Exploration The Better To See You With
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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#43
Jigano hid his smile at Sam's blush, knowing when to let the teasing go, and simply nodded at the difficulty in finding food. It would be awhile before any babies were born, of course, and by then hopefully the world would be green again.

Ahhh, it seemed Sam had not been at the meeting, and no one had told him of the plan. Well. 'Plan' was frankly generous, but perhaps 'intention' of the gathering of outlanders and naturals alike? "I certainly will go," he said gravely. "They are determined, and have gifts from the gods that they think will help. I... am not so gifted, nor so strong for such a fight," he admitted wryly. "But I've been learning a bit of healing and medicine from Isla, and as you say, whether they succeed or fail there will certainly be injuries that will need tending. And as a lorekeeper - as a loreseeker - I want to make sure that the attempt is witnessed and recorded. It is possible they will succeed. There have never before been so many outlanders with so many disparate abilities gathered in one place and at one time before, not in the Atheneum's records. There are also a number of naturals who intend to assist as well. They know the risks... but they think the possibility of tearing the barrier down is worth it. If they win, I want to know how. And if they lose... it will be important to record as the largest assault on the spire in memory, so that the same mistakes aren't made in the future."

He turned his steps to head back towards the Settlement, though he kept Sam in the side of his vision to see how his friend was handling the news.
Samuel Wordsworth
Bookmaker / Seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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#44
Sam heard little of what Jigano said after 'I will certainly go'. That was enough to make the panic in his chest spread everywhere in his body, take over his usual patience and willingness to listen. He couldn't lose his friends, not now, not after he'd just gotten them and was beginning to grow and if they went on this mission, he would definitely lose them. Sam had seen people go to the Spire.

He had never seen them come back.

His voice was not used to louder volumes, but he yelled with a strained tone, stopping himself from tearing up. "Is it w-w-worth dying for a stupid record? Jigano, you can't!" Sam stormed along next to him just to keep up, but was hardly focused on their destination now. "Wh-what if you die?! Who runs the g-guild th-then? You need to think!"

Sam reached out to grab Jigano's elbow to make him stop, as if he was headed to the Spire right this moment. "Just be happy here! Why can't anyone ever be ha-happy here?! Just here!"
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 449
MP:
#45
He knew Sam would be upset, but he had underestimated by how much. Still, he kept walking, though he slowed his steps so his friend could more effectively stomp through the snow as they went. He let the other man speak his mind, touched at the emotion in the bookmaker's usually-gentle voice and hearing the fear behind the anger. He stopped when his elbow was caught, turning to face his friend fully, and though his eyes were compassionate they were also adamant.

"I have almost died retrieving medicinal herbs for a friend," he said mildly. "I have almost died walking in the woods when I was attacked by wolves. And if we had failed the challenges in the dragon's book we would not have been dead, but trapped in stone and near enough to deceased, until someone else braved it to let us out. Life is dangerous. And living far more so than merely existing." He gave a little shake of his head, though he didn't try to retrieve the arm Sam had captured.

"You make a good point about the guild," he said, lips quirking into a wry smile. "I hadn't wanted things to become hierarchical, but we should hold a vote to see who will take over if something happens to me. We don't even know how many of us will survive Long Night, after all," he pointed out in return.

"But why do you think people keep trying to be free of this cage?" he asked, voice gentling. "Take a moment, please. Put yourself in the shoes of outlanders, or naturals whose native curiosity exceeds the limits imposed on them by the barrier. People who are used to roaming worlds, who miss their oceans, their deserts, their islands, their mountains. How would you feel if someone came along and locked you in your house? Boarded up your windows? They don't tell you why, but now you cannot leave. You cannot sell your books, or get new ones, and eventually you run out of materials to make new ones. Wouldn't you want to leave at some point?" Jigano shook his head again to forestall his friend's protest. "Now take that example and expand it, in both space and time. Your house is now the barrier, and it's not locked for years, but centuries... but the basic principles remain the same. It's taking people longer to go through the resources here, Sam, but the Accepted and the Attuned and the mages - they need to eat. They need grain and vegetables and meat, and the animals need to eat, and even the plants need to eat from good, black soil. But there is no renewal here. Just like you could not get out to get new books or supplies, within the barrier we can't get new animals, new plants. You've never seen a world that wasn't trapped in a bubble, but compared to where nearly every other outlander I've spoken with is from, this place is dying, Sam. Slowly, over the course of generations, but the soil is tired. The plants are stunted. The animals are dwindling. And the human population is, too. And if more and more outlanders continue to appear in the numbers we've seen recently, the resources will run out even faster. And then everyone will die anyways, in a terrible and lingering way I wouldn't not wish on my worst enemy." He looked behind them at the barrier, his gaze grim at its opaque surface.
Samuel Wordsworth
Bookmaker / Seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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#46
Jigano's lists of times he'd almost died completely failed to hit their point, only serving to horrify Sam at how careless he had apparently been while doing something as simple as gathering herbs or walking in the woods. Then immediately afterwards his talk about a vote in the Guild just made it sound like he planned to die, which did nothing to assist Sam's upset state.

But before he could bring up these concerns Jigano was launching into what only could be called a lecture. And as it went on...Sam found himself balling up his fists, actually growing angry rather than merely scared. He did not consider Outlanders lesser, not at all, but...who was Jigano to come in and insist he knew better than those who lived here? Jigano didn't know how things worked here.

"We have f-farms, Jigano." Sam argued, missing the point entirely. "A-and yes. I would stay. Because...because I don't leave my fr-friends just to go and die poi-pointlessly! Do you really th..do you think I haven't seen p-people try this? If you want t-t-to be so sure my home is dying, why don't you ask pe-people who l...who live here?! Instead of Outlanders??"

This was the most he'd yelled in a long time (in fact, basically ever) but it was rare he felt so passionate about something. He had let go of Jigano's elbow but refused to step any further, tears in his eyes and his hands moving about as he spoke rapidly. "I'm not st-stupid. The people who live...h-here aren't either. You d-don't know what's out there any...any more than I do. What if it's bad? What if you k-kill us all in an even worse way?! What if..."

Sam took the charm from his bag and held it up. "What if thi-this is all I have to rem-remember my friend?"

His argument was mish mash of badly formed points about the barrier and emotional pleas for his friend, but he still felt it and meant it as much as he could.
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 449
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#47
Sam was more afraid than Jigano had seen him in awhile, and the bard bit back his quick retort, letting the bookmaker have his say. He stayed still in the snow, not moving until his friend was ready - which, it seemed, wouldn't be for awhile. When Sam brandished the charm back in his face as though it were a threat - or a weapon - the lorekeeper finally sighed, shoulders sagging. "And from the records in the Atheneum, both the quality and quantity of harvests from the farms have been steadily declining over the years. But do you really think I haven't spoken to any other naturals?" he asked gently. "There were naturals as well as outlanders at the meeting, from what I heard. Ones who support this attempt as much as we strangers do. And I do not think them stupid any more than I think you are. But yours is not the only opinion here, Sam, and you don't speak for all naturals anymore than I speak for all outlanders."

He took a breath, straightening as he looked at the bookmaker, considering how afraid Sam was of losing the friends who had only recently come into his life. "Outside the barrier," he said quietly, "Is life, according to Remi. He has... a mask. From Ludo. He put it on when they were investigating the barrier with magic, and saw the outside world. He thought it worth the attempt. If you will not trust me, will you at least trust him?" A strange argument to be making, he acknowledged with internal dark humor, but if it helped to reassure Sam, he would swallow his pride and do so.
Samuel Wordsworth
Bookmaker / Seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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#48
Jigano's voice was painfully calm and patient, the kind of voice one would use when talking to someone insane. Sam hated hearing it, hated feeling so condescended to. But he supposed he had thrust a charm in his face and yelled...he looked down at the ground silently like an ashamed child until Jigano had finished speaking, thrusting the charm back in his pocket and pushing snow about with his shoe.

But when Jigano mentioned Remi, his head shot up. "...W...Wait..Remi di-did what?!" Sam asked, wondering just how much was being kept from him day to day. "How...how can I tr-trust him if he does things like that? Ludo...Ludo is...b-bad. He could be lying." He'd never met the God in question, but Sam knew he wasn't a good God to get close to. Matter of fact, Sam didn't think any of the Gods were good to get close to.

Desperately he raised a fist to wipe his tears then looked off to the town. "..I...I think this is a st-stupid plan. You'll be dead before it...it helps anyone, anyway. You said there's gen-generations to go before it gets t-too bad here." He wasn't really this simple, did understand that with new people coming it became less time every day, but Sam was desperate. Perhaps if he said enough he could find the words to get Jigano and Remi to stay.
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 449
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#49
Sam was acting more like a petulant child than a grown man, but fear could do that to a person. He wasn't being mean on purpose, or at least not with the intention of being cruel. It was, Jigano reminded himself firmly, just the fear talking. He had pushed his hands into his sleeves to keep his fingers warm as he spoke, but the bookmaker's sudden outburst had him hiding a wry smile. "That was my reaction, too," he admitted. "At least at first. But reckless though he may be, he's just trying to help his friends. And Ludo..." The bard trailed off, tilting his chin with a frown. "He isn't a nice god by any means, but I would not be so quick as to call him a liar."

He raised a brow at Sam's willful misunderstanding of his words, but exhaled a sigh of regret at how much pain he was causing his friend. "Come on, Sam," he said softly. "Let's head back for now. Flowerbirth is still a ways off, so no one is going to be doing anything tomorrow, and everyone at the meeting agreed to wait at least that long. We have time to talk about things... but maybe after we've both calmed down a bit?"
Samuel Wordsworth
Bookmaker / Seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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Posts: 345
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#50
Sam opened his mouth to object twice but both times came up with nothing to say except shut up or stop it, so just shut it again and followed Jigano, his hands shoved into his pockets and his feet stomping heavily in the snow. He walked slightly ahead of Jigano so he would not have to look at him, and only spoke again when the settlement was in view in the distance.

"...I...I just...Jigano I...I can't lose you. Not n-now. Or Remi...I think...I th-think we might really have a ch-chance to be...something. He can't...die. But you will. I-if you go there. I'm scared." His voice now lacked the anger from earlier, distinctly sad and monotone, his eyes fixed on the horizon.

"You had...a-a lot of friends. Before. B-but I've never had any. Until now. A..and I can't...I just can't. G-go back."
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 449
MP:
#51
"I have no intention of being lost or dying any time soon," Jigano reassured his friend solemnly. "Remi..." He just couldn't get away from the boy, could he? Giving a rueful shake of his head and glad that Sam couldn't see him, he wrapped his arms a little more tightly around himself. "You will have to speak to him yourself. He is..." The bard trailed off again, trying to organize his thoughts and not let his emotions get the better of him. "He does not value himself enough," he said at last, slowly. "But that must be between you and him. What might come of your relationship... that's up to you to grow." He tilted a sad smile at his friend's back, keeping his own just a little short so he wouldn't overtake the bookmaker.

"But you won't need to go 'back', Sam. Think of the people you've met - Isla, Kalt, Nairi, Caiside - and remember how things were when you met myself and Remi as well. Not everyone will be your friend right away, but the more you see them, and speak to them, and share experiences, the more likely they, too, will become friends. Not 'replacements', either, but friends with their own important places in your heart." His smile widened encouragingly. "We're just the first. But you're too good of a person for us to be the last, Sam."
Samuel Wordsworth
Bookmaker / Seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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#52
"...He do-doesn't...?" Sam asked, unsure quite what Jigano meant. Perhaps it was because his own self esteem was at absolute rock bottom, but Sam had never noticed Remi being particularly insecure in himself; or at least not in the same way he was. Certainly not in a way that had to lead to his death at the spire. He wondered if Jigano and Remi spent time swapping secrets together, if Jigano knew more things of Remi's plans and personality that he didn't. The thought sat oddly and uncomfortably in his mind.

The people Jigano listed...truthfully, Isla was the only one he'd consider a friend, and Sam knew that if he lost two of his friends he'd just stop going outside, regardless of who was out there.

"...B-but...what if...the barrier does c-come down...and everyone leaves?" This was another fear of his he'd considered. What if what was out there was more appealing, what if it was full of much more charismatic and handsome men, and he was dropped in a second?
Jigano Silversmith
Provost / Lorekeeper ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 27 | Height: 6'2" | Race: Attuned | Nationality: Outlander
Level: 4 - Strg: 9 - Dext: 30 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 8
ISUMA - Mythical - Gryphon (venomous)
Played by: Cirago Offline
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Posts: 449
MP:
#53
"As has been pointed out to me, I don't know him well. Or, indeed, at all, according to him," Jigano said, dryly amused. "It's only a guess, based on what I've heard and observed, but... Sam, all I can tell you is what you already know: talk to him. I don't know what he's told you, and he is the only one who can speak for himself."

The people he'd listed weren't necessarily Sam's friends - yet. They were people that Sam had met, though, who had shared experiences with and who could become friends, someday, if one or both parties in the equation tried. But it was all a moot point anyways, since the bard wasn't planning on dying, either before, during, or after they made their attempt on the spire.

"If it does, what will you do?" Jigano asked gently. "If Remi wants to see more of this world, will you go with him? You know from my stories that I'm a wanderer, I've never hidden that from anyone. But... our guild is here, so even if I wander I'll come back eventually, bringing new knowledge and hopefully new books with me." He wanted to smile, but kept his expression solemn, even though Sam couldn't see him.
Samuel Wordsworth
Bookmaker / Seller ☆ Loreseeker's Guild
Age: 26 | Height: 5' 5" | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
Level: 2 - Strg: 15 - Dext: 15 - Endr: 16 - Luck: 6
MIA - Regular - Ragdoll Cat
Played by: Lancydulac Offline
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Posts: 345
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#54
Sam had little to say to Jigano and no answers for his questions. He didn't want to think about it, he just wanted to stop his friends from leaving before he lost them. Like a petulant child he wanted to just grab onto Jigano's sleeve and demand he stay, have it work without him having to consider the consequences years down the line. It was selfish, yes, but he had never had things of his own to be selfish about before and now that he did...it was difficult to let go.

He was quiet until they reached the settlement, at which point he hastily mumbled a goodbye and before anything else could be said, rushed to his shop and locked the door. As soon as he was in he fell down on the floor and held his head in his hands, not knowing what the hell to do.


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