Author Topic: The Panther in the moon:  (Read 4612 times)

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #100 on: January 14, 2019, 09:54:50 AM »
I know I have not been very present lately. I have been in my head with contemplation and I have been splitting my time between pondering scripture and teaching my disciple Sister Ly’in Vaasi.
I worry about the state of my country and our people and I wonder if there is anyone who might be sympathetic to our plight.

However, people can be selfish monsters in human guise, always looking out solely for number one, themselves. If it does not directly and immediately personally affect them, if it does not influence chances of either getting what they desire or stand in the way of it then to these simpletons the thing in question presented in front of them is treated as though it does not exist. This is frustrating.

I yearn for such things as friendship and family which I lacked in my upbringing and other people tend to take for granted.

It was not all bad though. Being raised by the village elders gave me a taste of responsibilities and the things leaders have to deal with. For example, different tradesmen, laborer and tribal representatives would frequently come to the priests with their problems and so the moarnekone would arbitrate their disputes acting as a go between for the aggrieved parties.
 In addition to the nonsecular, providing spiritual guidance to a community every priest serves a dual secular role with their civic function as a rural magistrate.

I am made keenly aware of my own limitations and knowing these helps me to deal with things in a more careful way than blindly charging ahead to brazenly blaze my way through trials and travails.
For example, I am not the most strongest and toughest physically oftentimes in combat but I can provide powerful defensive wards and attack boosts to make warriors and defenders who are more suited to manning the front line of our team formation fight better.

Also, I can draw on the font of divine magic Yutow provides me access to in order to briefly transform myself into a more capable combatant when situations are truly dire.

I can only memorize a certain number of prayers and invocations at once and this is improved by wearing specially crafted meditation foci (amulets, special rings, and so on) but you have to plan things accordingly.  Knowing that there are more spells you could use than can be drawn in the field means it is good to learn things about a foe or conflict first before engaging. Knowing how large a group of adventurers you team up with and what each of their particular strengths are helps you custom tailor the wards and enhancements for maximum effectiveness.

You should also know when to hold a few healing chants or attack spells in reserve and how much aide to provide to how many people. It is a very ugly situation when you spread yourself and energies too thin in arming and girding up your allies but neglecting to protect yourself... when they aren’t always able to keep you adequately defended from waves of enemies.

When you aim to explore a crypt, tomb, or ruin you should find out what you can about the environment too. What kinds of monsters and beasts are endemic to this region? Talk to people who live nearby to find this out.  If there is something very strange and out of the ordinary going on at a site then peasants may be loathe to go into it but you can still pick up some perhaps minor clues from observing their furtiveness.

All this talk of duty and obligations, of work, adventuring and of teaching makes me out to sound as dull as the stodgy old orthodoxy I was raised by. I’m a reform priest not afraid to live a little! I enjoy companionship, good ale and sharing food just as much as any sectarian.

We of the clergy are not of *that* type of holy figure who is wholly divorced from the lives of the people around him or her. We fully participate in our communities and are allowed to have and maintain active relationships.  I am baffled why in some of the other religions their practitioners cloister themselves and loathe social interaction.

It must be an unhealthy corruption brought on by the decadence and excesses of other cultures having too urban and sedentary lifestyles. Our people always did warn about the dangers of such “civilization.”  People in these places get so caught up in functioning one artificially designated role to the detriment of living fully that they become degenerate. Yes, that makes sense.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2019, 02:30:12 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #101 on: January 15, 2019, 12:52:53 PM »

I count Ly’in and Th’rar among my friends.
When that wererat disrupted her bonding ritual with her new animal companion we chased it and I couldn’t escape the feeling it was toying with us.
I raised her slaughtered wolf; if I didn’t know any better I could swear the cheeky thing enjoyed interfering in our ceremony.

I find no welcome nor sense of belongingness and most attempts I have made to join an organization allegedly dedicated to helping people I have been oddly scrutinized and rejected for not being “perfect enough.” I get it, I march to the beat of a different drum and people do not like this. They wish for a person more servile toward them than I am, I am treated as having a bad attitude by others for not sharing the party line, and so on.

I made a promise to Madame Vadoma the way I would pay back her Zarovan clan sparing me is I will be a guardian to help protect the mist camp. She told me to keep it safe for everyone to use both Vistani and Giorgio.
Those devils the mists kept summoning a few days ago are of concern.
Note: Suggest to the Ruanie and captains the Vistani warriors guarding the camp adopt cold forged iron weapons. It seems recently that too numerous trips to Perfidus by more advanced adventurers and some of them destroying Malphor (or is that creature’s name Malphagor?) threw that hellish realm into greater chaos which spilled out past its borders.

I should also check in with the Broken Bell Theater in Vallaki to see how Chantalyn and the actors and actresses are doing.
Simply because a relationship did not pan out between myself and Anaralia and Avana does not mean I should abandon the acting troupe.
What am I talking about? People are distant but last I checked those two considered me at least a friend. Avana’s squire Naraldur and I got along okay back then too after some male bonding and coming to mutual understanding.

People don’t want connection or at least they don’t seem to... desire it with me. That is depressing and I try to shake it from my focus. It’s still there nagging me in the back of my mind though, often.

Of course I wind up wanting what is missing and that which I can never claim to have ever had!

The less time spent among other people and the more time spent alone the more your “otherness”, the awkwardness and the differences people don’t like about you get magnified. It becomes a nasty self-fulfilling prophecy. Many shun that which isn’t quite, which does not conform to their very rigid and narrow parameters of acceptability. Where do they get these particular unsaid rules from though, to begin with?
This person is okay to be around and interact with, that one is not... right. It varies and not everyone will individually all have the exact same standards even within the same society.

It would be good for me to spend more time around other people and less time by myself.
I miss the Aspen twins, too.
I miss emotional warmth.
Everything is often so cold and ugly out here.

I try to create depth and connection where there is none.

My reward for such efforts? Ever and ever more flatness.

More remoteness... and isolation.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 04:04:43 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #102 on: January 16, 2019, 08:29:05 AM »
I have nothing and no one...

The Church of Yutow says moarnekone are a social glue.
We hold communities together.

How does one maintain that when so many people pull apart and separate on purpose, resisting the efforts to form connections with one another?  This is... presenting itself as quite challenging.

I need to keep the lie up. I can’t let my disciple realize how empty and isolated my life out here is. For her sake to be encouraging in her religious study and in her exploration of divine nature magic I need to maintain this façade.

I can’t let people see how much I am hurting.  I am trying to present as a positive role model.

Peacebringer help me. This is hard. Every day is a struggle to get out of bed and to keep going.

Our faith and values are largely thoroughly alien to other peoples in the core but this is not in itself a bad thing. It does not on its own truly make it a bad thing. I keep reminding myself this.

Times *are* trying though. No one said or promised they would not be.

My religion is not one whose institution promotes an ascetic lifestyle of secluded monk cloistering. Austere solitude is bad... Celibacy is horrible. Being divorced from the people and things around you is not right or natural to life.

A natural life attuned to the world around you and each other should not have to be seemingly at war with it, right?

I should give my disciple, Sister Ly’in some directives about charity outreach. Her ability to directly communicate two-way with animals gives her a whole different way of using nature magic than my one way commanding of animals too.

In training a druidess... I should try to incorporate her powers which differ from my own.
For instance, she has the ability to change shape. I think it is called wild shape. That means for example she could in theory change to a wolf shape to tell a pack to stop picking off a rancher’s cattle, possibly? Or she could use her great degree of animal empathy to find out from the animals themselves what is bothering them, more directly than a cleric.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 02:29:53 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #103 on: January 17, 2019, 09:47:33 AM »
What changes the nature of a man? Better yet, what *is* the nature of a man?

Lessons for my disciple:
No one (demi)human exists in isolation.
Problems happen in a community usually as a result of the flawed thinking of individuals that we do exist in a vacuum.
Our environment is inextricably tied to us and we to it.

The relationship of a people to and with their environs is dynamic.

We effect each other!

My own observations have been as follows:
The trouble with these ragtag bands of loosely associated offworld outlanders all from different dimensions than each other is there is no sense of the struggle for survival all of us share in common.

Particularly disturbing is when you sometimes hear those from other worlds rationalizing to themselves that this world around them, the threats and peoples of the demiplane are not real and must therefore be an elaborate series of illusions and a test of their faith. They act like cutting yourself off to everyone and thing around you is anything other than ultimately maladaptive? There is something very dangerous about shutting people off and closing yourself to opportunities.

Yes, the world is hostile. The trick to surviving and adapting has to lie in learning to evaluate which of the things and situations coming at you are good and which are bad for you and this one supposes takes experience. I don’t think anyone starts out being expert at that.

Yes, I am an outsider. Not the way an offworld outlander or a planar outsider is but that my people’s culture so starkly contrasts that of others in the core (Barovians, the Mordentish, Hazlani) does cause me to distinctly stand out.

My inner critic is furious at me. How can I call myself a moarnekone, truly, when I am not bound to any particular community, when I have no church or temple, when I have no family and when so much alienated isolation comes up in spades? You are a failure as a member of our clergy if you do not socially integrate and function.  Sure the power I wield as a priest of Yutow is steady and does not falter but the nature of it... Yutow died for us, He gave of himself willingly in the ultimate act of sacrifice and compassion, under advice of His best friend and closest ally, Panther.

I am not wrong to strive toward making connections and relationship bonds with the people around me. That is what our order is required to do. A natural life in tune with our environment... a social environment, at that...

How could foreigners possibly understand this? They do not live in communal societies. Our way of life is undoubtedly very strange in their eyes. Perhaps even frightening.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 03:03:29 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #104 on: January 18, 2019, 10:35:22 AM »
There are a number of dueling, dualistic aspects one has to balance and address to their psyche, way of living and mind in order to achieve harmony.

A harmonious lifestyle not always at war with your neighbors and not so very alien and at odds with your environment is to be sought. We strive for this.

Such personal forces as ferocity vs calmness would be what I am referring to.
You have to channel and focus your temper in constructive ways, when it comes into play rather than simply starting a bunch of arguments or engaging in a bunch of fights.  Destructive habits such as substance abuse, gambling or overhunting do not fill the hole. Otherwise you can never hope to escape the turmoil.

I get it, my differentness is raw and primally alien to these urban and urbane folket. They tell me I am weird and in a way, yes, they are right that I am. From where they are coming from and what they are used to this is absolutely correct.

I am not going to be able to be them and fit to all of their social norms that they are personally comfortable with and accustomed to. I am Valachani and a priest of Yutow.
I represent more than just myself as an individual.
I am trying to put forward the positive aspects of my culture which most foreigners are not going to be privy to.

I will not erase my identity for them. I do not ask them to do so for me. It is not disruptive to be a priest. This is stupid.
There is no local law of the land against my religion being practiced... the majority of the time or in most lands.

People are full of fermented hops and malt and barley stirred together when they act as busybodies attempting to overly meddle in and taking it upon themselves to police the affairs of everyone else around them. This is most usually inappropriate of them to be doing.

And yet, you can be highly shunned, even killed for not conforming to these hidden oppressors at all levels of a “civilization.” No one would bat an eye to it, either. They would say you deserved what came to you for daring to have deviated in the slightest.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 03:05:55 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #105 on: January 19, 2019, 02:56:41 PM »

Sister Ly’in progresses well in her lessons. It will still be some time yet though before she has fully mastered Vaasi as a new language and gotten the hang of reading and writing. She makes good strides though!  By my estimate, how much longer would probably be about four more months, perhaps five.

I still miss Arlee. I wonder if she ever thinks about me?
I know I liked her much more than she liked me. I thought that maybe... I don’t know... things could work, and we had something special. Maybe we even do? Who knows. Obviously it wasn’t important enough for her to pursue it... or was it? I did enjoy the time we spent together though, regardless.

I would like to see her again some day. I don’t know if she or her sister who have both drifted apart from me though would feel the same way. Hmm.

Do I matter to anyone? Would anyone be upset if I died?
I do not think so.
« Last Edit: Today at 12:29:59 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #106 on: Today at 08:11:25 AM »
I am helping the elven monk Alendril through his opium withdrawal.
Many elves in my life of late!
Poor Anaralia. She had no way to have known the mirages in Har’akir are deadly and the group she was traveling with let her fry then left her dried carcass there. Her ghost was bobbing up and down near the caravan like a translucent banana. She got better but I couldn’t help but notice her specter while the group I was traveling with and I attempted the Anubis temple, which, by the way went pretty well.

I am thinking if you take away that they don’t really rest the way a human does outside of to recover from illness or injury and you ignore the pointed ears and extremely long lifespans, elves are not so very different than other peoples.  They make mistakes, learn, have friends and families...

People in the mist camp are relaying to me the most recent problems Vallaki has been having. I know Toret Barbarigo and I could stamp out whichever vampire or wererat is giving the people trouble there if we teamed up again like in the old days back when we were acolytes but if we solve every problem for the people that isn’t going to develop the next generation of adventurers. Sometimes you just have to step back and let somebody else deal with things.

I wish I had a ladyfriend. Life felt better when I did (even if it was only in my head some of those times). Even if most of the time in these relationships I tended to spend doting on her to the point she will always end up getting spoiled. I’m not sure why it is that I do this... maybe because I never got to know my mother?

I feel too cut off from the other people around me. I am missing a fundamental social connection and this pains me.

A thought: I want to be a helpful presence in people’s lives. Who gives a shit about good and evil? People are people and whether good or bad, they’re usually just trying to survive.
« Last Edit: Today at 12:11:06 PM by Silas Rotleaf »