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(Created page with "{{Guild|Warrior's}} {{ArcNav|Arc=Dissonance Theory}} '''Summary:''' Chance -- or fate -- brings Lionel together with Kasyr and Rorin near Coreliant's shrine. Deciding the time...")
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Latest revision as of 02:00, 13 January 2020

This is a Warrior's Guild RP.

Part of the Dissonance Theory Arc

Summary: Chance -- or fate -- brings Lionel together with Kasyr and Rorin near Coreliant's shrine. Deciding the time has finally come to reveal to Kasyr the fate of an old friend and former captain of the Tranquility, Lionel leads the Kensai into the shrine. There, Kasyr reunites with a certain long-lost Navarre sibling, and the heavy truth behind Lionel's silence on the matter becomes known. Their reunion has unexpected results, however, as Lionel finds a second obsidian obelisk inside the shrine, identical in form and function to the one which he and Penelope had recently witnessed rising from a stream in the Southern Sage Forest. The monks admit to having stolen it from a nearby cult and inciting their wrath -- as well as the arrival of strange, carnivorous flora to the region. Wanting to get back into the thick of things, Navarre agrees to team up with Lionel, Kasyr, and Rorin in order to investigate the cult.

Mountain Path

It was a new day for Lionel, and he wondered if it might be the third uneventful day in a row. He had spent the prior two days making the trek from the Royal Academy of Aramoth, where the Warrior’s Guild was staged, en route to Kelay. With his nameless horse’s ankle sprained, Lionel elected to travel on foot, as was his custom. His goal? To check up on Mesthak, Kelay Tavern’s stout and stalwart barkeep, in the weeks since they had both first met the changeling Quintessa -- as well as a veritable company’s worth of rival assassins. The place had been a mess when last Lionel was there, though he knew that was nothing especially out of the ordinary for Kelay Tavern. Still, it wouldn’t do to neglect Mesthak after all that; for all he knew, further assassins had ransacked the tables and chairs and shelved spirits. Lionel had reached the mountain path between Xalious Village and the outskirts of Kelay, just north of the shrine in Coreliant’s honor, by the time that night had fallen in full. He decided to camp out in the cold, keeping a fire set beside him just off the trail, and at sunrise he felled the remaining embers and stretched. Another few hours would bring him to Mesthak, where he’d pat himself on the shoulder for being a decent human being and then pay Penelope Halifax a visit. He knew that his good friend Rorin was not far behind him, if only because his good friend Rorin was seldom far behind. It seemed an inevitability that they would soon unite and go the remainder of the course together. Lionel, however, would soon learn that today would be far more eventful than all that. Not only would further signs of a looming mystery manifest, but an old ally was about to force his hand.

Kasyr is currently immersed in a task of the utmost importance, doing his utmost to maintain a steady pace along the road. With both the insidious peril posed by the undead deity Caluss, and the malign menance of Gospel- it certainly makes sense for the Kensai to be in a hurry. Only, he's not heading in any direction relevant to those quite literally realm threatening entities. No, what has the former tiefling rushing along towards this region is far more mundane in nature, given that the swordsmans pack is currently laden with research papers that he's had to grade. After all, there was something weirdly fulfilling about playing teacher- even if it did somewhat impinge on his ability to remain drunk at all times. ...Slightly. In any case- whatever bits of dismay he's harbouring over whatever new bits of office related minutae are set aside in the moment, as he becomes aware of the faint wisp of smoke trailing up. "Pilgrims? Wait, no." They'd be more apt to take sanctuary within the shrine walls- instead of egging it like it rightfully deserves. "If you're a bandit, I don't have the time today, s'il te plait." That's a lie. He always has time to stab bandits.

Rorin semeed to have some sort of internal compass set to L at the top for Lionel, wether it be the bond they shared as fighters of the worlds hidden frontline, the mysterious sort of circumstances that lead odd people to bump into each other, or that nearly graspanle force that is destiny - perhaps such was the pilgrims ka, and the catalian his ka-tet. With all the un-ceremony that is two people who have had their fates intertwined, Rorin showed up chewing a biscuit and sat down by the fire as if a place had been made for him - and perhaps it had. "She misses you," Rorin mentioned off-handedly, "she's doing well though. Keeps herself busy." But of course the young man was sure Lionel already knew. Rorin took a good long look at Lionel with his silvery half elf eyes and tried to decide if freedom had done him any good. It was only a matter of tine, of course, before he would be engaged in another long and hard fought battle to save the world, so the young paladin was looking to see if these so small and precious vacations from such large death defying events were treating the Commander well. Some people never really leave their work you know- and the business of killing things never really left anyone- but as long as he wasn't madly muttering something to himself again or doing that thousand yard stare then Rorin would have to suppose he was all right. A small secret part of him wanted to be a boy again, sitting next to wise old men by the fire and have not a single problem in the world to care about. He wondered if Lionel felt the same - he was barely twice Rorins age in the rest of his face at least, let alone the haunted look that at times invades his eyes. Did Lionel ever get to be a child before the time to be one passed? Boy it sure was an introspective and thoughtful day in Rorins mental neighborhood. It was only at this moment that Rorin really noticed Kasyr at all, sorry. "The hell is that-" he said betwern biscuits, "isn't that the sword guy we know that cut the bugs and taught that pretty uh... that girl with the sharp teeth, Quintessa?" Rorin had never spoken to Kasyr alone, the experience he sensed within the man once more definitely made him worthy of a title better sounding than 'that sword guy too' but really all he could muster up was a slightly embarassed wave.

Lionel was expectedly unfazed when Rorin sat beside him, though he wondered what his friend was doing huddled next to a dead fire. In any case, he continued stretching, and he winced in Kasyr’s general direction, unable to see the Kensai as of yet. Still, with nary but a single sentence to parse, Lionel was nearly at the realization of the voice’s identity before Rorin blurted it out bluntly. It sent a shiver down the Catalian’s spine, prompting him to quickly button up his jacket. The sun had barely risen, and winter’s evenings did not willingly relent. “Is she pretty?” He thought about Quintessa briefly before shaking his head to push such notions wayward. It felt weird, being ‘claimed’, but Lionel had just enough common sense to understand that further such inquiries might not make for thrilled befriended healers. Rorin’s cursory examination of Lionel’s person likely yielded positive results -- the former prince was in decent enough cheer, his blue eyes unclouded. That was, until Kasyr entered into view. “Not a bandit, no, although I’m never quite certain you think otherwise of me,” he answered slowly.

Kasyr probably should have heeded that weird sense of the familiar, because it's honestly a little bit too early in the morning for this. He can't help but stoop a little bit, his eyes squinting at the Catalian now that he can properly see him- though it seems less like a gunslingers prelude to violence, and more because the swordsman looks about as fresh as a necromancers pet. Where Lionels eyes are unclouded, Kasyrs are marked by pronounced bags that might allow him to masquerade as a raccoon. Though, he wouldn't be surprised if that sense of tension and alertness had crept into both of their postures, "I think it's a bit late for denials on that front, monsieur. Though you -do- have a penchant for theatrical et altogether heroic journeys of redemption. So. . . " Kasyr is going somewhere with that- honest! But he's also just sort of patting around himself in search of one of his flasks (they're in his office), or- ah! Yup, Trusty cigarette behind his ear to puff on, "Maybe you'll set things right in the time since I last saw tu." Kasyr, for all his snark, has at least remaining in a 'ask questions first, stab after' frame of mind- which is also probably why he deigns to glance over towards Rorin and give a cant of his head, "He a linguist, too? You might want your coin back. Esche makes better first impressions." There's a cattish grin that seems right at home with the perky ears on Kasyrs head- and which might be indicative of how he got wind of a certain less than dignified description of himself.

Rorin paused halfway between reviving the fire as Lionel questioned the boys opinion on Quintessa before resuming his motions with a cough. Hopefully he didn't blush for too long as he stored the shard of Hellfire he was using (and would meet with little protest he reasoned) as a mere pocket-lighter convention. After the deep red glow with its strange dancing shapes passed and warmth came from the small blaze Rorin turned to witness Lionel and Kasyrs test of wills. If it wasn't that, it definitely wasn't a comfortable conversation, that at least was wasy to tell. He was confused to hear of Lionel as a bandit - that certainly didnt seem accurate - but he smiled amicably at the little joke made at his expense anyway. After all, so far the conversation was civil, but he had detected when it began the sense it could just as easily not be.

Lionel sighed. Ka and ka-tet, indeed; the odds of these three travelers crossing paths at precisely the same time were ordinarily slim enough, but for it to happen here of all places… Lionel didn’t much care for ‘signs’, and he seldom subscribed to their notion, but on these rare occasions he questioned his own agnosticism. A stray wind blew in from beyond the mountains, ruffling up the man’s hair. As he fiddled with it to stay in place, Lionel took off southbound with a purposeful stride. “Come along, Rorin,” he tilted his head back to say. “As for you,” he tilted to Kasyr, “I think it’s finally safe for you to learn the truth.” Though the Kensai was evidently quite hungover, Lionel couldn’t refuse the opportunity afforded by him not only to lay a claim he had willfully hidden away whilst Kahran still breathed, but to prove that claim before Kasyr Azakhaer would inevitably have attempted to counter its authenticity. The mountain path was mere dotted bits of bare dirt here, but over the course of several minutes the dirt gave way to gravel. Visible in the distance behind a thin fog, the Ascendi Coreliant’s shrine was bejeweled with studded sapphires set upon its wooden walls. A trail of smoke, obscured by the fog, ran off into the grim, grey clouds. A monk dressed in a simple black robe nodded politely to the men as he hurried up the path from whence they came, likely to fetch bread and other such supplies from the nearest village. For all the dark happenings of the Ascendi saga, the few who remained at this particular temple seemed a surprisingly simple-living and kindly sort. Lionel paused at the red lacquer door and turned to face Kasyr. Rather than knocking, he paused and drew a breath. Would the Kensai burst on in without him? Was he understandably frustrated with the cryptic stroll?

Shrine to Coreliant

Kasyr gives a sidelong glance to the third person present, trying to hold onto the name in the hopes that it might linger even after the dull ache of his hangovers gone.A headache the swordsman is almost certainly expecting to intensify, if only because that is so often 'business as usual'. "This better not be a crypt." Though that statement is amended as their travels gradually take them closer to the temple, the swordsman providing a less than thrilled, "Or a reliquary. That would be even worse, enfin. Patron saint of the misplaced es not something I'd find endearing." That said, for all the abundant amounts of snark that Kasyr is more than willing to provide in this moment, he's not quite barging in. It's not hesitance, exactly- but there's a sense of discomfort in actually approaching this place. Coreliant had been a whimsical and dangerous Ascendi at the best of times- and they had not exactly parted on the best of terms when he'd left that deities service. "You know, he threatened to use my guts as a skipping rope once. Coreliant, I mean. So I hope his clergy es a bit more... well-balanced."

“That doesn’t sound practical,” Lionel mused, attempting to envision one’s guts being used in such a manner. “I don’t think anyone has ever threatened me in that particular manner. So… good job, I guess.” The Catalian decided against knocking and instead reached for the doorknob and tugged. With a heavy heart, he swung the door wide open. Inside, two rows of monks, four on either side, knelt for early morning services in front of a ninth monk who held a book up high without reading from it. In fact, the shrine was in complete silence, save for a tenth monk in the far back who was feasting on a bowl of salted rice with cashews and some kind of small fried fish. The tenth monk, much like the rest of them, was hooded and garbed in black. “Well, I’ll say this much.” Lionel began to make his way toward the feasting individual. “At least this clergy knows how to shut up.” A few of the kneeling monks turned around briefly enough to shoot proverbial daggers from their eyes at him before returning to their original positions, but Lionel didn’t seem to mind. It was a morning full of familiar voices, it seemed, for the feasting monk set down his bowl upon the serving table and lowered his hood. He had shaggy brown hair, medium-length and halfway to covering his ears. His facial features were sharp, with a slightly pointed nose and high cheekbones. His eyes shone and his build was lithe. His skin was quite light and his stubble was weak. He was unmistakably Catalian. And unmistakably Quinton Navarre. The man looked to be several years younger than Lionel, though not quite as young as Rorin. His chest rose with excitement and his jaw went slack. “You said you’d warn me ahead of time,” he stammered to Lionel, pulling off his monk’s robe to reveal a leather tunic and matching slacks. None of the other monks seem to pay the action any heed. “This is no way to greet him!” Quinton shook his head and reached his hand out to Kasyr. It was all he could think to do right now. “You’re thinking I’m an illusion, a ghost, a clone, who-knows-what,” he said to Kasyr. “It’ll take some doing, but I think I can prove otherwise. And I think you should hear things directly from me. No offense to the ex-prince over here, but I’m betting my words will be worth a heftier sum.” Lionel shrugged. “None taken. Are those cashews?” He helped himself.

Kasyr isn't really sure how to respond to Lionels musing other than a weary, "Et that was when I was in his good graces, oui." There wasn't much else for him to say, however, when their journey takes them into the temple- the swordsman casting a glance over sights which match up to his memories in an altogether uncomfortable manner. It's not just the nuances of the temples aesthetic that strikes the empath, either- as there's a distinct sense of familiarity which seems imprinted onto the place. But, It's only when Kasyr turns to face the final monk that a sense of recognition fully settles in. There's a well of feelings there, and he can't help but shoot Lionel a look that is well and truly befuddled, but beyond all that, there's a palpable sense of relief when he reaches out to take Quintons hand and firmly shake it. "Clergy instead of a Reliquary, or being post-humously canonized as a saint. That's, better. Er." His brows knit together for a moment, before he draws his hand back and stuffs it awkwardly into his pocket, "An explanation es a bit due though, yes. I just need a moment to process that we're doing dramatic revelations in a temple devoted to the deity of deception, enfin. Just give me a moment." There's a part of him that just wants to laugh, that's so difficult to suppress, because as much as Quinton seems anxious to assure the Kensai he's real, the swordsman doesn't quite doubt that. The emotions that radiate from him seem far too vibrant, helping to solidify the fact that this meeting is truly happening.

Rorin entered with reverance and made a passing motion of religious tolerance towards the monk. He listened to the two older men talk, but didn't havd much a point of reference for wha th they said. He remembered a shrine in the rangers turrets to some ascendi th and that they held as more superstitious than culturally signifcant. He had read what he could about them but it was not much - people simply didnt talk about them anymore. Rorin cringed as Lionel passed off the monks practices with no small measure of doubt or perhaps disrespect, and to be honest Rorin was not entirely certain why this monk in particular had anything of import to say over any other monk. Largely the boy remained quiet, taking in what he saw with casual respect. It was no more reverant here than the temple he'd grown up in after all, and monks breathed and bled like the rest of them. Lionel was immortal in age according to legend, so really how much more impressive could anyone Rorin meet be? It sure seems like that Kasyr guy has a lot better understanding - or at least is taking a greater impact from - the introductions though, so Rorin continues to keep his mouth shut in the hopes someone explains it to he and that he doesn't have to look too embarassed while they do so.

Lionel recognized the bewildered look on Rorin’s face. It was true; he had not warned Navarre ahead of time as planned. Nor had he bothered to explain anything to Rorin, for there wasn’t enough time to do so. This meeting had been in the works for months now, but Lionel hadn’t anticipated such a pristine opportunity to present itself to him at sunup. He finished chewing on a handful of cashews and offered some to Rorin as well. They were excellent cashews, after all. “Right,” Navarre said. He had laughed with real mirth at Kasyr’s observational irony. “Alright, so um, where to begin?” Lionel had already shoved more cashews into mouth, and in-between bites, he offered an unhelpful “At the beginning.” Navarre folded his arms and sighed. “The beginning it is. You’ve harbored a great deal of resentment toward this guy,” he waved his hand at Lionel,” for a very long time. And if I’m being honest, it’s all rather touching. But I haven’t been completely out of the loop lately, and I kind of get the impression that you’re keenly aware of what happens when conflicting personas occupy the same, um, physical space.” He winced and wondered if that was overstepping things a tad. “When my body was possessed, it was a living hell. Don’t get me wrong, it sucked. But the guy over there robbing this poor church of its nuts didn’t do it. Not truly.” Lionel interjected, approaching the others. “I’ve already done the whole apology song-and-dance, kid, so don’t let me off the hook too easily.” Navarre scratched at his stubble and shrugged. “Sure thing. You can wash the dishes before we leave. But it was Halycanos who was in control of you when you, well, took control of me. And now Halycanos is dead. And I’m ready to move on with my life. So long as you allow me to do that much, I harbor no ill will toward you.” This was Quinton Navarre. Somewhat softer-spoken than he used to be, perhaps, but still nearly as snappy as Lionel himself. “I was frozen in time for years,” Navarre went on. “I don’t know how else to explain it. It wasn’t like a dream… it was more like a mirror I couldn’t escape from. My soul drifted until it found the rest of me. It pieced itself back together. I’ve not been… alive again for long, Kas. But for whatever it’s worth, I’m only here because of him.” Lionel had caught something from the corner of his eye, a shaped slab of obsidian at the far end of the shrine, and he’d already gone off to investigate. From afar, it looked oddly reminiscent of the stone obelisk which had risen at the lake where he and Penelope Halifax had recently visited. “He says he told you a year ago that he’d repent by finding me. So, he did. And so, here I am. I hated the idea, but he convinced me to stay here for the past few months since my, uh, return to this mortal coil. That Kahran guy had something to do with the Dark Immortals, and the Dark Immortals destroyed Catal. Lionel feared Kahran would come looking for me, and I’m only just recovering. Also, who’s this guy?” He chinned over at Rorin.

Kasyr's response to 'at the beginning' was pretty matter of fact, since he essentially plucks a sword out of a silvery distortion in the air, and proceeds to set it nicely floating in the air behind himself so he has something to sit on. Which leaves him situated and smoking (the Incense that was burning off in a corner clearly meant this wasn't a no smoking zone)- and ready for the inevitable exposition dump. Or, at least, he thought he was ready. Kasyr isn't certain if the reference was towards the spiritual discord he's suffered as an experienced soul eater, what came on the cusp after being purged of his demonic taint, or his long standing conflict with Gospel- but none of the above are pleasent, and all of them on their own are enough to provoke a wince. Which, means Kasyr's making something like a Wince^3 right now. The only thing the swordsman can think to ask is a simple enough, "Were you conscious through much of it, or?" That said, the Kensai quiets down again, soaking in the details of what had come to past with a relative lack of commentary- if only because of the dreadful familiarity of some of it. "Could have picked worse places. I mean, if you're going to live a lie." Kasyr finally starts squinting at Rorin, "You know, I don't rightly know? I thought he might have been an aide-de-camp or something recently, but then I remembered Krice saying Kahran was dead. So. Uh. ...Hmm." That loss of focus aside, the Kensai does manage to offer up an altogether genuine enough smile, "In any case, it's good to see you again, captain. What's your plans now? I'd personally suggest finding Caedan, if tu can." To bring at least one tragedy to a close in a long conga line of them.

Rorin took more than a handful of cashews and as soon as he heard the words “from the beginning” he sat right down like any other monk. At the mention of a couple of things like the destruction of Catal or Halycanos, Rorin had a couple of slow awkward chews as he felt the shape of Hellfires shard in his pocket. The pilgrim eyed the stone in the corner with only a minor pause - what shrine doesn’t have some kind of weird object in the corner, after all. Once it came time Rorin introduced himself quietly and respectfully before he offered to shake hands and all that, it all really seemed like he had stumbled into an adult conversation about something rather grim in another room and probably should have left by now but he was just sort of around, really. On second thought he should probably bow than shake hands, that seemed more respectful. As the monk had spoken, Rorin understood something about being trapped yet aware - he’d heard things like that before, the paladin was a well read boy after all. Of course Kasyr had sat down as well - and then at one point he made a face that looked just painful. Hopefully all this would make sense soon.

Lionel confirmed his suspicions: this slab of stone was indeed an obelisk exactly like the one he and Penelope had seen. “Weird,” he said without fanfare. “Hey. Monk dudes. Is this thing active?” The head monk blinked and removed his hood; the rest followed suit, rising from their kneeling positions one and all. The knees cracked on a couple of the older ones and a younger but heavyset lad. “Sweet mercy,” one monk said, “I don’t know how you all kneel for so long. Let’s talk about kneeling instead.” He sounded agitated. “We kneel all the damn time. Sun rises? Kneel. Sun’s high in the sky? Kneel. Sun’s way down low? Kneel. Moon’s up? Kneel. Do you ever get to thinking, ‘Maybe Coreliant doesn’t care?’” Lionel watched the other monks glance around awkwardly. “Kasyr’s met the guy, I bet he just wants to string all your guts into skipping ropes.” He munched some more cashews as every single monk gave the Kensai a glare. Except the one monk, who nodded earnestly and agreed. “Anyway, you’re all being awfully dodgy about this big rock.” Lionel gestured to the obelisk. “See this runic writing? I saw another obelisk just like it with the same scriptwork recently. Mind cluing me in on what’s up here?” Navarre raised his hands into the air and jogged over between Lionel and the monks. “Fellows, fellows, please. Don’t mind this guy. He’s uh, new.” The head monk shook his head. “He’s Lionel O’Connor, famed Hero of Hellfire. I know who he is, and he ought to show a little more respect.” Navarre cringed. Lionel also cringed. “Anyway, the rock.” Lionel was not going to budge from the subject. The monks grew even uneasier and started walking around in small circles, whispering to one-another. “Look, if this thing is going to summon a scornful demigod or something, we’ve got three solid fighters in the building and another guy who, uh, knows how to drive a warship?” Navarre scoffed. “I can fight,” he muttered. “So,” Lionel continued, “if that’s what’s going on here, please just let us all know so that we can skip to the final boss music and jail you for being strange cultists or whatever.” “That is absolutely not what is going on here!” The head monk protested. “We are not the strange cultists in this scenario. We are humble monks! We may have… absconded with the obelisk after visiting certain… strange cultists, however.” Lionel shrugged and sighed, knocking on the stone to no effect. “So you stole it.” “We are not thieves!” “You’re thieves.” “Are not!” Navarre had no idea how to placate the men who had sheltered him these past few months and simply gave up, sitting down on a pew with his hands against his forehead in defeat. “So you stole it from some weirdos.” Lionel turned away from the stone obelisk now and approached the head monk, who backed away half in fear and half in simple embarrassment. “What were they doing with it? I saw one of these things pop up out of a lake the other day and the ground shook. Creepy stuff. Were they doing creepy stuff?” The head monk swallowed hard and nodded slowly. “Yes, sir. Quite creepy. There were big, man-eating plants all over their backyard. We uh… we lost Henry.” Navarre got up from the pew and whistled to himself. “You said Henry was on vacation.” “A very lengthy vacation, I’m afraid,” the head monk said weakly.

Kasyr extends a hand out in Lionels direction, palm facing upwards- with an expression that is 1 part tired, and 1 part irritated. Though, it becomes way more irritated in general when he finds himself the subject of a number of glares, the Kensai proving himself to be a virtuous pillar of responsibility and temperance in the wake of that transcendantal judgement. Hah. Who are we kidding, he just takes a puff of his smoke and flips them the bird twice over. "Being a jerk, but not wrong. Exactly. Just skipping ropes es boring. He'd change it off if they got boring, ou failed him." The swordsman is more than content to sit back and watch the ensuing drama as Quinton tries to sooth the potential issue, leaving Kasyr free to contemplate the tragic irony of when he offered to show someone the ropes as a paladin to Coreliant, "Oof."Also, wait. "In their defense, stealing from cultists isn't a crime. That's, er, an integral part of Vailkrins economy, enfin." Or at least, it's coded in the legislature that being a cultist is a legitimate reason to have your assets seized and you to be stabbed. Kasyr -really- hates cultists. "I'd give that one a pass, even if they're apparently terrible at human resource management for more than plant food."

Rorin slowed his chewing to a stop as Lionel went about a line of questioning that was turning up some interesting results before stuffing the cashews wholly into a pocket and getting up. “They appropriated it,” he reasoned, after all, stealing evil things from criminals was... well, it didn’t really *seem* wrong, at least. “So, you have no idea what it does?” Again this seemed a safe assumption but Rorin knew that it would probably be followed from Lionel with “and then you stuck it in a room with all of you while you did your monk stuff” and immediately passed it off as another part of The Doubtfuls nonsense, as they were sometimes called. “Giant plants,” Rorin chewed thoughtfully. It was always giant something it would seem. Bugs, plants, what’s next - rodents? Not if this guy could do anything about it. Rorin didn’t get all this stuff between Kasyr and this Quinton guy and Lionel, but this was easy enough to understand - cultists, evil rock, giant plants. “Should we break it? Or, I dunno, study the markings or something?” Rorin was aware Lionel wasn’t really the studying kind of mind…

The monks seemed to be latching onto Kasyr and Rorin’s shared defense of cultist artifact theft for dear life. Were they afraid they’d be turned in or something? To who, exactly? Lionel had no idea what this thing even was. “You know, I’m not the studying type,” Lionel accidentally read Rorin’s mind. “Can you just tell me what you know about it? Also, why is it in the southwestern corner of your shrine?” The head monk swallowed hard again, visibly sweating. “Well, it’s kind of pretty whenever the runic symbols light up.” Lionel and Navarre both fixed him with the same look. “What? It is. Sometimes the ground shakes and the runes flash various colors. We never know what to expect. It’s exciting. Also, it’s in the southwestern corner for peak feng shui.” The other monks all nodded as they fetched their breakfast. There was an air of disappointment at the relative lack of cashews for their salted rice and fried fish accompaniment. “You didn’t think that maybe any of this was troubling?” Lionel asked Navarre rather than the head monk. “I did,” Navarre spat back, “but someone told me not to leave this shrine.” Lionel bit his lip. “Fair point. Anyway, you stole a rock because it’s pretty.” He paused. “I can respect that. But what were the cultists doing with it before you stole it?” Maybe that could help clue him into its function. Certainly, these obelisks at least seemed to have a thing for minor earthquakes. But why? The head monk scratched his bald head and wiped the sweat from his forehead. “A few of them were for… for… for…” Lionel and Navarre gestured for him to continue impatiently. “For… for…” “What were they for?” Navarre was tired of this already. “Not for anyone, Brother Quint! Not for anyone!” The head monk coughed. “For… nicating! A f-few of them were f-fornicating on top of it. Heinous!” The monks all gasped at their own memory, except that one monk, who giggled like a schoolgirl in July. “So it’s a fuckstone,” Lionel made up the word on the spot. “And it causes… good vibrations.” He smirked and looked to his companions for approval. “Get it? Because of the…” He cleared his throat. “Anyway. I’m not sure intercourse is much to go off on, but I’m still a bit concerned over these man-eating plants of theirs. Where can we find these weirdos?” The head monk pointed outside. “Downriver. Follow the trail to a crimson pagoda of sorts. Please exercise caution, sir. The plants may be hungry and the… orgy, too, may be… hungry. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.” Navarre saluted Kasyr. “Gonna find Caedan, yep,” he answered at long last. “But I kind of want to get in on the action. Not that kind of action.” He scratched at his stubble again. “You guys do hero things or whatever, right? I want to tag along for this one.”

Kasyr might not be talking right now, but his expression is anything but charitable- perhaps because he's becoming increasingly convinced he understands how these weirdos could take to worshipping Coreliant. "Of a like ilk." Though, when the Kensai hears them mention Feng Shui, he does find himself framing the stone between his fingers as though it were a still life portrait, and agreeing with that assertion- especially if it does glow. "Wait, but, wouldn't it roll around when it makes earth termors, ou does it stay constant when nothing else does?" Asking the important questions here. Whatever satisfaction the swordsman feels seeps away when Lionel gets clever and decides to grant the stone an official moniker, which Kasyr immediately tries to forget. And fails. "Can we get off that topi-" He throws up his hands, shuts up and allows this trainwreck of a conversation to resume course for a bit, only chipping in at Quintons desire to partake in a healthy daily dose of heroism, "I won't stop you. But I'm going to be keeping an eye on you, cap'n. The last thing I need to be, is responsible for disappointing Caedan et letting you die on my watch."

Rorin felt the cashew he’d started chewing turn sour and he felt a bit gross. “So, cultists of Delisha?” He’d had... personal experience with a cultist of Delisha who happened to know a thing about plants. “This thing has got to be doing something at least kind of evil,” he mumbled as he tried to sense it without interacting with it. “Crimson pad, eh?” Rorin was mentally scratching facts on a notepad as he thoughtfully rubbed his growing goatee. “Well, either way, we gotta get it out of here. It’s gotta go. And then we can stop these cultists.” Rorin was definitely ready to get out of here.

Lionel opened the shrine’s door and enjoyed the wind. The clouds were thicker now and the fog was even heavier than it was before but the chillness in the air was energizing. “Coming with, eh?” Navarre nodded and sped up to reach the others. “I hear you, Kas. I’ll be careful, I promise. But the opportunity to adventure alongside you again is simply too good to let pass me by. Even if our adventure is… this.” The thought of barging in on this cult in the midst of a ‘ritual’ sent his stomach into knots and silently he wished he could have been around for just about any world-ending threat by comparison. Perhaps he would ask Kasyr and Lionel for pointers later, because he felt reasonably certain this couldn’t possibly be it. But Lionel, on the other hand, sensed something more wicked than Woodstock. For all his usual reserve of bad jokes, there was something tickling at the back of his brain -- he and Rorin had borne witness to a carnivorous plant leaping out of the ground at Lake Frysta and consuming a large animal before just as rapidly descending back into the earth, plus now he had bumped into two obelisks and neither one of them seemed normal in the slightest. Whatever these cultists thought these obelisks suitable for, and however much their actions blanched the faces on most of the monks here today, Lionel felt sure they were designed for something grim. “This isn’t how I expected your scheduled reunion with Navarre to go at all, Kasyr,” Lionel said by way of an apology, “but we’ll have more time for talking on the way to finding your student.” He winked at the Kensai knowingly, and then he winked at Rorin too for good measure. “Cultists being cultists, and man-eating plants being a problem simply by virtue of habit, I surmise that the Warrior’s Guild’s newest member may have a field day. Let’s grab the Lady Dragana.”

Rorin nodded with a slightly concerned expression as Lionel went through the expressions of a knowing fish, eye blinking and all. “D-do we have to-“ Rorin was also concerned about barging in on the middle of a people-pile mid squelch, and he definitely wasn’t too excited for it. Still, though, some cultists were reasonably attractive, he supposed, even if they were young innocent women of his age, led astray by old fat men. Maybe it wouldn’t be a total loss. Well, at least Quintessa would be there, and she was good company in a way, or good with a sword at least. “I had cultists once,” Rorin mentioned off handedly to no one in particular as they began their way down the mountain.

Kasyr peers at the totem again, in tandem with Rorins description of the cult. It's a good guess, to be sure- but he'd have expected something slightly more obscene were the totem dedicated to Delisha. Then again, maybe they were more vanilla acolytes. Quintons commentary is a lot simpler to parse, "I mean. It wouldn't be the first time I've had to stab a hostile naked or half naked individual. So." There's like a big shrug on the swordsmans part, alongside an incredibly deadpan expression. "Anyways, no need to apologize. It might not be how you planned it, but when do things go according to plan, n'est ce pas?" Lionels allusion to Quintessa is hardly one he can miss either, especially given recent comments on her part, which has Kasyr simply shrugging, "It would fall well in line with her forte. Mine too, for that matter. Why am I -not- in this guild, enfin?" There's a glance towards Lionel before the Kensai amends his statement, ". . . Right. The whole. Murder thing." Rorin's off-handed comment earns him a squint, and a mental strike, if only because having cultists is usually reserved for cultist leaders, "Didn't have a fondness for grey scarves, did you?"