- Jan 28, 2017
- Reaction score
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!
[ Rory ]
The priest fixes you with what seems to be the next in a never-ending series of strange looks. After a few seconds, he seems to grow antsy, shuffling in place and knitting his brows as he very clearly becomes lost in thought. “The priestesses will be sacrificed to end this plague,” he mutters wistfully, and you get the distinct feeling that he isn’t talking to you, His expression grows sad at this acknowledgement of the events to come. Suddenly, his posture stiffens.
“I cannot leave the temple,” he announces, and this time he’s definitely talking to you, his steely blue eyes fixed upon you unwaveringly. Despite his visible determination, he seems hesitant to continue speaking, his mouth hanging open in a single silent syllable as he once again becomes thoughtful. After a beat, he claps his hands together, and his gaze refocuses on you once more. “I cannot leave this temple,” he repeats. “And then senate has made up their minds. The priestesses-... listen. I have served this temple since the cusp of manhood. I know well that the deaths of those girls will not please Artema. She is neither a cruel nor a vengeful goddess, but if we harm the innocent, those which have served her absolutely-... calamity will befall us. She will not abide our sins!”
He seems borderline frantic, suddenly; a huge departure from his cool, almost frigid demeanor just moments before. The imminent demise of the priestesses seems to truly trouble him, enough so to undermine his facade. Despite this, he is evidently unwilling to leave the temple to protect them -- his devotion to his position and to Artema must be devout indeed. He closes the distance between the two of you, latching onto your arm with a cool hand.
“You are an outsider,” he observes. “This does not concern you. Yet-... I will take your help, because I cannot let things play out as they are. Listen,” he echoes, sternly, as he fishes something out of his robes with his free hand. It proves to be a scroll, which he holds out just under your nose. “The font of Artema is outside the city. The solution to this problem lies there -- I am certain of it. The senate will not listen, but if you truly desire to help us, then go there. Do what you will with the descendents of Araqne, but you must not bring harm to them. It is not our place to punish those which have already been punished by the gods.”
The next thing you know, he’s shoved the scroll into your hand, and you’ve been grabbed by the shoulders, and then pushed the entire distance back to the temple entrance. The priest does not seem angry, only desperate and urgent; so much so that Xigua can hardly keep up. He does not cross the threshold as he ejects you back out onto the pronaos.
By the time you recover your bearings, the heavy doors of the temple have slammed just behind you. Momentarily at a loss, you do the only immediate thing that you can do, which is unroll the scroll that had been forced upon you. You barely have to glance it, before you recognize the pattern of streets and buildings, all neatly labelled in a language that is definitely not your own, but which -- bizarrely -- you can nonetheless read. This is a map, and just like the priest has said, the font lies outside the city, next to what appears to be another temple, and a cave. It looks like a long walk, assuming you’re interpreting proportions correctly. You’re still psyching yourself up for whatever it is that you’ve gotten yourself into, when the door behind you creaks open again. Turning to look, you find that it isn’t the priest, but rather a young boy. He’s dressed similarly to the priest, but less ornately, and his head is shaved.
“P-pardon me-” he says, almost shly, as he thrusts a single arm out of the door -- it seems he also cannot leave the temple. Clutched in his outstretched hand is the handle of a basket, which is overflowing with goods. “Father Pagonia wishes for me to give this to you. He says you will need all the help that you can get.”
Patiently, the boy waits for you to take the basket, and then he closes the doors on you as well: politeness, it seems, is not virtue in this sect. Looking at the basket of goods, you recognize some of the items as being among the offerings you had just recently seen. Did the priest pilfer the offerings? That doesn’t seem like a very pious thing to do, but given his clear devotion, he must have felt it was justifiable for the greater good. It seems he must be very desperate for help, indeed.
Courtesy of the priest and his altar boy, you’ve obtained x02 Berry Juices, x02 Rare Candies, x01 Bug Gem, x05 Ice Berries, and x01 Never-melt Ice.
What will you do?
[ Peng ]
You’re far away from home -- presumably -- but utterly undaunted. In fact, you don’t seem phased at all to be in the middle of a desert in a time period clearly not your own. The small boat that brought you up the delta of the Dile River has stopped in the small port city of Heroth, and this is where you get off. Clutching the ball at your belt to assure that it is still there, you make a beeline for the distant image of the marketplace, its colorful tents beckoning you like a rainbow after a rainstorm. You receive some odd looks from passerby -- presumably for your manner of dress -- but being by the river the townsfolk have seen their fair share of travellers, and most ultimately write you up as being weird, but only in a foreign sense. If only they knew the truth, they would filled with questions: where are you from? How did you get here? What is a Dialgia? But that’s not important right now. What’s important is your single-minded goal: the marketplace.
The smell of fresh bread hits you as you grow near. Everything from produce to textiles surround you, and the people mill about en masse. For someone from a small town, the crowd alone might prove overwhelming.
“You look lost,” someone says, jerking you from your awe. Looking around, it takes a moment for you to locate the source: a little girl, in local dress, is standing at your feet, her hair in several braids. “You’re not from around here, are you?” She surmises, chest puffing out proudly. Reaching into a small bag slung over her shoulder, she produces a handful of small sweets, which she offers to you. “My father owns a tavern at the end of the street,” she informs, as she dumps the candies into your hand. “So I know a foreigner when I see one! If you’re lost, you should come!”
With that, she runs off, down the street. What an odd exchange. As you watch her harass more people as she makes her way down the street -- all of them dressed oddly, compared to the locals running the stalls -- you realize she’s likely just doing her job, by spreading the word of her father’s business. Were the sweets an incentive to win you over? More odd, however, is what occurs to you next: she was not speaking any language that you knew, and yet you somehow understood her. That’s not normal… right? Maybe you should follow her to her family’s tavern. Or you could keep looking around the market.
You’ve obtained x03 Rare Candies, courtesy of the little girl.
What will you do?