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21
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on June 15, 2018, 06:35:14 pm »
Wonderful depth in your scene, revanne.  Very in tune with who king and prince need to be.  Though sorry Araxandra had to learn such a hard lesson. 
22
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DerynifanK on June 15, 2018, 06:14:15 pm »
I wonder if they will be able  to find out anything more from the ring. Feel sad that  Kelson feels he can't  make more effort to find Wash but understand  that finding and defeating those  behind these attacks has to come first. Hope Wash survives and is rescued sometime.
Jaxom deserves anything Kelson deals out to him. Don't  know how Aliset will feel about having him apologize. Would probably   prefer to never see him again.
As usual, wonderful writing from everyone
23
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by revanne on June 15, 2018, 05:24:26 pm »
"I'm sorry, Sir. I should have left you to do the questioning. There's nothing left in this amulet to give any clues as to whom he was serving, though it was by means of this that he was receiving his orders unless I miss my guess very badly."

Javan straightened and looked apologetically at his father who sighed but clasped his son's shoulder.

"Don't blame yourself, the question had to be asked and it was almost certain that a death trigger would have been set. I would  like to know whether our late friend was working with the fiend who took Washburn but either way it doesn't  help us to find him. I hope Alaric forgives me for not making more effort to find his son but after what happened to Sextus I cannot risk any others."

Kelson looked as grim as his surroundings, there in the dungeon corridor and Javan's next words were a seeking for what comfort there was, as much for his own sake as his father's.

"At least we know now that Jaxom is no traitor."

"I still want to thrash him for his obsession with Aliset. Did the man not realise his open lust for her put us all in danger, and provided enough distraction for Washburn to be captured."

"I don't suppose so" Javan replied reasonably "and you can't thrash people just because it makes you feel better." Then with a sidelong  look at his father he added, " Not that that stopped you when I was growing up."

Kelson growled but his expression lightened as he replied,

"You got far fewer beatings than you deserved, and you know it. Especially once you and Araxandra came up with that scheme for her to always take the blame."

"Until you worked out what we were doing and beat her as you would have me. I have never felt so much of a mean wretch in my life hearing her cry with the pain - it worked, though, I grant you. I watched my step a bit more after that. "

"If it makes you feel any better your mother wouldn't speak to me for a week. I'm not sure why being reminded of my sins as a father should have helped me feel better, but oddly it has. Thank you, Son."

Kelson smiled gratefully at him, feeling grateful for the adult Javan's concern for his father in this pass and recognising his reference to his childhood for what it was, an attempt to lighten the mood."

"Well let's go and see what stuff Jaxom is really made of, and I'll keep my hands to myself."

Father and son moved back towards the stairs and stopped outside another guarded cell.

"No sound at all until a few moments ago, Your Majesty," The guard reported, "and then only a low moaning. The healer came and bandaged his wound but thought it best not to heal him without your Majesty's say so. He said he seemed to be in some sort of a trance."

At a nod from Kelson, the guard unlocked the door and went in. The King waited until he heard him say roughly "On your feet!" Then he and Javan entered the cell, preceded and followed, as before, by the two pairs of archers in Haldane livery.

This cell was somewhat less menacing than the other. There was more light for one thing, from a narrow slit in the corner above a hole in the floor acting as a simple garderobe shaft, far too small to allow a means of escape but allowing for basic dignity. Along the far wall was a stone shelf allowing a prisoner at least to lie above the floor but there were still iron staples along the wall to which chains could be attached, and the rattling which they heard as they entered made it clear that Jaxom was shackled.

Jaxom was being hauled roughly to his feet looking pale and bleary eyed, but when he saw who he had entered he shook the guard's hands off him and fell to his knees, the movement clearly paining him. He looked up first at Kelson and then Javan and begged,

"Your Majesty, your Highness, I beseech you, have mercy and at least tell me for what I am being punished."

Kelson looked at him with hard implacability and replied,

"I suggest that you tell me."

Javan whispered to his father, do you want me to use Truth Say on him ((1+4 = 5 d9bsn2692p)) but the king replied "No, I want to see whether he will tell the truth of his own accord."

"God help me, Sire, I cannot. The last I remember I was walking along towards the Queen's garden and then a few moments ago I woke here, with this wound and these shackles." There was desperation in his eyes and he raised his hands, awkward because of the chains which bound them together, and scrubbed at his head as if trying to force a memory. Finally he continued hesitantly, "There was a man, I think, a foreigner he would be, who spoke to me, but as to what he said...." His voice trailed off and he let his hands fall, his head hanging with them in desperation.

"So far so honest," Kelson commented quietly to Javan, "let's see if he continues."

"What was in your heart as you walked towards the Queen's gardens, which it may interest you to learn are her Majesty's private preserve?"

Jaxom flinched at the ice in the king's voice and did not attempt to raise his head or to say anything for a long moment. Finally he buried his face in his hands and said something, too quiet for any to hear. One of the guards went as if to force his head out of his hands but Javan shook his head and crouching down by Jaxom firmly but gently took Jaxom's hands away from his face and said,

"Only the whole truth can save you. If it shames you, well, better men than you have endured shame and lived. Speak so his Majesty can hear you."

Jaxom looked as though Javan's gentleness would utterly unman him but swallowing his tears he said,

"I intended to use Darcy's",

"Lord Darcy," the king interrupted in no less a glacial tone.

"I intended to use Lord Darcy's absence as a chance to speak to the Lady Aliset. I...I thought that perhaps I could threaten to publically expose her unchaperoned journey to force her to agree to my suit. I acknowledge that I am dishonoured as a knight by that thought, and not worthy of the touch of your Majesty's sword on my shoulders. But I swear that I remember nothing else and I cannot say how I came by this wound," he touched his side and grimaced, "nor earned these shackles nor your Majesty's such extreme displeasure."

He looked around wildly, "I will swear on whatever holy relics there are, that I am telling the truth."

For the first time Kelson's expression softened and he said less coldly, "There will be no need for that. I have been reading the truth of what you say ((5+1+2 =8 6vjm016gt2)). You are absolved of the worst suspicions against you. Nevertheless you have been the tool of great harm. Look at your hands, do you see something you do not recognise?"

Jaxom did as he was bid and gasped. He made as though to remove the ring but Kelson stopped him with an abrupt command.

"No! don't touch it - it may still be dangerous although the man who put it there is dead, and I would guess that it was only then that his spell on you was broken. Guard, take a cloth and remove it without touching it. Gently though, he is no traitor."

The guard did as he was bid, hearing that he had been suspected of being a traitor having shocked Jaxom into utter passivity, and gave the covered ring into Javan's outstretched hand as the King continued,

"That ring has been the instrument of great harm and as your folly and dishonourable intent put you in the way of being used by another's evil it is meet that you should hear what has been wrought. But I do not think that you need any longer to be shackled. Guards see to it."

Jaxom still remained passive as the chains were removed from his wrists and ankles though he rubbed at his wrists once they were free. He made no attempt to rise from his knees though he made a movement as though to reach for the King's hand to kiss it. Kelson knew that the pardon symbolised by the offering of his hand would have to come, though it would be far more grudgingly offered than the pardon freely given to Richard Kirby, but he could not quite manage that yet and kept his hands firmly folded at his waist. Javan wisely said nothing.

As the tale of what he had wrought while he was bespelled was unfolded by the King's unexpressionless voice Jaxom looked more and more horrified. He blenched at the account of his kissing of the helpless Aliset, and his fight with Washburn, touching his wound at that moment as though glad of the pain it caused him. As Kelson began to speak of Aliset in the arms of her would be abductor he was interrupted by Javan's cry,

"He's fainting, Sir." And indeed Jaxom had keeled over, his face now completly grey. Javan beckoned one of the guards to bring the earthenware jug of water over but did nothing to rouse Jaxom while he spoke to his father,

"Maybe go a little more easily on him, Sir. You are utterly terrifying when you are angry" he held his hands up to ward off Kelson's retort, "justified I know but don't leave him without any hope. Dhugal has Sent to me that Columcil spoke well of his loyalty, though Dhugal had to drag it out of him. Give him a chance to prove himself. I think that he will fight all the more eagerly for you now. With your permission, of course, I'll take him and his men under my command."

Kelson reflected that his son would make a good king one day, he just prayed God that Javan would have the chance. He gestured to the guard to help the now rousing Jaxom to sit up and give him some of the water to drink and when the latter would have returned to his knees motioned to him to remain where he was.

Far more gently than he had yet spoken he was beginning his account again, "It is not good hearing I know," but the naked pleading in Jaxom's eyes caused him to stop and silently grant permission for Jaxom to speak.

"Please Sire, is the Lady Aliset safe?"

"Yes, though I cannot say she is well. Lord Washburn, who came to her rescue, was taken and as yet we have no idea where."

Jaxom seemed as though he might faint again and Kelson, even without Javan's look, knew that in mercy he must bring this to a close. Though it cost him an effort of will he held his hand out to Jaxom who scrambled up onto his knees and kissed it, wetting it with his tears.

"You have paid dearly for your folly, as have others, but the treason is not yours to atone for, neither are you to blame for the evil use made of you. Your behaviour towards the Lady Aliset I advise you to take into confession, and accept whatever penance is required from you. The recompense that I demand of you is that you publicly and humbly beg her pardon. I am also going to forbid you to seek healing for your wound, though you may continue to have it dressed, God alone knows what Lord Washburn is suffering in captivity and I think it fitting you should suffer too.  Once you are ordered to prepare to march out from Rhemuth you may have it healed to be fit to serve his royal Highness Prince Javan who is willing to have you and your men in his company. You will now be escorted to your quarters where you will remain until you are summoned to make your apology."

Javan was right, as he so often was, Kelson reflected. Jaxom was at the end of his tether. He knew he was. He allowed Jaxom to kiss his hand again then ordered two of the guards to escort Jaxom to his quarters, while he and Javan followed the two remaining guards back up the stairs. When he would have headed straight back to the council chamber Javan stood in his way.

"I will go and wind up the council for the night. There is nothing we can do now until the morning in any case and I promise that anything you should know now I will report back. Then I will go and talk to Grania about Aluset and the apology your gracious majesty has imposed on her." His smile took any sting or impertinence out of his words..

 "And you, my dearest father, will return to mother and allow her to look after you.. You are a father to all your subjects, you know, and you are too precious to wear yourself out."

Javan bowed over his father's hand and turned and went on his way followed by one of the guards. Kelson turned to the other, and said "As his royal highness has commanded." But there was no irony in his tone.

((Modified to reduce the number of hours in this magically stretching day))




















24
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Bynw on June 15, 2018, 03:25:54 pm »
Iain is very well-advised not to trust his fate to a throw of the dice.

You took the words right out of my mouth!  :D

Seriously, this link seems apt (goes to a photo on a Facebook RPG page):

https://www.facebook.com/gamingpaper/photos/a.175634059986.25939.46719299986/10150301931934987/?type=3&theater


That's awesome DesertRose. Gaming dice can be fickle.
25
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DerynifanK on June 15, 2018, 02:17:10 pm »
More and more Complicated and a little scary. Feel bad for Richard  who can't help being reluctant about Deryni power. Hope he can resolve that. Dhugal really needs him. Couldn't Darcy help as a master seaman?
Do agree with Iain about trusting Lady Luck as we all know how fickle she can be
26
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by DesertRose on June 15, 2018, 12:53:07 pm »
Iain is very well-advised not to trust his fate to a throw of the dice.

You took the words right out of my mouth!  :D

Seriously, this link seems apt (goes to a photo on a Facebook RPG page):

https://www.facebook.com/gamingpaper/photos/a.175634059986.25939.46719299986/10150301931934987/?type=3&theater
27
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by revanne on June 15, 2018, 12:29:56 pm »
Iain is very well-advised not to trust his fate to a throw of the dice.
28
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by Jerusha on June 15, 2018, 12:01:31 pm »
The old tinker felt that luck had been with him today, and that made him nervous.  He did not trust luck; that elusive lady was likely to turn her back on you just when you thought all would be well.  He preferred to make his own luck.  He was not inclined to trust his fate to a roll of the dice if he could avoid it.

Nevertheless, when a kitchen servant had arrived at his lodging in the early morning hours with the news that he was needed in the castle kitchens to repair several pots, he had readied his cart and immediately made his way to the castle.  Even the castle kitchens had not escaped damage in the revolt, and pots needed to be repaired in time for the dinner to be held in the pretender queen’s honour that night.  As the tinker worked on a large pot with a deep depression in it, he wondered who’s head it had collided with.

Fortune had smiled further when Mistress Baker arrived later in the day with fresh white bread and sweetmeats for the dinner.  Although they did not exchange words, she gave him a slightly crooked cherry tart, and the tinker knew that Gelsey fared well.

Last night, when it was late enough he was sure no one would be looking for a tinker, he had moved along the hidden castle passageways to gather what information he could.  Loud voices had caught his attention; Oswald and Brioc were arguing about sending reinforcements to Ratharkin.  Oswald wanted more men as soon as possible; Brioc responded they were needed elsewhere.  They had been silenced by the third man, the man who held the true authority here.  He advised Oswald to be patient, and that when the reinforcements arrived, they would also be bringing the bride he so desired.  For her sake, the tinker hoped not.

He had made full report to King Kelson after he had returned to his lodgings.  He suspected that Ratharkin was to be used as bait to draw the king’s forces here while the main force of the rebellion struck elsewhere.  The likely target to him was Laas, though it was not certain.  King Kelson did not advise him of the identity of the Torenthi; perhaps Bishop Arilan had not yet determined who it was.  The more the tinker knew about the man, the better prepared he would be.

Now he sat at a table at the back of Ratharkin Castle’s great hall, treated to the leftovers of the earlier removes with some of the other tradesmen in appreciation for their services.  The high table was now being served Mistress Baker’s sweetmeats and other tasty treats.  The tinker noted that while Queen Sidana seemed attentive enough to the men and ladies around her, she did not engage in much conversation.  She picked at her food and had not taken more than one cup of the fine wine that was being served.  Her father and Oswald consumed more; the Torenthi was more moderate. 

The tinker could not hear any of high table’s conversations; the hall was too noisy.  Still, he studied them carefully without being too obvious; he had learned to read lips long ago.

Most of the conversation revolved around the “Meara-to-be” the rebellion would provide.  True independence from Gwynedd, return of lands forfeited in the last rebellion, prosperity for all. All the standard promises. But several times, in unguarded moments, the Torenthi had been addressed as “your Grace,” and once addressed directly by the queen as “Valerian.”  Could he be one of the sons of Teymuraz?  That would explain much. 

The dinner was over.  The tinker rose with the rest of the hall as the queen was escorted from the high table.  The tinker would not haunt the castle passageways tonight.  The queen was leaving in the morning, and Sir Iain Cameron needed to prepare.
29
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on June 15, 2018, 10:15:18 am »
Poor Richard!  Knowing that someone could control his mind and force him to attack a man he has trusted and respected for so long can not be easy to deal with.
30
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Laurna on June 15, 2018, 09:40:46 am »
Trust a guard to have the "Good stuff" and be forth-with in sharing it. Thank you Andres.
Too bad there wasn't a bottle of "Old Ballymar" sitting in the Librarian's desk.  ;D
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Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread by Bynw
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