Remembering the Silver Gift
Jan. 29, 2024, 4 p.m.
Arx - Lower Boroughs - Graveyard of Arx - The Rows
Comments and Log
2 Armed Confessors, Angwyn the otter, Mordred, Abner, Capt'n Waddles the small cock with a bell, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman, 2 Redrain Guards arrive, following Ann.
Ann arrives, following Titania.
Volcica is standing not far inside the Gates of the Cemetary, a lit lantern in her hand. She's purposely standing somewhere visible, easy for anyone to find her if they want to come see Silver's resting place, and hear the story. "We'll leave in just a few moments. I'd like to wait in case there are any stragglers. Thank you all for coming."
Draped in ashen robes, the pale Warmonger makes his way through the graveyard to join the gathering that Volcica has organised. Titus is serious, but there is a look of satisfaction seeing so many arriving.
Out of respect, Aureth extinguishes his half-smoked stogey and tucks the rest of the cigar away in his pocket, clearing his throat. He adjusts the hat on his head and gives Volcica a smile from the station he's taken up near the back of the assembled. He and his templars don't need to be in the way of the people not in full plate or whatnot.
There's little time in between the battles, and Aleksei is taking what he can. He's been able to wash since the last one, and even wipe off some of the blood from his armor, but there are still dried smears here and there, dull against the blue-black leather. He's uncharacteristically quiet as people start to gather; humor is thin on the ground these days.
Ann has always enjoyed stories. Even in the middle of chaos this is no different as she hears Volcica's words. Giving nods to those she knows which make the bells on her sing quietly. Hands folded in front of her.
Raymesin is standing with Volcica, behind her left shoulder. Towering over her, with his hood up to cast his face in shadow, the overtall man's only real concession to anything other than black in his outfit is the gleaming silver skull pin at his throat and the strange purple scarf he's wearing.
Eirene has arrived from her work in the hospitals, wanting to pay her respects for those who defended Arx in the past. She's still wearing her crimson plate, which is a far cry from her usual leathers. A cloak with a copper pin is held in place.
Titania takes slow steps through the grave yard to make her way to where those are gathered, she looks tired, bruised and walking with a limp. Her arm is up in a sling as slowly makes her was to stand where everyone else is.
Rosalind is actually quiet when she comes in, which is a bit unlike her. But she's here for a story, and curiosity overtakes the loudness more than anything.
Marina arrives with a confident swagger in her step and curiosity plain in her expression - which, admittedly, might be just plain /awful/ for some to behold, as her eyes are /all wrong/, being pools of darkwater instead of eyes. Still. She means no one any harm. Her weapon is peacebound!
Pasquale's armor is also a little worse for wear although the man himself looks hale and strong. He gives the gathered people a keenly perceptive look, nodding once or twice, before heading over to where Titus is.
Harlex is somewhere among the gathered. He's quiet and thoughtful, ever sullen. Its good some things don't change. He isn't even smoking, showing deference in his solitude.
Vitalis arrives, solemn in the mist and shadow, looking at the shadows among the grave markers and those gathered. He blinks at Marina, the woman he and Raven had saved on the Wall. Her eyes were closed then... he blinks again and looks swiftly away.
Aureth checks dexterity and stealth at hard. Aureth fails.
When he spies Aleksei in the assembling crowd, Aureth tries to sidle over to him through the people assembled throughout the graveyard. You know what's not subtle? A dominus with a nine man escort. Oh, well.
"We are going to descend into the Necropolis, a place few living have entered. I *must* caution against returning by yourself. The Queen of Death's servants take the defense of Her Necropolis *very* seriously, and tend to attack anyone not directly involved with Death. Without an escort, you may end up joining them for longer than intended." Volcica's lips twitch in the barest hint of a grin, but it quickly disappears into her usual neutral expression. "I suppose we should start at the beginning. Do we all know who Silver was? A Metallic, of course, but but also the founder of Solace." As she speaks, Volcica's leading them all deeper into the Graveyard.
Eirene has heard. She knows the tales. She follows in a reverent silence.
Aleksei sees Aureth coming a MILE AWAY. He offers him a tight smile, but it's a bit forced. Battle after battle have been weighing heavy on his shoulders.
Aureth puts his hand on Aleksei's shoulder and murmurs something to him in an undervoice, even as they are passing around notes about the founding of the Silver Order.
Raymesin moves a little distance apart from Volcica, either having no trouble navigating the graveyard in the darkness or knowing the place like the back of his hand. With this man, either is possible. Either way, he's not blocking the light for anyone else.
Titus follows along behind the group, listening to Volcica give an accounting of the metallic known as Silver.
Vitalis follows along, navigating the darkness with relative ease, a little twitchy and running his hand down his whiskers, messing with his ear. He seems to catch himself doing it and folds his hands behind his back.
Titania does not start to follow right away but waits and then starts to follow when Titus is near, her steps are slow as she moves along at his side? she leans in to say something to him softly.
If push came to shove and there are those here afraid of the dark Ann could illuminate light but she doesn't offer it as she does not want to interrupt what it is that Volcica is saying and doing as she follows along.
Pasquale tilts his head at something Titus said softly to him before returning a few low words. A thoughtful look in his eyes.
"When the Reckoning came to Arx, it came largely from the East. There were thousands of refugees, the old and infirm, the injured, all in what we now call Solace Square, well behind the lines. Lilah Shay and her Silver Guard were taking care of them, when a massive force of winged demons attacked." She pauses, letting that absorb. Just a few days ago, it would have been laughed off as exaggeration. "They fought all through the night, and through the next day, 'through a shining silver light, though it spelled her doom'." The last sounds quoted, honourary. "We use silver coins to honour her sacrifice, and that of her guards. Most humans of Arvum can trace their ancestry back to those they saved."
Marina catches thst look from Vitalis and she frowns slightly, but she's not going to make a big deal about his reaction. It was actually polite, all things considered! She simply prepares to follow Volcica, nodding as thr explanation is given.
Aendal, a jumpy and introverted bookworm arrives, following Bhandn.
As Volcica talks, she leads the group into a Mauseleum, and then they start descending. The walls of the tunnel are stone, smooth and cool. The light of Volcica's lantern leads the way, shining on cobwebs in the corners and fading into the occasional cross-tunnel. There are definitely spiders.
Harlex follows and listens, he rests his wrist on the hilt of the whisperer of names, its skull etched pommel catching the lantern light.
Aleksei offers a faint smile to Aureth as they walk, although this one is at least more forced. Sincere, even in fatigue. He follows the group, and he listens in respectful silence; some pieces are new to him, some are old. But he listens to each of them anew, all the same.
Raymesin returns to his position by Volcica's shoulder as the group moves; he ducks into the mausoleum, and heads down the steps into the tunnels in her wake. While she speaks, he remains silent, though he does reach out to touch the tunnel wall with a gloved fingertip on occasion.
Titania almost trips over something and she stops to catch her breath the jerk to her arm causes her pain, she licks her lips. If there is anything to stay about the woman she is if anything stubborn. She breaths and then continues to follow along with the others, she nods her head to something and then whispers back.
Vitalis checks willpower at normal. Vitalis is successful.
Vitalis moves along with the knot of people descending into the Necropolis, eyes and ears sharp, his nose twitches with the scent of stone and dust, and he manages not to sneeze.
Marina follows, taking careful, purposeful steps. But she seems to not need to be so careful in the low light.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Titus before departing.
Barely making it in time for the group to head into the Mausoleum, Sir Bhandn quickly gets caught up. Did he hear the warning about wandering off on his own? Hard to say, because he's slightly out of breath from trying to make it here. He wouldn't miss this trip for the world, if it could be avoided, and since the world might still end... you know. "She was so much more than that," he says quietly to the recounting given about Silver.
The deeper they go, the more signs of Death there are. The walls are carved with Death's iconography. The halls open up, and beauty begins anew. This is a giant mausoleum, a city for the Dead, but they are honoured just as one does their family that's passed. The Necropolis is beautufil, fit for a Queen. Down here, as well, the dead walk. Skeletons in arms and armor stand by, eyeing those that accompany Aureth, Raymesin and Volcica-- some perhaps standing down only after a few raspy, whispered words. Volcica's path never faulters, and soon they find themselves approaching a bright glow in the distance.
Vitalis gives the animate armored skeletons a good berth, peering curiously at them as they pass, winding deeper and deeper into the mausoleum.
Ann takes her time as they walk through death. Her eyes taking it all on. Keeping her silence save for some quiet words for those she is nearby. Looking at the skeletons with interest as they go further in.
Eirene says, "This is Death's true city. We just live in Her attic." She grins a little and looks at the skeletons. "Thank you for all you did for us," is her polite comment. "Always did want to come down here..."
As they move through the halls and path that Volvica leads them down, Titus gives a touch of a gloved hand to his breastplate where a heart might be with a dip of his head in a salute for the undeads' service.
Raymesin greets the skeletons with murmurs of his own, and one or two quick conversations ensue, especially when they don't stand down immediately. While Volcica leads, Raymesin keeps the party safe, and the whispered word 'soon' is definitely heard time and time again.
As they approach the Heart of the Necropolis, Volcica recites a poem.
"A place of sorrow, a place to mourn,
a place to bid farewell,
But in that place hope was born,
to fight the legions of hell.
A place to keep the dead at rest,
was where we fled the strife,
For the Reckoning was our greatest test,
And we'd guard not the dead but life.
For Silver knew no folly nor game,
Nor jest that could compare,
To saving life in the Queen's name,
Of the masses in her care.
And so she fought and so she stood,
Fighting through the night,
For saving others was a simple good,
Even if it meant dying in the light.
With silver knights and silver coin,
we honor that gallant fight,
It s her home she had us join,
This place was hers by right.
And so in Arx we build and make,
a haven now made a home,
And we honor those who will not wake,
In prayer, in coin, in tome.
Thank you for the Silver Gift,
As Arx was long ago called,
You worked to mend the growing rift,
Between Elves and the children of Skald."
Harlex offers a solemn nod to these shambling guardians. Hopefully none of them recognize him. He continues to listen.
Once, years ago, during another war, Aleksei remembered the armies of the dead that joined them in defending Arx. There's something bolstering to see them here now, drawing another faint smile from him as they move through the Necropolis. He draws a slow, deep breath as they take steps closer to their destination.
Connal, a Northern Wolfhound have been dismissed.
Honeymare have been dismissed.
1 Ravenseye Warrior have been dismissed.
3 Sanna House Guards have been dismissed.
2 Northern Rangers have been dismissed.
Spirit have been dismissed.
There is definitely a skeleton or two among the armored that receives an upnod of recognition from Aureth as he walks at Aleksei's side. It's hard to tell some of them apart, but some of the armor bears distinctive marks. Hey guys. Remember that time? Yeah, you gotta. Skelebros. "The Murder used to be the guesthouse for priests who worked down here, y'know. I think I learned that when I still ran the bloody place," he shares randomly to those nearest him, though Aleksei for one has absolutely heard it from him before. "Evaristo sang that poem for me once. Touching, I always thought."
Sen'azala is with the group, though, perhaps, that only really becomes clear once they're far enough down for Volcica to start reciting the poem. Maybe it's because she's kept her hood up, or because her movements have been even more quiet than their usual. She's near Aleksei and Aureth, though. It's not particularly clear when that happened. Or how.
Pasquale listens to the poem with the slightest hint of a smile.
The group approaches a.. 'room' might be an understatement. It could be a cathedral, so much love went into the craftsmanship of the massive chamber. The entrance is an archway, full of blinding light. Small brass candles fill the room, set on every available surface and setting the chamber aglow. The light is nearly blinding, reflecting off smooth marble walls and shining silver embellishments-- somehow dimming to a level just a *little* too bright for comfort once one steps inside Silver's resting place. . Tributes and gifts fill niches and alcoves in the walls, an awful lot of them boasting Nox or Rex'alfar craftsmanship-- but just as many are simpler, made by human hands and common hearts. The entire back wall of the crypt is an illusion the likes that few have seen: a sunrise more beautiful than memory, with the colours ever shifting but never fading. A sunrise eternal, framed in an engraved platinum inlay.
Briar, the fleet and agile shrike arrives, delivering a message to Pasquale before departing.
Marina actually seems pretty comfortable around walking skeletons. She gives a few curious looks, studying as if she might figure out the secret to how they move. But then her attention is back on Volcica. The bright lights /do/ seem to bother her, now, and she squints a bit. This actually makes her look pretty normal!
It's the skeletons that get Bhandn all nervous. He's not got a lot of exposure with Death's servants, and it's not like he goes spelunking in the Necropolis. Seeing them present, armed, and most importantly, *watching everyone closely*, is what has him rest a hand on Vigil's hilt. He doesn't draw the sword, but his eyes are shifting around so much that anyone watching him could easily deduce that he's unnerved and trying not to show it.
Getting to the Heart is almost a relief, and he lets out a breath once he's feeling *less* prickles on the back of his neck, his anxiety almost forgotten in the face of the brilliance. He steps into the chamber, closing his eyes for a moment against the brightness, then forcing them open so that he can study the back wall more closely.
Eirene rests a hand over her heart. A sincere gesture and tribute. "Thank you," she says once the blinding light adjusts for visibility of the sunrise. "We will not let your sacrifice be in vain," she swears softly. This is Serious Eirene. Very different from the Usual Eirene.
Rosalind watches the skeletons with curiosity. Then there's the glowing eyes and she watched fully. Engrossed.
Raymesin pulls his hood lower as he steps into the Heart of the Necropolis, protecting his eyes from the sheer brilliance of it. He stands by the door, the scintillating colours of dawn radiating over him, bringing out the subdued colour in what he's wearing. The black that all looks identical in the outside world is revealed as several slightly different shades, and the slivers of purple - and his oddly-round scarf - are vibrant.
Aureth kisses two fingertips and then rests them on the back wall, touching a single ray of the sunrise. He is otherwise quiet, for once.
Pasquale admires the scene before him as one would admire any great work of art. "Beautiful."
Vitalis stops, drawn up by the sight of the room, and jostles a bit before slipping back into movement among those gathered. He looks in open awe at the sunrise depicted on the back wall. "By the Gods, by my blood, by my word. We will stand." Vitalis, bows his head.
It hurts to look at, and maybe that's the point. The brilliance is enough to already bring a sheen to Aleksei's eyes, just a purely physical response. But all the rest of it -- that's what brings true tears, falling from dark lashes and tracking down his cheeks. "I miss her," he says quietly.
Again, Ann schools silence as she pays her respect as she takes a look around her. Offering Aleksei a small smile when she hears his words.
Sen'azala shifts a little in place. Her nose wrinkles just slightly as she looks over the room, though that's almost certainly because the light is making her squint, and she studies every little thing until she lets herself be drawn to the sunrise. When Aleksei speaks, however, she looks sidelong at him, and says something short, but quieter.
Titania is in awe watching as they move into the heart, her blue eyes look on then her head dips. Her own eyes well up with tears, they quietly stream down her face as she pays her respects.
Titus has to squint and shield his crimson eyes from the brightly light with a pale hand to try and see what he can see. "What love...." is all he can say.
"Yeah," Aureth answers quietly. He lets his hand fall away and then says something even more soft.
"Platinum enchanted the illusion of a sunrise for her, one of the last she and the other Nox ever saw. It's said he put a piece of himself in it, so it would never fade." Quieter, as Volcica watches the shifting colours. "Brass made the candles, for each family she saved in Solace Square. They weren't so bright, when they were placed, but there's a mote of light for every individual saved by her actions-- and it has been generations."
Sen'azala checks composure at hard. Sen'azala is successful.
As Marina looks at the room, she listens to the others. Her lips press thin as she considers the many motes of light. "Can you imagine," she speaks for the first time, "How this might look for any of you after all this?" She glances at some of the more martially inclined looking individuals.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Titus before departing.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Titus before departing.
"You're not the only one," Bhandn says in response to Aleksei's quiet words. His attention is fully engrossed in that sunrise, studying it like it were the most fascinating artwork to ever exist (it might be!). "I'd very much like to know what she would say about what's happening." A slight quirk appears on his lips. "I suspect we both know what she'd say we should /do/ about what's happening."
"Th'world won't remember me like this," Raymesin says, looking out at the candles and then back towards Marina. And then he's focusing on Bhandn and Aleksei and their little group, before his hood turns again towards the others.
Harlex remains stoic but not unmoved. He looks about and takes a slow breath. He glances at Marina. He shrugs. "Who cares." A pause. "Long as we win."
Titus overhears Raymesin and says to the Paladin of Death "The world often forgets, we can forgive that because forgetfulness sometimes brings needed healing. But I think you will be remembered by survivors. I'll remember you."
This time, Sen *does* wrinkle her nose at Marina's words. She doesn't say anything, but there's no need, her expression clearly reads as 'NOPE'. To whatever Aureth says, however, there's a sort of tightening around her mouth, and for just a moment, it quirks up a little at one corner.
"I've saved lives as a doctor, but -nothing- like this. I'm sure there's a candle here for my ancestors. And nearly every one of us is a speck of light here... shining for her," muses Eirene to Marina. Then she nods with Titus. "Your queen will remember you, Raymesin. She never forgets us."
One of Marina's brows quirks when Raymesin answers her, and then the other follows when Harlex does, as well. "Hm." Her gaze shifts to Titus. "The world forgets a lot of things." She shrugs then, too, falling silent again. She gives Eirene a small nod, but she doesn't seem entirely satisfied by the exchange
"I think she'd just say to do what we're doing," Aleksei says in simple reply to Bhandn. "We're already doing what she'd do: we're fighting."
"We're making a stand against ignorance," Aureth says quietly, tucking his thumbs into the spiderwoven sash of his long tunic. "We are history, legend and story. We are our choices and I choose to believe we will not be forgotten. Even if we do not earn ourselves a shining monument, we are history. We are the strength of Vellichor. We are the story and we'll be told." He speaks, here in the heart of the Necropolis, with absolute confidence. There's nothing like being surrounded by skeletons and the trappings of Death to lift his heart to a certainty. "Because he'll lose. This may be a great ending, but there will be a new beginning."
A hand goes to Ann's chest as she listens to Aureth. Regardless of the outcome this is something she believes too.
"Th'Queen will remember," says Raymesin, and of that he sounds entirely confident - confidence that lingers. "Th'world? Not so much. But if I wanted ter be remembered I'd'a took the title, or sworn ter th'gods, or somethin'. I don't need ter be remembered, as long as folks remember as not all 'eroes are born royal."
Titania is silent as she listens to everyone's words. she herself quiet. Her eyes look to Aureth nodding to his words, she agrees with the Dominus. Her eyes look to Raymesin, "Not every hero is a silk my friend." she moves to clean the tears from her face.
"When everyone's ready, we'll head back." Volcica pauses, hesitating a moment. "Thank you all for coming. Titus brought the idea to me, of bringing people down here, and I'm glad he did. As Arx endures, we remember."
Sen'azala looks thoughtful for a moment, and then says, still quiet, "The line of every human king and human queen started from a nameless slave."
Titus nods at the wisdom the Dominus shares. And to Raymesin and others near him, his voice steady and firm. "Not all are born to be heroes, nor do titles or oaths alone forge them. True heroes are those who rise from the shadows of obscurity, who face despair and choose to stand against it. It's in the heart's struggle, in the defiance against overwhelming odds, where heroes are truly made. The world may forget names, but the actions, the sacrifices, and the courage of those unsung heroes echo through time. Remembered or not in monument or statues, it is the choice to stand, to fight, to protect what is dear, that truly defines a hero."
Marina's lips flick into an unexpected smile when Aureth speaks. She even nods. Then she's looking at Raymesin again. "I'd wager there's more common born heroes in history than royal ones. Didn't some folk just have a whole meeting about Azazel eating them? Heroes. I wasn't trying to get you to think on being remembered. I was trying to get you," she means a general you, not Raymesin specifically, "To think about the fact that you could have a similar impact. You don't know how many lives will come from your actions." She makes a hand gesture around the room. "Could be We all have the chance of making a room like this. Not denigrating her - it should be aspirational."
2 Armed Confessors, Angwyn the otter, Mordred, Abner, Capt'n Waddles the small cock with a bell, 2 Rivenshari Clan Guardsman, 2 Redrain Guards leave, following Ann.
There's a sudden, sharp frown at something Marina says, and for a moment, Sen looks as though she'd very much like to leave. She half turns that way, before seemingly remembering that she's not exactly in a place where leaving on her own is recommended. After a breath she turns back, but her shoulders are a little hunched.
Titus does leave a small pouch, an offering of memory. Nothing at all like the great elven works, but something meaningful. "I pray for hope's light to shine. That while our single flame will be snuffed out by the cold darkness that comes, that we spark more fires in the hearts of those who survive. Like Silver, may we be heroes to those we stand for. May I be inspired by the love she had, the life she willingly gave, may I grow by her story." And with that, he looks to leave.
"It matters to be remembered, it matters to the Dream. But-" Vitalis looks at the sunrise in its glorious shifting colors, "-it wouldn't diminish Silver if this was not here. She would still have done for all of us." He frowns at that, "It is good to remember, but remember the unsung. The multitude. We are all connected."
Raymesin nods to Sen'azala, then exhales. "You know nothin'a me, an' nothin'a who I am," says Raymesin to Marina, his Lowers-accented voice still calm. "If yer did, you wouldn't be sayin' that." But then he's shaking his head. "Don't try an' come back 'ere on yer own, folks. The path shifts, an' the dead are watchful."
Eirene tells Volcica, "Thank you for doing this. It's inspirational, truly."
"I don't know if word has gotten around. But Cardia comes. Dragons. Ian Kennex returned adragonback," he seems a little dumbfounded by that, "And ... the dragons are coming." He pauses, looking around, "An odd time to share that, but another time may not present itself. Help comes."
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