July 19, 2008
Newbie Initiation Story Part 2
*** Continued from Part 2 ***
"Now yours shall begin!"
In an instant she had leapt to her feet. "Rise, Zarr and Abelia, and answer the call!" she shouted, pointing to each in turn. Startled at the change from her soft-spoken voice, it took a moment for the two of them to respond. "Rise, and honor thy gods! Declare to all, mortal and divine, your chosen path!"
In unison, the two young people stepped forward, and is guided by an inner voice, together spoke: "Our chosen path is that of War."
"Yours is the path of honor and valor, of strength and courage. Your duty is to protect the weak and stand strong before all those that you fear."Te'lai stepped forward and grasped them both by the hand. "May your strength and honor shine through in every battle, and may each adventure move you forward on your path to immortality." Dropping their hands, she nodded them back to their seats.
"Rise, Tasmir and Rheukyn! Rise now, answer the call and honor thy gods!" the elf shouted. Slightly more prepared, they leaped to their feet -- Tasmir appearing poised and collected, Rheukyn with a wide smile across her face as she bounced nervously on the balls of her feet. "Declare to all, mortal and divine, your chosen path!"
"Our chosen path is that of Shadows," they replied in unison, Rheukyn punctuating every other word with a slight bounce.
"Yours is the path of stealth and strategy, of surprise and secrets. Your duty is to waylay the enemy and incapacitate the strong."Rheukyn drew still as the ranger stepped forward and took them each by the hand. "May your speed and dexterity never forsake you and your companions, and may each adventure move you forward on your path to immortality."Te'lai dropped their hands, and Rheukyn immediately started bouncing on her feet again, her excitement tangible. Taking Tasmir's lead, she bowed her head to Te'lai before returning to her seat, still fidgeting.
Te'lai raised her eyebrows and bit back a smile, bouncing lightly on her own feet for a second before resuming her more serious expression.Rheukyn began to giggle until Grimikk elbowed her in the ribs.
When everyone quieted down, the ranger called out, "Rise now, Grimikk and Yisha! Answer the call, and honor thy gods!" With one last glance at the still grinning Rheukyn, Grimikk climbed to his feet at took his place at Yisha's side. "Declare to all, mortal and divine, your chosen path!"
Together, they replied, "Our chosen path is that of Prayer."
"Yours is the path of faith and healing, of protection and convalesce. Your duty is to strengthen your companions before battle, keep them strong and their opponents weak during, and heal and refresh them after -- all with the strength of your devotion and prayer." The elf stepped forward and grasped them both by the hand. "May the strength of your faith shine through in every word your utter, may the gods hear and answer your every prayer and plea, and may each adventure move you forward on your path to immortality." AsTe'lai dropped their hands, Yisha and Grimikk both dropped to their knees, uttering a brief prayer. The ranger bowed her head in respect, and the others followed suit. After a moment, both young clerics climbed to their feet, and nodding thanks to everyone, returned to their seats.
All attention turned to the last remaining member of the group. "Rise now, Marchan!" Te'lai called out again. "Answer the call and honor thy gods! Declare to all, mortal and divine, your chosen path!"
Marchan was already on his feet before she finished speaking. "Mine is the path of Magic mastery," he said, smirking.
Te'lai frowned, her eyebrows knitting together at his tone, but she continued without pause. "Yours is the path of knowledge and power, of the mysterious and the arcane. Your duty is to enchant and to mystify, to manipulate and control the elements through your magic, both to protect, and ultimately, to destroy." A frown crossed her face again as she grasped Marchan's already outstretched hands. "May your enchantments always hold strong, may the elements always yield to your will, and may each adventure move you forward on your path to immortality."
Still smirking, Marchan bowed low when the ranger dropped his hands. The smirk was quickly replaced by a frown though, when she continued. "And Marchan," she said, deliberately catching his eye, "may your intellect always command where your power would take charge." Marchan stared at her thoughtfully for a moment, then nodded before turning to return to his seat. However, before he could sit the ranger spoke again, addressing the entire group.
"The call has been answered!" she shouted, her voice echoing in the circular room. "The gods are honored by your fervor and sacrifice! We stand here in witness to your chosen paths, and ask the gods to bequest each of you with blessings on your journeys to come!"
"We do," echoed a voice from the flickering darkness. Raiya stepped forward from the shadows where she had been standing, unnoticed, her head bowed in consent with Te'lai's words. She had in her hands a shallow wooden box. The light from the various flames reflected off of the dull metal surfaces of its contents when she came to a stop to the left of the elf.Raiya kept her head bowed, but the solemn mood of the gathering quickly lifted as they each noticed her trying to hide a grin.
Shaking her head in exasperation, Te'lai chuckled. "Well then, I do suppose we are done. The mood is certainly broken," she said with a sidelong glance at the avatar.Raiya just shrugged, grinning openly. The ranger turned and addressed the group once again. "I bid you all good journeys, good luck, well wishes, and a good night! Oh, and please feel free to visit me here at the New Adventurer's Guild whenever your path brings you back to this fair city!" She finished, bowing deeply. Then, almost before anyone registered her quick wave,Te'lai was disappearing upstairs, her footsteps silent on the wooden treads.
"Okay. Yeah. So..." Everyone turned their eyes back to Raiya. She was still standing next to the brazier, the wooden tray in her hands. She glanced around the room and sighed, biting her lip. "Alright. You two,Marchan and Yisha . Clean off that table please," she said, nodding to the left. "We need some room to brew the tea." Quickly the candles on that table were extinguished, and the pillars shuffled to the side. "Grimikk, Zarr, and um, Abelia, there are some bedrolls under the stairs there. Can you get them? " not looking up from where she stood, unpacking the contents of the box. "Oh, and someone move the brazier away from the center of the floor. CAREFULLY. Someone would be a laughing stock if I managed to get you checked into the Newbie Hospital before you start your first adventure, and it probably wouldn't be you."
Raiya paused, glancing up from the iron tea cups she had lined up in front of her. "Rheukyn, can you put out the rest of the candles? The firelight should be enough to see by. Yeah," she said, turning back to the pouches of herbs in front of her. "I just don't want to burn this place down. Taethyst would kill me if he has to conjure up another really big cardboard box, especially to replace the New Adventurer's Guildhall. "
The others moved about behind her, laying out bedrolls, putting out candles and otherwise getting comfortable, while Raiya stood at the table, her back to them. She was muttering to herself as she examined the pouches of herbs in front of her, and glancing repeatedly at a well-worn scroll that she had perched against the edge of the tray. "Now, which is which?"
"Three parts mortis moss, from the first pouch," Marchan spoke over her shoulder. "Two parts cypress bark, in the second; one part widowmaker weed, from the third; and um... it calls for four parts sword mint, but I would up it to at least five. That's going to taste nasty without," he finished, grimacing. Raiya glared at him for a moment, then grinned, nodding her thanks. He turned and left. and quickly she measured out the ingredients into the eight cups before her. In a moment,Marchan was back at her side, teakettle steaming as he began to pour.
"Okay, so um... tea's ready!" Raiya said, looking relieved. Marchan grabbed the tray, and the two of them walked over to where everyone else was lounging on their bedrolls. As Marchan distributed the teacups, Raiya scanned the parchment again. "Yeah, so this stuff... it's supposed to heal, restore, refresh... and, transport...? Oh! Okay!" she nodded to herself smiling. "And um... it will make you, well, minty fresh!" She finished reading and looked up, smiling at the six concerned faces looking at her. Marchan just sat there, grinning, sipping his tea. "This is completely harmless folks, I swear! You'll get a good night's rest, and feel well and refreshed in the morning when you wake up." Raiya pointed at Marchan, and took a sip of her own tea to demonstrate. After a moment, the others followed her lead, a few of them grimacing at the taste. "As to where you wake up," she continued, "Well, you'll be in the New Adventurer's Guild Clanhall in Lumond's Haven. There your training and journey will really begin!" She finished her tea, then yawned. "Drink up, sleep well, and may the gods fill your dreams with acts of strength and courage. Or at least with warm cookies and comfy pillows!" Raiya half waved as she headed for the stairs. "And of course, the avatars look forward to helping you as much as we can as you master your skills," she mumbled, with a yawn. "Oh, I almost forgot!" She paused once more, her foot resting on the bottom stair. "When you wake, don't be afraid of Norb. The minotaur is harmless! Well, mostly. G'night!"