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[FROSTLORE] A Holiday Gathering (5X EXP & GOLD)

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Garr, the Guardian, stands at the doorway of the Sunfire Tavern. As you near the tavern on your way through the city he welcomes you over with a friendly gesture. "Friend, come on over. It's Frostlore week in the city, come join the celebration!" As you accept his invitation and step through the doorway you're greeted with the gentle warmth of the heart and the smells of holiday aromas. Norven Nelbright sits in the back corner of the tavern and takes a final sip from a cup of hot cocoa before starting his next holiday instrumental on a large black piano. Who knew the strange little man was so good at the keyboard!

Garr takes a seat at the bar as you find your way into the tavern. Buh'lah Kee is laying on the rafters with his feet kicked up in the shadows. Dorn of Ylelthaeus is sitting at the bar near Garr and the two of them seem to be speaking of battles long forgotten. What makes up the remaining bits of the Thunderwing brotherhood also sit at another table to your right, Lothuron and Kelthuron. There are several other random inhabitants roaming the tavern making idle chit chat while eating and drinking various holiday delights.

Will you stay awhile and join in the holiday festivities?

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The door to the tavern bursts open and a skinny half frozen male rushes across the threshold and barges inside. Looking nervously around the room, the young man spots the barkeep and nods his head while motioning a greeting with his hand. With the door wide open, Ignius Flagonius attempts to join the other patrons inside the tavern, but the large bundle of maps in his arms continuously snags on the door frame. He abruptly slides his glasses up his nose, and places his foot firmly against the door frame, then pushes hard with his foot and pulls his maps inside, easily tearing the parchment on a few of the rolls. 

Stumbling further inside, the young man rights himself and then confidently approaches the bar. "Ignius Flagonius. Academy Cartographer." He says as he plops his bundles down on the floor and then his self onto a stool. "I'll have a cocoa. Please."

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Garr eyes Ignius has he enters the tavern with all of his parchments. "A cartographer, eh?" This has clearly caught the Guardians interests. Garr turns his attention from his own conversation for a moment to focus on Ignius. "Looks like you've been very busy lately. Business is good I take it?" Garr grins and takes a drink of his own hot cocoa. "Do you have any maps for sale by chance? I wouldn't mind having one to frame and put on the wall back home, particularly of the Osperian Forest. Do you have a shop here in town?" Garr is clearly interested in Ignius' work almost as soon as he sits down. He's always been quite the explorer.

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Ignius looks over Garr and slightly smiles at the large mans interest in his maps. "Business is... mine." He says with a snooty attitude. "I do not have a workshop, in fact, I do most of my work on the road and I document everything for the Academy. They frown upon me selling any of the maps." He says with raised volume, but not quite yelling and begins turning his head away from Garr, to eyeball the room, before rummaging through his stockpile of rolled up parchment. He painstakingly pulls out one decorated with green trim, and slides it across the counter top.

"You did not get this from me, but if you say you did... then you did... because... you did something terrible to me." He mutters quietly to the large fellow, but stutters on his words, and then slyly leans back on his stool. "It has lots of interesting locations marked on there. I even found a civilization of Nu'Lath. I call it New Lanthia." He says, with wonder and awe filling his words.

Taking a sip from his drink, Ignius then leans in again. "But if you really fancy yourself an adventurer, maybe you could find yourself out in the Great Plains? Maybe finish mapping out this network of caves?" He says, trying to be intriguing. "A very interesting individual already looked into a good portion of it and found some great things in the deep dark tunnels. Maybe you could too."

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For a moment Garr’s not entirely sure how to take the little man. At first Ignius closely reminded him of a snooty young man by the name of Kwin Alexander Dark, who used to be a Headmaster at the Academy. Garr never felt inclined to look down on anyone he met, everyone was equal in his eyes, until proven otherwise... but Kwin has a way of making people feel unintelligent and lesser than he should have. That didn’t sit well with Garr, old memories stirred up. So he took another drink and motioned for the bar tender to get him something a little stronger. 

As Ingius continued talking however, Garr lightened up. His new beverage arrived and he took a huge gulp. He eyed Ignius as he suddenly changed direction in the conversation and actually slid him over a map. “Well thank you very much.” He looked over the map, “The plains huh? I can do that. I’d love to.” Garr was just looking for something to keep his mind busy... Garr was a Guardian without a clear purpose in life after his brother had returned him to life. He remembered the darkness and coming back to life, part of him was happy, and part felt lost. It was good to be back but for a Guardian without a set purpose it was an underwhelming existence.

Garr scanned over the parchment and smiled as only someone of his facial features can. “I’d love to do it!” He said almost excitedly as he took another drink and continued looking over the mans work. 

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Sitting in front of the great fireplace of the Sunfire Tavern, in a warm Dortuk leather arm chair sits an unassuming man. He is clad in silver robes but even so he seems to blend in with his surroundings, as if there is divine intervention to keep him unnoticed. Next to the chair is a small wooden side table with a bottle and glass sitting upon it. The label on the bottle reads, 'Osper Farms Fermented Tulvarian Eggnog.' 

The words "Great plains" catches the man's ear as he begins actively eavesdropping on the conversation coming across the room. 'very interesting individual' could be anyone but the Cipher Friar learned long ago to trust his instincts. He takes a drink of the eggnog and sets the glass back on the side table.

Brother Nathaniel rises to his feet and wipes the Tulvarian eggnog mustache on the arm of his robe. With the bottle and glass in his hands he approaches the bar.

He places the bottle and glass on the bar and looks at the two men talking.

"Gentleman" He bows with grace. "I couldn't help but overhear your conversation." Brother Nathaniel turns to the cartographer. "this 'very' interesting man you met in the Great Plains, was he traveling alone?" The friar took the bottle of Tulvarian eggnog and gestured that the men were welcome to it before pouring himself another glass.

He turned to the other seated figure as he took in the stature of the man. "A Guardian, I've read about the noble Guardians in holy scripts but never been in their presence." The friar extended his hand. "I'm Brother Nathaniel."

Edited by Lutuck

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Marius walked into the tavern as confused as one can be, for he had just stepped into town for the first time, when he was called friend and was practically forced to go to a tavern before even looking around. He sighed, he watched each person carefully, with eagle eyes. He watched a flamboyant man have a conversation with the man who welcomed him, and a man in silver robes. He stepped over to the bar and ordered a room and drink.

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Ignius turned his attention to the door and watched as a young man walked in and headed straight to the bar. "Do you know this young man?" He asked Garr and Brother Nathaniel with a muffled tone.

While waiting for their response, Ignius slightly lifted his nose into the air and inhaled the Frostlore scents. After he deciphered the typical spices and festive aromas, he picked up on the beautiful scents of meat and pies. "What kinds of food are they serving in here? I've grown tired of the trail rations I've had for the past several months.”

Acting as if he hadn't asked a single question, Ignius leans closer towards the new arrival. " Ignius Flagonius the Third." He says as he reached his arm across his body, fingers extended as before.

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Marius' drink is served and he takes a swig as he watches the man turn to him. His hand is extended , Marius glances down at the hand, he can't do any more contact today. He sighs, "Unless you have a contract, or want to have one less hand you will retract your greeting, Ignius." Marius turns and flips out a small blade for added affect, before downing the entire glass.

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Ignius nervously pulls his hand back from the aggressive male and then turns back to Garr. "I guess that not everyone is in a festive mood."

He casually slides his glasses back up onto the bridge of his nose and then accepts his plate of roasted boar, potatoes, rolls, and various vegetables with an eager and grateful nod. "This meal is already more promising than what they serve at the academy." He says with a chuckle.

Rubbing his hands together, Ignius picks his utensils up and begins digging into his meal. The man ate so voraciously it was as if he hadn't eaten in months. Food bits were splattering onto the counter tops, falling onto his lap, smearing onto the sides of his face, an all around unpleasing sight. But then he suddenly stops eating and looks to Brother Nathaniel. "Would you like some? I could buy you a plate? Or you Garr?"

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The friar turns back to Ignius and glances him over once before taking another swig of his Tulvarian eggnog.

"I've saved his life twice now." He smiles as the fermented eggnog begins form a warm cushion around his thoughts. "The man is tough, but he doesn't think long before acting. He relies heavily on his faith. Perhaps more than he should." Brother Nathaniel points to the ring of hair around his bald head. "That may sound blasphemous, but I've learned Noma helps those who are prepared more often than not. "

Brother Nathaniel watches the new arrival and the exchange between two ill mannered men. He continues to drink as the haze grows. The friar finds it all humorous until he watches the cartographer attack his plate like a ravenous beast.

"No thank you, I've already eaten."

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Marius never really cared for Frostlore, it was a time when people were supposed to be happy, but he never grew up with happiness. His father was always with contracts, and his mother was dead, really Frostlore only makes him sad. Suddenly Marius heard a ravenous slurping and chewing sound, confused he turns toward the sound, only to get covered in chunks of food. It takes him a second to realize what happened, but when he does he shoots up in outrage. "Ugh, seriously! I just had this washed, you need more control of your food!" Marius was already in a bad mood, maybe if he was in a better mood he could've handled it, but this sent him over the edge. He stormed into his room and slammed the door. Marius cleaned himself up, and sat down on the bed.  He didn't want to deal with Frostlore this year.

Edited by Marius

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Ignius watches as the young male shot up form the bar complaining that he needed more control over his food, and then stormed off to his room. Turning his attention back to his food, Ignius shared with Nathaniel that he had met a man named Lutuck, and then returned his full attention back to his plate.

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Gradually he finished his meal, and then reached down into one of his satchels and after a moment of rummaging through it, he produced a small pipe and began packing it with tobacco.

"So, how has everyone else been enjoying themselves during this fine Frostlore celebration?" Ignius asked sarcastically, signaling it by changing the tone of his voice when he said 'fine'.

He plopped the pipe into his mouth and produced a small flame from the tip of his finger, and slowly dragged on the mouth piece. Within a few puffs, a nice cloud of smoke rolled out from his mouth and nose, and slowly rose up towards the ceiling.

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The smell of tabacco wafted through the air as the friar took a deep breath in. It reminded him of the days before the Justitia order took him in.

He was a lowly street rat, trying to survive on his own. Men in tall hats walked through the market districts smoking elaborate pipes stuffed with tabacco and some time dried berries. They were always the best marks. Only paying attention to their ritualised vice.

Brother nathaniel slammed his empty glass onto the bar before pouring himself another.

"I've been having a 'wonderful' time." He grins with a red hued face. "The books said most guardians are stoic, this one certianly fits the mold." He laughs and gestures over his shoulder with his thumb. Even seated the imposing figure dwarfs brother Nathaniel.

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"Stoic is definitely one word you could use." He said, following Nathaniels gesture to Garr. Ignius took another big drag from his pipe and then rolled the smoke around in his mouth for a moment, contemplating its taste and a few thoughts. 

"Where did you say you worshipped, Nathaniel? Can I call you Nathaniel, or must I stick with the formality?" He asked his questions before blowing out the smoke, and while exhaling he added, "I mean you earned your title, but nobody calls me cartographer Ignius." His added bit caused him to laugh, which interrupted his exhalation of smoke, forcing him to inevitably cough.

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"You can call me Nathaniel," he grins. "Cartographer Ignius."

The friar laughs as he takes in the atmosphere.  

"There is a small chapel in the housing district. But you can find a House of Noma in almost any town on the continent."

A serious visage falls upon ignius. "Have you surrendered yourself to our protector and savior obel'jon?"

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Ignius slightly leans back in his chair at Nathaniels mention of the Lord and savior. "Obel'jon? No sir I believe you have been led down a misinterpreted path. I believe our "Lord" as you say, to be much more than one being." He says, calmly, knowing that differing religions have led to great strife and even torn houses asunder.

"Have you not heard the tellings of Dakon, Dakir, and Dakel? The son's of Obel'jon." He says leaning in a bit more than necessary, hoping to catch an interested Nathaniel, and not his fist.

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The friars face began to contort into rage embodied. His eyebrows lifted and dipped into the center. Nostrils flared and eyes narrowed. He showed his teeth as his face began to turn red before he gasped for air. He turned his head and when he turned it back around he was smiling. A laugh boomed out over the room. "I'm sorry! I couldn't help myself." He chuckled some more. "I'm no fundamentalist Ignius, and I don't work on faith alone."

The glass of Tulvarian eggnog was again at his lips. He was enraptured by the drink.

"I am a believer because of what I have seen." He puts the drink down again and sighs.

"Have you seen what lays beyond the Afterplane?" A dark cloud started to slip over the friar before he slammed another drink.

"

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"Beyond?" Ignius exclaimed, somewhat choking on his smoke. "No I haven't even seen into the Afterplane, let alone beyond it!" He says as he coughs through his statement and then sets his pipe down a moment.

"I know that there was a being named Obel'jon but do you really believe he cared enough about our lives that he should be called our savior?" He reached down and tapped his pipe lightly against the counter before placing it back into a pocket in his cheek.

"I mean Dakon himself built our world, ensured that we were able to survive before expanding his influence into the skies above. Each speck in the sky is from his and his brothers hands." He finished and slowly drew another hit from his pipe.

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When Ignius begins coughing the friar's thoughts come back from somewhere he wishes they were not.

He looks at the cartographer for a moment and does his best to muster a smile. "The tales of old, were old before the first sentient creatures began to roam this universe. These stories were seen, not spoken. If we were to speak in metaphors, Dakon and his brothers were the hands of Obel, just like Obel is the eyes of Noma. It is the eyes that guide the hands. And the eyes are only one instrument of the mind."

The darkness begins to lift.

"But just like any other metaphor it doesn't encompass the whole idea. It is only a glimpse at the truth. What you say is true. The peasants bow to the king because he is the pinnacle. He protects them and that is all they know, but what of the kings before that brought about the order of the day, and the divine ideas that gave rise to the notion of a 'king'. Those things are inevitably lost as the story changes to fit the day."

"Noma is all, he is the light so the eyes can see, he is the mind behind them, he is the hands that do their bidding."

Brother Nathaniel half smiles and raises his glass.

 

 

Edited by Lutuck

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Ignius slowly lifts his glass to meet Nathaniels. "To the God's may there be one or many, we may never know, and so why spoil a good time debating." He said, chuckling a little at the end and then *clinked* his glass into Nathaniel's. Quickly bringing his glass to his lips, Ignius downed the cocoa and then slammed the glass down as if it were hard liquor. 

"Now. Speaking of things so old they were only recorded in tales, have you heard about the grandma who had not felt the 'touch' for awhile?" He said with a sly grin, but before Nathaniel could react he hit with the punchline.

"Her husband finally had time for her and he found a bunch of cobwebs! COBWEBS!" He said then roared with laughter at his butchered joke.

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"Cheers!"  The friar takes a drink and pours another. He listens to the cartographer and begins to cough up some of his eggnog at the timing of the joke. It was apparent that he had too much to drink now. 

"You hear the one about the male gorgon 'escort' who worked the gladiator district?" giggling to himself. He put the glass down and began to lean on the bar. A wet spot on the counter is where an elbow landed as he shifted his weight, causing him to slip and fall to the ground. 

"Im alright,... im alright" he called before rising back to his feet. He took a look at the bottle of fermented eggnog and pushed it back towards the barkeep.

Edited by Lutuck

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"No, what did he do?" Ignius asked, hanging onto his words, yearning for the punch line, but then Nathaniel slipped and fell. "BUAHAHA" he erupted with laughter so hard that he felt as if his sides were going to burst, but then he reached down to assist Nathaniel in getting back to his feet, but found himself wiping cocoa from his upper lip and from his nostrils.

Seeing the man rise on his own, Ignius continued wiping his face clean and then grabbed a small handkerchief from his pocket and blew the remaining cocoa out of his sinuses. "Oh that burns. You alright friend?" He asked as he reached for the eggnog, inspecting the bottle for his own potential consumption.

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Garr watched and listened to the two men intently. For a moment he had fallen into deep thought. This happened to him from time to time, it was almost as if the guardian suffered from some sort of post traumatic stress disorder from all of his years spent in battle and the Arena. 

The jokes seemed to soar above his head. He didn’t “get” them but suddenly busted out laughing in an attempt to fit in. He took a final drink of his mug and gently placed it back to the bar while regaining his composure. 

“Gentlemen, good to see you’re both having such a wonderful time...” and before he could continue some loud noises rumbled throughout the tavern from the sky outside. 

-POP, POP, POP! BANG, BANG, BOOM!!-

The entire tavern shook as fireworks suddenly went off outside. 

“It seems the Frostlore festivities are starting to pick up outside. Shall we all head outdoors and witness the glorious display of fireworks provided by the city?” He asked, both of the men looked pretty tied up, but other inhabitants of he tavern had already begun moving to he windows or heading outside to see the fireworks display.

It was grand, to say the least...

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As the trio sat at the bar, a door to one of the rooms opened and a man in grey robes slipped out. He was unnoticed by most, but the cipher friar had been waiting for him all night.

"I'm good," Brother Nathaniel turned his back away from the man exiting the room and faced Ignius. "It has been a pleasure!" he smiled warmly. All signs of inebriation disappearing as if they were simply a show. "I still have... 'work' to do before I head home." He put a gold piece on the bar and slid it back to the barkeep. "Feel free to have the rest of that, its good stuff"

The grey robe man had already disappeared into the night.

Just then a loud commotion came from outside. Fireworks were going off. The friar turned to Garr and nodded to his request. "It was a pleasure to meet you but I must be going."

The friar arched his back and it began to hunch up. He turned to the door and within a few steps his stride completely changed to include a limp. His silver robe slowly got darker and darker until it was raven black. He turned one last time to wave at the cartographer and the old guardian, but his face was no longer the same. An old wrinkled man stared back at the two. His eyes twinkled and he gave them a wink. He raised a finger to his lip to let out a low 'shhh' and then disappeared into the crowd.

No one turned to look at him or even noticed that he was there. He left the gold piece at the bar and the bottle of eggnog, but everyone there would think they belonged to Ignius and Garr the whole time.

Brother Nathaniel needed answers before returning to Valen'venar and he crept through alleys after the grey robed man who would give them to him.

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He watches Nathaniel shift as he leaves, in awe of the slick magical display. "I wish I could do that." He mumbled to Garr, before sliding the eggnog lid off and pouring himself a cup. "Ya think this caused it?" He says smiling before taking a swig.

"Well do you want to go see the fireworks?" He said as he snatched the eggnog and motioned towards the door.

Stepping outside, Ignius was in awe at the bright exploding lights in the sky. 

*BOOM* Red light filled the sky, then followed by another loud boom, revealing a vibrant green with white interspersed in-between.

There was a long moment of silence, leading Ignius and a few others to believe the display was over, and the crowd started to murmur their disappointment, but their disappointment and the nights silence was shattered with a barrage of explosions. Thousands of thin trails of sparkling yellow light rocketed up towards the atmosphere and then erupted in a display unlike earlier.

A perfect sky view of Elyndaar was displayed, in crimson, in the sky, followed by a perfectly drawn image of a bald man in a vest, followed by the bold words: THANK YOU.

"Wow!" Ignius, lost in thought and amazement at the display,  didn't realize that it had ended over twenty minutes ago and he was just standing there among the crowd. After several more minutes passed, the slender young man finally found himself back inside the tavern with Garr.

"Who was the man they thanked?"

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"Well good sir, I must be going. There are lots of places still to study and record, and not a lot of people doing it." He says as he makes his way back to the bar, takes one big swig of the eggnog, grabs his bundles of maps and slings them into his shoulder. 

"I hope you enjoy the rest of your evening, Garr. Should we run into each other again, I may have some more maps for you." With that said the young cartographer reaches the door and disappears into the evening.

 

WC-93

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"Well ladies and gents, it's been good," Garr said with a smile. With a nod, he turned away from the group but as he began to walk away he paused. The fireworks had faded but the scent still lingered. He turned back to the group, "Until next year I suppose." He turned and wandered off down the street, disappearing into the shadows.

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(Nobody has stated they would like to use their Frostlore holiday item, so I won't apply them. I will add an additional 25% holiday bonus though.)

Final Tally

Krauser - 863×5=4,315+25%= 5,394 EXP & 2,697 GOLD

Scrios - 1,904×5=9,520+25%= 11,900 EXP & 5,950 GOLD

Marius - 303×5=1,515+25%= 1,894 EXP & 946 GOLD

Lutuck - 1,399×5=6,995+25%= 8,744 EXP & 4,372 GOLD

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