Current Events/Logs/434-6-38-Log of Understanding the Dance

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This is a log of an in-game discussion held on May 31, 2020.

A Pastebin of the log can be found here: [1]


Event Name: Understanding the Dance
Event Instance: Prime
Real Date: 2020-05-31
Game Date of Event: 434-6-38
Point of View: Lenaea
You say, "Time's wasting, I'm going to go ahead and get started."

You say, "Thank you all for coming. I am going to try to keep things moving quickly. I know there are other things that may be competing for your attention tonight. First, a brief background on why we are here."

Rafano gives you a captivating smile.

You say, "Recent research indicates that the unconscious mind can alter or otherwise affect the Plane of Probability. Some believe that this phenomenon, which we call Dream Theory, could be a reason for increased hostilities between us and extra-planar creatures such as the Arbiter in Darkness."

Steeno gazes at you.

You say, "We sought out the Nomads of the Arid Steppe for help. A shaman named Quentiana agreed to lead us in a ritual of her People to help us cleanse our unconscious mind of desire so that we could learn to listen to what fate might say."

You say, "So, on the evening of the fifth day of Arhat the Fire Lion, a group of Moon Mages and others participated in the ritual at the Trabe Plateau. Many gathered here today witnessed events as they unfolded. I will try to summarize and then focus on what I believe may be the most important aspect."

You nod.

You say, "Quentiana led us through exercises meant to clear our minds of thought and unconscious desire by quickening then releasing each of our senses. We acknowledged the memory of each sense in turn and then pushed each one from our minds."

Rafano nods to you.

You say, "Members of the different Nomad tribes gathered to watch. Some members of the Skindancer tribe used their feet, hands, and guttural tones to provide rhythmic accompaniment to the beating drums."

Nomad Quentiana came through an ornate silver gateway.

You blink.

Aaoskar grins at Quentiana.

You say, "Shaman, welcome."

Miskton nods politely to Quentiana.

Quentiana nods politely.

Dantia smiles.

Aaoskar looks at Quentiana and blushes.

Aaoskar says, "No sack on me this time."

Quentiana says, "Apologies for my lateness. It is a rather long journey from the Plateau."

Aaoskar blushes, the tips of his ears turning a deep shade of red.

Quentiana says to Aaoskar, "Good."

Rafano gestures.

Shimmering blue unicorn bream rain from above in their hundreds. Leaping as one, they flow into a dense, sparkle-filled shoal.

You say, "We were just about to discuss what happened... rather, what many of us saw."

Quentiana nods.

In a blue flash, Nefis is revealed!

You nod.

You say, "Quentiana uttered a prayer to the Spirits, then she and Mistanna began to dance. But soon Quentiana's eyes glossed over and her movements became rigid. She stared in wonder all around her, her pupils dialated, her dance turned to spasms. The breeze turned into a stiff wind."

Nefis snickers.

You say, "Her voice began to change, the sound of many other voices calling out from her throat. She trembled, then her body began to twitch and quake violently, her limbs extending to unnatural angles."

Quentiana shifts her weight.

You say, "Then her dance stopped. Her skin drained of color, her face was a mask of terror. She knelt upon the ground."

You exclaim, "Then, as I looked at her, an ethereal form blurred her image in my mind. I saw translucent wisps of shadow ripple and twist outward from her skin. Her face was overlaid with a barely visible, grinning skull!"

Quentiana sighs.

You say, "This leads me to what I see as the most important part: when she spoke, but the voice was not her own."

Rafano gazes at you.

Zalinyar gasps!

You say, "She snarled, and then roared in Gamgweth, "Alshabien ai Avren," - Seekers of Moon. Then her gaze snapped to Aaoskar, her face a mask of hatred and rage. Her eyes still fixed on Aaoskar, she intoned in a droning bass, "Gwerit ai Avtaien," "Gwelderit ai Aldam" - Speaker of Stars, Killer of Fate."

A shiver runs up your spine.

Feebalsom leans forward.

You frown at Aaoskar.

Aaoskar coughs.

You say, "She said, "De - fi lers," the heavy emphasis of each syllable left hanging in the air. Her head lurched to one side, craning her neck, as she continued, "You wish to Bind us. You wish to Bend us." She paused, then her head rotated slowly. She said, "You will not." Then dozens of tenebraelings crawled out of a rogue moongate and began to attack."

Zalinyar blinks at Aaoskar.

Feebalsom shudders.

You say, "The gathered Tribes expressed frustration before they left us to our fate, one of them claiming that the disrespect the "outside shaman" showed angered the ancestors, and that this result was foretold. Many of us collapsed as we succumbed to an overwhelming fear. Ferasha was killed."

You say, "Then, just as the last of the tenebraelings had been killed, Rifkinn jumped from the shadows and murdered the Shaman! Her body collapsed to the ground, her voice returned to normal, and her eyes were fixed on her still trembling hands."

Broichan sighs.

You nod.

You say, "That is what I saw."

Dantia gazes at Quentiana.

Aaoskar says, "That is what I recall as well."

Dantia gives a slight nod.

Miskton nods.

Rafano nods at you, obviously agreeing with your views.

Broichan nods in agreement.

You hear a voice say, "And i would do it again."

Rifkinn casually observes the area.

Aaoskar moves over to guard Quentiana.

Rifkinn folds his arms across his chest.

Quentiana chuckles.

Rifkinn frowns.

Dantia whispers something to Rafano.

Djordje ponders.

You say, "So, the first question I have, is what to make of the words."

Rafano whispers something to Dantia.

Vaxis glances at Aaoskar.

Aaoskar says, "Not tonight hopefully. she has been gracious to come this night."

You say, "And.... the fact they were spoken directly to Aaoskar."

Aaoskar coughs.

Aaoskar studies the ground for a moment.

Feebalsom glances at Aaoskar.

You say, "Centering on the words for a moment, One thing caught my eye. Alshabien ai Avren. Seekers of Moon - just one moon, not plural."

You ask, "Could this have meant Grazhir?"

Rafano gives you a slight nod.

Zalinyar asks, "Is Moon actually a name then?"

Miskton says, "I think that's likely."

Aaoskar says, "Certainly possible."

Miskton says, "That it meant Grazhir."

Rafano screws his eyes shut and winces.

You say, "Hm, perhaps it refers to our use of the shards to complete astral travel."

Quentiana gazes up at the sky.

You ask, "Did anyone else find anything particularly profound in the events that occurred?"

Zalinyar asks, "Besides possession?"

Aaoskar says, "The skull...sounds like a shadowmaster."

Quentiana glances at Aaoskar.

Rafano hesitantly says to you, "I believe I was the only Trader there, but . . . I saw, and felt, some interesting things, when your Shaman here was touched by her Spirits."

You arch your eyebrow.

Rafano glances at Quentiana.

Dantia clears her throat.

You ask, "More than what we saw?"

Vaxis quietly says, "I'm not sure about profound, but I interpreted 'killer of fate' to have something to do with predictions. Not sure what Aaoskar had predicted lately..."

Vaxis shrugs.

Rafano slowly says to Quentiana, "I saw you surrounded by probabilistic functions. Formulae I could see but not understand . . . at first. But then they started to make sense to me. I was slowly learning how to read them. I was learning about the Plane of Probability."

Miskton gazes at Rafano.

Cleyra sighs.

Broichan cocks his head.

Zalinyar blinks at Rafano.

You say, "Goodness."

Dantia gives a slight nod.

Rafano says, "And then a weight at the back of my mind. The Negotiants . . . whatever I was looking at, it was getting their attention. As if they were, waking up from far away, sensing a danger to the Contract."

Feebalsom softly says, "Killer of fate could mean the ability to predict the future is at risk."

Aislynn frowns.

Vaxis nods to Aaoskar.

You say, "You were in danger, given what you were seeing."

Dantia gnaws on her lip.

Rafano says to Quentiana, "I felt as if I had a choice to make. To continue to gaze upon you and learn more about Probability, or to look away."

Rafano quickly says, "Needless to say, I looked away."

Dantia slowly empties her lungs.

You give a slight nod.

Quentiana says, "Likely a wise choice."

Vaxis quietly asks, "Why you, Refano?"

Dantia quietly says to Rafano, "It might be worth noting to those gathered very briefly about the Trader contract? Some may not understand the significance."

You whisper to Rafano, "LIkely because you've been asking questions."

Rafano says to Vaxis, "Again, I believe I was the only Trader there, so it's hard to verify, but I suspect that any other Trader present might have been given a similar choice. Then again . . . this isn't the first time that I have been personally touched by the Negotiants, so it's hard to say. More data required."

Vaxis nods.

Vaxis quietly says, "That makes sense."

Rafano nods at Dantia, obviously agreeing with her views.

Rafano quickly says, "As Dantia mentioned, for those who don't know, the Contract to which I referred prohibits Traders from tampering with the Plane of Probability in the same way that Moon Mages do. So if I had continued to look upon the Shaman, and learn about the secrets of Probability, I got the sense I would be violating that Contract."

Rafano darkly says, "Which is out of the question."

You nod at Rafano, in complete agreement with his views.

Dantia nods to Rafano.

Steeno says, "Not one to tempt fate eh."

Quentiana says, "Perspectives, none quite the same."

Rafano says to Steeno, "As a Trader I've been known to play lose with Contracts, sure . . . but not when those contracts are with extraplanr entities, no."

Aaoskar says, "Surely there is a loophole."

Dantia says to Steeno, "It would be more than simply tempting fate. The last woman who broke the Contract had her head sliced open in quite an exagerated fashion."

Rifkinn says to Steeno, "One might just say he, knows his place."

Rafano says, "Erm, "play loose", is what I meant to say."

Rafano politely says to you, "That was all I had to add to your discussion though. Thank you."

Rafano nods politely to you.

Aaoskar says, "Shaman Quentiana...."

Aaoskar asks, "What did you see?"

Eyst asks Quentiana, "Do the Nomads have something similar? If not an outright prohibition on it then a different way of interacting with the plane than other Moon Mages?"

Quentiana says to Eyst, "Well, there are those who are called the Bone Dancers. They perform perverse rituals where they throw bleached divination bones into the flames."

Quentiana says to Eyst, "And to be fully transparent, they perform their ritual under the full gaze of Katamba and Yavash, the same moons we sought to dance beneath."

Quentiana sighs.

Rifkinn shifts his weight.

Zalinyar asks, "Are they the defilers?"

Quentiana says, "No."

Quentiana says, "We all are."

Zalinyar nods.

Orkamosai glances at Zalinyar.

Zalinyar ponders.

Quentiana says, "I will tell you what I saw, if you are ready. But be warned, it is not lighthearted or full of hope."

Rafano gazes at Quentiana.

Aaoskar says, "Children of Grazhir, we are."

Dantia observes Quentiana with fascination.

Quentiana says to Aaoskar, "You more than most."

Aaoskar smiles.

Vaxis frets.

Quentiana says, "I felt the land beneath me as a living being, the air in the sky calling my name. My Astral form left my body and floated towards the Spire, which had transformed into a great tree with countless branches."

Aaoskar studies the ground for a moment.

Quentiana says, "The tangle of branches twisted into a giant, multifaceted iris of an eye. My Astral form fell through the center of the eye, descending into an abyss, until finally I was surrounded by a hedge of crystal growth."

Aaoskar mutters something into the air about Astral form.

Vaxis winks at Aaoskar.

You nod to Aaoskar.

Aislynn gazes at Quentiana.

Quentiana says, "Twisted forms of mottled light and shadow appeared at the corners of my vision. Colorful cloth streamers connected to totems swirled in a circular pattern around me, and the shadowy figures approached the circle to join in the dance. The Spirits of my Ancestors. The cloth expanded and blurred until they resembled nothing more than a rainbow of paintbrush strokes before they faded into stars."

You whisper to Rafano, "LIke Fluorescence?"

Quentiana says, "Then, from the west, came a feminine form. A mane of hawk feathers fell below great antlers that protruded from her head in a network of multitudinous branches. Dark smears trailed beneath her empty eyes, trailing down her cheeks before reaching outward in dancing streams of tenebrous shadow extending behind her."

Rafano ponders.

Quentiana says, "Her crystalline fingers clattered bleached bones together to the rhythm of the drums. Behind her, a thousand crystalline filaments twisted to the song, each limb twisting and rippling, writhing strangely. I sensed the Rage seething from her form. It was her gift to my dance."

Rafano leans over and whispers, "Hmm, there is a resemblance, yes. Interesting."

Quentiana shakes her fist!

Quentiana says, "Rage."

Quentiana says, "Then came a blindingly radiant shaman of starlight wearing a cloak of fox pelts, bearing an icon of three moons, tapping gently at a large skin drum. Symbols on the skin of the drum rippled in starlight as he played. His gaunt form twisted and writhed matching the tempo perfectly, and his chitinous legs scratched at the dirt beneath him. I sensed his Famine, withering his form even as he stood proudly -- his memory of the suffering of the People of the Steppe."

You nibble on your lip.

Quentiana says, "Joining the starlight shaman and the woman with the stag head, a prismatic spirit with an alabaster face stepped to the circle. Hatred was its name. Its ten legs twisted in an unnatural pattern, and its fibrous form unraveled before my eyes, difficult to observe. The emotion bleeding from this Spirit overwhelmed me, perhaps lingering from times in which brother killed brother."

Steeno sighs.

Quentiana says, "Spindly webs of fate, coalesced from starlight, prevented the three forms from entering the circle, though they chittered to join. Though they could not speak, I heard their clamor for a vessel. I sensed their desire that I should open my mind, and for a moment embody their Rage, Hatred, Famine, and their Fear, their gifts to the Dance. They demanded to cross the boundary between planes to manifest themselves through me."

Quentiana says, "In that moment I felt their emotion building within my own. I felt my intentions turn to malice against those who stood on the Plateau, the legacy of violations and manipulation at the hands of the Seers fueling the Spirits' rage toward the Defilers. I could not bind the Spirits within me I could not deny their entrance. The walls of my emotion collapsed."

Aaoskar steps in front of Quentiana, protecting her!

Moza's attempt at theft is revealed!

Quentiana gazes off into the distance.

Quentiana says, "I knelt, then I felt the Spirits flowing through me. My mind returned to the Plateau as I heard the ancient words come from my throat. I looked down to see a pair of incorporeal arms extending from my torso, silhouetting my own hands with lengthy black talons."

You arch your eyebrow.

Aaoskar says, "Definitely a shadow master."

Orkamosai ponders Quentiana's words with horror.

Quentiana exclaims, "I felt my body twist upward, levitating briefly, my eyes fixed on the Spire. The Spirits channeled me as a conduit of their rage, forcing raw energy through my fingers to tear a rift in the seams of the planes, bringing forth a rogue Moongate!"

Vaxis nods to Aaoskar.

You frown.

Quentiana says, "The rest is as you say. Those on the Plateau forced back the Tenebraelings brought forth by my hand, a young Moon Mage died, and Rifkinn took my life. But as I fell, I heard a cackling voice linger in my head as the presence rapidly faded, expending its energy. I felt the Spirits leave, but my fingers still tingled with raw energy, even in death."

Orkamosai sighs.

Quentiana sighs.

Quentiana says, "My children, I do not know what perils I may have brought upon you. For that I am sorry."

A tear runs down Quentiana's face.

Quentiana gazes down at her hands.

Quentiana wearily asks, "The People now reject me, for I failed to bind the Spirits within me. But what else could I have done! We gathered on the Plateau to hear what the Spirits might say. Who am I to deny them their voice?"

Aaoskar glares at Rifkinn.

Quentiana wearily says, "Who am I."

You frown.

You rub Quentiana gently, trying to massage any sore muscles.

You ask, "What do we do now?"

Aaoskar says, "I don't think that denying their voice would be a recipe for long term peace. I agree in that regard."

Aislynn frowns.

Quentiana says, "If only my People could understand. They cast me away from their sight."

Miskton frowns.

Zalinyar frowns.

Broichan frowns.

Quentiana exclaims, "I gave the Spirits what they wanted!"

You say, "But what they wanted seems to be our death."

Aaoskar nods.

Steeno wobbles, looking a bit faint.

Steeno shifts his weight.

You say, "There has to be another way to pursue peace."

Aislynn quietly asks Quentiana, "Perhaps you are simply taking the first steps towards building a new Path. One they can't follow you on. If those Spirits did not feel their voices were heard through the means and vessels given already... Perhaps they need you to give them a new way, neh?"

Aislynn quietly says to Quentiana, "Someone had to Dance first."

Miskton says, "I wonder if these spirits are beings we are already aware of, with their appearances filtered through the nature of the ritual, or if these are additional entities from the Plane of Probability who are feeling rage toward us."

Miskton strokes his beard in thoughtful contemplation.

Zalinyar nods at Aislynn, obviously agreeing with her views.

Aislynn quietly says to Quentiana, "And I'll bet they looked fairly odd to those who had never Danced before."

Aislynn smiles at Quentiana.

Quentiana kindheartedly says to Aislynn, "Your words are welcome, child. Thank you."

Orkamosai frowns.

Orkamosai stands up.

Orkamosai dusts himself off.

Vaxis quietly asks, "So - to be clear...Refano had the chance to learn more had he continued to gaze upon you Quentiana? And at the same time you were ...uh..being occupied by embodiments of Rage, Famine, and Fear?"

Orkamosai bows to Quentiana.

Vaxis quietly asks, "Or am I misunderstanding?"

Quentiana says to Vaxis, "You seem to have the whole of it."

You ponder.

Vaxis quietly says, "Probably best you looked away then."

Zalinyar says to Rafano, "I would have been very tempted to learn more, contract or no... but I understand your contract is your honor."

Rafano distractedly says to Vaxis, "And yet, I would be lying if I don't sometimes wonder what I might have learned."

Rafano proudly says to Zalinyar, "Exactly right."

Dantia glances at Rafano.

Vaxis quietly says, "I can't imagine that it would have been good for anyone, Refano."

Quentiana says to Miskton, "As to your question, I sensed that these feelings - no - these concepts are not new. But their Astral forms were shapes that none now living have seen."

Rafano nods to Vaxis.

Miskton strokes his beard in thoughtful contemplation.

You say, "I think.... I am thinking of a potential way to move forward."

You say, "The Spirits are clearly upset with us. See us as a threat even."

You say, "There may be a Spirit that we can help."

Quentiana raises an eyebrow.

You nod.

You say, "There is an entity trapped in the Obelisk in the Frozen Heavens."

Rifkinn says to you, "Throw naptha on the fire, that'll work."

Rafano raises an eyebrow in your direction.

Rifkinn scowls.

Aislynn quietly asks, "That's where it is?"

You say, "A probabilistic entity, for certain."

Zalinyar giggles at Rifkinn.

Aaoskar appears to be trying hard not to grin.

Zalinyar covers her mouth with her hand.

Zalinyar blinks.

You say, "I think it somehow became trapped here."

You say, "And In exchange for a sliver of our prophecy, it teaches us advanced knowledge of probability."

You ask, "Perhaps we could feed it a bit of our prophecy, as a gesture of good will?"

You ask Quentiana, "The Spirits would see this, no?"

Quentiana says, "The Spirits are with us everywhere."

Quentiana says, "They would see."

Quentiana says, "If they wished to."

You nibble on your lip.

You ask, "Anyone else have any thoughts?"

Briaen studies the faces around him.

Zalinyar says, "Too many to organize clearly."

Zalinyar nods to you.

Eyst says, "I don't quite understand why these spirits need a voice or placating."

Aaoskar says, "I think that might work...oddly i think we may even have an idea of who the spirit is, but it will require a little research."

Aislynn gazes at Aaoskar.

Aislynn takes a sip of her Pale.

Aislynn's tail undulates passively just above the ground.

Quentiana says, "Take care, that Spirit is volatile. It may be that it was exiled here rather than trapped."

Eyst says, "Perhaps I didn't understand the objective of the dance. I thought it was some type of communion to be closer with their people's literal ancestors but these spirits seem to embody rather... dark aspects."

You glance at Quentiana, a female Human.

Saedrith nods to Eyst.

Zalinyar nods to Quentiana.

Zalinyar says, "That was one of my thoughts."

Rafano nods to Miskton.

You say to Eyst, "With all respect due and owing to the Nomads, I think that the "ancestors" of the Nomads and creatures from the Plane of Probability are one and the same."

Quentiana glowers.

Miskton glances at you.

Miskton glances at Quentiana.

Quentiana quickly says, "Do not be so quick to dismiss my heritage, child."

Feebalsom gulps.

You flail your arms about.

You say, "I didn't mean to offend."

Quentiana gazes up at the sky.

Quentiana says, "It is time I started the journey home anyhow."

Dantia nods to Quentiana.

Quentiana says to Rifkinn, "Thank you for staying your blade tonight."

Feebalsom praises Quentiana.

Rifkinn nods to Quentiana.

Quentiana nods politely.

Nomad Quentiana went through an ornate silver gateway.

You say, "Well, great."

Eyst asks, "Is there somewhere one might learn more about the ancestors of yours?"

You say, "There are some books in libraries that talk about the Nomads."

You sigh.

Aislynn pats you on the back.

You say, "Alright folks, more to consider at least. I do hope that Moon Mages present will consider the idea I threw forward."

Rifkinn says, "I need to leave."

Vaxis nods to you.

Rifkinn went through an ornate silver gateway.

Feebalsom nods to you.

Cleyra says, "I'm bursting with questions... but I don't understand my own questions..."

Rafano smiles at Cleyra.

Vaxis quietly says, "I would like to participate in any research with that entity."

Aaoskar says, "We'll meet again to discuss it, i'm sure...look at all the possibility and look at what direction research points us."

You nod to Vaxis.

You say, "It will call for a LOT of precautions."

Vaxis nods to you.

You say, "That entity in the obelisk has killed me several times."

You say, "Full of malice and desperation."

Saedrith says, "Well if Rifkinn isn't going to provide any excitement tonight, I suppose I am off."

Saedrith shrugs.

You chuckle at Saedrith.

Nicolet grins at Saedrith.

Adalai chuckles.

Cleyra says, "All these things you talk about sound so angry."

You say, "Thanks for stopping in, all."

You nod to Nefis.

Estrala nods to you.

Nefis says to you, "In my experience when dealing with potentially hostile extraplanar entities, appeasement is a good option."

You say to Nefis, "We should at least try."

You nod.

Miskton says, "Well, certainly some things to think about."

You ask, "Anyone need a lift anywhere?"

Rafano respectfully says to you, "This has been a helpful summary of what happened that night . . . it still feels like almost yesterday."

Eyst asks you, "Is it just the Nomads with their unique perspective on these entities? Or do many other Moon Mages take a more placating stance with them?"

Rafano politely says to you, "But I must be off. Until next time, friend."

You nod to Rafano.

You say to Eyst, "Each of the Moon Mage sects interacts with probability in unique ways."

Miskton says, "Take care, all."

Miskton nods politely.

Cleyra says to Miskton, "Thank you for teaching me some Astrology through this. It's been really tough trying to learn, when I can't seem to maky any predictions."

Miskton says to Cleyra, "You're welcome."

Miskton smiles.

Miskton nods politely.

You say to Eyst, "The cleansing of the mind is not unique to Nomads. In fact, the Monks pursue what they call a Crystal Soul."

Cleyra waves.

You wave.

Eyst says to you, "But specifically these spirits. Their methods seem rather dangerous."

You say to Eyst, "I don't know that anything close to what happened at the Plateau has happened for decades."

You say to Eyst, "The reason we sought them out is because, of all of the sects, it appeared to us that the Nomads had the best relationship with extraplanar entities,."

Aislynn ponders.

Zalinyar raises her hand.

You say to Eyst, "I recommend consulting Kssarh's writings on the Moon Mage guild for an overview."

Eyst nods.

Zalinyar peers quizzically at you.

You say to Eyst, "It may be upstairs."

Papas just came through a carved ivory door, dragging the body of Brobdingnag behind him.

Eyst says, "Something to look into. I hope your guild figures out a way to safely proceed."

You say, "A Brief History of the Guild of Moon Magic."

Papas just went through an ornate silver gateway, dragging Brobdingnag's body with him.

You say, "I don't know that there is one..... oh, a body."

You say, "There it went."

You say, "Alright, I have to head out."

Eyst says, "Thank you for hosting this discussion."

You nod.

You wave.