Whitepeak: Discovering the City of Miracles
Sept. 7, 2020, 8 p.m.
Arx - Ward of the Compact - Society of Explorers - Charter Hall
Comments and Log
1 Crimson Blades Sergeant, Rurik, a prodigal assistant, Aegis, a large red Oakhaven bloodhound arrive, following Mirk.
Micana, an efficient assistant, 1 Saik Guard arrive, following Lucita.
When Mia arrives, it's as she so often does -- at a brisk pace, the hems of her long skirts kicking up arond her heels with the purposeful movement. She tucks herself into a chair at one of the tables, folds her hands in her lap, and waits for the large and rather unfriendly looking man accompanying her -- a Prodigal, if his tattoos are any indication -- to occupy one of the empty seats behind her.
Lucita comes into the Society's main room, a little late but not horribly late all in all. She glances around, smiles and nods distributed to those she knows and then finds a good spot in which she may sit,listen and take notes.
Zoey, who arrived early and took a seat near the back, waves Lucita over to join her.
Lucita has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.
Vitalis moves to stand with Lucita, "Baroness, good to see you as ever." Vitalis bows to the woman, joining her at the bench.
Vitalis has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.
Rosalind comes running in, red hair long and tied back in a braid. She's wearing a dress this evening, a bow strapped to her back. There's a big smile on her scarred and freckled face as she waves and greets everyone,"Good evening! Hi everyone!"hurring to find a place to sit.
Wearing entirely unnecessary but very pretty shiny red armor, Sorrel makes her way in with interest and stands near the back, offering a nod to Zoey, Lucita, and Vitalis as she slips nearby.
Sorrel has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.
Rosalind has joined the Table 4.
Mirk slips in quietly, nodding his head aside to the familiar faces in the crowd - that is, most of them, from the looks of things. He makes his way to one of the tables, taking a seat, his attention turning naturally to Lou in expectation.
Mirk has joined the Table 3.
Lucita says, "Lord Vitalis, thank you for the message reminding me of this talk. Sometimes it is easy to lose track of time and miss hearing information one wants to learn or if they already knew, to review it.""
Slipping into the room quietly, Alessia settles on one of the tables, offering faint smiles to those in attendance. Though nothing more than that yet. She seems to have a folio in hand which she rests in front of her, while waiting for the session to commence.
Alessia has joined the Table 4.
Class time: characters in place.
Piccola finds herself a place near the back. Dressed in her usual green-and-black attire and toting her bow and sword, she takes a place where no one else is. Her expression, as usual, is even and patient, even if her posture is standoffish and aloof. Dark hair seems extra dark today; green eyes seem extra intense. She settles in with her arms crossed and attention on Lou.
She was by herself, sort of, when Rosalind and Alessia join nearby.
Piccola has joined the Table 4.
Kiera walks in looking about and noting her cousin in a full suit of armor with a raised brow as she approaches "We are not expecting trouble tonight are we cousin? Are these seats saved?
Lou is seated at one of the tables, awaiting the arrival of those who intend to make it to tonight's meeting. There's a small pile of notecards before her, and whether or not she'll use them remains to be seen. She beams a wide grin at everyone as they enter saying, "Welcome to the Society of Explorers! We'll be starting soon, please make yourselves comfortable!" The princess who hates to be called princess seems the most relaxes and at ease in the Society of Explorers, and is the place where she's most likely to hang out. There are refreshments and drinks set out around the room for those that wish to partake. Sadly, someone ran off with the petrified cupcake.
Sorrel has left the marin'alfar wooden bench.
Lady Teonia Redreef have been dismissed.
Aryka Wyrmfang have been dismissed.
3 Thrax Guards have been dismissed.
Marquessa Pudding, a doughy dog have been dismissed.
2 Thrax Elite Guards have been dismissed.
Merek makes a way into the place while he begins to listen.
Sorrel has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.
Lexir does a little meandering, exploring the perimeter of the hall and the various things on display about it before eventually returning to the center, laden down with a fashionable amount of refreshments.
Vitalis tips back to balance on his chair legs as he laughs at mention of the cupcake, "Before I joined!" he calls, grin lopsided. He looks out across the room, expression curdling, before overbalancing and thunking back down.
"Tonight I had intended to be a lecture, but I'm not certain how people feel about lectures versus just chatting about Whitepeak. I'll go with whatever the consenus might be, since I know some among you may have studied about the city with me." Lou sends a nod in Vitalis's direction as she says this, to indicate his such a person. "Either way, I'm certain we'll touch on various aspects of the City of Miracles, as it was often referred to as, and the work of the Metallics there." She reaches a hand down, a self conscious movement, to make sure her backpack is with her. She nods to herself, assured. "So, without ado, please let me know how you'd like me to proceed tonight."
When Lou poses the question, Alessia raises her hand, with a patient smile.
"I know precious little of the city, and would prefer a more structured exposition," Lexir calls out from his spot in the hall.
Lou tilts her head in Alessia's direction, grinning. "Go ahead. No need to raise a hand. I think I can keep up with questions." When it's a topic that interests her, at the very least!
Lou quickly adds, "And if I can't, I'll form a line."
At Lou's introduction to the evening topic, well. Mia inclines her head towards Lexir, echoing his sentiments. "Given how unfamiliar I am with the topic, I would also prefer a lecture. Without one, I wouldn't know where to begin with questions."
"Thank you, Pathfinder." Alessia nods with a light chuckle, dropping her hand. "Well, I think a crucial point to start with is. What exactly were Platinum and the Metallics hoping to achieve with Whitepeak? As in, practically, were they hoping to gather enough primum to create many city of miracles, using Whitepeak as a template?"
Rosalind has no idea what any of this is, so she's just quiet. FOR NOW, content to listen.
Piccola, like Rosalind, is quiet for now. Probably to listen. //Probably//.
"As it seems like most people are gaining a primer to Whitepeak, that's a topic I shall answer along the way," Lou assures Alessia. She settles back in her seat, and seems to settle into that Explorer storyteller mode. "So, Whitepeak was admittedly never on my radar. That was, not until my protege Sir Jordan Ober came to me asking to go find this really hard to find mountain that may or may not be a city in the sky. He had personal reasons for going, and I didn't question those reasons because firstly, he was my protege, and secondly, he was my protege and wanted to /explore/ something. My arm can be pretty bendy when I've got people I'm looking out for wanting to go explore things. So, we set about investigating everything we could about Whitepeak. I put out a call for information, asking around the city for anyone looking for anyone who knew anything about the city. The first person that answered my call was Scholar Wynna. Within her personal research regarding Lorwroth Kinsbane, the Grayson King who went more than a bit mad with power and summarily killed most of the family so no one would challenge his rule, she discovered that he had destroyed the city of Whitepeak. From there, her research lead to bits and pieces of being pulled out of the Archives. References to invisible bridges, singing fountains, and the Metallic known as Triscali started to appear as we sorted through everything." There's a pause in Lou's storytelling. "Yes, /that/ Triscali. Though I do not know what name she had before she renounced being a member of the Metallic order to become Queen of the Compact."
Vitalis pipes in when she gets to the bit about helping proteges, "It's true."
Lexir coughs, and politely raises his hand.
"From there, we learned that Whitepeak used to be a magical cultural melting pot." Lou looks to Alessia when she speaks of this matter, as it, in part, answers her question. "The City was used as a place where members of the Metallic order and people from all over the entire world could come together to debut the new magical discoveries or inventions they made, and share that information interactively with one another. That cause was labeled the Platinum Shift, but I'm afraid that's an oversimplification of the Platinum Shift itself. I have a letter I can share later from Platinum himself, which we found during the first trip to Whitepeak, that will give it better lip service than I can," Lou notes for those that might be interested in more detail. She sees Lexir's hand go up, after she heard his cough. "Yes?" she asks the not known to her person.
1 Templar Initiates, 3 Templar Knight guards, Sir Geddyorf, a heavy-set snapping turtle arrive, following Cassandra.
As Lou begins her explanation, Zoey sits at the edge of the bench and listens intently.
"Who are the Metallics, and who is Triscali?" Lexir asks. "Who is Platinum?"
Cassandra has joined the marin'alfar wooden bench.
Cassandra knows she's late. Held up by a meeting in the Pravus Ward, the Legate makes her way in, an apologetic smile and bow towards Lou, knowing she had missed some training as well. Moving to join one of the tables, she sits down quietly.
Lucita tt I wonder if anyone has sent a message to Prism and simply asked who Triscali used to be when metallic.
Lou flushes a bit, having forgotten herself. "Sorry. I forget sometimes that those are not topics of study for other people. Platinum was the leader of a group of mages called the Metallic Order, who helped to defend and protect Arvum and the Compact. He's also a very long lived elf. Some of the Metallic Order have statues with descriptions of their accomplishments in the Hall of Heroes, however Princess Sorrel, who is here this evening, also did a very lovely musical ensemble on who the Metallics are and may be willing to shore those details with you after the lecture." Lou makes note of Sorrel in the crowd, waving lightly in her direction. "Princess Triscali Grayson was once a member of the Metallic Order. The only member, I'm aware, who was allowed to leave the order as usually they were members for life, and became Queen of the Compact during a rather discordant time when all areas of the compact were brewing to war with one another. She was long though to be dead, but quite recently it has come out that the individual known as Prism is none other than the former Queen Triscali herself. Those who are mages can be long-lived, even human mages."
"Was this before or after the Reckoning?" Lexir asks, after a moment's pause to parse Lou's reply.
"See, I thought she was Prism. But then when I spoke to her she spoke about Prism like she was... someone else?" Alessia furrows her brows at this, definitely baffled. "And then someone said they saw them in the same room at the same time." She turns to Lexir. "After the Reckoning." She answers on Lou's behalf.
Lexir sends a nod and the flash of a smile Alessia's direction, then settles back, ready to listen once more.
Vitalis looks across the room at Alessia, expression tight, "Perhaps 'Prism' is a title.
Zoey looks confused a moment and raises her hand as she says, "How can they be the same person? I saw them together at the closing of Prince Niklas' last play."
"They were together, yes," Sorrel agrees with a thoughtful nod, crossing her arms across her chest thoughtfully. "They bid on items at the auction separately. However this works, it is not usual."
"And then I -also- heard Prism was Esera." Alessia adds with furrowed brows. "Can there be three versions of the same person existing at once?"
"After. Long after. Most of this occurred, I believe, during the Crownbreaker wars, but I might be off on the history of it all a bit." Lou responds to Lexir. She glances back to Alessia. "Prism made a proclamation stating she was Triscali. But, that's a topic for another time, as I never knew there was someone else claiming to be Triscali." Clearing her throat, she then proceeds. "And, then, in our research, we discovered that those in Whitepeak are responsible for making up the gases that light our lanterns here in Arx. Sparklegas, it's called. And tiny little mechanical clockwork bugs are what's responsible for lighting our lanterns every night and turning them off every morning. However, if one of those bugs gets damaged, they are unable to repair themselves. An indepdendent exploration team discovered this long before we discovered what Sparklegas was or that it was connected to the mages at Whitepeak."
"Sparklegas. That's the cutest name ever,"Rosalind says with a grin. Not that gas should be cute sounding. Clearing her throat, the Ravenseye is silent again, paying more attention.
"Not the Crownbreaker wars. Those were only about three hundred years ago. It'd have been the Kinsbane War," Sorrel notes to Lou thoughtfully. "Which was about eight hundred years ago. It's hard to keep the timeline straight, though, when so many things have similar names and so much of our history has been lost to us."
Piccola remains quietly listening to people talk, but she doesn't understand half of it. Most of her attention rests on Lou as she controls the conversation.
"We kept finding discoveries like this all over the place. Someone stumbled across one of the invisible bridges, running from demons, but the demons couldn't cross it, the singing fountains, etc, etc, etc. But, all of that information was useless, of course, until, that is, we ran into some information by an explorer know as Norman Grayridge." Lou goes on, an unmistakable wry twist of her lips. "The very same explorer who had been galavanting all over the place looking for dwarves! So, lo and behold, imagine my surprise when he was also looking for Whitepeak as we were." She gives Sorrel a thankful look. "I get the timelines mixed up because the Compact broke quite a few times. Eventually I'll find that catalyst event that'll help me get it sorted out."
Letting the matter of Prism's identity go for now, Alessia just shrugs, flicking through the information in front of her. She glances up when Lou mentions the explorer she'd encountered. She raises a brow, intrigued to hear what they learned from the man.
Lucita listens quietly to what is being said though she occasionally exchanges comments in a low tone with those with whom she sits.
"I wonder..." Cassandra muses, "If the invisible bridges may have been attached to the transportation system that was rumored to be part of Whitepeak in the past. Of bridges that would take one to Jadairal, Uanna, or even the Thousand Jewels." she says, tapping her finger on the desk in thought.
Kiera looks at alessia for just a moment as she might launch into a speculative tangent at the question but decurom trumps enthusiasm as she remains silent and listening
Lou gets distracted a moment by Cassandra's question. "The invisible bridges were part of the transportation system. You could travel from Whitepeak to different continent or country in a matter of minutes. I know this. . . " she grins widely as she says this, ". . . because I've experienced one of the bridges, but that's a topic a bit later in the lecture. But it wasn't one of the invisible bridges that surrounded the city. Those all got destroyed by Kinsbane." So how did Lou experience one? She'll get to that! "Anyway, we also found notes by an unnamed source that mentioned Frosthaven, a village that was created at the base of Whitepeak. You wouldn't think this tidbit of information would be useful, except it was!" Lou says a bit excitedly, waving her hands about in an excited fashion as she does. "For, our very own explorers were involved in an expedition, some years before any of us had an interest in Whitepeak, to Frosthaven itself. Their story tells a tale of dealing with a mad mage who held hostage the ghosts of those individuals who used to be residents of Whitepeak and how, in dealing with him, they managed to bring the whole village of Frosthaven down on itself. Those who attended that journey were none other than Prince Darren Redrain, Princess Freja Redrain, Prince Ainsley Grayson, Duke Harlan Ashford, Lord Killian Ashford, and Lady Eirene Malvici. With that bit of information tying Frosthaven to Whitepeak, we had a place to start looking for the city." Lou practically bounces up and down in her seat when she tells this part.
"The city is a wreck... right?" Alessia asks Lou, tilting her head.
Cassandra gives just the softest sighs ever in longing. To be able to just travel. She doesn't get to travel much as Legate. But she is listening.
Rosalind is practically leaning forward in her seat now. Really. The more Lou talks the more Rosa is paying attention.
Sir Floppington the Soulful Hound arrives, following Rowenova.
Rowenova has joined the Table 3.
Vitalis grins at Lou's excitement, it's infectious.
"Most of the city is in ruins; not just from the buildings but other things as well. Yes. However, there are pockets and parts that have survived the damage." There is no mistaking the solemn tone that Lou takes with Alessia, which dampens her excited spirit for just a moment. So does the next bit. "And, just as Jordan, and I, and all of our helpers," because Let's face it, when Lou gets into a topic, she involves a ton of people in the research, "finished discovering all of this, the Gyre War happened. Sir Jordan Ober died, protecting Duke Harlan Ashford. against one of the demons attacking at Stormwall. At least, I think it was Stormwall. I was in Setarco during that war, but I think I remember that correctly. I did not want all of this research to go in vain, and so I decided that we would continue the trip, in Sir Jordan's memory."
As she and Sir Floppington show up, Scout Rowenova makes a segway to the table with the snacks and gathers up some meats and cheeses as well as a tea or two. Then, she heads over to one of tables where a Halfshav is.
"Most of the city is in ruins; not just from the buildings but other things as well. Yes. However, there are pockets and parts that have survived the damage." There is no mistaking the solemn tone that Lou takes with Alessia, which dampens her excited spirit for just a moment. So does the next bit. "And, just as Jordan, and I, and all of our helpers," because Let's face it, when Lou gets into a topic, she involves a ton of people in the research, "finished discovering all of this, the crisis at the Lodge of Petrichor happened. Sir Jordan Ober died, protecting Duke Harlan Ashford against a particularly difficult foe. I did not want all of this research to go in vain, and so I decided that we would continue the trip, in Sir Jordan's memory."
"There is a very real path to Whitepeak. The path zig zags up the side of the mountain, making the trek rather long and difficult. It's also somewhat more treacherous to go doing the winter," Lou adds. "So, when you go, traveling to GET to the mountain Whitepeak on is not difficult. However, because you are zig-zagging back and forth so much, getting to the TOP of Whitepeak takes several weeks, and also you've got just enough supplies to get up there, explore for two days tops, then you've got to back down the mountain." Lou says, getting to the specifics of the exploration. "However, if you've got the time and resources, I still /very much/ recommend it. For my first trip," which implies Lou has been there more than once, "I took my protege at the time, Lord Eddard Clement, Sir Jeffeth Bayweather, my husband Mason, and Duchess Delilah Shepherd. The most noticable thing you realize when you near the top of the mountain is the change in temperature. If you're in the cold, you gradually feel warmer and warmer, until you no longer need your cold weather gear at all. That's because, like Arx, Whitepeak is built on top of natural hot springs. However, unlike Arx, the city stays warm all winter long."
"When does the next expedition leave?" Zoey asks from the bench.
Lou glances over at Vitalis when that question is asked.
This next bit is said with that same solemn tone in which Lou addressed Alessia. "The first thing you notice though isn't the fact that Whitepeak is roughly 1/3 the size of Arx, making it still a pretty huge place to explore, nor that many of the buildings are severely damaged or in disrepair. It's the bones. So many bones. Where people fell during the destruction that Lorwroth Kinsbane rent against the city and her people. No one was spared that found their way into Kinsbane's path. No one came to put the dead to rest. They stayed there, littered across Whitepeak, for 800 and more years." Lou lets that settle a bit, letting out a soft breath. "Then, beside the bones, you noticed their trinkets. Jewelry, small tokens. No one disturbed them in all that time. My group? We left those trinkets alone. We did not want to risk waking the souls who died so horrifically that day. We made our way to the city center where we discovered what might have been the singing fountains we heard so much about. They were not singing that day. They were broken. But, off to the side, there was a tiny treasure to be found. . . " And this is where Lou gets excited again as she reaches down to grab her backpack. "Which was not next to a body, I might add."
"I found this," Lou declares as she rummages around in her backpack a moment. She pulls out a tiny griffon and places it in her hands. It has feathers on its wings of many different colors. But, it's not just a brass griffon. It's far more; the tiny joints in the wings and legs, the key on its back. This is no sculpture, but tiny and intricate clockwork. It looks wholly in tact. Lou takes a moment and gives the key one turn, then two, then lets it go, a large smile brimming on her lips and excitement in her eyes when she gets to share this moment with everyone.
When Lou winds the key, the little griffon stretches out as if awakening from a nap. Once placed on the ground, it turns its head this way and that, as if looking at its surroundings, and then marches in a proud little circle once. But just when it looks like that might be all it does, it stretches those metal wings, flaps them twice... and takes flight.
The little shining griffon circles the group once. Twice. A third time... then it lands, folds its wings, glances about once more, yawns, and settles back into its seated resting position before going motionless once more.
"A clockwork griffon," Lou explains, looking to see how the other react to it. She picks it up off the floor and settles it back into her backpack, a hand laying protectively on top of it a moment.
When the clockwork griffon is brought out, Nova looks up from her snack food and note taking, doing so with a little smile. "So adorable!"
Lexir leans forwards, tracking the progress of the device keenly through dark eyes. "It looks like a child's toy," he muses.
Zoey gasps when the griffon takes flight. "That's amazing!"
"A rich child's toy, anyways."
Cassandra grips her hand into a small fist. When Lou explains that it is /not/ magic, the Legate seems to relax some, but the woman frowns nonetheless. "I assume that is safe to say that if someone were to try to disassemble the thing to figure out how it works, it has the same failsafe that the sparklegas bugs have that will cause it to fall to pieces that cannot be reassembled."
Rosalind blinks at the griffon. "That--is adorable!" She watches as it flies and grins.
Vitalis rises when bid, tugging the bottom of his vest down when he stands, "I've assembled a team and we're coordinating a venture Whitepeak right now. If you're looking for a spot," he nods to Zoey, "We've alternates. Give your name to-" the little clockwork griffin in Lou's stirs to life and then Vitalis openly gapes at the device, lips rounding to as some kind of 'wh' question that never forms properly. "Have you showed this to Duke Aiden?"
"Given the materials, it is likely one that Brass made himself," Lou explains to Lexir. "He is one of the Metallic order as well. In fact, he may be about the city, since I know the last creation he was working on was completed and delivered to its new owner. And, it's a beautiful thing indeed." Lou gives Cassandra a horrified look at the thought of even dismantling the griffon. "Er. I have no idea, and I couldn't imagine anyone doing so!" she looks scandalized at the mere thought. "Who would dare try to take apart such a beautiful thing?" Vitalis's question pulls Lou from her moment of horror and she nods her head absently in his direction. "I have."
Kiera hms "Brother Rowly should like to see the little fellow i'm certain, though he'll like have to resist temptation to disassemble it"
"Eeeee! That's so awesome! I love it! So intricate. Can you imagine what sort of tools are required to make something so very intricate?" Sorrel squeaks like a schoolgirl, delighted at the little flying griffon. "No one disassemble it!"
"That is pretty cute." Alessia admits, demeanor warming when the griffon is presented and then placed back into the backpack.
Nova inks up her hawk-feather quill before sketching out a rough diagram of that clockwork griffon, doing so in black ink upon beige paper.
"If we want to understand where we came from, it would be something that could unlock some secrets." Cassandra points out, though she is considering something, and takes out a book to look through it.
Piccola continues to watch without comment. She eyes the clockwork item when it does its thing, and then makes a grunting sound under her breath. Back to being a silent, avid witness for now.
"If I were a child of, say, six or seven, I would certainly have tried and take it apart at some point or another, if out of nothing but curiosity," Lexir notes with a dry and knowing sort of smile. "Do you intend to offer proper rites to the remains of those slain on your next expedition?"
Cassandra finds what she was looking for. "I have a journal entry that mentions such a creature. A flying bird gifted to a Lady of Grayson by Copper, as she was a protege of her." she says as she reads over the passage. "And it was signed with the same three words I have seen in many journals. Non omnis moriar."
Lucita says, "A remarkable little thing to have found, so tiny. Do you think it a model for a larger version, maybe one could fly with a person on it?"
"I shall not wholly die," Mia murmurs in reply to the Legate's words, though her eyes don't drift in that direction. No, she has them narrowed slightly, focused on where the little flying figurine has been tucked away.
"I'll offer up the clockwork bird I had a hand in helping to make, so we could find the dwarves," Lou replies to Cassandra. "We at least have the /designs/ to make another of those. We do not have the designs for this one. And, by helping to make, what i mean to say is I watched over the shoulders of the toymaker I found a nd helpfully tried to interpret some of the symbols whole they actually made it. Better yet, I could give someone a copy of the design for the bird, since I helped interpret that too for the person I was contracted to go find the dwarves with." SHe pause when Cassandra goes on, "Nom omnis moriar means: I shall not wholly die. A First Children saying when someone passes to express comfort to people. That's the only set of words I know in their language because someone translated it in another journal." She glances over Lucita, shrugging her shoulders. "I do not know, really." It's Sorrel's comment that placate's Lou a bit, and in her placation she turns to Lexir. "I have spoken to Dame Felicia Harrow about it. She is a Deathspeaker and she has spoken to Archlector Hamish. They will be going on a mixed expedition of Deathspeakers and Harlequins to put the dead to rest. Especially since a different group that Dame Felicia went on encountered ghost sentries who, well, didn't realize they were dead and thought only months past since the Lorwroth Kinsbane situation and er.... they sent mechanical attack dogs after that party."
When 'mechanical attack dogs' come up, Nova looks over to Sir Flop before then reaching out and gently ruffling those long ears he has. He looks up at her, doing so with those soulful eyes and the softest swish of his long tail.
Lexir nods. "What is a first child?"
Belatedly, possibly due to mention of the expedition, Alessia's eyes drift to Vitalis. She rises from her seat at this point, excusing herself. "Congratulations." She offers her cousin vaguely, before slipping out of the room.
Alessia has left the Table 4.
Sirra, a very quiet maid, an indeterminate number of cats, 3 House Mazetti Guardians, Lance, a rebellious swan that likes to headbutt leave, following Alessia.
"The First Children... They consist of a number of non-human persons, including Dragons and Sirens among others," Zoey answers Lexir.
"Dragons, sirens, the great spirits, and other beings that dwelled in this world before humans and elves," Mirk supplies for Lexir. "They were born before death, and so do not die of natural causes, nor reincarnate like we do."
Lou clears her throat a bit, pulls her backpack into her lap and wraps protective arms around it after lots of people talked about dismantling her treasure, and goes on. "From there, Mason, Eddard and I broke off from Jeffeth and Delilah, to explore different areas. They found a building that seemed to have a light source that shined in the room as though it were sunlight; Delilah was able to return home with a chunk of the sun rock. Eddard, Mason and I found what looked to be the Eurui district. He found a mural of his homeland, Ah'jon, and took a rubbing of it. Meanwhile, Jeffeth and Delilah find cuneiform scratched into the wall which we later discovered was the dead language of Uanna. Eddard, Mason, and I found the administration building, which was largely in tact. On the second floor, we found metallic busts of several of the deceased members of the Metallic Order. Meanwhile, Jeffeth and Delilah discovered what remained of the Great Library of Whitepeak. The first floor was completely burned out. However. . . the second floor," Lou's eyes sparkle brightly as she says this. "The second floor had survived a large part of the fire. Sure, many of the books are damaged but a member of the second group I went with to Whitepeak find a journal from Gold. So, there are still useful books to be found there. My second trip, we left a rope ladder there to make it easier for people to get it up there. That said, I can honestly say from the reports that I've gotten, that not much more than those specific areas has been explored in a city roughly 1/3 of the size of Arx. It'll be decades before we're able to fully explore the city, and I expect multiple expeditions will be going there over the years. Oh, and in one of those buildings, we found a working bridge on that second trip. Only, it wasn't a bridge. It was a door, between rooms. That room in Whitepeak to one here in Arx. We were able to offload our cargo - but the magic ran out within 5 minutes of our using it, and unless someone can find a way to recharge it - it's not being used again any time soon." A pause, and a wistful note in her tone suggests many things to come when she says. "Oh, but when we can. When we can, imagine how long we can stay up there to explore? Weeks, months even, instead of just 2 days at a time. . . . "
"Imagine how many other interested parties might wish to have exclusive control over the city and its secrets," Lexir tacks on.
"I have a very bad feeling we both know what that runs on, Your Highness." Cassandra says to Lou. "And... no."
After getting pets from Nova, Sir Floppington wags over to Lou and looks up, giving her those soulful eyes like he understands about the dismantle talk. Canine company might help? He sits down by her and leans in her direction.
"Perhaps one can simply set up a series of stations along the way for supplies?" murmurs Piccola out loud as a suggestion.
Lou raises her brows at Cassandra, frowning. "Not all magic runs on blood, you know. Some of it is just weaving the stuff of Dreams. That's what Copper did. I'm sure there's an ethical way to source whatever primum is required."
When Lou speaks of the library, Nova perks up and then she looks to Mirk before glancing back to Lou.
"The Platinum Ban is all magicks." Cassandra reminds, her lips setting into a firm line, her hands settled in front of her, fingers laced together on the table. "Except for apparently the primal magic of nature."
"What is the Platinum Ban?" Lexir chimes in at this point.
"I'm afraid that's a source of information I'm not familiar with, Legate Cassandra," Lou tilts her head at the Legate. "Would you be so kind as to inform us what that us? For, as far as I'm aware any ban on studying magic in Arvum is on Abyssal magic. Not that anyone would wish to study magic right now with the poison taint on it."
"There is a 'taint' on it?" Lexir further questions, his focus shifting to Lou.
"It is poisoned, and humans who can access it grow very ill when they use it," Zoey explains to Lexir. "Another long story, I fear."
"I see. Thank you for the enlightenment," Lexir says, nodding with a smile towards Zoey.
"The Platinum Ban." Cassandra says, rising to her feet for a moment to speak. "Is a prohibition on all Abyssal magic, rather through rite..." a glance to Sorrel, and then, "...channeling, weave, or beseeching. This apparently, when the fourth law of Limerance was written, did not include Primal magic. Harnessing magic from nature, but it's very aionic potential, is not corrupt -- and while there is the potential of abuse, see Tolv Mora, the Platinum Ban does not affect mages that embrace or use Primal Magic."
"Primal Magic includes anything that isn't drawn from the Abyss or the gods," Mirk says, raising an eyebrow at Cassandra. "Including, to my understanding, the vast majority of the Metallic Order, as well as their creations."
Cassandra nods to Mirk. "Exactly."
"And what other flavors of magic exist out there?" Lexir questions. "And how do they differ?"
Vitalis stirs to standing again, "For the moment, let's keep discussion on the topic of Whitepeak. Do make note of your questions, though. There's a ... vast store of information we can share."
"Only Primal Magic would be considered in replenishing the magics of the bridge, considering it /was/ the Metallic Order that created it. Why would you assume it would require abyssal magic?" Lou seems very confused on that point with Cassandra.
"Another time, Princess." Cassandra says, lips settled into a line. She has a thought on it, but this is not the time or place.
"I would appreciate that," Lexir tells Vitalis.
a cabin boy arrives, delivering a message to Lexir before departing.
Lou inclines her head and seems to let that drop for now. She looks around the room. "That brings me to the end of the discussion. Does anyone have any questions for this evening? If its a bunch of you, I may ask you to form a line."
Nova curiously inquires, "Sorry to stay off topic, but if Abyssal Magic is hearby forbidden by the Platinum Ban, then why does Platinum use writs? Mayhaps, I have some wrong presuppositions here, but, is it a double standard where one guy says you shall not do this thing, but he just does it anyway?"
Piccola lifts up her hand and calls out her suggestion again: "Is it possible to set up a series of stations along the ascent?"
Lou turns her attention to Piccola, titling her head a bit. "We can certainly try it. We've only just started exploring. Part of the issue might be the weather, though I know of a cave at least one point that we can use. We, er, were side tracked a bit about half way up the mountain with a different task, but that's not my story to tell. I'd also have to make sure that cave is cleaned out, and we'd need to make sure the supplies left behind are things that are non-perishable. Lots of salted meats and things like that. If we could use the cave for that purpose, it might mean the difference in how long a person can stay up there, since there's no way, right now, to grow food consistently up there. Ideally, the Society of Explorers intends to create a base in Whitepeak at some point to help facilitate easier explorations. The area is in the Crownlands, however, so I still need to talk to Alaric about whether or not that might be feasible."
Bryn, a flustered lovelorn Prodigal assistant arrives, delivering a message to Rowenova before departing.
Piccola bobs her head in understanding.
"Until that time comes, Pathfinder, you may be able to extend your expedition with an extended supply chain." Beat. "It takes a few men. Quite a few, actually. But if there is money to invest -- " Shrug. " -- I'm sure that it could be done, if the ascent isn't particularly difficult to scale."
And then she withdraws, going quiet again.
Cassandra is overheard praising Lou.
Piccola is overheard praising Lou.
Lexir is overheard praising Lou.
Vitalis begins to circulate through the gathered group sharing information among them.
Vitalis is overheard praising Lou: Whitepeak information is helpful!
Zoey is overheard praising Lou.
Nova pipes up, "I grew up tending supplies for years. It is the kind of thing that I like to do... If the plan is to set up a stash, I wish to help!"
Sorrel crosses her arms across her chest looking thoughtful about things. "It'd be rather nice to get a good look at that library. Restore what we could. Store those things... somewhere safe," she muses.
Vitalis pauses at Piccola and Rowenova, "Give me a list of things that you think I should pay attention for in setting up such stations and I'll make sure we note them along the way, such as we can."
"I know of at least one object up there that Brass built that we recovered that'll be beneficial with protecting the Compact. I can only assume that there are other pockets, like the one we found with that object, that will hold other useful stores. Secret rooms, and other such hidey holes, which is what I had hoped for whne we first started exploring the possibilities of going to Whitepeak; that not everything was truly destroyed. I don't see Alaric barring us from doing that; he does, after all, support the Explorer's efforts with a weekly donation from the Crown. And, if something good comes out of it that continues to help us protect the Compact, all the better. I shall keep you in mind . . . " Lou flushes, "I'm sorry, I don't think we've actually met. Lou Grayson," she introduces herself, even that might have been obvious. "If you want to be formal you can throw in the title, but i'd prefer you don't," says the princess who hates to be princess. "Pathfinder is much more suiting, especially here. Or, you know, just Lou," she grins a bit cheekily. "Unless I'm doing voice business," she sighs long, "And the Princess is ok. I guess," she adds grudgingly. "But snakes may still end up in a bed, somewhere," she warns.
"I have no doubt the most of the Scholars would be eager to see the contents of that place preserved," Mia replies softly, nodding once at Sorrel's musing. "I would certainly be willing to spend several weeks with cramped hands to do my share."
"Or, a few days," Lou notes to Mia. "Since right now 1-2 days is all you can stay at the top of the mountain before needing to go home. Unless we set up those stations as suggested." She looks around, "On that note, are there any final questions?" And then the pamphlets will be passed out, once all questions are answered. You know, the one that details the research Lou has done.
At what Lou says, the Lady of House Tessere smiles just a little.
"Oh, I know about snakes ending up in people's beds." That may be a joke to her, somehow. Dry humor? Dry humor. "I'm General Piccola." She then looks to Vitalis, and says to him briefly. "Labor, mules, and soldiers. Stations should be set, if possible, no more than a day's travel from each other." She makes a figurative gesture with her hands. "Stage the supply chain between stations, with stockpiles periodically." Her tone is matter-of-fact, as if setting up a supply chain were second-nature to her.
"I've no other questions," she then adds, in conclusion.
"Where is it?" Lexir poses to Lou.
When Vitalis looks her way, Nova smiles back. "Will do! Thank you!" When the whatever it is... is called 'the Object', Nova scrunches her nose, doing so like the term seems off to her, but she has no idea what the Object is. So. That soon passes. Easily distracted, she curiously regards the ongoing talk about the staged stockpiles.
"The city, that is."
"Geographically speaking," Lexir further clarifies.
"Ah, yes! The most important question. Whitepeak is on the mountain at the final U of the Gray River going towards the north, with Frosthaven at its base. It's just east, of Avairon's Peak, but on the Crownlands side of the mountain. More specifically, where the big white star is here," and Lou produces a map for people to see: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OhPvSmkMHlypD_uOGzcC-NOUQtIFBmmn/view?usp=sharing.
Lexir leans forwards a little, examines the map, then leans back, nodding appreciatively. "Thank you."
Lou gives a nod of her head, "Then, that concludes our discussion for the evening."
Rosalind looks down at the map, finding Stormheart, trailing her finger to Whitepeak. "How have I never thought to go there---"
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