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Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Jerusha on January 18, 2020, 12:11:11 pm »
Wonderfully done, Laurna!  And so well woven to guide us through all the sharing. 
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by Bynw on January 18, 2020, 08:50:33 am »
That was beautiful and well executed. It was well worth the wait for it @Laurna

And it mentioned Coram too. If @Unicorn636 were still with us she would have loved that scene as well.

Prayer Requests / Re: Healing Wishes sent to Aerlys
« Last post by HoundMistress on January 18, 2020, 06:44:21 am »
Best wishes for a speedy recovery!
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by HoundMistress on January 18, 2020, 06:42:44 am »
A well-written and fitting piece to the story!
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Out of Character (OOC) Thread
« Last post by revanne on January 18, 2020, 06:13:01 am »
Beautiful writing Laurna.
Semi Free-Form Deryni Gaming / Re: Ghosts of the Past
« Last post by Laurna on January 18, 2020, 03:54:54 am »
((Spoiler Alert: In this chapter, I offer multiple small scenes which are quotes or lightly modified quotes from the novels Deryni Rising, Deryni Checkmate, and High Deryni. These are Spoilers for these books.  If you have never read those books, then I must say, Stop and Go read them! The idea for this chapter was given to me by Revanne.))

The dulcet harmony of a score of youthful voices filled the stone walls of Arx Fidei. The funeral for the long standing Bishop of Dhassa was well underway. The music was counterpoint to the earlier Latin prayers intoned by Archbishop Hugh. In the midst of the angelic voices, Washburn felt a brush against his shields. Wash was surprised that Father Columcil would have chosen this moment to interrupt the calming effects the music played against his own internal strife.

Maight I share somethin wi ye? came the Mind-voice of Father Columcil.

“Surely, not now!” Wash stated aloud. He gave a questioning look at his good friend.

“Hush!” Fiona admonished hoping for no interruptions, for she was enraptured in the music. Wash turned to her on his other side and saw her intent gaze upon the faces of the young boys singing in the choir opposite from where the king sat. Tears streamed down her rosy cheeks. Her color must be from the heat, he thought. They were all feeling it.  Unlike the fair maiden, Wash had been bolstering his fortitude to keep up an outward appearance of stoic decorum. Above all, he needed to hide the tangle of emotions brewing inside; love and loathing, respect and rebellion, all these emotions and more were intermingled for the man they came to mourn.  Wash knew if he opened his shields enough for Columcil to share his wisdom, then some of his own turmoil might spill into the link. Columcil was a friend, as close as any one he had ever had, yet did he dare to share this much?

Also too, if he opened his shields, he might become susceptible to the emotions he knew to be flowing through the very air of the large church. Lady Fiona’s shields were thin, barely there, her mind flowing with the tide of her perceptions. His closeness to her, just through the touch of their hands, was enough to prove to him just how intense the atmosphere had become.  Albeit that most of the mourners were human; their feelings, multiplied in great numbers, seemed to emanate like a soft humming. But that was mere background to an untold number of mourners who were Deryni and who seemed not particular about shielding their emotional state here at the height of the service. Some Deryni kept their emotions behind their shields: those of the clergy, in the king’s contingent, or even the members of the Arilan family. The other Deryni present among the mourners were mainly women and a few aged men, as most Deryni men were west with Prince Javan’s army. These Deryni, who were scattered around the church, knew in their hearts what the loss of the Bishop of Dhassa meant to Gwynedd. For before him, they and their families had been ravaged and criminalized, and forced into hiding. It was they who openly mourned the bishop, and it was their emotions which filled up the whole of the space around them, all the way to the vaulted ceilings and the magnificent stained glass clerestory. Wash had not wanted to open himself up to that. He was afraid. Columcil had sensed his fear and closed mind and perhaps that is why he would have Wash soften his stance, even just this little bit to share in his Rapport.

Och aye, me dear friend, now is ta best time fer what I wuid show ye. Columcil tilted his head, looking at the man who looked like Fiona’s father. The priest closed his eyes, and saw Wash in his mind. A close familiar Rapport, well established over the last several weeks, formed between them, one that required no physical touch. Columcil began to share flashes of a past, all involving the late Bishop of Dhassa.

Curious, Wash let the images flow.

… The first was dramatic, a young, victorious Haldane in a great crimson robe was kneeling on the stairs of Saint George's Cathedral before three men of high clergy. Each of these three had a hand upon the state crown which was being lowered onto the young man’s head. Archbishops Corrigan and Loris were shaken and unsure from the events that had just occurred, nonetheless, they spoke the proper phrases of kingship. The third was Bishop Arilan who, by his whole outward being and inner soul, gave the crowning of this youth his full approval. Then, mysteriously, a fourth hand was upon the crown and the watcher was in awe to be witness to this. It seemed that heaven itself gave blessing to Gwynedd’s new king….

The scene shifted to a later time...

...  “Father McLain and Duke Alaric,” called Bishop Arilan as he strode into the hall. Bishop Cardiel stood tall at his side. “I see that you have reached Dhassa at last.” Arilan folded his arms across his chest, his bishop’s ring winking cold fire in the stillness. “Tell me, have you come to seek our blessings or our deaths?”
Arilan’s face was stern, his violet eyes cold, as he watched the guards manhandle the cousins Duncan and Alaric into submission. And yet, there was something in Arilan’s face that could be read as pleasure instead of anger at seeing the two men restrained so. It seemed almost as though he were putting on an act for the benefit of the guards….

Wash thought back to his own youth, He had seen  that same stern look on the Bishop’s face when  the man, as teacher, had stared down at his pupil who shifted uneasily in his writing desk under that glare. Suddenly Wash wondered if instead of being so stern, perhaps Arilan was rather laughing to himself at how much Wash reminded him of his father. Before Wash could follow those thoughts further, the scene in his mind shifted.

…   “Very well, Alaric. I had not thought to tell you yet, but perhaps it is time after all. Surely you didn’t think that you and Duncan were the only Deryni in the world?”
“The only--” Washburn’s father froze as he looked upon Arilan. Suddenly Alaric realized why Bishop Cardiel was staring at his colleague so strangely. “You…” he murmured.
 Arilan nodded. “That’s correct. I am Deryni also. Now tell me why I wouldn’t understand what you’ve done tonight.”
Alaric Morgan was speechless. Shaking his head in disbelief, he staggered backward a few steps and found a chair behind his knees. Gratefully he sank down on it, unable to take his eyes from the Deryni bishop….

…  “Try, if you can, to picture my position,” Bishop Arilan was later seen to say with a patient sigh. “I am the only Deryni to wear the episcopal purple in nearly two hundred years-- the only one. I am also the youngest of Gwynedd’s twenty-two bishops, which again puts me in a historically precarious position.” The man lowered his eyes to the man he addressed.

This scene was not shown in first person as the others had been, instead it was a scene recalled from another’s sharing as Columcil was doing now with Wash. The voice of Arilan was filled with regrets, something the man would never live beyond, even into his old age.

“I know what you must be thinking: that my inaction for the Deryni cause has probably permitted countless deaths, untold suffering at the hands of persecutors like Loris and others of his ilk. I know-- and I ask forgiveness of every one of those unfortunate victims in my prayers each night.” He raised his eyes to look straight at Bishop Cardiel. “But I believe that the greater virtue sometimes lies in knowing how to wait, Thomas. Sometimes, though the price be almost unbearable, and though a man’s mind and soul and heart cry out in protest, even then must he wait until the time is right. I only hope that I’ve not waited too long.”....

Wash took in a deep breath. Understanding dawned on Wash as he lifted his eyes to look at the simple drape on the plain coffin before them. No man should have that much upon his heart. Water began to pool in the corners of his eyes.

Washburn was shaken by this last sharing. By his actions and his words, Arilan had gained the trust of his best human friend, Bishop Cardiel. The results of that friendship proved its worth as Cardiel addressed his colleagues on the church’s stance about the Deryni Race.

…  Bishop Tolliver whispered, “What are we, hodge-podge of human and Deryni and half of each? Where is the dividing line? Who is on the side of right?”
“He who serves the right is on the side of right,” Cardiel said softly, turning to face his fellow Bishops. “He who is human and Deryni and half of each. It is not a man’s blood which makes him choose good or evil. It is what lies within his soul.”....

New voices in full acapella filled Arx Fidei with bass and tenor. The adult male choir members added their voices to the young boys giving a full range of sound to echo through the transept and down the nave. Through it all, Washburn’s shields eased and his eyes watered. Yet, Columcil was not finished with his Rapport.

...  The lion banner snapped in the rising breeze, Kelson turned his horse toward the enemy. The great black warhorse minced and preened as it led Morgan, Duncan, and the Bishop Arilan to the center field between the two great armies. The King of Torenth garbed all in gold and purple faced the King of Gwynedd. “Personal combat” is what this high Deryni King demanded. A Dual Arcane, four to each side, to the death by magic, winner takes both kingdoms. Wencit’s challenge could not be refused. The lives of two hundred prisoners depended upon Kelson’s answer by nightfall. To offer Kelson the assurance of a fair combat, Wencit did make one concession. “I have sought and received permission from the Council to wage this duel with you on the terms which I have already specified, and to have Council arbitrators present. I assure you, there could be no treachery where the Council is concerned,” King Wencit proclaimed.

King Kelson’s brows  furrowed in consternation. “The Camberian Coun--”

It was Bishop Arilan who interrupted cutting Kelson off in mid-word. “My lord, you will forgive my intrusion, but His Majesty was not prepared to answer a challenge such as you have proposed to him today. You will understand that he must have time to consult with his advisors before giving you a final answer. If he accepts, the lives and fortunes of many thousands of his people will hang upon the talents of four men. You will agree that it is not a decision to be made lightly.”

Wencit turned to study Arilan as though he were some particularly noxious form of lower life. “If the King of Gwynedd feels that he cannot make a decision without consulting his inferiors, Bishop, that is his weakness, not mine.” ….

...  Not but a few hours later, the four who would champion Gwynedd in this Arcane Duel stood under a violet dome with seven members of the mysterious council seated before them. It seemed that the true council had known nothing of King Wencit’s claim that he offered their arbitration for fair combat. “Stand with your colleagues, Arilan,” one councilman had said. “Kelson Haldane, Alaric Morgan, Duncan McLain, hear the verdict of the Camberian Council. It has been decided that all of you may be worthy of Council protection in this matter, and hence it has been granted. The duel arcane shall be arbitrated by four of our number. All will be done according to the proper ritual, as it was in the beginning.”....

Washburn felt no small amount of satisfaction as he realized that the almighty King of Torneth had not known of Bishop Arilan’s true connections, and thereby had made his greatest mistake.

And then Wash witnessed the inside of the warded circle of the Duel Arcane itself. An event which the four survivors of said event had sworn to never speak of, yet here Washburn bore witness to the four Torenthi men who lay dying at the king's feet. How they came to be that way, even Columcil did not know, but what he shared was one of the four changing his appearance from a Torenthi combatant to one of the Camberian members they had earlier met.

Stephan Coram smiled at Denis Arilan, as he freely admitted his true identity to the four victors of the Duel Arcane. “I have appeared in other guise more familiar to your friends, Morgan and Duncan.”...

“You were Saint Camber?” Morgan had breathed.

“No, I told you I was not,” Coram shook his head lightly…”I have only appeared to you a few times: at Kelson’s coronation as a representative of the Council; to you, Duncan, on the Coroth road; at Saint Neot’s---”

“Denis,” Coram whispered as he lay dying, “I just saw the strangest thing. There was a man’s face, a blond man with a cowl--I think it was Ca-Cam---Oh God, Denis, help me!” ....

Shocked to be witnessing this most intimate moments of the legendary king’s Dual Arcane. Washburn blurted out, “How?”

“Hushhh!” Fiona shushed her father louder than before, but the music crescendoed and she was heard only by Wash.

How do you know these things? Wash desperately Mind-spoke to Columcil

I hae been in Rapport wi Archbishop Duncan and he hae shaured this wi me in hopes ‘twod hep yer healin if I were tae shaur ‘em wi ye.

Wash could find no understanding in this. The archbishop would not share such private moments with you, not even for my sake.

A grandsire wuild shaur these things wi his grandson in hopes o’ healin his favored coosin’s son aboot whom he cares deeply.  Columcil let that sink in for a moment before he continued. Ah think ye sensed it lang ago, in ta familiarity o’ oor Rapport. Ahm surprised ye ne’er pot it together. We’re bluid relations, Wash. We share the same Healin trait t’at ur faither’s shaure,

Stunned Wash suddenly saw how Columil and Dhugal had the same eyes. Duke Dhugal?

Aye, Dhugal is ma father, from a time o teenage fancy afar he e’en knent who his ain true faither was.

Dhugal and Duncan know of this?

Och aye, they do and they accep’ it.  I dinnae need formal recognition. But ah dae wish an’ hope ye an ah can remain friends as weel as coosins. What say ye coosin?

Wash was silent for a long time. He let the music fill him. He let the plainness of the coffin before him give him sense of earthliness and penitence. Arilan had stood for the protection of his people. Washburn’s knighthood had stood for the protection of all the people of Gwynedd, human and Deryni alike. His own recent failings had made him question his commitment and his honor. And here was Father Columcil who had proven over and over how true friendships worked. How had he never seen this before.  Coosin… he Mind-spoke with growing courage. I am proud to call you cousin. I would see us team together to Heal the world against abusers, you have put my feet square on the path to finding myself through this forest. You make a good guide for healing the soul.

We, tis we who ha’e found th’ path tae healin together. A team, dear cousin. Aye, a team! Columcil said with assurance.

The music ended and Archbishop Duncan stepped forward to began his eulogy.
Site Support / Re: IRC Cloud Outage
« Last post by DerynifanK on January 17, 2020, 08:37:56 pm »
I have had problems with Cloud. Everytime I try to go to chat, it wants me to create a new acct. Have been using Discord
Tid Bits / Re: Denis Arilan real life parallel
« Last post by DerynifanK on January 17, 2020, 08:33:32 pm »
Here across the pond we were ahead of you as the first women priests were ordained in the Episcopal church in 1974. One of my favorite priests is a woman and I love her dearly. I find it hard to believe that some still oppose women as priests in 2020. They have so much to offer. 
Tid Bits / Re: Denis Arilan real life parallel
« Last post by revanne on January 17, 2020, 08:52:40 am »
This is very personal but I hope you will indulge me.

I was ordained priest in the Church of England in 2000, only six years after the first women priests, and although I didn't face being poisoned with Merasha or burnt at the stake I have faced my share of hostility. I have to live with knowing that some within my own church believe that I am by nature incapable of receiving the sacrament of ordination. So I can really identify with Duncan's heart-searchings in DC and HD and the scene when he kneels before Bradene in QfSC and his priesthood is finally vaildated always brings me to tears.
Tid Bits / Re: Denis Arilan real life parallel
« Last post by Laurna on January 16, 2020, 11:26:10 am »
Marco, I no very little about church workings, but I am glad to see that it brought you to think about Denis Arilan.  I think in medieval times men did things at a younger age then they would do today. but bravo for the new young bishop.
I am not sure about real life experiences which would remind me of the Deryni, except I was always intrigued by Alaric's Healing and my career drifted into the medical field. But I do find that I often compare other fiction and gaming experiences back to the Deryni who were my favorite love of heros and magic. In D&D and World of Warcraft, I nearly always play a mage. Of course in those games mages can not heal. So sometimes I play a Druid so that I may cast magic and heal. LOL. pure escapism.
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