voice as he replied,

“I am sure that you will be sinning in refusing to accept His forgiveness.” So speaking he turned again to the altar and genuflecting deeply, remained on his knee for a long moment before retrieving the ciborium and once more offering the King one of the sacred hosts which, at last, was not refused.

Kelson remained on his knees for a long time with his head bowed but eventually he looked up and smiled at Duncan.

“Forgive me, I didn’t mean to impose such a tantrum on you, especially this early in the morning.”

“You are welcome, my Prince, and believe me I’ve dealt with enough tantrum throwing in my time to know the difference between that and your genuine distress.”

Duncan’s tone was full of gentle reassurance although he could not quite suppress a grin as in his mind’s eye he saw Alaric grimace at him and say Meaning me I suppose! He allowed his grin to broaden as he added to the king,

“I told you that I was not assigning you any penance, more than the one that you will impose on yourself in your dealings with Alaric’s sons, but I think that I will place one imposition on you.”

Kelson looked up warily, not sure how to take this change in Duncan’s manner, but, emotionally raw and vulnerable though he still felt, risked a little gentle teasing of his own.

“And what does my Lord Archbishop require of his humble penitent?”

“Only that you make amends for terrifying the wits out of poor young Samuel, who was serving mass for me, by acting as my acolyte and assisting me to disrobe. And then, spending an hour with me having a leisurely breakfast in my quarters here.”

“The first willingly, I’m not yet so proud, I hope, that it is not an honour to serve my oldest friend. But the second… I have a war to conduct, and more men to send to their deaths….”

For a moment, Kelson struggled hard not to break down again, then he swallowed deeply and got to his feet, though he avoided looking at Duncan. He would have made his way into the vestry but Duncan put his hand out to detain him, circling his wrist with his fingers.

“If you are needed then you will be found readily enough. And Javan does not need to come home victorious only to find that his father has fretted and starved himself into the grave. You are too thin, this once at least I will make sure that you eat. Please let me serve my oldest friend, too.”

“Alaric used to tell me that what most annoyed him about you was that not only did you always have the last word, but you were usually right!”

Kelson choked a little on Alaric’s name but he smiled as he looked at Duncan and bowed his head in submission.

An hour later Kelson was again in tears as he sat in Duncan’s private chamber, but this time his tears were those of mirth.

“Oh, I can just hear his brogue as he complained about ‘Yon randy stallion, no gettin’ his share o’the action’ and then being horror struck as he woke up enough to realise who he was speaking to. Not words you would want to share with your grandfather or your archbishop, even worse if they are one and the same person.”

Duncan wiped the tears from his own eyes, though he looked a little sheepish as he did so.

“I hope that he’ll forgive me for telling you when next we speak, which reminds me, I felt his mind touch mine earlier there in the chapel but he did not press when there was no response. I’ll try to contact him later when we are finished... and you can swallow that apology right back down, and do him the credit of knowing him for the good priest that he is. He will ask no questions.”

“Yes he’s a good man, and no doubt right to go ahead and get Darcy and his lady wedded and bedded. I wish I could tell Dhugal about Washburn’s stallion though, he could do with a laugh too, after the horrors that Seamus shared with him.”

Though his eyes were still wet with mirth Kelson looked sombre again.

“Tell me Duncan, in what have I sinned that this horror should be visited on me and my people? Why does God allow such suffering?”

Duncan was gathering his thoughts to answer the question that so many asked and to which there was no answer, at least not this side of eternity, when there was a deferential knock on the door and one of the royal squires put his head around the jamb.

“Forgive me your Grace, your Majesty, but there is a letter here.”

“The squire came fully into the room and bent his knee respectfully to both, before tendering the parchment he held to the King, who however made no immediate move to take it, but instead eyed it warily. He turned to Duncan,

“Who is it from, I wonder and why has it not been presented by a courier in person?”

Whoever had instructed the squire had obviously expected some reaction of the kind because the young man spoke as though repeating something by rote.

“Begging your Majesty’s pardon. My Lord Arilan gave it to me and ordered me to seek out your Majesty. He told me that the courier was being detained under guard, though not as yet under duress, and that the letter had been carefully examined for any poison or traps. I am to tell you, your Majesty, that My Lord considers that it is safe for you to read it. He will attend your Majesty in person, if your Majesty so requires. By your Majesty’s leave…”

The squire bowed and withdrew, obviously relieved he had managed to convey such an important message.

Duncan looked at the obviously important letter with the same wariness as Kelson, but managed to keep enough of his previous mood to quip,

“Maybe you should ask Seisyll to stop putting the fear of God into your squires. At least there is no fear of “your Majesty” forgetting who you are.”

Kelson smiled vaguely but was already unrolling the scroll. He read rapidly, as years of reading letters full of platitudes had taught him to do, but there was nothing platitudinous about this letter. With a cry of anger he threw it from him and clenched his fists together, clearly only with difficulty restraining himself from giving physical vent to his anger. Finally he managed to get out,

“How dare he? How the **** dare he? After what he has done to Washburn. God, if I could only get him here, I will make him suffer the tortures of the damned until he reverses what he has done and then send him to know them for real in hell!”

After a pause he said more restrainedly, looking at Duncan,

“Forgive me, Father. But if you read this you will understand.” Bending, he picked up the parchment and handed it to Duncan, before once more clenching his fists as though he wished they were grasping the hilt of his sword, which in his mood of penitence he had left off before leaving the royal apartments for mass that morning.

Duncan read the letter, and as he did he understood all too clearly what was driving the King’s anger.
 
((Quoted word for word as written by Bynw)).
Your Gracious Majesty, Kelson, King of Gwynedd and Meara

I bid you greetings and pray this finds you in good health. I am known as Feyd and like your Lord Iain, I am high born and a master spy. Sir Washburn Morgan was alive the last I saw him. And his jailor is well known to you. He is in good hands. I have given him the means to escape and the means to keep him alive while he is in the captivity of Grand Duke Valerian and Lord Brioc, if he still lives, the father of the Mearan Pretender Queen.

I believe that your subjects may have acquired some or all of my Ward Cubes. Although I have not confirmed this and it may send you running back to the ruins of that Michaeline tower. The Portal there has been changed by someone other than myself. So I dare not risk going there myself.

 The purpose of this letter Your Majesty, is to strike a bargain. The return of the Ward Cubes in exchange for valuable information. Some of which you may already have given your spy in the mountains. But I shall give you what I know.

The following Lords are in league with Grand Duke Valerian and the Pretender Queen:

(( list of lords known to Feyd having been working with Valerian prior to the abduction of Washburn, seeing the coming and goings at the mountain fortress ))

You will find that some of these Lords are feigning Loyalty to your person and even marching in your Royal Armies towards Laas.

As a token of faith and goodwill. In the seal below I have embedded a message. I tell you truthfully that this is not a trap or trick to harm you. The seal contains a Portal location to the estate of Baron du Chantal. And how to bypass it's trap. There will be archers guarding the Portal but there are very small in number as the Baron and his forces are with your army heading to Laas.

“Well!” Demanded Kelson, “Am I not right to be angry! That Washburn has escaped owes nothing to this man.That his mind is still twisted against me and his family, or so Iain tells me, is owed solely to him, and God knows if it can be put right. He has caused me to play Judas and he would strike a bargain with my “Gracious Majesty”, would he?”

The honeyed sarcasm on his tongue sounded more deadly than his anger and Duncan knew that even he would have to tread carefully with the King in this mood, justified though it was.

“I would suggest Sire, that before all else you should speak to Lord Iain. He is named by this Feyd. No, I believe no ill of Darcy’s brother,” - this swiftly, as Kelson’s brows drew together in a frown-  “but we are dealing with a Deryni beyond the skill of most of us, judging by what we have seen thus far. He is clearly deeply dangerous as foe and possibly even more as would be friend. Iain may be able to help you see more clearly. And I will seek to speak to Columcil and hear what it was he had to report to me.”

Kelson slowly unclenched his fists and gave a bark of sardonic laughter.

“See, right again, Father Duncan. My instinct is to tell him to go to hell, he and his information with him. I do not strike bargains with such as he.” Centuries of Haldane pride surfaced in Kelson as he spoke these last words but then he bent his head towards Duncan almost in supplication,

“But I do not only have myself to think of. Or even Washburn. God forgive me, I have sent the ward cubes by courier with instruction to give them to Darcy. And he will give them to his lady wife to see what she can discover.  Wayward chit that she is, I would not have her fall into the hands of this man. And Darcy and your grandson would, I have no doubt, throw their own lives away to protect her. Let us both do as you suggest”.

Kelson turned fully towards Duncan and dropped to his knees before him,

“Of your Grace, another blessing before I go?”
9
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by judywward on November 15, 2018, 10:26:14 pm »
Good writing, Jerusha! Wonder who she saw in the scrying ale. I've really been waiting to get a new installment. Love it!
10
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DerynifanK on November 14, 2018, 07:29:20 pm »
Great scene Jerusha! You do dialogue so well. I do worry about the contact with Feyd. Really didn't want him to know where to search for his cubes. Guess she will have to continue to be Robert for safety's sake. This gets more exciting all the time.
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Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread by revanne
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Re: Ghosts of the Past by DerynifanK
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