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    Checking in on the kids

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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 02:59 pm

    Kallista stopped in her stride and turned to look at Aleyn.

    "Wait... are you telling me you've been going to an orgy every month?"

    She cocked her head slightly.

    "How did I not know about this?!"
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 03:06 pm

    Aleyn chuckled. "I guess it didn't come up. She is the goddess of secrets and shadows too, after all. And besides, I don't go every month..."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 03:08 pm

    "So booze, music and sex and... outsiders are welcome, you say?" Kallista said with a distinctly unhealthy look in her eyes.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 03:09 pm

    Aleyn stifled a laugh. "Kallista," he said with a little sigh, "would you like to come to one sometime?"
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 03:16 pm

    "YES!" Kallista blurted, "I mean... yes. I would love to."

    She wrinkled her nose as if a thought had just occured to her.

    "Are you... sure you'd be ok with that? I mean, I don't want to make you uncomfortable. I know you people can be weird about this kind of thing."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 03:30 pm

    Aleyn smiled. "Like I said, ceremonies are different, or at least they are for me. It's not at all the same as if... I don't know, you asked to share a room with me and Vedran," he said with a chuckle. "Besides, you and I wouldn't necessarily be... together, you know, or even nearby. I'd be happy to take you to the temple and show you how everything works, introduce you to some people if you'd like, but then we could each go and do our own things."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 03:35 pm

    "That would be awesome!" Kallista said with unmistakable enthusiasm.

    "How in the world did you get started with something like that?"
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 03:58 pm

    "Well, my teacher, the woman who trained me, she's a follower," Aleyn said. "I didn't understand too much about what it meant when I started with her - I was thirteen, it wasn't really something I was that interested in at that point. But I sort of picked up some general knowledge about Sehanine that way. Miss Nettle, at least by the time I knew her, was more about the other aspects of the goddess anyway. At least, I prefer to think she was," he said, smiling wryly.

    "So, like I said, among kids in Highmark it's kind of a ... joke isn't exactly the right word, because they take it pretty seriously, but it's just something people talk about - how you can go there and have sex, which when you're, oh, seventeen or whatever, is a very big deal. I was never brave enough to go try it," he added with a smirk, "but I'm sure some of my friends did. As far as learning the ropes, though, it's probably a pretty good way to go about it, all things considered. The priests there are very used to dealing with first-timers."

    "Anyway, I was more of an, oh, second- or third-timer by the time I decided to try it out. At first for me it was a safe way to figure out more about what I actually liked and wanted, and I met some good people there too. Over time I guess I got more serious about it, started seeing the other aspects of the goddess as just as important, if not more important, but I still found it..." He considered his words carefully. "...meaningful, even beautiful in a way, to attend. Roth didn't understand why it mattered, or maybe I never did a good enough job of explaining it to him... anyway, after I was hurt, and all of that happened, it took me a while to go back, but when I did, it helped me a lot too, in terms of healing and comforting..." He shrugged, smiling. "And I guess that's probably more than you ever wanted to know, huh?"
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 04:07 pm

    "Not at all!" Kallista said, "I find it fascinating, actually. I guess I just figured that sex was something religions here didn't really talk about much. I mean, it was a powerful part of a lot of rituals for the cult when I was growing up, and I guess I should have realized that that energy could be used for good as well. I just never thought that you would be someone who was into that."

    "I mean..." she said quickly, "Not that I don't think you... ummm... you know what I mean."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 04:18 pm

    "What, because I'm too old, or too boring?" Aleyn feigned being offended, but he couldn't help smiling at Kallista's expression.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 04:20 pm

    "No, no!" Kallista said, her eyes wide in alarm, "Nothing like that! I just meant... I don't know, you're not very... you have some hangups about certain things and that's COMPLETELY understandable, I was just... Crap, I'm so sorry."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 04:40 pm

    Aleyn gave her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. "I'm not offended, don't worry, I was just teasing. I know I don't necessarily fit the picture you might have in mind... although one thing going to the full moon ceremonies definitely taught me is, people come in a wide range of... well, of everything, really - sizes, shapes, preferences... And I tend to be pretty private most of the time - which I guess is what you mean about hang-ups? - so I'm sure the contrast seems odd." He tried to think about how to explain it. "There's power in secrets, and also in the sharing of them. By telling people your secrets, you're giving them power over you to some extent, and by staying quiet and listening, you learn more. That's part of Sehanine's teachings, and I believe it. So I don't necessarily tell everyone all about myself right away, and when I do, it matters. Like with you," he added with a warm smile.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 05:12 pm

    Kallista nodded, slowly.

    "I guess I just... I don't like secrets. I don't like not telling people things. Especially people I like. It makes me feel... evil's not the right word. Dirty, maybe. Like I'm purposely deceiving them. Where I come from there were a lot of secrets and a lot of lies. I guess I just don't want to be like that. I'd rather people had power over me than feel like I was using them."

    She smiled up at him.

    "But thank you. It means a lot to me that you would trust me with your secrets."

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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 05/01/13, 05:25 pm

    Aleyn wrapped her in a hug. "Hey, I trust you with my life, the least I can do is trust you with a few secrets. And I'm really not that good at lying - you can check my Bluff scores at the Union if you don't believe me," he added with a smile. "I just try to be aware of the importance of it when I do choose to share things with certain people, I'm not like... leading a double life or something." He gave her another squeeze before releasing her so they could keep walking. "Anyway, the full moon ceremonies are a way of enabling uh, certain particular kinds of openness and sharing to take place, and that's important to me, I guess particularly because it's not something I do every day. I think you'd enjoy them, even if the other aspects of Sehanine aren't your thing."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 05/01/13, 05:32 pm

    Kallista queeked slightly at the unexpected hug, but quickly returned it.

    "Well, secrets may not be my thing, but there's no denying that the shadows have been good to me. I think at the very least I should go and give thanks for that."

    She chuckled slightly.

    "When we were in Akhas, Eressa told me there's nothing wrong with saying 'Thank You' now and again. And if this is how Sehanine wants her thanks, then who am I to argue."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 08/01/13, 09:38 am

    "That's a good way of looking at it," Aleyn agreed with a smile. "Saying 'thank you' to the gods is never a bad idea. Uh... it's right along here, right?" he said, pointing towards what he was pretty sure was the correct street. Soon enough they were walking into the dojo.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 08/01/13, 09:41 am

    Kallista knocked on the large wooden doors of the dojo and waited, not entirely sure who would be opening them.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Josh on 08/01/13, 04:05 pm

    On of the large doors swung inward, revealing an unfamiliar elven girl in her early teens. Her eyes darted over the pair quickly, somewhat uncomfortably. It was a moment before she actually spoke.

    "Miss Sinsinger, Mister Harrowden. Please, come in."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 08/01/13, 04:29 pm

    "Errr... hi." Kallista said awkwardly, "Thanks."

    She stepped into the front hallway of the building, stooping to remove her boots as Del had shown her.

    "We came by to see Master Halatir and the tiefling children. I hope we're not here at a bad time."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Josh on 08/01/13, 04:59 pm

    The girl smiled, stepping aside to let the pair inside.

    "We just finished the evening meal, so everyone is off doing 'individual study.'" She rolled her eyes. "The cult is in the courtyard, I think. Through here."

    She bid them follow her through a small hallway towards the interior of the dojo.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Curtana on 08/01/13, 05:47 pm

    "'The cult'?" Aleyn said under his breath, with a glance to Kallista as they followed their guide.
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 08/01/13, 05:54 pm

    Kallista shrugged silently towards her friend with a look of concern. It wasn't a comforting term to hear used in connection with the children they had "rescued", but it was possible that it was simply a shorthand or an inside joke. Better to see firsthand how the kids were fairing before making judgements.

    She stayed in step behind their young guide, trying to seem relaxed.

    "Can I ask youre name?" she said, by way of conversation, "And... out of curiosity, how did you already know ours?"
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Josh on 08/01/13, 06:30 pm

    "Malinoriel Amarantha, pleased to meet you," the girl offered with a nod. "As for your names, it was easy enough. Neither of you are dressed for the neighborhood, but obviously of some means. Likely lower down the mountain then. We don't usually have visitors this time of day, suggesting a personal rather than business call. Asking after Scion and the others meant you're most likely friends of Delona. You were easy enough to identify, Miss Sinsinger, and Mister Harrowden's missing fingers are a quick giveaway."

    She smiled, a somewhat lordly look on her face which quickly dissolved into a mischievous grin.

    "Besides, I saw you kick the Adventuring Guild's behinds back in Orichalchum."

    "As for your...charges? Other than Scion and Quest, they keep to themselves for the most part. With that and where they came from, the 'cult' nickname just kind of materialized."
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by tuck on 09/01/13, 04:23 pm

    Kallista smiled despite herself.

    "You're pretty observant, Malinoriel. I never would have noticed all that."

    "Have they been getting along ok? Have there been any... incidents... or anything?"
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    Re: Checking in on the kids

    Post by Josh on 09/01/13, 05:06 pm

    "They were all pretty antsy at first. Nowhere cried all the time, as opposed to just some. Torment tried picking fights, but he challenged Ohtaren Halatir and that put an end to that. Random sticks to his books; the ohtaren lets him visit the Iounian temple down the way now. Quest was kind of defensive at first, but she's taken to the training. And Scion, well, I think she's kind of self-conscious about her 'heritage,' but she's never been anything but nice. A little, uh, patronizing at times, but who am I to talk?"

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