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Friv
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Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 00:02

Tepet Fokuf wiped sweat off his brow, dropping the long metal arm he had been spinning as a staff around his head. Taken from one of the spider-creatures early in the fight, it had now served its purpose; the creatures, as well as the last of the hungry dead, now lay scattered in pieces across the tunnel. One of the nephwracks had fled rather than face Tenrek's advance, but the other two had been destroyed by the Zenith, and Kieran and Alina had made short work of the ghosts that thronged around the natives of the place - and, heartened by their sudden support, the soldiers had rallied as well, those that had been retreating turning to fight again, and taking down a few of the hungry dead themselves.

Now, they were taking stock, and realizing that their saviours made no sense; a fact, Fokuf suspected, that the strange automaton woman he had fought alongside had realized far earlier. She was looking at him, her features mixed with worry and relief all at once, and she spoke tentatively - using Old Realm, rather than the almost unintelligeable dialect she had spoken earlier. “Thank you. Without your help, we would likely have been overwhelmed.”

“Glad we were here.” Fokuf looked around the tunnels, smiling to the soldiers. One of them smiled back, uncertainly. The others did not. He raised an eyebrow, turning back to the strange woman. “I am Tepet Fokuf, of the Eclipse Caste.”

“Watchful Cerulean Aegis, of the Jade Caste.” Fokuf blinked in shock as Aegis looked him up and down. “Forgive me, but I have never heard of this material. And you do not look like an Exalt.” She looked at his brow, frowning thoughtfully. “And you have a strange symbol in place of your soulgem. What are you?”

“Um...” Fokuf looked back to the others for help. Kieran shrugged, Alina looked blank. Tenrek, after a moment, spoke up.

“We are emessaries of Creation, Solar Exalts.” He bowed low to Aegis. “I'm afraid that I don't know what a soulgem is.”

Aegis's expression became even more confused. “What? But how can your souls remain in your bodies without a soulgem?” Her eyes narrowed. “You do have souls?”

“Yes, yes!” Fokuf raised his hands placatingly. “It's sort of a long story, but we definately have souls.” He chuckled, with a hint of nervousness. “You'll have to forgive us. As my companion said, we have travelled here from Creation.”

“I do not know the nation.” Aegis shrugged. “We should leave. You are welcome to return to Estasia with my squad; you will be welcomed. Perhaps you can explain more of your nation along the way.” She stepped up to the fallen soldier, and shook her head. “Damik. I'm sorry.” She started to move away.

“You aren't going to give his body proper rites?” Tenrek spoke in a shocked tone from behind her, walking forwards. Without turning, she shook her head.

“The magics of the nephwracks shatter soulgems. No rites that we perform could save him now.”

“Then will you allow me mine?”

Aegis turned in surprise. Tenrek was watching her intently, his expression unreadable. Behind her, her scouts muttered to each other. After a moment, she nodded. “If you wish, but I do not see that it will help.”

“Thank you.” Tenrek laid a hand on the soldier's forehead, over the ruined soulgem. “I do not know if my prayers can reach you, Sun, but if there is no place here for this man's soul, let it not be lost. Let him return to the cycle of reincarnation that You oversee, and be at peace.” After a heartbeat, he whispered a final word, head bowed over the corpse. “Please.”

For a moment, Fokuf thought that nothing was happening. Then, slowly, golden light began to take form at the edges of the soldier's body. As the scouts gasped, it spread across his skin, and he dissolved into light. Tenrek stood, reflexively wiping his brow. “I think I see what you mean. The cycle of reincarnation is distant here.”

Aegis's jaw was hanging. Finally, she found her voice. “You sent his soul back to the Cycle?”

“I can't guarantee it... but I think so.” Tenrek shook his head. “I sent it into a cycle, at least. Either here on in Creation, I'm not sure.” He smiled wryly. “I'm hoping I don't get a chance to test it much.”

Aegis recovered visibly from her surprise. “Where is this Creation, that you can do such things? How is it that a nation of which I have never heard can produce such wonders?”

“It's not a nation. It's a world.” Kieran gestured vaguely to the right. “There were seals put up millenia ago, but our souls were given access. We came through that big portal in the tunnels, about an hour that way.”

“You came through the Seal of Eight Divinities? Aegis practically shouted the question, her eyes growing wide. “You are from the First Land?!”

“Um.” Fokuf nodded slowly. “That sounds about right, yes.”

“That's impossible! No one can breach the Seal! No one ever has, not in all the millenia of the Maker's exile! Yugash even attempted it, over a year ago, and was completely unsuccessful! It simply can't be done!”

The four Solar Exalts looked at each other. After a moment, Kieran spoke. “That doesn't sound good.”

“No.” Fokuf looked back to Aegis. “How far is it back to Estasia?”

“Most of a day.” Aegis was watching him as though he had grown a second head.

“Then we'd better share as much information as we can. I'd really like to know what we got into, here.” As Aegis nodded, and turned to lead the way, Fokuf shook his head. He had been hoping that it would just be a matter of getting an audience with Autochthon and reopening the ways, but he hadn't seriously expected it to be that easy. And, it looked like, he had been right.

He hated it when his cynicism paid off.
"Some people walk in the rain. Others merely get wet."

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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 00:08

I love Creation/Autochthonian culture shock. It makes for the most intriguing of conversations.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 01:44

Yes, yes it does. Wait until the Alchemical discovers that they live in an organic world. The look on her face will be priceless.
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Dinosaur
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 14:08

BrilliantRain wrote:
Yes, yes it does. Wait until the Alchemical discovers that they live in an organic world. The look on her face will be priceless.


It's still mostly inorganic, except for the humus layers of the soil and the lifeforms themselves.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 21:04

Someone refresh my memory, is Estasia the militaristic nation?
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Friv
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 22:27

Dinosaur/BrilliantRain: Culture shock is awesome! But I've got to say, 'organic Creation' is a lot less weird than 'everyone chooses their own duties and can change jobs instead of having them fixed at birth. Well, except for the Varang. Oh, also any peasant can become an Exalt if they're heroic enough.'

Expect more on that next part. ;)

Icarus: Yep, canonically Estasia is the militaristic nation, putting particular emphasis on heroism and duty. Of course, canonically there are no ghosts in Autochthonia, so who knows what the next change will be? ;)
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

11 May 2008, 23:07

well, technically any peasant in Autochthon can become an exalt by being heroic too, it just takes multiple lifetimes of heroism.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

12 May 2008, 01:23

BrilliantRain wrote:
well, technically any peasant in Autochthon can become an exalt by being heroic too, it just takes multiple lifetimes of heroism.


And greased wheels. The ruling souls like to keep the lumpen down, life after life.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

12 May 2008, 18:21

I will admit that upward mobility is not what it used to be. However, depending on how much you believe Autocthonian astrology, this may or may not be justified. I mean, if you have detailed records of every past life of every person and their behavior patterns are consistent throughout all of their incarnations, you can probably assign them to a job they will like with a high degree of success. If you're information is less detailed, behavior is less consistent from incarnation to incarnation, or the people running the system are corrupt, then naturally your odds of success are going to be lower.
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

12 May 2008, 20:25

Friv wrote:
Icarus: Yep, canonically Estasia is the militaristic nation, putting particular emphasis on heroism and duty. Of course, canonically there are no ghosts in Autochthonia, so who knows what the next change will be? ;)


Cool, I'll keep my eyes open for fun changes then :D
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

13 May 2008, 00:21

BrilliantRain wrote:
I will admit that upward mobility is not what it used to be. However, depending on how much you believe Autocthonian astrology, this may or may not be justified. I mean, if you have detailed records of every past life of every person and their behavior patterns are consistent throughout all of their incarnations, you can probably assign them to a job they will like with a high degree of success. If you're information is less detailed, behavior is less consistent from incarnation to incarnation, or the people running the system are corrupt, then naturally your odds of success are going to be lower.


Noi suggests otherwise. Slippery, slippery. Like oil, moving into different positions in ways you wouldn't predict. <^_^>
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Friv
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Re: Age Of Blood And Bone, Part Twenty-One: Confusion

13 May 2008, 12:46

Yeah, the system of "whatever you were before is where you should stay" only works if souls don't change between lives - or even over the course of a life.

Unfortunately, that's not true. A person at 70 can be very different than they were at 20, with different desires and goals in life. After they die and reincarnate, the new them is going to have a good chance of being equally different, if not more so. ;)

Still, that's Autochthonia for you. ;)
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