RP:A Ghost Of A Chance
Part of the What You Leave Behind Arc
Summary: Khitti and Lionel are summoned to the mage tower in Xalious to speak with Raevyn about an idea she had for the coming mission to the Shadow Plane.
Mage Tower, Xalious
Raevyn had been in the dormitory, preparing herself for the upcoming meeting that was supposed to take place this evening. She was nervous. Quite nervous. The poor girl had practiced over and over what she were to say, to relay her idea to whomever Lionel happened to bring along this evening. Of all things that could happen this evening, coming off like some sort of dunce was something she wanted to prevent. It was all part of that ‘new you’ mantra she had been preaching to herself. Raevyn hadn’t quite told Celaeno of what she had in mind, as the young necromancer knew that the silver-handed half-elf would want to come along. There was no way that was going to happen- Not because she didn’t trust her friend, but because she really did not want the burden of placing Cela in the dangers that had been spoken about. Steeling her nerves, Raevyn finally rose from the edge of her cot and retrieved the ghastly scythe; An exit made out into the main lobby of the Tower to wait for the arrival of ‘the handsome warrior’ and his trusted magii companions.
Lionel sneezes a few times coming down the mountain trail. Men of every caliber can suffer seasonal allergies, and Lionel’s caliber, in a word, is ‘stress’. The shamans of Frostmaw have on more than one recent occasion suggested that Lionel take a day off, reduce his workload, sleep more than five hours. When Frost Giants are telling you to calm down, you generally know to hear them out and really give things a think-through. But this has always been Lionel’s way: dive head-first into heroism or die trying. At the very least, sneeze. And now that Lithrydel has gone up in flames, its populace burned and turned and mutilated? Only Macon’s Larketians would find time to complain over sneezes. And so Lionel sneezes in relative silence, the occasional handkerchief offered by Khitti or Esche depending on who he’s closer to at the time of impact. This is the way of things all the way to Xalious, at which point the trio enter the fabled Mage Tower via its main lobby and come upon Raevyn as intended. “Hey there. Nice piece.” Lionel has never been one for formality, and a little thing like the end of the world isn’t going to change that.
Khitti was grateful that it was just his allergies, as getting sick right now would probably be bad. It’d be very minor on the list of several bad things that’s happened to her over the course of the past few months (or even years, really), but she was damned sure she wasn’t going to get some random illness. She followed Lionel into the mage tower, a brow raised at his greeting to Raevyn. “Hi,” the pregnant woman offered to the scythe-wielding girl, “It’s been awhile.” Khitti seemed… unsure about Raevyn still, but she did her best to hide it. Along the journey here, the issue of Raevyn’s ‘friend’ Nasada, that just so happened to make a home in Raevyn’s body, was brought up out of concern for anyone that might have to be around Raevyn. She didn’t hate the girl, and it’s not like it was her fault, but it was an unfortunate situation nevertheless.
Raevyn turned to the sound of entering footsteps, her face solid and stern, trying to hide any emotion. That was until she saw whom Lionel had brought along. “Khitti!” she called in a cheerful manner. “Welcome, to all of you. I am glad that you all could make it. I hope the travel was relatively peaceful?” Small talk. Always a good way to get things started. Khitti might notice a slight change in the girl, at least in the fact that she no longer dressed like some meek traditionalist. Instead, she was very dressed down and relaxed. “I guess, we should get down to it, then?” she asked, not really wanting to waste their time. “I wrote to mister O’Connor here a couple days prior. Regarding an idea that I had. This scythe.. I’ve noticed that it exhibits strange properties. Nothing exactly powerful, but they are interesting nonetheless. The one that caught my attention, really, was the fact that ghoulish things tend to… keep their distance, or mistake me for one of their own. I am uncertain if it is out of fear for the weapon, or rather that the thing masks their perception of me. Anyway… if you will forgive me for eavesdropping during the meeting we had, but I heard of the way you spoke of the Shadow Plane and I had an idea later that very evening. If… this weapons works in the way that I hope, that perhaps with the power of a more skilled practitioner, we could amplify its ability to mask the presence of a small band of troops. To allow you and your soldiers to infiltrate the Shadow Plane undetected, thereby giving you some sort of advantage when you infiltrate or attack.”
Oddly enough, the journey was indeed relatively peaceful. For as much as has transpired of late, the mountainside treks have been calm. On both sides of the Sage Forest, war camps have plucked the land and scorched the earth, but none of Kahran’s portals have come within striking range of Frostmaw -- a tactical cleverness, to be sure, given how fortified the pass has gotten. Lionel dwells on that for all it’s worth, multitasking as he’s wont to do whilst Raevyn explains the situation. Yet the more the woman speaks, the less Catalian ponders the countryside and the more his azure eyes tilt toward Raevyn’s weapon. By the time she’s said her piece, he’s staring at it and has to pry himself back to its wielder. “Heck of a thing. Esche?” On cue, the shaven-headed elf in Lionel’s close service steps forward and cranes his neck to give the scythe some study. “Excuse me, Miss Raevyn. You acquired this from one of Kahran’s wraiths, correct? The engravings match theirs rather closely. It is possible that these weapons have a more symbiotic relationship with the wraiths than any ordinary blade. Lionel,” he continues, prompting Lionel to glance his way, “it would not be so far from your own kinship with Hellfire were it so. The power emanating from this scythe is… forgive me. The words elude me. But it is influential. Yes, perhaps that is the word. Influential. Although…” Lionel waves his hands rapidly in a distinctly ‘get to the point’ sort of fashion. Esche detects this, stifles a sigh, and digresses. “I would suggest testing this someplace with a high concentration of spirits beforehand to gain a deeper appreciation of its capabilities.”
Khitti dipped her head in acknowledgement, “I’ve been told about the situation, yes.” Esche lends his own two cents about the matter, that ever familiar pensive stare of hers fixed on the scythe, much like Lionel’s own attention had been. Somewhere with spirits… Well, she sure as hell wasn’t going back to Vailkrin right now. She’d sooner have Lionel set most of the town ablaze than return there just yet. “Venturil,” Khitti said finally after some thought. “There’s spirits aplenty out there, even after the ones we dealt with along with those damned lizards.” Despite no longer being a vampire, that memory of getting torched by Rorin’s holy magic still stung a little. “It was also mentioned that you don’t feel like your quite where you should be yet with your magic? I… might have something that could help with that as well.”
Raevyn listened to Esche speak, just now realizing that he had been one of the two men out in Chartsend that had tried to save her from the thing she now knows as Baelok. “Yes, that is correct.” she confirms. The rest of those spoken words were studied with interest, her own mind trying to silently imitate his thought process. With the suggestion made, those dead blue eyes widen; She had never thought about completing further field tests just to make sure she wasn’t imagining things. “That.. is a very good idea, yes. I would hate to be wrong and place your men and women in danger.” Venturil? That name had been pretty familiar to the young necromancer, and it would take a moment for her to realize why. The land between Craughmoyle and Chartsend- The very place she saw the scythe’s ability first hand. At least she thinks. “That would be as good a place as as any. I’ve seen first hand some of the entities that roam there. The thought of going back is a little unnerving, to be honest.” She straightened her posture, “But! If it means I can help out, then I will brave it!” Khitti was offered a smile then, “Yes.. that is also true. I’ve been trying, really. It’s just.. There has been so much happening, so many strange adventures, and studying.. It’s hard to keep focus. I would appreciate any help I could get. And, I… might have something to ask of you, in private, at a later time, of course. If you don’t mind. I can come find you in Cenril once our business regarding this..” her eyes travel to the scythe, “..strange thing.. Has concluded.”
Lionel gives Esche a quick thumbs-up to illustrate his approval. Smart one, that Esche. “It’s not just a matter of the safety of the rest of us, Raevyn. It’s your safety, too. As much or as little as you want to be, I consider you one of us. The plains of Venturil ain’t exactly a picnic, granted, but we’ll come prepared in plenty more ways than could ever be done against the forces of Kahran, if you catch my drift.” Lionel holds his tongue for the duration of the dialogue on the woman’s training, and Khitti’s ideas therein. He folds his arms, taking a gander about the lobby appreciatively. The last time Lionel was here, he encountered that strange fellow Blut for the first time. He would never have guessed that the man who burst so spontaneously into a feast of crows would one day pioneer efforts to save an entire city. “If that ain’t magic, I don’t know what is,” he mumbles to himself. “Uh, anyway. I guess while we’re at it I should thank you personally for coming to that meeting and for summoning us here. I think I know how you might feel about being swept into events which are seemingly larger than life. If this threat weren’t so vast, so all-consuming, I wouldn’t ask you to be swept within these currents as I was.”
Khitti nodded in agreement with Lionel, “What he said, and so long as there isn’t anymore of those sentient raptors around, I’m sure we’ll be fine. I’ll bring along my violin too to help calm them as much as possible. Those ones out there though seem a bit more malevolent than the ones that might be found in Vailkrin or elsewhere, so it’s best to be careful.” Khitti knew all about being hunted by malevolent spirits, what with that curse of hers and all. “And, that’s perfectly fine, Raevyn. The bakery is open now, so you’ll most likely find me there if I’m not on the Tranquility in Cenril’s wharf. We can talk when you’re ready.” A beat. “That means your job’s still available too if you want it.” Putting a hand to the small of her back, she stretched a little and sighed. “It may take me a few days to do the spellcrafting and ritual to get Raevyn what she needs to enhance her magic, so I guess we best mosey if there’s nothing else,” Khitti said, stealing Lionel’s word.
Raevyn tried to hide that pride and embarrassment with Lionel’s words, yet pallid cheeks tinged with pink and her lips slipped into an idiotic grin. “Of course. I understand the risks- Honestly, it will be a good exercise, really.” she assured him. “And it’s not a worry. It is a bit much to grasp, yes, but it is important. I am happy to help, now that I may actually have some way to better contribute.” Raevyn fought hard to restrain herself once the pregnant woman spoke up. She really wanted to hug Khitti right now. The job! The bakery! It was finally happening! “I do, yes! Thank you! I will be out to the city as soon as I can, I promise!” Still she beamed like a doofus. With the suggestion of moseying on, Raevyn nodded and confirmed that this portion of things were indeed concluded.
Lionel breathes a sigh of relief. This is all going rather splendidly. The mountain trek, dealings with the scythe, Raevyn’s overarching demeanor -- it almost defies belief that a day in Lionel’s life could be so smooth. His eyes dart about with slightly more frenzy to them now, anticipating a shadowy rogue’s strike from the shadows. Could a portal from the Shadow Plane crack through the Mage Tower itself? If it did, how would the structure fare? How would the -mages- fare? He forces a small smile and nods between his comrades. Best to enable a facade of confidence. These days, Lionel’s fears branch into the claustrophobic confines of alleged safety. It’s enough to shorten his breath. “Yay, muffins!” Of all the things he might have said. But it seems fitting, no? Bakery. Job. Muffins come from bakeries. Lionel likes muffins. He clears his throat and sniffs the air indignantly. “I like muffins.” Esche shakes his head. “Was there anything else you wished to bring to our attention, Raevyn?” His sentence might make up for Lionel’s. Khitti side-eyed Lionel with an incredulous stare. ‘Yay, muffins’? Surely those allergies were affecting more than just his sinuses. Or maybe it was the lack of sleep making Lionel crazy. Or, I guess, there is that impending doom of the apocalypse looming over his head. A brief glance is given to Esche, the woman motioning to Lionel with her eyes as if to say ‘are you hearing this nonsense’? “Mmm, if she doesn’t, I think it’s best we get Lionel home. He seems a bit sleep deprived at the moment. Probably needs several cups of tea too.” Khitti sighed exasperatedly at the Hero of Hellfire. “Or, he’s just insane.” She shrugged nonchalantly. It was most likely the last one.
Raevyn kind of stared at Lionel with one brow lifted. What an odd remark. Although, she would give in and eventually giggle. “Yes, I think that might be best. I’m sure you, all three of you, have had so much to deal with lately. And so, I won’t take up any more of your time this evening.” To Lionel, “No, I think that was it. If I think of anything else, I will immediately send word. Do let me know when you wish to head out to Venturil? I will make preparations until then.” The girl smiles and bows to the three, “Thank you all for coming. I look forward to speaking with you soon.” Finally, she would glance to Khitti and say, “And I will find you in Cenril! Both to see my future place of employment, and of course the matter which i would like to discuss with you. It was really nice to see you again, Khitti.” Raevyn would now clam up and lean into her pilfered weapon, one final wave given when the trio set off into the night.
Lionel is back to nodding. Through gritted teeth, mind you. And the burgeoning need to sneeze. There’s something very two-years-ago about his behavior tonight, if his author is being honest with himself and others whilst breaking the fourth wall wide open. “I reckon it’s exhaustion,” he admits for all to hear, and he’s probably right. “Never thought I’d have to add ‘slaphappy’ to the list of words this war’s made me describe myself with, but at least our new friend Raevyn’s seeing me at my most tired, not my most cynical.” He twitches almost imperceptibly and adjusts the collar on his red silk shirt. Lionel’s most cynical is his standard-issue wardrobe these days, just as customary as his button-ups and matching slacks. If reaching the limits of his body’s endurance and the edge of his mental breaking point is going to make Lionel this kind of crazy, maybe he’ll survive this after all. “We’ll be in touch soon.” Esche, whose return glance toward Khitti when she shot him a look over Lionel’s lunacy was the very pinnacle of elven suffering, clears his throat and bows deeply enough for all three of them. “Good tidings to you, Miss Raevyn.”