Author Topic: The Panther in the moon:  (Read 7017 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 »

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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 »

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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.

Introspection:
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 »

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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 »

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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: January 20, 2019, 12:29:59 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #106 on: January 20, 2019, 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: January 20, 2019, 12:11:06 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #107 on: January 21, 2019, 02:16:18 AM »
I am not savage.
That is to say... if not helping your neighbor, if being extremely selfish and greedy and damning all others on purpose is being civilized... if not living harmoniously is what you view as being civilized...
Then pike off.

Learn to enjoy simple things... the occasional windfall of charity is always nice.  The kind look of a stranger...
That you aren’t friends with the miserable sod spreading so much foul gossip as a hippo fans itself to clean off its dung in a river. Yes, they shit where they also eat and rest; Hippos are not the most intelligent river creature.
« Last Edit: January 21, 2019, 02:19:43 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #108 on: January 22, 2019, 11:49:06 AM »
I guess it is time to return to the belly of the beast. I am coming Barovia and Vallaki. The theater needs a caring moarnekone’s hand.

Also if rumors are true the Garda are encouraging newly misted to suicidally volunteer themselves to an attempt at purging Hazlan? This is dumb, even for people of Vallaki.

On the other hand, it is an effective release valve to rid an excess of outlanders. I can see the practical application if I put it from the native frame of mind that offworlders and nonBarovians aren’t truly people.

On the other other hand, I would like to organize an expedition to the diabolist temple and attempt to fight Malphor.
Also, I have fought many types of devils before but not demons yet.
There is the entirety of the ancient Port sewer complex and of Sithicus remaining for me to still explore too.

No, for now I just need to help the elves who have been reaching out to me.
Had a rather enlightening eye opener of a conversation with Ruanamesylla too and I think she gets that underneath my goofiness I am not actually a thorough idiot. A lot of people forget priests have wisdom. It is wise to learn from many different peoples. We kind of agreed on a lot of stuff.

Hmm, progress is tricky and a bit difficult for me to measure. I feel stronger in terms of my divine power but I know I could be doing it faster and gaining quicker.  Tempting as it is, this slow rate of increase is the pace things will have to remain for the time being.

Training Ly’in and helping Alendril through his drug withdrawal are part of being a priest too though there are times where it is admittedly less glamorous than performing baptism, wedding, funeral and exorcism rites.

It hit me recently that I don’t really care so much about good and evil. I slightly prefer order over chaos but it might not be that a monster is wicked that makes it feel rewarding to best it. It could just be the challenge of facing down a dangerous foe in order to test my limits and then break the previous limitations.

I mean when you get down to it, if someone or thing is harming my friends then that makes it evil... but sometimes that can be as a natural result of their own bad decisions, so to help them out of it every single time would not teach them responsibility. You have to know when to help and when to hold back or step aside.

Did I do the right thing standing with Th’rar on top of the door to the opium den to prevent Alendril from relapsing? I don’t know.
We won’t always be there to force him to make the healthier choice.

If there was another moarnekone or even just a village elder I could talk with or write to for some advice, some guidance on guiding these people... but no, there isn’t. Also that’s acolyte thinking. A moarnekone does not always get his hand held in important decision making.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 10:44:31 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

Silas Rotleaf

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #109 on: January 23, 2019, 10:58:17 AM »
I really wish I could be more present in goings on as of late. Grr...

I had an interesting dream the other night too which was deep in symbolism. I may get into describing it a bit later.

Also, Timond asked me some things about my people and religion. I was more than happy to answer as best I could. Some get annoyed when I go on about it and feel it is not relevant to them. I am a core native and as a Valachani (and as a cleric of Yutow) there are some things I know which might well be able to help an adventurer, occasionally at times. Admittedly, not terribly often, but it is there!
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 11:27:14 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #110 on: January 24, 2019, 09:29:13 AM »
Help me Yutow!
How do I reach to people?
This lack of firm purpose and personal connection to others is deeply troubling.

I hate it but must calm myself.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 11:00:29 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #111 on: January 25, 2019, 09:59:06 AM »
I can feel it.
What some people call the weave, I think of as a fabric. We speak of the threads of fate... it makes a sort of sense. Now, at best we are most of us dimly aware of it and only perceptive to small details of very little pieces at certain points of increased perception. Those we call seers are more perceptive than the general population.

I am trained in the shamanic arts but my meager divination skills pale in comparison to what a Vistani Ruanie can do.  The Ruanie I know, Madame Vadoma of the Zarovan told me (in spite of her much greater abilities) she too has limits to what she can do and how far into the past and future she can peer. The whole of the patterns that make a life tapestry are usually beyond our keen as mortals.  You kind of work with what portents and omens are available. Further, each individual you are presented with these things will differ for. It varies a whole lot depending on their circumstances too. Very few have identical fate-lines for example.

Fortune telling is very much an art more than a science.
Also, the spirits are fickle and themselves not all knowing. Different spirits know different things and some have reason to lie. In addition, some resent being contacted and pestered with queries.

We are mortals and none of us are truly all-seeing. At best we catch glimpses of secrets beyond the veil, so to speak and only during while we are attuned. That is to say, you have to be properly receptive for it to occur.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2019, 11:31:27 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #112 on: January 27, 2019, 03:17:48 AM »

I am feeling more powerful. Also, briefly saw Arlee today and she did remember me and Orm too. This is good. Some people had filled up my head with these notions that she was just using me up until something better had come along but as I felt the old strong affection rising back up I tempered it down and resisted the urge to give her a hug. Needless to say I was still happy to see her again though. Furthermore, I think she knew it, too. Well, I’m there for when you want me, if you ever change your mind. I’d treat you right too. She knows that.

//Depicted is an exaggeratedly heroic sketch of Cristan when he slew a devil to demonstrate his love towards Arlee and Arleena Aspen, two twin sisters from Cormyr he has a strong crush on and enjoys being friends with.//

Hmm, Argali and Hadush worked well together. We cleared out the cursts and took along a little mageling. She got some new scrolls and nobody died badly so that is also good.


How do I mean more powerful? Patterns of the hidden world reveal themselves to me more often and I am both able to call up more divine glyphs than before by memory (in several circles) and able to understand the energies of these spells better... that is, the things about something being cast as it is cast, as well as generally work out what physical leftover ritual components of conjuring circles and the like mean in a very basic sense.

Orm has shed his skin and grown to a huge giant constrictor snake whereas before he was just a giant constrictor. It is impressive.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2019, 10:20:44 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2019, 08:05:22 PM »
Greater power is at my disposal, I have gotten more mature as well and yet... something in my life still feels quite empty.

Perhaps there will always be that yearning for the love and companionship I lacked during my early childhood.

I had an entertaining daydream some time ago.
In it I returned home to Valachan a national hero, was awarded the vaunted position of high priest, the Baron gave me a medal and many women in my home village fought over who would get to be my wife. Yes, not super likely to ever happen in full but it is amusing to not put limits on your inner imagination at times to see how far a fantastic dream may actually go.
Then I sigh and it is back to reality and with it yet more hum-drum rigmarole...
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 03:08:52 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #114 on: January 29, 2019, 03:09:05 PM »
Inroads are made toward forging bonds but progress is mindnumbingly slow.  It would feel rewarding to have someone say “You matter to me” and “I care about you”. I know there are many, many other people who also seldom feel acknowledged in this way most of the time and so I give them this thing which my own life most often lacks... to “be the change I would like to see.”
It is not immediately rewarding, no but it goes beyond good and evil and order and chaos.

It is natural and goes towards all our overall well-being.

I am a moarnekone. We are meant to be connected both to the people around us as well as to the plants, animals and spirits.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 03:12:02 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #115 on: January 30, 2019, 10:35:47 AM »
I have found purpose and yet I continue to seek a sense of belongingness...

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #116 on: January 31, 2019, 09:30:46 AM »
I hate being alone.

You should be used to it, orphan.

I know.
Yet...

So you feel the living pulse of the world around you. You imagine that you sense it to an extent. Yes, I would say that is correct.

You can also feel the counteracting pulse of the unliving, or at least one with a link to positive energy can vaguely be aware of this force around them. Not in a directional sense but you are aware of the interplay between positive and negative energy forces at least once you learn of them and gain sufficient experience combatting the undead.

I have been seeing ghosts since I was a small child.
This is common for priests brought up in shamanic traditions but those of us trained in such arts are surprisingly few and far between. It is uncommon but I did not think its occurrence to be quite so rare.
This warped perspective is probably a result of growing up in a country where by policy both in government and religion practicing arcane magic is frowned upon. As such, divine magic is better known about and I dare say more accepted to the average Valachani. The insulating effects of having very few local wizards are you wind up sheltered from the sheer bulk volume of mages that dwell in the larger core.
« Last Edit: January 31, 2019, 11:24:49 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #117 on: February 01, 2019, 11:34:54 PM »
I pick up the rose and I crush its petals going to myself wow this is an overwrought dramatic set up to a self-involved scene. These wankers are terrible and I have an entire people I am trying to represent... all they can really think about is filling heir pockets with more gold than they can carry. You can see the greed in their faces.  ...Am I really so different? I want gold too but not for the same reasons.  You see money can be exchanged for all sorts of services and not just goods...

I am not talking about a good time.
Good times seem very far away most of the time and like they are something for someone else. Someone else with the company of those whom they associate with as being their friends but would equally likely just as soon stab you in the back when fortune turns. Some friendship that is. It is a very shallow bond.
=== many years back ===
“Why am I treated so differently from the others?” The young boy had been upset again. “The other children in the village will not play with me. They say cat eyes go away, go play in the castle courtyard.”
The priest stroked his carefully shaved chin and thought.
“Do not go playing in the castle. They do mean you harm by saying such but these other children only do so through fear. They do not understand you.”

“They don’t?”
“Well, I won’t pretend to understand you perfectly well myself either but come inside the church and return to your studies. There are things in the Word of our ancients you can.”

“I’m sick of studying moarnekone! All I ever do is chores for the older priests and read scripture.”

“And what else, my acolyte?”
“And practice the psalms... joyfully.”

“...and?”

“...and prepare the meals from the donated foodstuffs that are for the poor folk in our village.”

The priest noted his disciple’s bruises and after the yellow eyed child went inside a change came over the old man. He seemed more animated though it could have just been a trick of the moonlight and clingingly low hanging mists that particular dusk.

In the following weeks some of the children who had been bullying the cat eyes stopped coming around. There were also reports of pieces of young dismembered bodies found every few days... further away from the church in other neighborhoods and one very odd case of the brave who had been the largest of his peers in the bullying pack found in the street at dawn dead and entirely drained of blood.  Something that *had* to be coIncidental and entirely unrelated.
Elders spoke of white fever and panthers in the forest and still other creatures being testy, however this is something they always did come fall and winter and was also not so unusual.
In time the rash of grisly maulings became a dim memory much like trapped miners in a collapsed mine or hunters being injured by razorbacks and wolves. A few more scars... It builds character.

We do not complain about the trials we are put through in this life. They are tests to prove our devotion toward Him. We must be thankful to Yutow for His many gifts He bestows upon us and His great sacrifice, perhaps the greatest gift of all.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 08:42:42 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #118 on: February 05, 2019, 08:40:29 PM »
I remember that time...
The time I spent in my youth eagerly going through our cosmology and every lesson the elders saw fit to instruct me. The punishments were brutal.
The lessons important, most if not all.
===Now:===
I hope the Aspen twins are alright. I heard the man-brute Vargas had his forced way with one of them quite recently. Maybe that is why they have been exceptionally scarce lately.
There very much are in fact vile beasts of people out there who really do try to coerce every female I have ever even remotely cared about.

Is it because the rapist forces himself on her before I get a chance to go through the time, effort and many stages to build a serious relationship (he “gets” to forgo courtship by committing this violation of self-others) that bothers me about it though? Well, maybe on some partial level but it isn’t just a selfish anger or disgusting jealousy toward these whom in a primally in-tune way want and take sex that guides our revulsion. People who do that deserve to be tarred and feathered, maybe have their genitals cursed to fall off.

I think what it is is knowing there is really nothing you can do as a man to protect one from monsters such as this. You can’t be around all the time and even if you could... you shouldn’t always help everybody a hundred percent of the time.

You actually have to step back and the really hard part is you have to just go yes, I allow some bad things to happen to some people I do care about, whether knowingly or unknowingly because if you try to control it all, then you are really no better and that is its own type of monster.

Arlee and Arleena were not innocents but they did not deserve this nor most of the scorn thrown at them subsequently during a time of need, one where they were placed in a position of exposed vulnerability and could have otherwise strongly benefited from assistance of a supportive community of which there simply is not. Both Aspen twins have or at least had such a vibrant love of life and loved living their lives.

There is a part of me that would circumstances have been different, hell, I still would be very happy if I ended up with either of them as a wife. Smart, resourceful, vivacious, charming pair...
I know, neither wanted to settle down. Hummingbird girls... enjoy flitting from flower to flower. The next shiny new thing.
Even though she never returned my love I had as strongly I still care about my friend and her sister. People say bad things about them likely out of strong jealousy.
Observation: I made a concerted effort our entire friendship to nurture Arlee’s independent streak best I could in our “dance” so she would have more confidence and stop being shy... and then this monster does things either to her or her sister... I know it was my want for something deeper that drove her away (slow down moarnekone!) from my side but even if she had stayed with me, I don’t think I’d have been able to protect her or her sister from this Vargas. He is very powerful, akin to a destructive force of nature.

I had to show her that I cared by backing off to let her make her own decisions fully, consequences be damned. I do not think holding her back from experiences which are unpleasant would... but this thing that happened is not a good one. So it is a conflicting feeling.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 09:05:41 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #119 on: February 06, 2019, 03:17:48 PM »
Poor Chloe,
Having a bad early reputation certainly does make you have a harder time getting by around a crowd of highly judgmental sanctimonious blowhards.
I explained to her, okay, you are a mage. People are going to throw at you they think you are dangerous and a bad person for doing all types of magic including necromancy and even if you are not a necromancer they are going to try and twist it around that you are to make the shunning more encompassing and widespread. Please, just forget Vallaki. Don’t try to prove anything to the Morninglords.  They are not worth your time. There is plenty of good work to be had and fortunes to be made for a talented not-truly evil sorceress without sullying yourself trying to educate close minded people on how to be more open minded.

My own religion we loathe necromancy abhorrently. I knew it could not be true that she was an evil necromancer witch because the Chloe I know, the sorceress, is not so much malevolent as she is or was occasionally reckless.
That is easier to work with than when somebody is malevolent, and they can change by gaining more experience. You cannot learn the lessons life has to teach if you are closely under constant inappropriate scrutiny and never allowed to make any mistakes.  Self-righteous people choose not to understand this.

They forget that every inquisitor too has to go through seminary and martial training when they were mere apprentices and acolytes. They too were imperfect and in fact still are imperfect even at making judgments.  Especially at making judgments on others. Sometimes even oftenly so.

You don’t owe these people who are too malignantly stupid to try and understand where you are coming from any sort of explanation.  As soon as they react in a hostile manner I am thinking your best option is to retreat and just give up on them.  Reaching to those with inflexibly closed minds is a losing proposition. The effort you could have expended towards self improvement is wasted in seeking an audience of deaf ears.

They have already made up their minds. All you can do is move on without them.

I pledge my humble sickle, my healing abilities and my Yutow-given powers to the cause of balance. I care less about the overblown and simplistic binary view of cosmic good and evil. To me an equally fundamental but much less explored purview is the battle between order and chaos.  I do my best to be reconciler and judge. A fair one. With the best of tradition in my heart and an eye to a constant and rapidly changing world around me I set out.

In knowing the teachings I grow stronger. In enduring grow strong...
Why does that feel so familiar? Have I ever heard it before? I cannot possibly have and yet the mantra speaks of shades and echoes that are never quite a memory but maybe more of a dimly distorted recollection, the fragment of a dream.
Someone else’s perhaps? Who can say?

I make attempts to reach others through understanding. It is not always successful but then again, of course it isn’t. We are not all self-martyring gods who in ultimate compassion sacrifice ourselves to merge two civilizations which were hellbent on destroying each other and everything else around them. That cause was sustainable peace. Something far too complex for average mortals to be able to grasp except perhaps theoretically in an intellectual sense. An environment of no uncertainties, with full control, which is safely removed from the outside. Placed in an artificial vacuum’s gilded cage we construct using our own rhetoric.

We trap ourselves in cages of our own subconscious designing.

What do I want? I miss the feel of another’s warm touch. Sometimes a simple nonverbal gesture of caring can with it carry a great volume of emotion. Amassing capital is good but this is not love. Amassing power and skill may help you better your ability to help others but neither is it love, though you may in fact be doing it through a type of love as your motivation.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 06:25:48 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #120 on: February 06, 2019, 11:28:44 PM »
There are hidden meanings within my scripture...
The things said and not said... even merely hinted at.

The Guignol museum has been reopened and several of us want to go see it.

The Vistani caravan driver evidently has a fear of snakes and never wants to see Orm out again. Whenever I try to show people my snake handling and breeding skills... there are always a few people around them who can’t get over how your pet is a giant snake. You can try explaining it is nonvenomous but if it has no legs they freak out.
===
I had a thought though... if I could find a nobleman for patronage to sponsor a menagerie... that would be a good tourist attraction perhaps? When you keep animals properly fed and contained in appropriately sturdy fenced in enclosures people can pay money to get to “see the zoo.” Most people aren’t safari game hunters, trackers or wilderness guides. It gives them a vicarious opportunity to get to see wild things up close but all within the safety of a controlled and staffed environment.  Surely some eccentric aristocrat would be interested in a venture like this, no?



===
I feel very lonely. I’m supposed to pretend not to be because ever expressing this bothers some people... and evidently their “feeling good” is more important than any sort of actual “being good.” I don’t want to make people feel bad really but the idea you should never express yourself either because it does is not a good notion.

===
... I mourn a lack of connection to anyone else. No social connection... just blundering through it many alone together feels... stupid and abhorrent...
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 11:46:35 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #121 on: February 08, 2019, 11:02:09 AM »
Being the only one of my kind does weigh heavily on me in this white man’s world...

My alter ego whom I daydream in my mind’s eye while bored and depressed, the “Jaguar ‘God’”, a hyper-masculine warrior whom women love throwing themselves at and monsters are terrified of... is yes, ridiculous but he is confident in ways I am not.

His great strength and unity of purpose is to maintain the balance, acting as an extreme equalizer in an unbalanced world. He would rip the spine out of someone bullying villagers, for example. He is an archetype... that is what an alienist practicing mesmerism would say.

He would go toe to toe with a wizard using his physical prowess and body sense to take on terrible arcane might, not unscathed but giving the blasphemers pause and actual terror.

Not a true god no. Only Yutow holds that distinction but I would imagine this Jaguar warrior to be at least friends with members of the spirit court, the beast lords. He would team up with Panther or maybe even solve mysteries with Baron Kharkov.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 02:12:17 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #122 on: February 10, 2019, 12:23:51 AM »
I saw my disciple again. She got me some magic bags at the auction.
Tantrums were had at her bare legs. It was embarrassing that Dementlieuse are so hung up about this sort of thing. What a strange cultural custom to have such ingrained personal sense of body shame!
Since when has a pair of legs bothered anyone? Two intact, well formed shapely legs. I could sort of understand if they were malformed but they are not so why the fuss?

The hole is still there. Lexington too comes from a communal society. He did get what I was talking about. This every man for himself all the time is kind of bullshit and making yourself so very “independent” you can’t stand or do anything... when it is the ants who by agreeing to work together get very large things done as tiny bugs... is an exercise in hypocrisy and denial.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 03:13:59 AM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #123 on: February 11, 2019, 09:06:59 AM »
…You don’t understand what it’s like!
I will use the oral storytelling abilities of my people to be charismatic and influential! But first, first comes the hardest part which is convincing somebody else why they should listen to me... and there is the rub!
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:55:55 PM by Silas Rotleaf »

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Re: The Panther in the moon:
« Reply #124 on: February 15, 2019, 04:29:04 PM »
I feel that I am somewhat lacking in purpose.
Rather, I know what my function is... I just don’t feel other people much want me as a presence in their lives and there are times when this feels bad!

I can’t miss what I have never had. It sounds preposterous but when it is something basic to human comfort, a sort of a social need... well, strange things, sort of mental aberrations happen as a result of unmet wants perhaps when they reach a critical mass?  Things we choose not to think about during our waking hours can occupy a weird space in the back of the mind.  Proponents of dream analysis, alienists and hypnotists in Dementlieu and other nations within the Mordent cluster have the “subconscious” as a great unknown to explore.

My faith gives me some tools to deal with matters of spiritual significance but what if there is a crossing over point between the spiritual and the psychical?  I dread going into that place of “higher learning” near Port.  ...I am expecting I would be regarded an anthropological specimen to be filed away as quaint and categorized as barely above a savage should I go there, by the upstart aristocrats and disaffected nobles that play at seeking to understand the world around them while being purposefully so removed from the daily existence of the other half which sustain their lavish lifestyles!

Maybe it is silly and likely to never get off the ground like my zoo idea.
Giving a lecture at the University de Dementlieu? Even more far-fetched.
I’d need to get in touch and build some sort of relationship with a scholar... maybe Marcus or Timond knows of a venue for people to go to exchange their mixture of modern and ancient ideas to hash out new things, where the exciting developments get to be first birthed?  But they are wizards...

We hate wizards. Arcane magic is blasphemy.  Sometimes it can be useful, and to expect everyone who is not of my people to hold to our cultural values is ludicrous but... well, I pray for those two friends of mine anyway. I don’t think Yutow will make an exception for them.
Mages are damned to eventually lose control of their manipulating the fabric of what is and is not... and in so doing meet their demise at the hands of their own “experiments.”  That’s what common folk wisdom has to say on the matter.
Other cultures don’t all always have the exact same taboos as we do though.

I don’t think we are wrong but I do think trying to convert everybody else strictly to our ways is a losing proposition since well, Valachan is a smallish country and there are way more of them outside it than there are of us inside it.  Rather, gradually exposing outsiders to some of our values would be a better vehicle, I think for reaching foreigners.

So I suppose suffering the humiliation of being categorized as a specimen by the palefaces as though I were some sort of trained monkey might be unavoidable, but if it is to be done in the name of progress to get some dialogue open... hmm.
This is quite a problem. One which I am usually the only one who cares about it.

I doubt the academics in that university would be of much use or help. I’d have to be able to make it something worth their while for them to even consider hearing an idea from me and I am a foreigner. Sure I can speak Mordentish but I don’t act, look or dress their way because I’m not.

What I really could use is a mortal guide in the form of a higher up.  There aren’t any other Moarnekone this far away from the edges of Valachan though. There’s no council of elders I can confer with.  I’m fending for myself on my own with spirit guides. Yutow is the ultimate higher up. I try to do the right thing by Him.

I don’t really have a flock or congregation. I don’t even have my own temple or church to use.  I have a makeshift shrine, tenets I have committed to memory and reproductions of our scripture.  My one disciple doesn’t have the wealth of community resources which I did when I was an acolyte.  The Druid circles are hateful and secretive things so in their snotty and exclusive way they recreate the exact same artificial hierarchy you would find in established organized religious institutions.  No wonder so much of the land seems to be in a continually decaying and dying state.

In fact that she converted to Yutow as an elf... well, that’s something too. These other circles probably cling to Faerunian nature deities from lands well beyond the misty veil.  Yutow at least is home grown!

I’m a priest though and not a druid. I wonder how the Halans manage to make it work. I am attempting to instruct a druidess who has to live her life with starkly different rules to how she does it even though there are overlaps and similarities in our divine magic.  For instance, she cannot wear or use very much metal and prefers to use weapons made mainly of wood, bone, stone and so on.

I choose not to because metal is frankly kind of heavy so my armor is made of thick chitin instead. I do though have a steel helmet and reinforced shield and gloves and this is not an issue to me.  It would be an issue for her though I think... although not the chitin armor though; I’m pretty sure most druids are alright with things crafted from monstrous beetles and their ilk.

The other druids I have met aside from Dextan and Ly’in and I guess D’ali too... had tended to be even more priggish and arrogant than some of the wizards!
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 05:12:38 PM by Silas Rotleaf »