Rakash Moot 396

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The first of many Rakash gatherings that have been held by the Augstawne Girene Dzirta with the help of the Tavern Troupe Performing Order at the ancient tower outside the West Gate of Crossings.

Announcement

A Rakash announcer expounds loudly in Rakash about something he obviously finds exciting. A human trailing behind him quietly translates into Common, "He said, 'The Rakash Moot starts in 15 roisen at the Ancient Tower near cougars and everyone is invited!' ....hey! Wait up!" He quickly runs after the Rakash who is oblivious.

Gift

Prizes

Log

Lanita recites:

"Welcome everyone to The Great Moot of 396! Hosted by Agustawne Girene Dzirta and your favorite Order because I said so, Tavern Troupe!"

Lanita whistles a merry tune.

A well-dressed servant wanders in, directing a pair of workers as they carry in a box of gifts and set it down. "Compliments of the Tavern Troupe Performing Order," she says before wandering off. Lots of people take gifts!

You reach into a box of gifts bearing the crest of the Tavern Troupe Performing Order and feel around for a moment. Your hand closes around something! As you slowly pull your arm free, you find yourself with a pair of black satin nauda!

Lanita says, "They see gifts and go gaga."

Lanita says, "For those that don't know or cannot tell Nauda are.. yes, footwear."

Alexii says, "The nauda are a special request I had made since they are quite rare here in the East."

Alexii says, "I'd really like to thank you all for coming out to our Moot this year."

Alexii says, "Its been a year since our last moot, and I am glad to see that it has grown to encompass more of our people."

Alexii says, "You may first wonder why we commence these Moots in common, when we have our own tongue to speak. I do this for our gathered guests who have come to learn of us and our ways."

Alexii says, "They respect us by joining, and thus we will respect them by accepting them."

Alexii smiles.

Alexii says, "I would like to begin with a prayer if I may..."

Alexii says, "I would like for you to join me."

Alexii smiles.

Bunches of people kneel down and a few look west.

(Alexii spreads his arms wide, opening his palms to the sky.)

Alexii says, "Coshivi, Enelne, Mrod..."

Alexii says, "On this day, your people ask of you to smile on our gathering. To grace us on this day of celebration of your people." A lexii says, "Join me in facing west, please..."

A lot of people gaze off to the west.

Alexii says, "We do this to honor our home from whence we came..."

Alexii says, "To remember...."

Alexii says, "The path we have traveled."

Alexii says, "And how far we have come, thanks to your blessings."

Alexii gazes up at the sky.

Alexii says, "Afis, Turnstil, Varna...."

Alexii says, "Thank you."

Alexii beams!

Lanita says, "So, those unaware of our traditions, have no fear. We will teach you."

Lanita says, "Naea will have a story and Chinoa will elaborate on our Gods. Do pay attention, we'll be having trivia for gifts as well."

Lanita says, "In case you've not smelled to notice, we've plenty of food and gifts so feel free to them."

Lanita exclaims, "And all you, even non Rakash will have a chance at howling your best with the requested Howl Contest!"

(Naea hoots)

Lanita says, "It will be so cute to see Elves howl."

Chinoa quietly says to Naea, "Howl... she said howl..."

Alexii says, "We all agreed it was a wonderful idea."

Lanita says, "It can be something like..."

Alexii says, "And to make it sorta fair...we're not in moonskin."

(Lanita lifts her head begins to howl. Suddenly realizing she is no longer in Moonskin it quiets into a low whine and she hides her face. )

Lanita says, "Work on that, we'll make it near last for you all to think it over."

Naea says, "Also there will be a story contest so if you have any stories, now's the time to start remembering them."

Alexii says, "Now, please welcome Chinoa..."

Chinoa quietly says, "You'll all need to scoot a little closer, I can't speak that loudly.."

Chinoa quietly asks, "Now then.. are you sitting.." She pauses and turns to Naea "That's my foot your on..." Then turns back to the gathering. "Are you sitting comfortably?"

Chinoa quietly says, "Now, originaly.. I was asked to tell you all about our Gods.. our traditions surrounding them... what they represent. Things like that, however when I look around, I can see a number of us Rakash sitting around me that can impart that knowledge just as easily as I."

Chinoa quietly says, "So, instead of just lecturing you all to tears, let's see just how much you all know already."

Chinoa quietly asks, "Shout out if you know... who the great pack leader is?"

Azmina says, "Mrod."

Chinoa quietly says, "That's right.. and what does Mrod symbolise to us. What does he mean to one of us Rakash in our every day lives."

Chinoa quietly says, "Can anyone answer that? Perhaps one of our none Rakash guests? Or are you going to be lectured dispite my best efforts.."

Azmina says, "He is the keeper of the skies and all above. His spirit soars everywhere and sees all."

Naea quietly says to Azmina, "Teacher's pet."

Chinoa quietly asks, "Well now, she's right though... How about in our every day life, what do we have Mrod to thank for?"

Malfrien says, "Our moonskin."

Loukno calmly asks, "He grants your natural forms, does he not?"

Chinoa quietly says, "That's exactly it. Mrod is the great pack leader. He sees all, watching over us from the sky. It is thanks to him that we can return to our natural form when Katamba is full."

Chinoa quietly says, "He also looks after all the souls that are returned to him, letting them view the world by his side."

Chinoa quietly asks, "Now then... Who can tell me a little about Enelne?"

Malfrien says, "She watches over all that is the realm of nature and reproduction."

Vicktoreon says, "I know we seek her blessing during our marriage rituals."

Lancel says, "Patron of Scholars and storytellers."

Loukno calmly says, "Ah, she is the patron of scholars and storytellers."

Ticrit says, "And ya wouldn;t wanna tick her off."

Chinoa quietly says, "We do indeed! And yes, she is indeed the patron of scholars and storytellers."

Alexii says, "Such informed guests we have."

Achkilles says, "Where you see butterflies, she is there."

Azmina says, "Her symbol is the turinstil."

Chinoa quietly says, "Well now, it seems you all know plenty about Enelne."

Chinoa quietly asks, "There is one more thing that she.. shall we say... looks after for us. Can anyone tell me what that is?"

Chinoa quietly says, "It sums up all of these things you've mentioned so far."

Azmina says, "Our children."

Chinoa quietly says, "Oh yes, she especialy does that.."

Chinoa quietly says, "Simply put, she looks after Growth. Nature, if you will."

Chinoa quietly says, "Everything that can be cultivated and that can grow, from the crops you plant to the children you have. Also your spiritual growth, the growth you do not see everyday..."

Chinoa quietly says, "She looks after all of these things. Which is why we ask her for her blessings during marrage, as this is both a spiritual growth and.. ah.. well yes, anyway.."

Malfrien says, "Dont need to go there."

Vicktoreon says, "After marriage, buy anyway...."

Chinoa quietly says, "Indeed... now.. the last of our Gods is Coshivi. Who can tell me a little about him..."

Aeviona asks, "Is that the badger?"

Malfrien says, "He offers council to our leaders...and watches us in battle."

Lancel says, "Patron to the young as they come of age."

Ywolf says, "Warriro, trader, thief, etc, etc."

Narkonis says, "Our patron of battle, always seen in moonskin."

Sajuta says, "He looks over that which doesn't grow when cultivated.."

Ywolf says, "Oh last things pack leader and hunter."

Zaslamel says, "He is the god of hunters, Pack chiefs, warriors.. Overseer of all that does not grow when cultivated.. He is a special patron to the young as they comd of age."

Alexii softly says, "He is a guide in all we struggle to accomplish."

Zaslamel says, "Come of age as well."

Chinoa quietly says, "I'm glad to see many of you are more knowledgable about this then I thought you would be! A pleasent suprise indeed."

Chinoa quietly says, "Now.. yes, you have managed to mention everything I believe. He is the one who guides our young fro mchildhood into adulthood. He is indeed always in moonskin, and he is the patron of many that do not fall within Enelne's broad domain of 'growth'."

Loukno softly asks, "Pardon, might I ask a question about that, for my own education?"

Chinoa quietly says, "Surely, ask away."

Loukno calmly asks, "He oversees the young from childhood to adulthood, is that not a stage of growth?"

Chinoa quietly says, "It is, and that is a good question indeed."

Lanita says, "It is but nothing saying the Gods cannot coorperate."

Lanita says, "It is good you ask questions."

Alexii says, "He oversees the coming of age specficly, as it is one of our endevors."

Malfrien says to Alexii, "That does make sense."

Alexii says, "And by way of that, it is often said that he oversees the change into adulthood."

Loukno calmly says, "Very interesting, thank you for clarifying."

Chinoa quietly says, "Coshivi is the hunter, above all else. During the time when our children become adults, they are sent to hunt alone. This... while a stage of growth, is considered mroe important for the hunt to go well, and for us not to lose a child while he hunts alone for the first time."

Chinoa quietly says, "Atleast, that is how I view it."

Loukno calmly says, "All very sound interpretations, forgive my interuption."

Lanita whispers to your group, "So while it is a time of growth it is more so a time of battle because they are fighting on their own. "

Alexii says, "Many people have a time where the child becomes adult, often this time is seen as a trial or goal of sorts."

Chinoa quietly says, "Indeed. There are many things that are alike between Rakash and Prydaen culture. The largest change is when we become adults."

Chinoa quietly says, "The Prydaens, when we both lived in the west, I believe... used to live largely solitary lives, away from cities and civilization. Where as we Rakash would grow closer together, becoming the pack."

Quirrisse says, "So Coshivi is the one who sees that we grow strong enough to take on responsibility and protect and serve the pack as an adult, rather than to be protected as a child."

Loukno calmly says to Chinoa, "Mostly true, though we still did have central locations we would come back to, small cities and the like."

Alexii says to Quirrisse, "That is one way to see it yes."

Chinoa quietly says to Loukno, "Thank you, my knowledge is second hand and learnt a few years ago now..."

Chinoa quietly asks, "Does anyone else have any questions?"

Kesava asks, "I have a question now that you have mentioned that....is the pack mentality of the rakash anythin like the pack mentality of wolves?"

Alexii says, "There are similarities, yes."

Chinoa quietly says, "Very losely. if you wished to simplify it, you could suggest that yes."

Alexii says, "But that is no different then any social group in many way."

Narkonis says, "Dun believe we kill the former alpha's children when someone new takes position as Alpha."

Alexii says, "There is an established leader, and the pack support them."

Achkilles says, "I'm no expert on wolves.. but it seems to me, you never see them NOT in a pack."

Kesava says, "Well I understand the wolves a little.....I'm assumin ya have a different way of greeting each other though....never have noticed a rakash sniffin at a another's....well ya know."

Chinoa taps the center of her forehead as she prays, "Mrod guide."

Achkilles says, "Whereas we have the choice of being in a pack, or..... less organized."

Derivan says, "Well there is the addage of the -- lone wolf."

Lanita says, "No, while there are similarities to those outward looking in, we are NOT wolves."

Alexii says, "There are greetings that some packs share, but they do not include... that."

Kesava says, "Good ya ain't wolves.....I'd have to kill all the cougars to feed this group."

Alexii says, "The thing youre most likely to notice is the change in speech when a Rakash is among the people or the pack."

Chinoa quietly asks, "No indeed, we are far from it. For one thing we cook?"

Lanita says, "A lot of Rakash here today are not from the old days. Least I'm not. I came after the Barrier... We like me learn only what we can from what scraps we are left to take."

Alexii says, "We use broader words, to explain a group feeling as opposed to the individual."

Lanita says, "Nothing saying you can't be wolfish. If that is your preference."

Chinoa quietly asks, "Does anyone else have any questions, before we move on to something involving... dare I say it.. fun and bards?"

Lanita says, "Just do your research as many of us have been guided to do so before."

Chinoa quietly says, "Well then.. I'll make one more comment on the Gods before I pass over to someone else.."

Lanita asks, "Does everyone here know of the Barrier? How the Rakash and the Prydaen came to be here?"

Sajuta says to Lanita, "I saw the play they had about the barrier a long while back."

Achkilles says, "Sadly, we see the consequences of the barrier's fall every day,walking the streets."

Alexii says, "It has not fallen..."

Zaslamel says, "Its just been compromised."

Achkilles asks, "Breached?"

Loukno calmly says, "The Prydaen guardians were sent to rejoin the Wheel, weakening it."

Alexii says, "I will be clear. It has been fractured, and breached."

Zaslamel says, "That's the better word."

Alexii says, "But it stands."

Lanita says, "Yes, a sad and traumatic story. I just want to be sure we all are aware of this as this is partly what a moot is about. Remembering those that fell to provide us this and our future's safety. The Barrier isn't fallen. It was breached. There is a difference."

Kyenchiro says, "We'd likely be much worse off now had it completely fallen."

Lanita says, "Not only do I want to be sure you all remember those even if you know not their names but I want you all to also remember why they had to."

Lanita says, "Please, remember to resist Lyras and fight against her everyday."

Lanita says, "That's all the serious talk I had to say."

Chinoa quietly says, "Right... lastly... before that promised hand over.."

Chinoa quietly says, "One major difference, between our Gods and the Immortals, is the lack of light and dark aspects. This is important to remember when thinking of them. I had to question once, if it was possible to worship our Gods and one of the Immortals. I have decided, with a little guidence, that to do so is in no way disrespectful to either set of Gods. It is possible for both to hold a place within your heart and your soul, and it is your own choice to make if you wish to worship one or the other solely.."

Chinoa quietly says, "Anyway, I think perhaps it better we move onto less serious things now..."

Lanita exclaims, "So!"

Lanita exclaims, "Anyone ready with their howls?!"

Lanita says, "I mentioned in the beginning that we'd do a Howling Contest."

Lanita says, "It was requested anonymously to us to do."

Lanita says, "All are welcomed and I dare any other race to howl thier best above us Rakash." A howl echoes about you as a wolf calls to his kind!

Alexii says, "As I said, If we were in moonskin we would have an unfair advantage over our guests." Chinoa nods to Alexii.

(Naea howl from the back of her throat, low and deep the sound seems to carry about the tower, reverberating through you until it fades softly away into the night)

(Sajuta throws her head back in an attempt to howl that sounds more like a wounded yelp. You've heard empaths make this sound at least a few times before.)

(Naea tries to howl but no sound comes out, she falls over instead and hangs onto the ground for dear life)

. (Loukno throws his head back, his mane spilling over his shoulders. His eyes going pure black as he brings his hand before him in a studied gesture, finding his center he howls in a high-pitch, a slight purr coming from his core mixing with the haunting sound.)

(Alexii releases a bellowing howl that rumbles the fratvarit in his hand, causing it to spill.)


(Kyenchiro raises his face to the sky and lets loose a long, trailing, almost mournful how that echoes off of the walls of the tower and into the night skies.)

(Chinoa leans backwards and lets out a quiet, low howl that is hard to hear over the spluttering fire.)

(Zaslamel glances around at all the other people assembled, a slight smile playing across his face. Suddenly, he snaps his head back and releases a deep howl, the veins on his neck straining against the surface of his skin)

(Heplythea lets loose a immature, almost childish, howl.)

(Malfrien throws his head back and lets loose with a gutteral howl that echoes back from the hollows of the ancient tower, gradualy fading off into a low growl.)

Aeviona smiles softly before her lips round out and her head tilts up to the sky. She takes in a deep breath, bending her knees a little, before slowly releasing a haunting note that slides with wistful longing of one soul searching for another. Kyenchiro says, "Pssh. Put your lungs into it."

A howl echoes about you as a wolf calls to his kind!

Lanita says, "Keep that energy up, I'll most likely ask you guys to howl again."

Lanita asks, "Anymore entries?"

Chinoa quietly says, "After much whispering between the judges.."

Chinoa quietly says, "We have a winner for the howling contest."


Chinoa quietly exclaims, "Right... ok... The winner for the first is.. Er.. I don't know his name. This Prydaen here!"

Chinoa points at Loukno.

Loukno calmly says, "Thank you very much."

Chinoa quietly exclaims, "The first runner up is... our very own Kyenchiro!"

Kyenchiro says, "Also, the young Prydaen's name is Loukno."

Chinoa quietly exclaims, "And the second runner up.. is the bard Aeviona!"

Aeviona exclaims, "Oooh!"

Alexii exclaims, "Good job everyone!"

Chinoa quietly says, "You'll have one more chance to show off your howls after the next part.. which is my favorite part.."

Chinoa quietly exclaims, "Stories!"

Naea says, "It's always been a tradition at Moots for the assembled Rakash to tell stories."

Naea says, "So I thought I'd kick things off with a story of my own, then open the floor to anyone who has a tale to tell." Purple flames waver across the fire on the ground. A lexii says, "Do remember that these stories do not have to be about our gods, or people, they can just be pleasent tales you wish to share with friends."

Naea says, "Any story is welcome, the fun is in the listening."

Naea chants:

   "This is a story about stories. About the power of language, about how it can set us free or not, as we choose. But above all else it is a story about a girl. It is called "The Frevzu Forest"

Naea recites:

   "Once far to the West in the rolling hills that surrounded Odcoru lived an old Rakash Scholar and his young daughter. The scholar's wife had long since passed away and with a reasonable store of money set away the old man passed the remainder of his days in quietude, planting trees."

Naea recites:

   "It started innocently enough. He planted a pair of russet Frevzu trees, their leaves glimmering like a wash of flame in the springtime and dancing down to earth as the seasons turned, blanketing the lawn that framed his house in a shimmering haze of molten gold."

Naea recites:

   "Before long he had a dozen scattered across the edges of his lawn. Marvelling at the subtle tones of variegation and texture he began researching the trees. Collecting cuttings from the local area, sending off to experts for seeds and planting them in his grounds, every one a different type."

Naea recites:

   "As the years passed people began to hear stories of the eccentric old Scholar and his Forest of Frevzu trees and before long a trickle of interested visitors began to arrive, seeking permission to wander the grounds."

Naea recites:

   "The boy was one of these travellers. The scholar's daughter met him while she was wandering through her Father's forest in one of those endless days as Spring paused before turning into Summer. He was plain and unassuming, a tangled mass of dark curly hair falling down around two large brown eyes. They did not greet each other or exchange pleasantries. Instead they simply fell into step, ranging in comfortable silence across the vast lawns of the Northern Garden."

Naea recites:

   "She could not remember how it started or why. All she remembered was the sound of his voice, soft as snowfall and rich as silk as he leaned comfortably against a tree, his gaze somewhere in the middle distance, a story on his lips, every word seeming to carry a harmonic of eternity."

Naea recites:

   "It was a simple story, about a traveller trapped in a vast mountain range without map or guide or provisions. It was a simple story but it had a strange power and its words tugged at her, wrapped her in their rhythm and harmony until it seemed for all the world that she was the unnamed traveller, battling across the mountains in the waist-deep ivory snow guided by the light of one twinkling star that shimmered wetly in the distance."

Naea recites:

   "Its message wasn't voiced, it didn't need to be, there was something raw and deep and true about it, as though the words had lain dormant within her all these years like a seed, waiting to grow."

Naea recites:

   "He told her about the man who used to stand outside his lovers window, long after they had parted ways. She shuddered when he told her how the man stood in that one spot for so long that his arms and legs fused together as his body changed into a weeping willow sapling that still remains, gazing longingly into her window though the woman herself is long dead."

Naea recites:

   "He told her of the lonely wheat farmer who had buried his wife and children. About how he found a tiny corn dolly amongst his vast fields of wheat and brought it home. About how it would sing to him and tell him stories that melted his soul. About how at the end of every tale it would tell him it was cold and beg to be placed nearer the fire. About how he could never refuse her as he could never refuse his own daughters in life and how, one day, the little creature finally came too close to the fire and an errant spark set her tiny body aflame."

Naea recites:

   "He told her about the musician who composed the most breathtaking melody ever conceived, then forgot it before he could write it down. He told her how the man spent the rest of his life trying to remember the music that had once burned like a fire across his soul. How he plucked and bowed and caressed every instrument he could find like an errant lover whose secrets he could no longer understand. She wept when he told her that when the composer died, it was with a smile on his face and the song still unremembered."

Naea recites:

   "He told her about the race around the world. About the never-ending dance in the kingdom of the Sun. About the girl who wished she could fly. About the violin made of glass. About the Great Tower. About the Defeated Philosopher. About the eternal flutterby. About wordless, ancient things, harmonies so complex and so beautiful that the words that gave voice to them faded away until she could only hear the underlying rhythm of the stories."

Naea recites:

   "As they wandered aimlessly through the trees, seeming to linger for a passing moment in the shadow of each one the stories fell from his lips like notes in a symphony, beginning, ending, moving and breathing, rising and falling like the wind as they faded into silence and danced across her mind like dreams."

Naea recites:

   "She did not simply hear them, she lived them, one after another. She was a warrior. She was a thief. She was a servant, slave, outcast. She was a cripple. She lived and died a hero. She died mad. She died screaming. She sinned and howling begged her Gods for forgiveness. She clung to life, she clung to hope, she clung to madness. She wrote music, poetry, stories. She lived in poverty, she lived in riches. She spoke a thousand tongues and yet they all sung one single truth. She warred in distant, long-forgotten places, scarce imagined until she lived those lives. A hundred lives. More. So many she couldn't count them."

Naea recites:

   "At the end of every life, as the story faded into silence she could almost reach out and touch the stillness that seeped into the very core of her being. "I could make my dwelling there" she though 'and live forever there to hear such music."

Naea recites:

   "She awoke as the sun was sinking behind the mountains, its molten light sinking into darkness of evening but the boy had vanished. She searched for him for many weeks but she would not see him again and it was not until many years had passed that she came to realize, to understand."

Naea recites:

   "After her eighteenth birthday her father, by now an old man, decided that a girl of her age needed a husband to provide for her after he was gone and so he proposed a competition. Any man who could name all four hundred of his Frevzu trees would be allowed to take his daughters hand in marriage. Those who named but one in error, must swear never to marry for the rest of their days."

Naea recites:

   "The suitors came and went like leaves on the wind, captivated by the beauty of the girl and the audacity of the challenge. A few even coming close to naming the whole collection but they always fell short and left, astonished at what they had sacrificed for no reward."

Naea recites:

   "All the while she held within her the image of the boy, the memory of his stories. She told herself that those days remembered among the trees could never have been. That even if they could, that such a simple and innocent soul could never have named the galaxy of trees that peopled her father's estate. She told herself so often and with such conviction that she almost came to believe."

Naea recites:

   "One moment is enough to to unravel a life or a dream many years in the making, whether it be true or not."

Naea recites:

   "Standing in the lower field, a steady Western wind whipped the burnished russet leaves around her head like a burning golden crown. A middle aged suitor was picking his way unerringly through the forest, his sure eye and steady hand naming the trees one after another as he advanced like a conquering army, as if through the act of naming he came to posses all that his eye could conceive."

Naea chants:

   "The Aimless Wanderer... The Weeping Lover... The Burning Child....The Forgetful Musician..."

Naea recites:

   "She stopped. In her chest her heart seemed to pause and as she finally realized and sunk, trembling, to her knees. The boy from so long ago. The boy she had lost. The boy she had loved. Every single story had named a tree."

Naea recites:

   "He had won her then, despite everything she had done since, despite every effort to forget she knew that she loved him with every breath she took, knew that she had loved him but deserved him not for she had forgotten his stories and sullied the magic of his gift. He had set her free and she had chosen to live in chains."

Naea recites:

   "That was the last breath she took. Something inside her broke. As her eyes filled with tears her trembling body surrendered to the darkness and as her broken soul collapsed inward upon itself, fracturing into a thousand pieces that recoiled in terror from the simple truth that formed the cornerstone of her existence, she fell. Into darkness. Into death. Into herself."

Naea recites:

   "As if in response the sky began to weep, great pregnant drops that tumbled down to earth to patter mournfully off her body, ricocheting earthwards among the carpet of falling leaves like a flood of tears."

Naea kneels down. (Naea places her palms flat on the ground in thanks to Enelne, signalling the end of her tale.)

Naea asks, "It was a tad depressing, perhaps Alexii can lighten the mood?"

Alexii asks, "Um... thanks?"

Alexii says, "I have a small tale to tell, thanks to my good friends Sajuta and Zaslamel."

Alexii says, "I'll start off by saying I am greedy."

. Alexii says, "I never once denied this, however while most lust for glory, money, women, or power... I simply pine for something to occupy my time."

Alexii says, "That s exactly what I had intended to do when I met up with local champions of Riverhaven to fight off an ongoing invasion of pirates."

Alexii says, "The battle was short and sweet, only few waves attacked before the Captain himself reared his ugly head."

Alexii says, "When he was cornered, the gweth messages started begging for more help."

Alexii says, "But, this captain of the silken sash was no easy target. Several stood to match his ferocity and eventually he was felled."

Alexii says, "As he took that not-so-graceful tumble to the floors inside the East Gate of Riverhaven a small parchment slipped from his pocket and snatched up by an unlikely Rakash Barbarian."

Alexii says, "I credit this feat to the amazing stamina which people of our race possess; sometimes we are able to force ourselves to do that which might tire the others."

Alexii says, "As he ran to me for guidance I could already hear the thundering footsteps which followed him."

Alexii says, "Taking him to the Temple I allowed those who had words to speak their minds."

Alexii says, "Greed again allows one to feel that he has a place of honor in circumstances where "luck of the draw" prevails."

Alexii says, "To be honest, I can understand the animosity... it is a rare and unique opportunity. It is no surprise that most people would want to take it for themselves."

Alexii says, "As the eyes grew wilder and the tones sharper, we decided to take our leave. I grabbed my friend Zaslamel and his wife, taking them with me on trails known to Rangers. We crossed the distances swiftly as we pursued the first clue of our map..."

Alexii recites:

   "The map has a large 'X' marked in the middle of it.  Near the marking, you can see several dotted lines forming a square.  Contour lines drawn along the map indicate that the destination is located near sea level, and sand dunes surround the 'X'.""

Alexii says, "Perhaps it was my own narrow vision which led us to attempt locating the Treasure in Muspar'i. I had remembered seeing an area on the Trade Route which had sand dunes littered across the landscape."

Alexii says, "Our journey up the Ker'Leor was met with little resistance as we passed though checkpoints and gates, showing our passports to the proper authorities. All was well until we found ourselves waiting for the sand barge with an unwelcome guest."

Alexii groans.

Alexii says, "A war bear, or at least something that looked like one, had followed us."

Alexii says, "At a single glace I could tell this creature was not natural, but the creation of some mage who has bent the magics and trapped it in a bear shell. It spoke to us, calling us ants and acting as if it were not what it was."

Alexii says, "I questioned it about its origin and crafter; it could offer little response to my query. Eventually we had committed ourselves to ignoring the creation choosing to continue our conversations in our native Rakash language."

Alexii says, "Setting foot in the Velaka and comparing it to the map in my hands, I could instantly tell we were not in the right place. Our time was spent chasing the wrong path. I looked at the clues again, wondering where to attempt our find next. I decided that the mention of sea and sand could perhaps mean that it was a beach and not a desert."

Alexii says, "Moving from Theren down to Zoluren, we rode the trails and stopped occasionally checking the map against the current surroundings. Reaching the banks of the Faldesu and then the Segoltha we were left still with no results."

Alexii says, "Where could this elusive treasure be? The nagging voice inside my head tells me that its in the one place I don t want to go."

Alexii says, "I really don t want to go there, so I simply ignore it and push on towards Dwarven lands."

Alexii asks, "Ain Ghrazal, nope. Hibarnvidhar, nope. Raven's Point, nope. Where to now?"

Alexii casually observes the area.

Alexii says, "Perhaps its best I skip the next place..."

Alexii says, "Approaching the Gondola it was hard not to hang our heads, our hands still empty."

Alexii says, "My own thoughts were consumed with memories of places I had passed or locations I had heard about..."

Alexii says, "Then it dawned on me, I knew the place. The place I hated the most... Ratha."

Alexii shudders.

Alexii says, "As we rode the Skirr it began to make more sense. I studied the map carefully, attempting to keep it safe from the crashing waves which battered the cargo ship. Entering into the Port of Ratha, the lines of the coast begun to match perfectly with lines depicted in the map in my hand. I could hardly contain my ever increasing anxiety."

Alexii recites:

   "The map has a large 'X' marked in the middle of it.  Near the marking, you can see several dotted lines forming a square.  Contour lines drawn along the map indicate that the destination is located near sea level, and sand dunes surround the 'X'.  Straight lines have been drawn from the center, pointing northeast and west.  From other markings on the map, you guess that the destination is somewhere nearby.  Judging by your surrounding environment, you will find the treasure in this province."

Alexii says, "No sooner did we dock then we were on the beach scouring the sands for our forlorn treasure."

Alexii flashes a wide grin.

Alexii says, "Approaching closer and closer to the hermits shack, I could see more features of the map matching to our current location. Taking the map in hand I studied it once again."

Alexii says, "Dunes, check. Sea level, check. Road traveling from the west to the northeast, check."

Alexii says, "This had to be it...."

Alexii recites:

   "You study a treasure map and realize that the area you're in exactly matches the markings on it!  You dig your hands into the sand, revealing a gold-etched mahogany strongbox"

Alexii gets an impish expression on his face, and lets out a hearty cheer.

Alexii exclaims, "We found it! Praise Coshivi!"

Alexii says, "The treasure of a pirate, we could only wonder what sort of exotic finds might be hidden under this lid. As I had done the leading and finding, my good friend Zaslamel allowed me to examine the contents first despite the map being his find."

Alexii recites:

   "You rummage through a gold-etched mahogany strongbox and see a shovel-shaped badge stamped "Treasure Keeper", a large yellow-green alexandrite, a huge smoky nomlas quartz, a medium cerulean garnet, some platinum coins and a primary Immortal avatar pendant."

Alexii adjusts his shovel-shaped badge into place.

Alexii says, "A private collection of gems, coins, and cherished items was all that the box contained."

Alexii says, "I did not care for the loot so after a brief inspection I gave the chest to the maps owner, feeling it was the right thing to do. Our journey had taken us to many shores and we had seen much sand, I was thankful for the adventure and nothing more was needed."

Alexii says, "Looking at me he said "Surely there is something that can be given to you. You have done so much work." Thinking on this I replied, Well if it will make you happy...I suppose I'll take that badge so that I can have a reminder of the traveling and hunting for treasure."

Alexii says, "A kind smile passed his lips and the badge was mine..."

Alexii rubs a shovel-shaped badge stamped "Treasure Keeper".

Alexii says, "And the next day...."

Alexii gets a shovel-shaped badge stamped "Treasure Keeper" from inside a soft suede toolkit.

(Alexii points to his matching pair of badges, then winks.)

Alexii says, "Thanks for listening."

Alexii smiles.

(Alexii places his palms flat on the ground in thanks to Enelne, signalling the end of his tale.)

Naea asks, "So, any other intrepid storytellers out there?"

Zaslamel says, "I think Ive drank enough to attempt a story."

Zaslamel says, "This story.. isnt mine."

Zaslamel says, "It was told to me by a dear friend.. who is not with us anymore."

Zaslamel says, "Its not about rakash.. or gods.. but it does have some adventure."

Zaslamel says, "And now.. I will tell you the story.. of the Jester.. that has no name."

Zaslamel recites:

   "There was a story I was told when I was younger, that told of a Jester, who threw parties in kings and lords honors.
    He wandered the countryside, allegiance to no land, attending every gathering, ball, and general celebration thrown.
    The Jester had no name, no way of calling him, nor recognition, But the man was imfamous.
    There are three tales of his travels that live on in his legend, tonight, I wish to share them with you."

Zaslamel recites:

   "The first brought the Jester to a quiet land, set back in a valley near a vast mountain range.
    The castle was initself a spectacle, built into the mountain side out of elaborate stone.
    The people looked at him hungrily as he passed heading for the castle door.
    The Jester walked in painted face a grin.As he approached the fat king he said,"

Zaslamel playfully sings:

   "Hello to you, sir Royal King,
    I find your castle welcoming,
    I come to you with festivities to bring,
    A party so great your bards'll forever sing!"

Zaslamel recites:

   "The Jester bowed low and smiled near wickedly as the king thought for a moment.
    And as he brought his wide girth to a stand, he proclaimed.
    Tonight we celebrate, I care not of what. Make it of my birthday that sounds good enough.
    Let the wine flow, let the pigs roast, let us feast!"

Zaslamel recites:

   "The Jester's eyes gleamed in the torchlight, and let us invite all your subjects to join in the fun.
    So they'll know your generosity before the nights done!
    The king smile abruptly stopped."

Zaslamel recites:

   "Those foul fools, I think not, Nothing I ever do is good enough.
    They claim they starve, but look at me.
    Do I look like I haven't a bite to eat?
    No I say, If I'm not starving, why are they.
    They've plenty to keep them full, let them whine for all I care."

Zaslamel recites:

   "The Jester nodded and smiled big, and before the night the party was set to motion.
    They danced and sang, and stories told.
    The Jester himself was the life of the party, his colored costume danced in the torchlight, his bells rang out as his tumbled and joked.
    He even got the guards in on some of his pranks and gags."

Zaslamel recites:

   "By the end of the night, not a single person stood, not a single person awoke.
    And by morning the fat king opened his pudgey eyes to a shocking sight.
    All his worldy possestions had been removed
    And on his portly belly laid an open note."

Zaslamel mischievously sings:

   "I'm the Jester with no name,
    And you with coin, are all the same,
    You starve your land with all you devour
    You heart is rotten your soul is sour
    And so to you I say this
    That foul temptation you must resist."

Zaslamel recites:

   "The Jester left without a trace, but it wasn't long before a new tale was about to be written.
    The Jester wandered along the road until he came about a desert land.
    He Sultan had a fabulous palace near the only water source for miles.
    As the Jester made his way in the guards stopped him abruptly and demanded payment for the drink inside.
    The Jester merely smiled and said he was only here to speak with the Lord of the land.
    Once inside the Jester met with the sultan saying,"

Zaslamel playfully sings:

   "Hello to you sir tanly lord
    With all this gold you must be bored.
    Let me throw a party for you
    One for the ages I promise it true."

Zaslamel recites:

   "Well the Sultan smiled and graciously agreed, even offered to pay for everything.
    The gold flowed like the silk decorations filling the place.
    This party was filled with everything from bellydancers, to jugglers, even firebreathers.
    But once again, the Jester upstaged them all."

Zaslamel recites:

   "Again, when the night was through not one person remained awake.
    And in the morning The sultan awoke to a shocking thing.
    All his gold and silk were stolen!
    Even his turban was removed from his head, but in it's place was another note.
     This one read,"

Zaslamel mischievously sings:

   "I'm the Jester with no name,
    And you with coin, are all the same.
    Your land it thirsts for sweet water,
    But you, you think, are much smarter.
    You charge your people for something free
    And so this I say to thee
    Your selfish greed it knows no bound
    So I've removed it, as you have found."

Zaslamel recites:

   "Once more he left without a trace.
    Not one even remembered that colored face.
    But, before you think anything of him.
    Listen to the final tale of Jester No Name."

Zaslamel recites:

   "The Jester arrived to a rather large city.
    Though his usual visit was to the leader, this time he found a large building.
    The sign in front said "Orpahanage" so he went inside.
    Instantly he was greeted by an old thin man who looked at the end of his line.
    The entire place seemed to be falling apart, and the children inside were even worse off.
    After speaking with the man, the Jester said,"

Zaslamel playfully sings:

   "My heart it aches for this poor kids,
    I'll throw a party for some pigs,
    And by the end of the night,
    I'll find an end to your hard plights."

Zaslamel recites:

   "The old man hadn't a clue what the Jester meant, but agreed to let him do whatever he was going to do.
    The Jester sent out the word that a charity party would be held in the old orpahanage.
    When the sun fell into night, a gathering of the richest folk in town showed up to the event.
    The Jester sang, and danced, told more tales, and even got the kids in on some of the acts.
    By the end of the night, the rich folk left, not a penny donated to the old orphanage, not a child adopted to a loving home."

Zaslamel recites:

   "The old man went to bed even worse off than before, seeing no warm heart in people besides that to the bottom of a bottle.
    The next morning the old man woke up to a shocking sight.
    The gold that filled the room glimmered off the rising suns light and a small note sat on his desk which read."

Zaslamel kindly sings:

   "I'm the Jester with no name
    And those with coin, are all the same.
    They have no heart for those below,
    And so to you a bit I'll show.
    This is yours, all this gold,
    But to your head make sure it doesn't go."

Zaslamel recites:

   "Those are the tales of the imfamous Jester. His name never known to history, but his legend will go on.
     There is a little Jester No Name, in everyone."

Zaslamel bows.

Naea asks, "Anyone else fancy taking a turn?"

Naea says, "There will be a prize for the best story if you need some motivation."

Marielir says, "I have one that is not really my own story."

Marielir says, "It's just something I was once told."

Naea says, "We'd love to hear it."

Marielir says, "This was when I was a child and we had heard of the fear necromancers could cause, but Lyras had not yet come to plague us."

Marielir says, "I have been doing much research and i have learned much, though the hunt is not yet done."

Marielir says, "As I learned when I was young:."

Marielir chants:

   "To live is to hunt,
     Searcing for prey,
     Matching wits with it in game of life and death,
     Stalking, waiting for the right moment,
     Pouncing, the quick snap of bone,
     The thrill of sweet victory."

Marielir says, "But as I now know, there are many types of prey; and many types of hunts."

Marielir says, "To name but a few, there is the hunt for maturity and wisdom that we all participate in."

Marielir says, "The life and death struggle with death itself that our Empaths engage in."

Marielir says, "The struggle to learn and pass on lore and protect the young; that our Bards devoted themselves to in our Hubs."

Marielir says, "Recently I have been on a hunt for an answer; to the fear generated by the Necromancer."

Marielir says, "While my hunt has not been fully successful, I have found some information that may be of use."

Marielir says, "I discovered word of two Prydaen enchants."

Marielir says, "One of these is Demriss' Resolve."

Marielir says, "This is an ancient enchant that has been attributed to a the Prydaen Bard, Soundwraith."

Marielir says, "She was mistakenly recorded in the book 'A Brief History of Alchemy' as a blind elven bard."

Marielir says, "She was also a noted alchemist in these lands."

Marielir says, "Without doubt, She was also a great explorer, as she found her way to these lands long before the more recent devastating events."

Marielir says, "Unfortunately for us, she was blinded in this journey and never returned to us."

Marielir says, "I found that the Bards guarding the hubs would use Demriss' Resolve to drive away invaders in terror."

Marielir says, "Unfortunately, Demriss' Resovle did not prove effective against Lyras and her undead minions."

Marielir sighs.

Marielir says, "So I continued my hunt."

Marielir says, "I found word of what apparently did prove of some use."

Marielir says, "This was the enchant we called Eu's Respite, which gave us strength, vitality, rest, and determination."

Marielir says, "As I understand it, Eu's Respite is basically a sung version of Hodierna's Lilt."

Marielir says, "Our version of this lilt has now been adopted by the Bards of this land and is encorportated into their performance of Hodierna's Lilt."

Marielir says, "At this time, it is the only answer I have found to the fear that Lyras and her minions generate."

Marielir quietly says, "I shall continue my hunt, but in the meantime, I hope that this small offering may prove of use."

Marielir says, "This was told to me many years ago by an old Prydaen bardess."

Marielir says, "I recorded her words as she said them."

Marielir curtsies.

Naea says, "Thank you for sharing, we have lost a lot of the old wisdom."

Naea asks, "Would anyone else like to tell a story, either Rakash or one of our guests?"

Alexii says, "Come on folks, I know ya'll have a story you are itching to share."

Naea asks, "Or a song or a poem?"

Alexii says, "No limricks."

Naea says, "Alright I'll share a few poems then."

Naea chants:

   "This is a sequence of short poems entitled Hymns to the Silence"

(Naea hangs her head and stands perfectly still, her breath coming slowly and steadily.)

Naea recites:

   "Listening to her
     Rhythmic breathing I feel still,
     A religious peace."

(Naea raises her head and stares into the distance, the hint of a smile tugging at her lips.)

Naea recites:

   "I wake, the flood-plains

Of your departing form just

     Now alive with song"

(Naea begins to pace back and forth, her voice taking on a bitter tone as her arms twitch nervously.)

Naea recites:

   "I experiment
     With loaded words: love, affair
     Sex, pain, poetry"


(Naea stops pacing, her eyes wide her hands wringing at her odaj crumpling the black nightsilk.)

Naea recites:

   "Tortured by the sound
     Of breathing unrecognized
     As my own I weep."

(Naea purses her lips, her expression unreadable.)

Naea recites:

   "After the rain she
     Starts a rumour of angels
     Fallen soft as snow."
(Naea stares at her feet, rocking slowly back and forth.)

Naea recites:

   "Bewildered at my
     Moral fluidity I
     Only dream in white."

(Naea swallows, her hands clenched in fists, her voice trembling with fear and doubt.)

Naea recites:

   "I am the false god
     That follows my name around.
     Do you love me still?"

Naea recites:

   "Old proverb: Moments
     Of indiscretion dont die,
     They bloom like flowers."

(Naea spins about, her cloak fluttering restlessly as she turns her back on her audience.)

Naea recites:

   "I turn, and as the
     Litany of her trembling
     Heartstrings ends, I pause"

Naea recites:

   "For thought, surprised that
     The water in me fights to
     Return to the sea."

(Naea raises both hands, her trembling fingers steepled in prayer, her eyes upturned.)

Naea recites:

   "My hand barely shakes
     As our Origami love
     Folds in upon itself."

(Naea sinks slowly to her knees.)

Naea recites:

   "Within every birds
     Flight is a single moment
     Of perfect stillness."

(Naea pauses for a moment then wilts like a flower, her voice dropping to a whisper as she sinks to the floor her body spread out and still.)

Naea recites:

   "Before my eyes she
     Turns to song and floats away
     In a minor key."


(Naea raises her head slowly as a single tear traces a path down her cheek and she gazes longingly into space, her hand reaching out as if to someone.)

Naea recites:

   "Make the Autumn leaves
     Live on she said And in your
     Art I will miss you."

. (Naea exhales, smiling wistfully, her voice soft with the pull of regret.)

Naea recites:

   "Our Autumn leaves form
     Tiny poems as they fall,
     Magnifying my
     Loss until, at last, I see
     Worlds crafted from smaller things."

(Naea lets her voice fade away into silence and pauses for a moment, head bowed, hands splayed out across the floor.)

(Naea places her palms flat on the ground in thanks to Enelne, signalling the end of her poem.)

Naea asks, "So, anyone else for a story? Last chance?"

Alexii says, "Nah not this time..."

Alexii says, "I'll have to save some stuff for next time."

Silvwyn says, "You could tell all your stories now, and then spend the next year on new adventures to share with us at the next moot."

Alexii says, "Okay, well with the lack of entries, this prize really should go to only one person."

Alexii gets a taleweaver's storybook from inside his large sack.

Alexii says to Naea, "You always amaze me with your tales, thank you for sharing them with all of us."

Naea shows Chinoa her taleweaver's storybook.

Lanita says, "Our winners from the howl were Kyenchiro, Aeviona, and Loukno." Naea picks up a vibrant yellow rose.

Lanita says, "We're going to have another where you three compete with one another with another howl. This time themed around either the funny or the sad."

Lanita says, "I'll give you three a moment to think your howls over. Please whisper to me when you're done."

Loukno calmly asks, "Do we choose if we are doing sad or funny?"

Lanita says, "Yes, up to you."

Lanita says, "I think it should be rule for Rakash to have an odaj. At least one."

Lanita asks, "Are there any here that don't have any?"

Sajuta says to Lanita, "I've been collecting some. I've told all my hunting friends that if they find one in their hunts to bring them to me and I'll find them a good home."

Lanita says, "When I tap you, go."

(Kyenchiro takes in a deep breath and lets out a long, thin, mournful howl that rings through the night air. Then he inhales again and begins a second howl that matches the returning echo of the first, sounding like a duet of sadness sent to the stars.)

Aeviona ponders before she closes her eyes and takes in a deep breath. With a somber look, she starts to let out her wistful howl but it quickly goes awry, sounding more like air leaking out of an inflated eelskin and she quickly tilts her head with a Mrrrf?

(Loukno kneels down one hand placed to the ground before him, gazing up to the sky his eyes fall unfullfilled as the black moon has set. His ears droop slightly as his eyes close completely. From somewhere deep inside he howls quietly, building slowly to a loud lonely call, a soft trill of abandonment rising in his chest to mix with the sound before falling silent and sitting once again.)

Kyenchiro asks Loukno, "Good Mrod, we're a couple of sadsacks when it comes to howls, aren't we?"

Alexii says, "Wow...I dont know if I should applaud or feel bad for ya."

Naea says to Alexii, "Bit of both! Clap mournfully."

Alexii says, "Those were all so good..."

Alexii says, "Honestly they were so diverse I cant choose a winner..."

Alexii says, "Aevonia's was really funnny."

Alexii gets a gold neithrel band fastened with five silver chains from inside his mesh haversack.

Alexii offers Aeviona a gold neithrel band fastened with five silver chains.

Alexii says, "Kyenchio's was saddening, I wanted to cry..."

Alexii gets a divirala cirvi from inside his hunter's pack.

Alexii offers Kyenchiro a divirala cirvi.

Kyenchiro draws forth a divirala cirvi.

Kyenchiro taps a divirala cirvi that he is holding. Alexii babbles incoherently.

Alexii gets an ilglaiks skefne from inside his hunter's pack.

Alexii offers Kyenchiro an ilglaiks skefne.

Kyenchiro says, "Alright, that I don't have one of."

Lanita asks, "Do all the Rakash here have at least one jewelry item from the merchants, by the way?"

Alexii says, "Loukno almost sounded like a rakash, it was kinda creepy."

Alexii says, "So that said..."

Alexii gets a gold and yellow checked odaj from inside his mesh haversack.

Alexii offers Loukno a gold and yellow checked odaj.

Loukno accepts Alexii's checked odaj.

Loukno calmly says, "Thank you."

Alexii says, "No, thank you. You show us great respect by participating in our gathering."

Kyenchiro says to Loukno, "An odaj is handy AND fashionable."

Naea says, "Less scandalous than a Pry'Sin."

Loukno calmly says to Alexii, "You do me a great honor by allowing me to be here. It has been a most educating experience."

Alexii says, "So, my friends and cousins. This concludes our gathering for this year, I want to thank you all once again for joining us in the Great Moot."

Kesava says, "Thanks for lettin us non-rakash hang out."

Alexii says, "Thank you to our wonderful hosts, Lanita, Naea, Chinoa, the Tavern Troupe."

Achkilles says, "Thanks to all that helped in bringing this together."

Kesava says, "Though next time....I may pick up some slivovitz on the way." L oukno calmly says, "Thank you all for the gathering."

Kyenchiro says, "We Rakash turn no friends away."

Malfrien says, "Thank you all...this has been a fun evening."

Naea says, "And to Alexii for keeping us all on track."

Malfrien says, "Thank you very much."

Alexii says, "I do nothing, I just point and say... you should do this."

Sajuta teasingly asks Alexii, "Oversee?"

Alexii says to Sajuta, "Thats what Alphas do, yup."

Chinoa quietly says, "Oversee is an Alphas way of saying... make them do it."

Lanita asks Alexii, "Did you record all the howls?"

Alexii nods to Lanita.

Alexii says, "AS far as the Great Moot goes, we will attempt to do them yearly."

Alexii says, "But we have plans for smaller moots along the line, which will lead up to the great moot."

Alexii says to Chinoa, "How dare you leave without letting me give you something for all your hard work."

Alexii begins nagging Chinoa unmercifully.

Chinoa looks at Alexii and blushes.

Alexii gets a Rakash devotional amulet from inside his large sack.

Alexii offers Chinoa a Rakash devotional amulet.

Chinoa accepts Alexii's devotional amulet.

Alexii says, "This could not have happened without you two."

Alexii praises Naea.

Alexii praises Chinoa.

Chinoa quietly says, "Thank you... it was a pleasure to be involved in the small way that we were."

Alexii asks, "Small?"

Alexii says, "Sure..."

Naea exclaims to Alexii, "I just showed up and drunk and told stories!"

Alexii says, "Be humble if you wish..."

Chinoa quietly says, "Now..."

Lanita says, "I just wanted to say thanks to you all before I go for real."

Lanita says, "Was a great turn out."

Alexii says, "Lanita, you are simply amazing."

Alexii praises Lanita.

Lanita says, "Next time will be better."

Alexii says to Lanita, "Thank you so much for this."

Lanita says, "Was my pleasure, thank you for hiring the Troupe."