Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

A fantastical world filled with action and adventure, where the land can be both beautiful and deadly. An RP world based on the Guild Wars game, individuals and groups of people battle deadly creatures, powerful nemeses and each other to maintain a balance between good and evil. Professions of the land include Monks, Rangers, Warriors, Elementalists, Necromancers, Mesmers, Ritualists, Assassins, Dervish and Paragons. Ocassionally humans will seek aid from the 5 gods, Balthazar, Melandru, Dwayna, Grenth, and Lyssa when confronting a powerful foe beyond their abilities.
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Monkey Kitty
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Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Nairn Tuckamore (written by Quaxo)

The discourse on magic was fascinating for several reasons. One, that the different types of magic from the other world had colours associated with them similar to the types of magic in Tyria. Two, that some types of magic would be considered taboo and could cause permanent effects…well, she supposed it wasn’t so different than the magic of the dragons or the Bloodstone. The parallels were perhaps the most interesting part. Maybe the similarity of magics explained why people could move between their two worlds.

Anakita’s quip garnered a flash of a teeth that might have been a smile. Despite the distractions, the norn had to admit that she was still angry about the whole business in Raven House. The gall of the man to bind her, threaten her and abase her. And now to turn over these books from another world seemed like it was too grand of an offer made on her part. Still, she’d given her word and she would prove to the Raven’s followers that it was worthy of consideration. If not despite the Havroun’s claims, in spite.

She left the group without any further word or glance, making quick work of the distance between them and the supply cave. Ducking inside, she paused before swinging the tapestry full of knowledge up over her shoulder. What if it was the Havroun who wasn’t to be trusted? What if he reneged on his agreement to return the books to her when she brought the scrolls back? Besides…these books could have information that might help them discover the means by which the travellers had come to their world. They needed these books. She grabbed a spare sack and slung the one of books over one shoulder and the empty one over the other.

There was only one thing to do.

Anakita still would have been the first one to notice her approach, but not by much, as the norn sent yet another rock bouncing down the hillside. Nairn half-stumbled down the steep path, her sliding still somehow unable to disturb her reading glasses from their seat on her nose. She was holding a book in each hand, pages turning within seconds of each other, shallow grunts and whispers passing between her lips erratically as the papers flew by. As one book came to a close, it was deposited in the sack and another appeared in her hand from the more hastily constructed carrying case.

She fell into step alongside the small party, her long strides automatically slowing to keep pace. The woman gave no other indication that she’d noticed their presence. That was, until she abruptly turned and ducked toward Rashel, very obviously inspecting the girl’s features in comparison to something in one of the books she was reading.

“Do you follow the Green Pact? If so, I think you would get along well with the sylvari of this world.” She looked like she was about to say something else when the next turn of the page revealed a several-page long illustration which unfolded well past the length of her arm. Nairn paused to take in the scene of half-animal half-humanoid creatures rampaging across an otherwise pastoral picture, before adding, “Though, I think your Wild Hunt might be a bit different.”
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Monkey Kitty
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

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Rashel Rutherford

So far, Rashel had stayed silent. Unlike her younger sister, she had simply watched the proceedings and not attempted to intervene - at least one Rutherford daughter wasn’t so quick to reach for a weapon. As usual, Rashel just observed. And there was a lot to see. This world was strange to her. The people were unusual. She was learning a lot, just being here and soaking it all in.

At one point, the burned man smiled at her. Rashel smiled back. She wasn’t quite sure what she had done to merit the smile… but she suspected it was because he was quiet too. That maybe he understood why she wasn’t quick to speak, because he wasn’t either.

When the tall woman addressed her, her brows knitted in confusion. “I’m… I’m sorry,” she said, stumbling over her words. “I don’t know what any of that means. Green Pact? Wild… hunt? Perhaps those are Dalish things. I’m just a city Elf. I don’t know all the ways of The Dales.”

Little did she know that the question was much further afield than a mere different elven lineage from her own world.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

The norn's brow knit together as she gave Rashel another look over before regaining her stature and continuing to flip through the single book at a slower pace. As it drew to a close, she pulled the glasses off her face and twirled them between her thumb and forefinger.

"There was no mention in this book of Dales or Dalish elves. Tell me, have you heard of a guar? A sort of large lizard beast?"

She expected the negative response. These simple things weren't enough to be certain, but it was certainly enough to be suspicious. While Nairn was more than content to sit on her thoughts and collect more information, she was aware that these new people had experience beyond her own that may be of use.

"The books are not from this world - and I suspect they are not from your world either. This other elven party is very likely from a third world - Mikail and Iliana's." She shrugged and dug two more books out of her bag. "If there can be two worlds, why not three...or four...and so forth."

What she didn't point out was how big this thing was getting. The more she found out, the more excited she was becoming about the journey. A story to last generations, to be certain. Four books in, and just prior to her splitting off in the direction of Raven House, she finally came across something that might be of use. Holding the book outwardly for the rest to see, a rough sketch of a square, steepled building graced the page.

"These are called 'wayshrines' - they are how the people of this world move great distances. Not unlike our waystones, but with some distinctive features. One, the crystal on a square pedestal in the centre. Two, the raised dias the small building sits upon. Three, the building itself, though the style of the building seems to differ across regions. This may not be how they managed to move between worlds, but perhaps these crystals are key."
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

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Tempest Rutherford

Tempest looked carefully at the drawing in the book, then flipped a few pages, quickly taking in the information written there.

"That's an interesting theory," she said. "Very interesting. But we don't have anything like that in our world. The only way to travel place to place is on foot, or using some sort of animal. I don't know of anything equivalent..."

"But didn't he ask you to find some artifacts...?" Cullen reminded Tempest.

She looked embarrassed, but nodded recognition. She explained to the others, "Please understand, at the time we didn't know... well, any of it. We didn't know he was an old god, or what he wanted to accomplish. He just seemed like ordinary Elven hedge mage with some odd, archaic interests. The artifacts didn't seem dangerous, so I humored him."

"You never knew what they were for," Cullen pointed out gently.

"That's true," Tempest admitted. "I trusted him. As a friend. I should not have."

Anakita shrugged. "Bygones," she said. She had certainly trusted plenty of people in her time that she shouldn't have. She was the only person who had been genuinely shocked when a certain mustache-twirlingly evil vizier turned out to be... well, evil. He had seemed so nice! "We probably don't have a way to find out about these artifacts right now, if he has them already. But this way shrine stone crystal thing theory is a good starting place. Nairn - any idea how we proceed from here?"
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Quaxo9
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

The look on her face suggested disgust, though the ones who knew her better might recognize it as a form of concern. The glasses came off and she tucked them away with a sigh into the air above her head. She knew exactly what they needed.

"We need an asura. They could probably figure out the resonance of these crystals just by looking at them. But...for obvious reasons...we need a discreet asura. Perhaps, your protege, Stefan? I know she does not study ... whatever it is asura study, but perhaps she knows enough to help us."

She briefly looked about, then bent low and spoke in a softer tone.

"Speaking of...perhaps you should cover your head, Rashel. The asura...well...they are curious...in a scientific way. They aren't...evil, but they wouldn't think twice about opening you up to see how you differed from any of the other races of this world. Nevermind what they'd do if they found out there were other worlds...oh, that really can't happen. They'd be an invasion force to be reckoned with."

Groaning, she shook her head and shifted the bag of books on her shoulder. Looking over the heads of the rest of the party, she focused on the peaks of Raven House in the distance. She wondered how many more of these books she could get through before she got to where she was going.

"I won't be but a moment with my task. I will see you either at the gate, or your home."
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Anakita Snakecharm and The Rutherfords

At this frank explanation, Rashel wrapped her arms around herself and glanced uncertainly between her parents and her sister. She wasn't the only one with concerns.

Cullen stopped in his tracks and put up a hand. "Hold a moment," he said. "You say these... Asura?... would harm our daughter? Invade our world? That is not an acceptable risk. We can't proceed with this."

Anakita shook her head. "Nairn is just saying they would. Not that they will. We aren't going to let them."

Cullen looked unconvinced. "And if they try?"

"We kill them," Anakita said bluntly, and folded her arms for emphasis.

This seemed to satisfy the warrior. "Very well," Cullen said. "As long as we're on the same page."

"We are," Anakita assured him. "Look, it's... we don't need to get into it, but this is not an area where I'll have any tolerance."

She wasn't going to tell them the reason. It wasn't hers to tell. They didn't need to know that her adopted son had suffered at Asura hands in the exact manner Nairn had worried Rashel might if her presence was detected.

"And this other Asura...?" Cullen asked.

"Leepni," Anakita said with a nod. "Stefan's apprentice. She's part of the family. She'll probably know, and she won't bother your daughter. Leepni, we can trust. Don't worry. Once we get to our home in Divinity's Reach, it'll be a lot safer. People may be curious, but no one will act on it as long as you keep a reasonably low profile and don't attract too much attention."

Rashel looked nervous, but nodded.
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Quaxo9
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

One look at Rashel and she almost wished that she'd softened her words or at least tempered her opinion of the asura as a people. However, Nairn couldn't say that her statements weren't accurate, nor her opinions invalid, so regret wasn't something she would entertain either. At least all the cards were on the table, as many as they had in their hands at least. She nodded in agreement with Anakita's assertion that if the asura needed to be stopped - they would be the ones to do so. Good. Settled.

Now for this other bit of business. As much as Nairn had wanted to keep reading, pride kept her glasses in her pocket as the number of norn around her steadily increased as she moved further into Hoelbrak. She didn't look at anyone as she passed as well she assumed no one paid her any mind. While cities often created hives of gossip and busybodies, the norn were still a proud people. While they might observe, they would rarely stoop to speaking anything that wasn't worthwhile.

Nairn approached the front door of Raven's grand building for the first time in years. The shaman there seemed to have expected her at least as they directed her to the Havroun's study without her having to ask. The sacks over her shoulders garnered some interest. Despite her deep-seated distaste for the task, she couldn't keep the small smile from her face seeing how excited the archivist was about the new acquisitions. Perhaps this exchange wouldn't be a total waste after all. At least one person here would appreciate the books for what they were.

She wished she could expect the same from the man Raven seemed to have placed in charge of his lodge. The Havroun's study was spacious and heavily laden with proof of his many kills: not a square inch of stone was exposed to air for the pelts that ran from end to end, great heads were mounted on the stone walls, weapons of countless enemies displayed according to their owner's rank. All was bathed in a bright yellow glow from the well-stoked fire in the hearth that took up the entire wall behind the Havroun's oak desk. Of course, the brightness of the fire simply amplified the depth of the remaining shadows, including the one over the man's bearded face.

"Well, well. I did not expect you would come. You must admire your weapons very much."

Her lip curled, just shy of exposing a fang, as she laid the sacks on the surface of the desk as though they were made of eggshells. The sage snorted and pulled open the sack, inspecting the cover of one of the books in the firelight. Nairn shifted her stance. She wasn't sure why she felt so uncomfortable in this man's presence. It wasn't like she was afraid of him. She just had other places to be - her gaze swept the immediate area for a hint of her own weapons amongst the Havroun's treasure trove.

"Your weapons? They didn't deserve a place here. I had them sent to the armoury."

What did bother her for certain was that he could see her face so plainly while she could see scarcely any of his. He had certainly planned this meeting to his advantage. But for what purpose? What could he possibly want to hold over her? Little matter. At least the exchange could be completed now that she'd kept her end of the bargain and he'd given her the location of his. She didn't give him a second look as she turned on her heel.

The fire sparked and moaned as though it had just been fed more than it could possibly consume. Before she turned around, she knew. She knew what he had done. Whirling, she pulled her cloak from her shoulders, threw it over the logs and plunged herself over the nearest logs, gloved hands seeking the edges of the books. She had the merest of seconds to take stock of where the nearest tomes lay flaring, covered her eyes with her arm and reached into the fire. She got two before the stench of melting hair and leather mingled with the dry smoke forced her back into the room, gasping for air. Blinking the smoke from her eyes, she could finally see the extent of the damage. Much to her chagrin, he had scattered both sacks over the length of the hearth. The two books she'd saved - only by pure luck and determination.

Patting out the remaining cinders, she held the two small tomes close to her chest. It was only then that she noticed he was laughing.

"I can't believe you would throw yourself to the flames for a few pieces of paper!" He'd barely gotten the words out between guffaws. While he was bent over his knees, Nairn was rising from hers. He didn't stop chuckling even when she picked up a nearby sword and started to approach him, murder in her eyes. There was nothing but amusement and disdain in his.

"Oh, here she comes. Nairn the Murderer. Hah - slay me over a few books, would you? Pathetic excuse for a norn. Guards! Lock her up like the dog she is."

Slowing enchantments pulled at her limbs. Her muscles strained against them, feeling all the more tight for the heat-shrunken leather on her arms and chest. Teeth bared, it was a full minute before she could part them to speak. By that time, the Havroun's shield-bearing shaman were all around her. Good. She would have witnesses.

"You, Havroun Olaf, are an enemy of knowledge. I, Nairn Tuckamore challenge you to a fight to the death. You will meet me in battle."

The Havroun was the only one in the room who was laughing. The shaman around her, and of course Nairn herself, were drenched in sobriety. They lowered their weapons and she lowered hers - the entanglements followed and the four of them stepped away. Their leader seemed confused - angry, even.

"What, you don't expect me to honour the challenge of this...this..."

"We do. The challenge has been made. You must accept or be shown as weak to the whole clan."

The great man sputtered and made to protest, but withheld his initial response upon seeing the seriousness in the faces of his fellow shaman. He snorted, then threw up his hand.

"Fine. Very well. We will meet this challenge in the hall..."

"Might and Main."

Nairn's voice was flat and heavy with authority certainly none of the others in the room had expected. The Havroun made to object again, but she repeated herself, and added a time. Enough time to prepare. More importantly, enough time for the word to get out. This man who called himself a servant of Raven was going to have to meet her in public as nothing other than norn. He would not get away with his pithy words and piety out in the open, bare to the judgment of all of Hoelbrak.

Of course, it meant that she would have nowhere to hide, either.
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

It felt so very strange to be on display. At least, that is what it felt like. Nairn kept her chin high and her shoulders straight in an attempt to stave off the strange feeling of so many eyes on her. It was like they were all standing right next to her, touching her, invading her space, breathing her air.

But they weren't, she reminded herself. They were standing a respectful distance, several norn deep, along the edges of the great monument. No one was going to miss an all-out brawl between the Havroun of Raven and the strange gadabout thief with an affection for paper. She suspected they mostly showed up for the ale that would invariably flow afterwards, but she accepted this in stride. She had wanted this, after all.

She needed to prove to her people that she was norn.

It had surprised her at first, how angry she'd been when the Havroun had first insulted her. It had taken some time to figure out why it mattered so much that his words be proven untrue. Finally, as she'd dove into the flames after the vestiges of a society she didn't know, it came to her. If she did not have their respect, who would listen to her stories? Who would care about the great tales of old that she'd collected ? Who would believe a single word of the sagas she had faithfully recorded? No one. No one. All her work would be for nothing.

Which was why this had to happen.

She stood waiting, barefoot and bareheaded, before the cluster of Raven shaman awaiting the arrival of their Havroun. All could see the thick scars that ran down her thighs as she wore nothing but the simple short skirt and fur-edged chestplate of a hunter. Her hair had suffered in the fire, but her braid with her only true possession - her mother's silver snow leopard clip - had survived as well as the hair alongside it. She'd shorn the other half of her head in a sort of defiance of the old spiritualist's code.

This was as norn as she'd been in a very long time.

Havroun Olaf finally swaggered in, to cheers and stomping of feet. It was strange how those sounds seemed to disappear as soon as she locked eyes with her opponent. Despite all his regalia and showmanship, the man's eyes were hard as flint. She could finally see how much he truly hated her. What she might have done to deserve it, she didn't know - and didn't much care. Her own hatred for the man who would burn knowledge without a second thought was at least as fierce as his. They would soon find out whose was more deadly.

The man shrugged out of his feathered cowl, stepping barechested into the centre pentagon, his greatsword upon his shoulder. He hefted it to address her in a voice that could be heard all Hoelbrak over.

"Nairn the Unwelcome - this will be the last time you step foot in Hoelbrak. Prepare to die like the animal you are."

A hush fell over the crowd. Fortunate, or they never would have heard her terse, but even, reply.

"You will die as ignorant as you were when you came into this world. More's the pity."

Their blades flashed in the light of the brazier. No more words were exchanged. The roar of the crowd enveloped the din of the battle, sweeping over the raging screams of the raven and the snow leopard.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Amazing how wide the streets of Divinity's Reach seemed this time of night. Usually they were choked with humans about business or pleasure. In truth, there were just as many people as normal in the city - they were all just steering a wide berth around Nairn. If she had taken time to think about it, she would have agreed she was looking rather savage in her traditional leather garb, blood-stained furs and half-shaved head. The keg on her shoulder might have been attractive to some if not for the former description.

There had been quite the moot after the battle. Normally, Nairn wasn't one to get caught up in such things. She found moots only good until the level of inebriation caused the skaald's tales to become addled and nonsensical. The feeble boastings of young norn weren't worthy of her attentions. But this...had been a bit of a surprise. As she came to herself and stood over the body of the former Havroun, the spectators had roared with approval instead of anger. Apparently not all of Raven's shaman thought that the Havroun was upholding the best of Raven's values. Raven must have agreed or he would have helped his servant win the fight. Too bad for Olaf.

The shaman had given her Havroun Olaf's feathered cloak as a trophy, but she couldn't bring herself to wear it. Nairn may have challenged him, may have hated him for a time, but she couldn't bring herself to flaunt his defeat in such a way. Of course, if they'd offered it after the first keg of ale, she might have changed her mind. There had been stories and singing and a lot of drinking. And, she found out, she'd been given a new name in exchange for the one that had left her an outsider for so many years.

Nairn Knowlege-Bearer.

She hummed the words to herself as she wove through the street to the Snakecharm's house. The keg barely fit in through the ample doorway, but Nairn clumsily pushed it through and dumped it unceremoniously on the kitchen counter. Her cheeks were oddly ruddy and a wild crooked grin flashed over the top of the barrel at whomever still happened to be up.

"Come! You must celebrate with me!" Nairn began opening all the cupboards in search of the norn-size tankards she knew existed. Finally coming across them, she grabbed a fistful, and in one smooth motion turned and tapped the keg. The ale sloshed out mostly into the mugs, but also onto the floor. Not seeming to notice, Nairn shoved the overfull glasses across the counter to whichever hands would grab them. The tap was stopped up with an apple and the victorious norn raised the glass to room.

"A victory is best celebrated with family.", she asserted. Nodding as though this explained everything, she downed the mug of ale and perched herself happily on the nearest available countertop.
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Monkey Kitty »

Anakita Snakecharm and Tempest Rutherford

Anakita pulled aside the shade in the front window and glanced up and down the darkened street.

"She's been gone a long time," Anakita said, with a faint quirk of her mouth indicating worry. "Maybe we shouldn't have let her go back to Hoelbrak alone."

The Ranger didn't specify whether she was worried for Nairn, or worried about what chaos Nairn would unleash on Hoelbrak. Perhaps some of both.

"Shall we go look for her?" Tempest asked, joining Anakita at the window.

The Rutherfords had found it surprisingly easy to settle in as guests in the Snakecharm-Baruch household. It was a welcoming place, full of laughter and quirky people. Even with all that was on the line, Tempest couldn't help deciding she liked them all, and finding the surroundings pleasant.

Tempest understood now, too, why no one had raised an eyebrow at Rashel. Cara attracted little notice - she looked so much like her mother that no one thought to question her origins, other than perhaps some clucking tongues that Tempest had given birth so young - but Rashel was a different species than either of her parents. Back home, people wondered about that.

Perhaps in Tyria they would too... but not in this particular household. Not in a family that included plant people, and tiny beings even smaller than Dwarves who looked like goblins from the storybooks, and even what appeared to be an undead member of their Northern breed. The latter had alarmed the Rutherfords a bit - past history with the animated dead taken into account - but they had quickly realized he was no threat.

So no, no one here was going to be dismayed that a daughter had pointed ears...

Anakita considered Tempest's question. What if Nairn needed their help? Perhaps it was time to interfere...

Just as the Ranger was about to say so, Nairn came careening down the street. "There she is," Anakita said with relief. "Looks like we're celebrating."

"Celebrating what?" Tempest wondered.

Anakita shrugged. "Guess we'll find out."

The Ranger and Stefan weren't shy about grabbing their tankards - nor were the other family members who happened to be nearby. Tempest and Cullen, neither of them much for the drink, elected to share one.

"So," Anakita said after a few healthy swigs. "What's the occasion, Nairn?"
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Re: Whispers from the Peaks (GW2)

Post by Quaxo9 »

Nairn Tuckamore

She had already drained her tankard and was leaning forward for a refill. At Anakita's question, Nairn paused long enough to grin at her and give her a short reply.

"Raven is looking for a new Havroun. And I have a new name."

Her glass refilled, she took a draught before leaning forward, forearms on the counter and crossing her arms at the wrist. Eyes bright with excitement and perhaps the drink, she began the longer version.

"I took the books to Raven Lodge - as requested - and the Havroun...he desecrated them. He burned them. Burned. Them. I could only save two. The rest..." Nairn slammed her fist down and took an extra slug of ale to steady her nerves. When she lowered the mug, she was once again the friendly sort of excited. "So I challenged him. He made to refuse my honour but his shaman made him accept. The coward wanted to hide his future defeat - but I made him meet me at Might and Main. Might and Main! The battle was glorious!"

Even in her state she paused. She had never said those words - not even in the analysis of some truly great battles that she'd recorded from ages past. That gave her pause. Had it really been a battle worthy of glory? Unlikely. However...

"In the end, Raven did not come to his aid. The shaman gathered around me and the archivist announced me as Nairn Knowledge-Bearer." Her tone may have been subdued, but the inherent pride still shone through. It wasn't the battle itself she had lived and nearly died for. It was for the books...and her pride.
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