Exploration There is no way back

Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#15
"And yet many do not find evil in avalanches as the laws of nature culminate in disastrous effects nor the work of other predators as they do what they must to survive. The creature is no different regardless of the lives lost. Sadness is a measure of little." I glance towards him. In all my years I do not think I have ever heard any suggest to heal it. Interesting. "It is beyond healing now I expect. But if healing it was the optimal path for us it would have been done so by now. Perhaps that does entail that it is in your best interest to try."

I say nothing as he remarks of my age. It is in my nature to persist, just as it is likely in his to be amazed by the mundane. Was that a burden of humanity? Or one of its gifts? I can never quite remember.

I consider his words before replying, looking through them to see if his questions run deeper than what it is I have heard. "Census data reveals that my kind still operate in the minority, as has been the aim of the Old Gods since the Beginning." He can likely hear the capital letter in my phrasing. "Typically societies do not bother recording the lives and histories of those they wish to eradicate. For our part though, our lives are stored within Her. There is no need to document when she is all around to record and archive."
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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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#16
He raised a brow at the argument, having no particular attachment to the title of 'demon' for the creature. He suspected any singular creature in the woods that lived for centuries and devoured multiple humans would gain such a moniker, but that was an assumption from the people of his world, and perhaps the people here were different. The lady at his side certainly had far more experience with them and their beliefs than he did, so he let her words lie uncontested.

Jigano wasn't sure what to think of her response to his suggestion of healing, though. If it was beyond healing, but if healing would have been tried before as a matter of course - and clearly failed - how would it be in their interest to try again? The words she spoke at times seemed perfectly sensible but at others seemed... broken, almost. Like a gear that slipped in its rotation from time to time, or a musician that slipped from their key and then recovered, oblivious to the mistake.

"The old gods... Ludo and Safrin and Frey?" he asked curiously. "Or the ones I've only found in books? Mort and Rae and Vi? What do they have against the Ascended?" He hadn't seen any outright hostility towards the long-toothed people people of Caido - excluding Archebold, who had earned it with his personality rather than his race, in Jigano's limited experience with the man. He gave a gentle shake of his head, breath puffing out in another cloud of minute ice crystals, glittering in the moonlight. "I haven't seen any sign of anyone, well, eradicating anyone else, or trying to, since I arrived. There seems to be no stigma attached to it among the mortals, at least."
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Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#17
"All of them, I suppose. Though it was the old gods, Mort, Rae, and Vi who erected the barrier and the Spire." I assume that the lesser three have been contained as some sort of fail safe, but of course I do not know, and thus do not share my assumptions.

His latter question catches me off guard and I frown, staring at him intently. After a moment I decide simply to ask. "Humour?" I guess again. I was incorrect the first time, but his ignorance seems incongruous with our conversation thus far.

"Perhaps they have come to terms with our situation here." I say with far more vagueness than I am comfortable with.






(FFFFFFFFFFFF sorry)
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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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#18
There was a cavalry charge dropped into the middle of the conversation. Jigano took a few moments to simply savor the information, feeling the delicious click of puzzle pieces slotting into place. Not the whole puzzle, not by a long shot, but more than he'd had before, and every little piece helped. "That is knowledge that has been lost to those here, I think," he said quietly. "Nor passed along to the more recently Ascended. Many of those born within the Barrier don't even question it anymore. But those who have come from without... we have been scrambling to try and understand this place and the purpose of the Barrier. Whether it was meant to keep something out... or keep us in."

He tilted his head at his companion, examining her more closely again. "From what you have said, it sounds as though it was indeed created to keep in certain beings. 'Creations' I think I've heard your lady call you?" He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as he raised his face to the moonlight, feeling snow settle on his skin and lashes. "I have so many questions..." He murmured, lips twitching into a wry smile at the question. "But no, I have not spoken with humor. I am attempting to be straightforward with you. Though I am beginning to think we have a... a lack of connection in understanding each other. Have you been walking among the Settlement for these past 200 years? Or have you been... apart? And do you have a name by which I can call you?"
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Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#19
"You are not the target." I confirm with a gentle shake of my head. "It is to keep us inside. You are collateral I suppose. " Those with affections for the old gods might do well to consider the ramifications of that the next time they sink to their knees to pray, but I do not bother to point it out.

Oh. Not humour then. Alright. "You asked what they had against us. It is everything that we are. A threat against their dominance, I suppose, that we might rise and reach the status of gods by our own sheer will and intelligence. And so we were cast out and away, placed here to suffer because of their own limitations."

I nod. "Apart. Yes. Underground and segregated, as she has been. Though now that she has awaken, so too have I." He asks for a name, and I pause. I dislike names as well, though I did fail to mention that earlier. It is not so much of a preference as it is a lack of understanding. "I am often referred to as 108."
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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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#20
Collateral? Well that was certainly unfortunate, and more than a little humbling. Jigano hid a wince at thinking how Caiside would react to that knowledge. It would take him time to come to terms with it himself, though there was relief in at least knowing.

"The Ascended are a threat to the gods?" Jigano asked, seeking clarification. "Or... have the potential to become gods themselves?" He bit his lip, considering. "Then The Voice... she isn't one of the Old Gods? Nor of a kind with Ludo and the others? But she clearly seems to be a goddess in her own right. Is she... one of the first Ascended then?" A curious thought, but one the bard was not unacquainted with. His own Cassandalee was not without parallels to the Voice, if that was true.

"Ah... so you have missed some of what has passed recently, then." 'Recently' being, perhaps, a subjective term. "Do you know who or what causes the portals that brings outlanders to this world, 108?" A curious nomenclature, but who was he to judge the strangeness of a name?
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Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#21
"They already have. We are still in our infancy, those of us who have been created in their image." I shake my head immediately when he asks of the Voice and her relation to the old gods. "Certainly not. She is one of the highest, a mortal fully ascended. A god in her own right. " I echo with a nod, unsure if this is poetry, or merely aptness of phrasing. "Yes. One of the first. " I confirm. Perhaps calling her the second is better, but time is a funny thing, even when it comes to creation.

I nod. "She replenished my mind as well as my body when I returned. I have been made aware of the arrivals, of the state of some things.." He asks a question I do not wish to answer. I am not a creature of this sort of strategy, but even I worry about the trajectory of what it is he asks of me. "I believe so, yes. They are suspicions, for it is not my place to question."
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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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#22
"This is... incredible," the bard murmured, giving his head a little shake. So many questions answered... so many more questions arising in the wake of those answers. He had come to study the spire but instead - or perhaps, in addition - he was gaining insight into the history of the world that had been lacking in the Atheneum's books. His fingers itched to write down what he was learning, to take 108's words down verbatim so he didn't miss anything, but he controlled himself with effort, exhaling slowly into the cold night.

108 had been brought up to date by the Voice, it sounded like, but the Voice had been out of circulation for years before that. Decades or more, if the local Ascended were anything to go by. He wasn't sure what to think of her ability to observe and archive all of her creations though. 108 had still seemed confused about how Ascended lived side-by-side with everyone else in the Settlement, so apparently there was something lacking.

Not her place to question? It gave the bard pause in his barrage of boundless curiosity. She had not seemed to question the Old Gods before, when speaking of their limitations and fear of the Ascended. It was hard to attribute emotions to her responses, but she seemed to give an almost automatic respect to the Voice, speaking of her fellow Ascended as a collective and everyone else as... outside of that group.  "I would value hearing your suspicions," he said at last, picking his words carefully. "If you are willing to share them."
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Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#23
I glance towards him, but do not wonder what it is he finds incredible. I believe politeness dictates that I ask him to elaborate—he mentioned something similiar earlier, an invitation to learn more hidden in his words—but if this is that, I will decline to take him up on his offer.

I consider his words for a moment, running them through my mind and weighing the pros and cons. On the one hand, the man before me seems clever and unlike many I have encountered, he seems to ask the right questions. Surely this riddle is not so hard to unravel once the thread has been pulled, and though his hands are empty, his mind is snatching at everything. He would figure it out sooner or later.

But then again, he is not one of us. This knowledge is not for him. But perhaps that does not matter.

"Centuries inside the barrier, locked in here. Minds with the power and persistence to make themselves gods. Unsettled. Few enjoy a cage. An outlander every half century...then more, and more, and more, and more. Do you think it a coincidence?"
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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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#24
Jigano hummed softly as his newly-hatched suspicions were - seemingly - confirmed. "Then your lady is powerful, indeed. Even more than I realized, to open portals to distant worlds when she herself was still locked away. Perhaps the Old Gods are right to fear her. Especially after shutting her away for so long. Though she seems more driven by logic than raw emotions like revenge." He tilted his head, gaze turned towards the Spire but not really seeing it as he lapsed, at last, into silence.

The quiet lingered for awhile as the snow fell in a light dusting. The only sounds came from the bard's soft breathing, and the occasional creak of snow beneath his feet as he shifted position to keep his joints from locking up. Thoughts raced through his head, connections breaking, being remade, rewritten, looked at in a different light.

At last he took in a deeper breath, exhaling it slowly. "Thank you," he said, voice soft in the moonlight. "For sharing your knowledge with me. You do not seem as though you need much from anyone who is not your Lady but... still, I would make the offer. For courtesy's sake, and to let there be balance between us. Is there anything I can do for you? If not an exchange of knowledge, then some other task within my abilities?"
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Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#25
"The fear of knowledge has always been limiting." I say simply, suddenly feeling the very uncharacteristic urge to sigh. It is strange and only partially because I no longer have the need to breathe. Moreso, it is strange for me to desire to feel (well, anything) but specifically the urge to non-verbally communicate my frustration.

I look at my companion. Is it because of him, that I feel so inclined? Mmm..

"Emotions are complicated. Perhaps not unnecessary, but certainly their place in the calculus needed to guide the trajectory of our futures has been greatly overstated. The Old Gods have always been what they are. They have never worked or fought or strove to be better or more than what they are."

I listen, his offer unclear. Not in understanding, by context. I know not of what it is he can offer me, nor what he believes the value of my words have been. Turning towards him now, I blink and ponder. "Tell me about yourself." I invite. Though I am uninterested by and large about the historical route by which he has come to stand before me now offering his services to me, perhaps this will elucidate what they might be.
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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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#26
An interesting way of putting things, though Jigano nodded agreement. He had seen similar reactions and punishments play out among mortals, and it wasn't hard to scale it up to the level of gods. They rarely appreciated new additions to their ranks, it seemed, and perhaps there was a reason for that... or, then again, perhaps not. The bard didn't know what the effect of worship and faith was on these new deities - all of them new to him, no matter how long they had existed here - or how the Voice would tip traditional balances.

For that matter, he didn't know if the Voice's goals were benign or... otherwise. Unity had intended to enslave a planet, after all, under the guise of 'protecting' the people of the world from themselves. Its intentions had technically been helpful, but its method was decidedly not. Jigano knew too little about the Voice yet to tell if her release was a matter of justice, or a prelude to cataclysm.

"I have found that emotions do not guide so much as... catalyze," Jigano offered after a moment's consideration. "They provide... hmm. I suppose you might say 'flex' in the balance. An element of chance that can produce unintended results... good or bad. Without them we would risk stagnation. Or so I think." Perhaps his thoughts carried little weight with the cool-eyed lady at his side, but he didn't disagree with her evaluation of the original gods. Not least because he didn't know enough about them yet to say one way or the other. Though it did put Ludo in a subtly different light, and one he would need to think on later.

Motion out of the corner of his eye brought his gaze back to meet hers, and he raised a brow in surprise at the response to his offer. "As you wish," he said, trying to gather together enough coherency from his racing thoughts to answer her request. "My name is Jigano, and I am a lorekeeper and a bard. I was brought here by a portal a few months... ah, last season," he corrected himself. "I've been doing as much research as I can in the Atheneum to learn about this world that is so new to me, but I also perform - entertain - at the tavern in the Settlement, to earn food and resources." He paused, trying to keep things factual, since 108 seemed to appreciate concrete statements over more flowery language. "And I've recently opened a new guild within the Atheneum. Based around the pursuit of knowledge and helping others find answers to their questions." He paused, tilting his head at his companion. "Do you wish to know more?"
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Age: 200 | Height: 5"9 | Race: Ascended | Nationality: Natural
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#27
“Chance?” I repeat. My instinct is to disagree. Nothing is left to chance, not really. What we think of as chance is merely just ignorance. Deterministic forces in the world if properly understood, predict all. But if that is the case, then emotions are simply a part of those mechanisms, albeit ones far less important than I had ever considered them, but perhaps just as integral.

This subconclusion is not one that I enjoy, and so I file it away for careful pondering later.

I listen as he speaks, storing bits of what he says that seem relevant. Once I enjoyed music and was even quite competent in the playing of certain stringed instruments. Though the desire to do so now has completely left me, still part of me wonders if my adroitness has remained or if my muscle memory has sufficiently atrophied.

“I would hear more about this guild.” I say with a nod. “You seem wise, and yet your knowledge of this place is limited. An interesting position for you to hold as the leader of this place.” My voice is without judgement, merely an observation. If anything, I approve. “I too search for knowledge.” I offer, rather absently then fall silent for him to continue.
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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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#28
Jigano was surprised but pleased that 108 wanted to hear more about the loreseekers. He was proud of bringing them together, and prouder still of the bright minds who had chosen to join him. His lips quirked a little at being called wise, however, and he gave a little shake of his head in negation. "Wisdom? No... I do not think I can lay claim to that. I experienced many strange and unusual things before I came to Caido, though. More than most my age would have. Perhaps more than many do in their entire lifetime. I think it has given me insight, perhaps, and confidence in dealing with novel situations. But I am not immune to letting my heart overrule my head at times." He spoke ruefully, but there was a mournful twist to his voice at the end.

"But in this, I suppose I am leader because no one else thought of the idea first... that, and I don't need to know everything, or even most things about this world." His lips twitched into a smile again. "Though I want to, and I continue to seek out information and answers. But the purpose of the guild is, largely, so that people can have different speciailizations and interests. If I have a question on medicine or surgical knowledge, I can turn to Isla. There are two native-born who have long personal histories with the Atheneum, and if they don't know an answer themselves, they may be able to guide us to the right area. Sam is well-read in poetry and fiction. Amalia is familiar with the Old Gods and with practical aspects of baking and cooking. We all have personal interests as well as our own professional skills, too, questions we seek to answer for our own curiosity." He tilted his head at the Spire, looking at it with a smile that turned more challenging as he considered it with what he knew now.

"Before, I noticed people would come to the Atheneum to try and research many of the same questions - Outlanders all need to know the same basic information on dangers and history when they arrive, and the mystery of the spire, its guardian, and the barrier have long been topics of curiosity for many, even within these hollowing grounds. But... everyone was looking for answers separately, and the information that they did find wasn't necessarily shared with others, or being written down for easy access later. Maybe it's foolish but... I had hoped to create a sort of central repository of knowledge, for people to ask questions and provide answers to what they find. The Loreseekers Guild is meant to act as curators of that knowledge, helping people find answers to their questions swiftly and efficiently, and making sure that important information is available to be widely disseminated. Whether it's knowing what plants are good to eat rather than poisonous, or how to splint a broken leg, or... or what role the spire truly plays in this land where its purpose has largely been forgotten in the passing of generations."

He turned to look at 108 again, giving her a full smile, though by now he did not expect her to return it. It just wasn't her way, but then, neither had it been Cassandalee's. "You would be welcome to our Hall below the Atheneum," he offered. "If you wished to see for yourself what we're doing. We're small yet, newly convened and just barely beginning our work... but the Atheneum is a large place, with much knowledge hidden in books that have been unopened for centuries. It is a good place to find knowledge of a great many things, and at least some of those books have been written in the years while you've been resting, or by outlanders with experiences beyond the barrier."
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