Madrigal happened this weekend and in spite of all the things going on to make me consider skipping it (see previous post) it was
incredibly awesome for me and I'm so happy I went.
- Trip into the woods of packet eating to see The Tapestry. No seriously, ask any of the casters, we could throw 20 packets, hear them all hit, see them dropping even in the extremely dim light, walk to the spot immediately after and find only 4 or 5. This happened multiple times until we all had almost nothing left. But The Tapestry was very cool and the whole idea of tying yourself to aspects of things that you as a player want most to be involved in was amazing. Doing it with Valentine and Sakal, both of who hadn't been there in forever and tying ourselves together in The Tapestry was a great way to start the event.
We were told that we would need to write five things so we should be careful to save room. We started out by writing our names. I wrote 'Zephyr' before thinking to ask if we should write what those hear know us as or by our "real" names. The Child of the Moon and Sun told us that there should be no secrets from those we had just tied ourself to and to use our real names. As I filled in the rest of 'Zephyristarius Murali Baval' with the writing getting smaller and smaller it occured to me that I might not have enough space.
This was a really cool plot mechanism for making sure we all got into the plots we wanted before the end of the world and there was a cool moment of clarity for a remaining guilty regret for Zephyr. It was nice to see the choices showing up over the course of the weekend.
- Souldrinker - Parts 6 and 7 - We completed the severing of the two final spirits necessary to make Souldrinker vulnerable / less powerful. The mage battles were intense. We actually lost Sakal when Souldrinker severed his spirit. I was able to subtly sing Adeon the Gift of Life while Souldrinker was fighting Sakal.
The battle with the final spirit was a nice roleplay touch for the shamans and low enough keyed that we were able to bring her down a lot. I'm really enjoying the whole Souldrinker plot. "Sorry" I missed the tea party with her last time, but there was lots of fun discussions with people about that and the kenning dual. This plot line has been awesome for letting me get lots of people pulled in, many I would never have interacted with in these end days when I'm just so busy.
- Lona and Valentine - Some of the best roleplay of the weekend involved one of my favorite couples. When people talk about problems in a marriage they really should see these two before they complain about their own. Zephyr spent so much time sticking his blue nose into their business but it was a ton of fun and in the end everything worked out, I think.
- Imagining - The Heron - Charity and Humility, Zephyr and Lona - We had an absolutely wonderful talk with Dave's Imagining talking about our progress and we bolstered each other so well in the talk. He said he normally does one-on-ones but I can't imaging a better discussion of that nature than what took place between him, Zephyr and Lona, especially given the private discussions Zephyr and Lona were having when he took them aside to talk.
- Rowan - I was dreading the Rowan talk but Rowan and Zephyr got along fabulously and while it wasn't quite like old times, it was about the best it could have been and the two of them had some wonderful interactions over the course of the weekend.
- Locke walk - I love spending time alone with Locke. I never know if he's going to kill me or not or how the discussion is going to go. The scary thing about these talks is how much more Zephyr and Locke are alike when they start talking. There are some very different aspect of course, but there are some places where Zephyr has become far too much in line with Locke's way of thinking for his own comfort.
- Nur and Jade Moth - Nur and Zephyr had a long talk about their friendship and how they've both evolved. We talked about other things that really close friends talk about that you don't put in public places. It felt like rekindling a friendship that's been dying and it felt like it could have been saying goodbye. And then we made music and nothing else mattered. This was followed up not long later by a brief discussion with Jade Moth where Zephyr may have stuck his nose in where it doesn't belong again, but in a much more subtle way. What? Zephyr can be subtle *sometimes*.
- Eruanna is now a Malekyrg - The first time Zephyr noticed this, "Eruanna, there's something different about you. I can't put my finger on it. Did you do something different with your hair?" This was a good example of many of Zephyr's interactions this weekend, sort of a return to his light banter of old. He's becoming comfortable enough with who and what he's become that he can be more of what he used to be and what he longs for.
- Klee and the barbarian - Zephyr and Klee used to spend time often with a light-hearted, good natured banter. Klee has grown up and Zephyr has grown away and they rarely get the time they used to have. We found the time Sunday while Klee was fighting off a lone barbarian that was attacking the tavern. Zephyr stayed off to the side talking to her about the things they've been doing, occasionally healing her. It was just a fun, inconsequential field encounter between two PCs enhanced by a fabulous NPC keeping it interesting. BTW, this NPC played this barbarian all alone in the hot sun for a couple of hours keeping PCs entertained in front of the tavern. I don't know who he is, but he gets NPC of the event vote from me.
- Source of majesty rituals - Eurvein and hospitality - We continue to do the rituals for the Source of Majesty. I took part in two this weekend. Appropriately, while doing the Eurvein ritual, Zephyr get getting distracted and losing focus like a good representative of Air. George would have been so proud... if he could keep his attention on it long enough to appreciate it. I miss George.
- Speaking of Tim B (who plays George), he was apparently a very sick man this weekend and thus we missed the second half of the Song of Hope stuff. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the first half of the Song of Hope stuff. So there's this Song of Hope that is prophesied in the foretellings of the Dooms. In theory some idiot priest of Naveril knows about this, has lyrics, is writing it, whatever. I think he may even have known about it for a year or so now. Well, Songs of Hope don't just spring out of nowhere. They take time and inspiration to write properly and need that kind of time to prepare. So I started on it Thursday night. Rob would have been so proud of my procrastination. ;-)
Seriously though, read the last post. This had *NOTHING* to do with procrastination. Anyway, I had the music and one verse. I managed to pull a bunch of singers together Saturday afternoon to learn it. We worked on it for about 10 - 15 minutes before the music attracted a field fight which ended our rehearsal. This was tragic because I had indications we were going to need it Saturday night sometime after 2:00 am. Fortunately for me and unfortunately for Tim, Tim was sick and so this didn't go off. I may actually have the time to finish the lyrics, get the singers together this summer and have it fully prepared as I'd like for the fall. There may actually be collaboration if some of the other singers write additional verses too. Then it would be even cooler. :-)
- Oh, yeah, a field fight interrupted our rehearsal. Beasts and mage hunters hit the field. I hate mage hunters. They reflect things. :-p
- Alejandro took a bunch of us through the gate to rescue someone. We did that in short order and were left to help Jade Falcon. We faced the Lord of Whispers inside a machine where he did his villanous posturing for a few minutes and then got away. What the heck was up with that? Isn't villanous posturing supposed to get us the time we need to defeat his forces and take him down? They're not supposed to get away. :-p So then we're stuck inside this giant machine that's sucking the life out of us (ambient 1 damage by aging) trying to fight off constructs and find the pieces of the key that we need to put together to get out before we die. By the time this was over I was so tired that I just collapsed in the cabin instead of going for a debriefing so I'd know what was going on.
- Leanna and Inquisition
Inquisition stuff was fun this weekend. Inquisition is waging war on the Pale, only not ALL the Inquisition. The Inqusition is a house divided, one of the things Zephyr picked in The Tapestry. The discussions all weekend were kind of awesome. The devil's advocate philosophy I foisted on Leanna was great. I made her come up with counter arguments to all of my arguments that I'd run into when facing unreasonable Inquisition members (yeah, sounds like it's redundant to say 'unreasonable' and 'Inquisiotion' together, doesn't it?).
We went to stop a bunch of Inquisitors from destroying a village of Pale people. Guess what didn't stop them... right, reasoning.
Oh, and FireEye agrees that the Pale war is wrong so he's sort of been ousted, his title and robes stripped and he's kind of in hiding.
And through all this, Zephyr finds himself trying to pull the Inquisition back together because... are you ready for this?... he agrees with their general goals and purpose. Yeah, Zephyr's kind of in shock too. He can't believe what they've done to him. The talks about how they've branched and trying to prune the tree to make it healthy were a ton of fun.
And Zephyr and Sonia have three tasks now for the Inquisition, because we just didn't have enough to do for the next two events:
- Battle Chess - The church of Myrkorim had this ritual to do to recover some swords that involved winning a game of chess, and not just any old chess, battle chess. And who do the priests of Myrkorim turn to play a battle game? Why, a shiny priest of Naveril who is only a mediocre chess player but about the best they could find in the time they had. Battle chess involves spirits from the opposite side fighting people from our side whever an exchange of pieces took place on the board. The other side's pieces were statted appropriately to what the piece was that was involved, so fighting the queen or king sucked a lot. Solomon, good as he was, got his butt kicked by the black queen and it was a really good fight.
This was a fun diversion and the spirit playing for the other side was talkative and had a good sense of humor. I enjoyed the diversion and got in some great discussion with all those around. This unfortunately took place out in the sun and the fighters were panting and sweating and looking just done in while I was sitting there relatively calm, cool, collected and rested.
In the endgame I made one stupid, stupid move and realized it myself the second I took my hand off the piece. In fact it was several seconds before my opponent realized the stupidity of my move. I apologized. "I'm sorry. That was really stupid. I think it's all the fighting." All of the sweaty, tired fighters around me gave me the most awesome glares but it totally cracked up my opponent. In the end, we still won and I worried all that time for nothing. I was so dreading being responsible for costing us something that important.
- Mostly because Grum asked, I joined the party that went to recover a very important worry stone to return to the queen of the elves and to talk her out of attacking the Malekyrg. To do this, WE had to attack the Malekyrg. Even powered down Malekyrg in training are no walk in the park.
- Speaking of Grum, there were Grum stories on the porch Sunday morning. We were in stiches. I was laughing so hard there were tears rolling down my face and I was having trouble breathing. It sounds awful but it was totally wonderful. I really needed a good release like that. Grum/Nate is my hero.
- Patrick Seerless / Balron - There was a fairly long discussion whereby we had to talk Patrick Seerless out of his apathy so that he would stay in the world and help us in the battles to come. In the course of that I asked Rowan if a long time suspicion of mine was true and if he was actually Balron. She told me that it wasn't her story to tell. At some point in the discussion he came out and told us that he was Balron. This was awesome. I'm pretty sure that the very first bardic stories of Balron that came out came out through me many years ago. When I talked to Patrick a couple of years back he talked about things that made me think he was far more than he was admitting. This was a pretty cool revelation.
- Petros' folly - In talking with Petros early on Sunday I learned about his interactions with Atcoya. This became invaluable when the Black Court showed up all upset that we had gotten Cale Netherdawn killed by dealing with one of the Abberant behind their backs. Petros was unavailable and things were looking bad so I offered an option that essentially threw Petros under the carriage. Zephyr knows Petros and I know Charlie well enough that I came up with a really good way out of it for all parties involved. In talking to Charlie after game it turns out I was right on all counts. Win! :-)
- I may have done one more thing because I distinctly remember the walk back with Orin and discussing dirges for the Reaper and a quick walk to the gate to see if they were there, but for the life of me I have no recollection of what the heck we were doing there.
- Black Sun barbarians attack ancestral grounds - Big final battle. What? We fought barbarians. Are you looking for a book about a field fight?
- Oh yeah, SHE's awake!!!! Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!
I am so looking forward to the next event and barring one thing, I'm pretty certain I want to come back for the third arc as Zephy (assuming he lives through the second arc).