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    Perspective

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    Perspective

    Post by tuck on 19/11/12, 12:02 pm

    Kallista set down the ceremonial pipe in its holder on the table and exhaled slowly, the light grey smoke gracefully swirling in the still temple air. She coughed slightly, her lungs rebelling.

    "Gods..." she said to the chuckling priestess sitting next to her when she caught her breath, "Are you... are you sure this stuff is safe?"
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 20/11/12, 08:22 pm

    Eressa smiled, taking the pipe from the young tiefling.

    "It just takes a little getting used to. I should have gotten the hookah, its usually a bit easier for first-timers."

    She took a measured draw off the pipe, a contented smile on her face as she let the smoke flow out of her mouth.

    "So, what brings you and your friends to Yeshual?"
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 20/11/12, 08:52 pm

    Kallista cleared her throat. The odor of the smoke surrounded her, bittersweet, but not unpleasant. She smiled lazily at the priestess. She knew better than reveal too much about their mission in Akhas, but she found that she liked the older woman immensely, and she somehow felt more relaxed than she had in the last week. She suspected it might be the fault of the drug, but despite it's popularity even in Nerath Kallista had no experience with it to draw on.

    "We're here to check on some friends," she said, "This is my first time ever in Akhas. I'm still not really sure what to expect here."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 21/11/12, 06:50 pm

    "That's probably a good thing. I find most experiences are more...enlightening if you go in without expectations."

    The priestess's eyes grew distance for a moment before she continued.

    "I came to Ahkas back in eighty, trying to find my brother and sister who had come over with Heket Nabari. Long story short, what was supposed to be a couple months has turned into over thirty years. Avandra takes us all where she will."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 21/11/12, 07:15 pm

    "Ain't that the truth..." Kallista said, leaning back on the soft couch, "Sometimes I look back at my life and wonder how it is I ever got to where I am. Avandra's path is a circuitous one, but she always gets us where we need to be eventually."

    She closed her eyes for a moment and felt momentarily dizzy, but in a pleasant way.

    "Did you find your brother and sister?" Kallista asked.
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 21/11/12, 08:05 pm

    "In a way. I found out my sister was killed when the Ahkasics retook Oshuar. My brother was captured by a nomad group in '81. He decided to stay. I've spent some time with them off and on over the years, but these old bones can't take the road life like they used to."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 21/11/12, 08:24 pm

    "I'm sorry about your sister..." Kallista said sympathetically, "I know how it is to lose people. I lost a... good friend of mine... very recently. He ummm..."

    Kallista trailed off with a sigh, unable to finish the sentence. She knew that continuing would only bring the tears that she had yet to cry. With all of the logistics of Roscoe's death and preparations for the new mission there had been no time yet to grieve.

    "I'm sorry..." she said.
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 21/11/12, 08:39 pm

    "I'm sorry for your loss. Avandra sees us all through one last journey. We pay our homage to the Queen and travel on to not even the gods know where."

    Eressa offered the pipe to Kallista again.

    "As for my sister, she died doing something she believed in, protecting people who needed it. There are worse ways to end your journey."

    She sighed, shaking her head and forcing a smile.

    "Not exactly idle talk, I apologize. Would you prefer to talk about something else? I know you were curious about our work here."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 21/11/12, 09:00 pm

    Kallista smiled.

    "I am," she said, taking the pipe with a nod of thanks, "Is the temple work here very different from in Nerath? And I'm still interested in hearing more about the local gods."

    She put the pipe to her lips and inhaled once more, holding in the aromatic smoke as long as she could before exhaling. It was less harsh this time, and she was growing accustomed to the taste.
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 21/11/12, 09:12 pm

    Eressa smiled wryly.

    "Admittedly, the temple is kind of a vanity project. Avandra will show her favor whether we have a presence here or not, but we do good work for the pilgrims and travelers here. Ahkas has a great deal more nomadic groups than Nerath does, so we have plenty to do. We're easily the most welcome of our Nerathi temples, but we have few true adherents. Largely, they consider Avandra a manifestation of their goddess Olladra, and I can't necessarily gainsay them."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 21/11/12, 09:20 pm

    "Olladra..." Kallista said, trying the name out. It was kind of funny sounding. Now that she thought about it, so was Avandra... and Kallista for that matter.

    "They even sounds similar," she said with a grin, "But... are they the same god or not? Is there any way to know for sure? I mean surely Ioun must know if nothing else..."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 21/11/12, 11:45 pm

    The older woman chuckled contentedly.

    "I'd bet a thousand gold I don't have no one has ever gotten a straight answer out of her. Besides, in the end, it doesn't really matter now, does it?"

    "We'll all keep," she began, interrupting herself with another small laugh, "getting lucky whether its Avandra or Olladra or whoever sending it our way. The sun will shine, storms will rage, love and law and lords will all continue one way or another, whether we say our prayers or not."


    Last edited by Josh on 22/11/12, 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 22/11/12, 12:03 am

    Kallista nodded slowly, as if impressed by the sagacity of the remark. Her eyes seemed focused on something very far away.

    "Yeah..." she said.

    After a moment she shook her head and frowned.

    "Wait, no. Then what's the point of... all of this..." she said, waving her arm as if to encompass the whole temple, perhaps the whole city, "If it doesn't matter, why bother praying?"
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 22/11/12, 12:09 am

    "Hells, is there something wrong with saying 'thank you?' Just because there'd still be a world without the gods doesn't mean they don't help."

    Eressa waved her hand, gesturing to the room and, Kallista assumed, the temple/hostel itself.

    "Besides, I'll bet you haven't seen me pray since you got here. Instead, I've swept the floors, made beds, done some laundry, and made sure you and your friends were comfortable. We don't worship the gods so they'll give us things, Kallista; that's not how it works. They help us regardless. Some of us just feel compelled to follow their example."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 22/11/12, 12:28 am

    Kallista nodded, slightly abashed.

    "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to... I know how important it is to say thank you. And how important it is to help people."

    She sighed and looked down at her hands, seeming somewhat surprised to realize she was still holding the pipe. She offered it back to her hostess carefully.

    "Speaking of which, I hadn't thanked you for putting us up. We all appreciate your hospitality."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 22/11/12, 12:34 am

    "You're welcome, but its not really mine to give. I'm just watching the place a while."

    Kallista got the distinct impression Eressa wasn't solely referring to the temple.

    "Its nice to have visitors from home. We get fewer Nerathi here than anywhere this side of the Keraals, so, if nothing else, I'm happy just to get the chance to speak Nerathi again."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 22/11/12, 12:49 am

    Kallista smiled lazily.

    "Do you not get to go back ever? I mean you guys have a portal right here. Don't you ever get vacations?"
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 25/11/12, 09:45 pm

    Eressa smiled back.

    "Eh, I travel a fair bit, but I don't think I've been home in, oh, a decade. Rituals aren't cheap, and there's always work to be done."

    The priestess gave the younger woman an appraising look.

    "You sound like you've had a fair bit of travel yourself..."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 25/11/12, 11:08 pm

    "Oh, I've seen more than my share of miles. I hope to see plenty more, but I guess... you never know in this line of work."

    Kallista sighed. Somehow her mind had lead her right back to Roscoe once again. She shook her head and changed the topic.

    "Speaking of lines of work, what made you decide to dedicate your life to the priesthood?"
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 26/11/12, 12:30 pm

    Eressa looked distant for a moment before answering.

    "When I was talking about giving thanks earlier, that was from personal experience. When I said I came over, that's a very brief version of that story. I had to go from Yondon ti Highmark, to Thantopolis, to Mythragal, all before I got here. Then I spent years crossing the continent looking for my family. By the time I had answers, pretty much all I knew was the road, and somehow I'd managed to remain relatively safe despite traveling in the middle of a war. Not that there weren't a few close calls..."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 26/11/12, 01:51 pm

    Kallista nodded. She knew all about close calls.

    "I very nearly joined the priesthood myself once. Avandra saved me from a very bad situation and then she sent one of her servants to see me safely to where I needed to be. When I ended up in Highmark the first thing I did was seek out the local temple to give thanks. I asked the head priestess what I could do to repay what I owed Lady Luck. I expected her to try to recruit me into the temple, but instead she told me that the lady tells each of us what she wants us to do and that we just need to learn to listen. She said I should go out into the city and listen to what Avandra was telling me."

    Kallista shrugged and reached for the pipe again.

    "That night I wound up getting into a bar fight in Undertow and recruited into the Explorer's Union. I guess sometimes The Lady isn't all that subtle."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 26/11/12, 03:30 pm

    Eress smiled brightly at the tiefling's comment.

    "Oh, absolutely. There's a sort of apocryphal set of tales as we faithful trade stories of the more outlandish aid we've received from Avandra."

    The priestess chuckled a moment before continuing.

    "Ivar, one of our wandering priests, has this story about running from some Silver Flame fanatics in Berzane. They have no love for foreigners and our religious interpretations, and Ivar isn't one to back down from a challenge. That said, there were quite a few of them and only one of him. There's trusting in the goddess, and then there's pressing your luck."

    "So Ivar made a run for it when they came for him, ducking through the marketplace. He's got a good head for alleyways and the like, but they were locals and managed to keep up. He rounded a corner to find a dead end where he'd have sworn there was a way through. Just as the first of his pursuers rounded the corner, two things happened. First, a full chamberpot was emptied directly onto the oncoming templars, blinding them and sending them sprawling onto the cobblestones. Second, a secret door opened quite by chance next to Ivar."

    "Taking his chances, Ivar ducked into the doorway past a rather confused young woman, who quickly shut the door upon spying the templars, who'd yet to get their bearings. Once he got a good look at his surroundings, Ivar realized he'd stumbled into the back door of one of the marketplace's brothels. Well, the ladies and gentlemen there had had plenty of trouble with the templars themselves, so they allowed Ivar sanctuary from his assailants, feeding them false information about how someone had seen the Nerathi priest scramble up the alley walls while they foundered in the shit."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 26/11/12, 04:21 pm

    Kallista started laughing uncontrollably, nearly spilling the hot ashes on herself in the process. It took her nearly a minute before she could catch her breath enough to continue.

    "Oh gods..." she chortled, "Wow... that's definitely one of the better Avandra stories I've heard. I don't think I have any to match that."

    "I think..." she began, but paused for a moment and looked around, trying to adjust her eyes. For some reason she couldn't seem to make them focus.

    "When did everything get so... different?"
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by Josh on 30/11/12, 09:00 pm

    Eressa gently took the pipe from the bewildered tiefling, smiling lazily.

    "Yeah, maybe that should be enough for you for now."

    She leaned back, sighing.

    "Wish we had a wizard around here. Prestidigitation is amazing for times like this."
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    Re: Perspective

    Post by tuck on 30/11/12, 09:32 pm

    "You know..." Kallista said, somewhat absently, "You know what would be amaaaaaaazing?"

    Kallista looked up at Eressa with hopeful eyes.

    "Do you have any Shawarma?"

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