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Writing / [Averri] The Tough Questions
« Last post by Pristine on July 27, 2014, 01:52:56 AM »
The sand separated before the Dragonpony, the individual grains sliding aside as if guided by a gentle, but invisible,  force. Graceful circles and curlicues traced themselves into the sugar sand, encircling a few large stones whose cast shadows draped the ground in a shroud of cool purple. The Dragonpony's keen, patient gaze watched the proceedings; a soft smile on his lips proved everything was going smoothly, even though his heart ached. Usually the daily tending of the rock garden was one of Jintu's favorite chores to pull from the bowl; not so, today.

The days of the monks of Caskoll were filled with many such tasks that helped them center themselves and come into closer contact with their inner powers. The monks of Caskoll were some of the most accomplished magic users in Averri, with a long tradition of raising ponies who devoted their magic to doing good deeds for others. The monks would offer themselves to any task they felt they could reasonably accomplish. They had done great things that saved whole towns, and daily they helped townsponies with chores and any small emergencies. The day before yesterday,  Jintu had helped an elderly Earthpony mare retrieve her cat from a tree. His only repayment had been a heartfelt thanks, and that was payment enough.

This time, this particular chore carried more weight for him. He was not finding the solace in the work that he had hoped to. By the time the time-worn but gentle voice broke his concentration with its question, he was fighting to keep his tears from gathering and threatening to slide down his cheeks.

"What troubles you, Acolyte?"

"Nothing is the same. How can I just keep doing this? What am I accomplishing? How am I making the world better?"

"It's common to ask these questions after this sort of thing happens..."

Jintu turned his head away from the Headmaster as he offered the advice. It was exactly what he had expected and didn't want to hear. He had pushed himself to come do his chores, rather than continue to wallow in his misery in bed; had he stayed, it would have been a second day of not leaving the small cot in his quarters since receiving the letter from home informing him of his mother's death. She had finally succumbed to her wasting disease... the one he had joined the monastery in the hopes of learning or praying for a cure.

"Why would any loving Goddess subject her ponies to this? For what purpose does death exist? "

Jintu threw down the rake, the implement ponies tending the rock garden were meant to use. He stomped across his perfectly-furrowed, perfectly-spaced concentric circles completely destroying his morning's whole work. His tail lashed around behind him like a cornered, angry snake, and the glimmer of anger in his eye held that same venomous serpent's spirit.

"Why do we dig the garden every morning?" The ancient Headmaster's tone was as calm and accepting as ever. Jintu turned to look the bent and wizened Pegasuspony in the eye.

"It's just as pointless, isn't it, Headmaster?" Jintu momentarily felt the Headmaster was sympathizing with him, until he saw the look of disappointment in his eyes.

"The sand settles through the day. The vibrations of the hooffalls of every pony in the temple cause the smooth sand to roll back into the ruts and crevices, and every evening the imprint is gone," the Headmaster intoned.

Jintu opened his mouth to argue that this only supported his complaint, but the Headmaster silenced him with a look.

"There are some ponies living under this roof who find their centers when viewing this rock garden and tending to it. When they find their centers and are truly one with their ability to control magic, they can do great deeds."

"Just as the lines ripple outward from the rocks - a simulation of the ripples in water when something touches it - this garden affects ponies, who in turn affect other ponies; it takes only one day of viewing this garden to center one's self and find a good deed to do, so even when the grains have found their places and all trace of the tender's work is gone, its impact continues beyond it."

"Every pony's life matters beyond their death, and every death makes room for another life; another life that has another chance to put its imprint on the world."

With swift movements that belied his age, the Headmaster swept up the rake. He had the power to use magic to create the ripples in the sand, but he carefully began to rake the lines with the simple tool. Jintu watched him and thought back to his patient mother and the way she would grasp the porch broom with her wingclaws, whistling while she cleaned. She had started getting sick when he was very young, but it wasn't until he was in his adolescent years that the disease started to debilitate her. The local monastery-slash-hospital took her in and cared for her, and Jintu spent a lot of time there as a result.

Eventually he agreed to assist at the Head Temple. He didn't want to leave his mother's side, but since coming to the hospital, her health had stopped declining. She insisted he go, and the last five years at the Head Temple had been some of the best of his life. He had helped ponies he could no longer count the number of, and had even been chosen as a future Master. Without his mother's influence and patience, he never would have become what he was.

He sat down and quietly watched the Headmaster work.
Writing / [Averri] Where there's smoke...
« Last post by Pristine on July 26, 2014, 06:18:04 PM »
The sewing room was on fire.

This was quite the accomplishment; the entire castle was made of stone, from top to bottom, to prevent this very thing.

And yet, when the attendant rushed into her office, sweat-soaked and gibbering, Pristine just heaved a slow, resigned sigh. She dipped her horned head to the phoenixpony she had just been counseling, offering a silent apology for the intrusion and her need to depart. Rising from her seat behind her sparse and utilitarian wooden desk, she trotted down the hall after the attendant, who had not waited for her, instead rushing down the hallway shouting for ponies to move out of the way.

Dark smoke billowed down the hallways, mostly rising to the ceiling but generally obscuring vision and hampering any effort to save the engulfed sewing room. Pristine squinted against the sting in her eyes, allowing the tears brimming there to whisk away the irritating particles of smoke.

A couple of ponies jostled by her in the two-pony-wide hallway, running in the opposite direction as they should have been. Pristine continued forward, feeling the heat radiating around the corner. She knew she was a few scant hooffalls away from what must have been quite an inferno. Unable to see anything before her and certain she would succumb to the smoke if she tried, she halted.

"Is anypony here?" she called in a clear, ringing voice that still managed to be half-drowned by the crackle of eager flames.

A weak "aye", interspersed with coughing, confirmed both her fears and her hopes; somepony was in the midst of the blaze... but it was Kyralic, the Firemaster.

"Together, then!" Pristine called out, and immediately set to work.

Using her control of the air, Pristine concentrated on whisking away the smoke from near the ceiling, while being concious not to feed the flames if she could help it. With even more concentration, she was able to pull the air away from around the flames; at the same time as they started to sweep in her direction, she saw them begin to shrink away, and knew Kyralic was doing her best to contain and disperse them.

"Here!" another voice called out through the smokescreen, and Pristine heard the sudden rush of water running over the concrete floor. In seconds, the perpendicular hallways and the sewing room that opened up to them were filled with ankle-deep water. As immediately as the water came, the hiss of defeated fire turning to steam drifted all around them, as black smoke turned to white mist.

Striding forward, Pristine became more and more confident the flames had been put out. She peeked around the right corner of her hallway, into the one running perpendicular, the one the door to the sewing room opened onto. She saw no glow, no flickering tongues of flame, and ventured through the portal.

The sewing room was a wash. Every scrap and morsel of fabric or thread was burned to ash, even the wall hangings. The wooden, step-action sewing machines were hunks of black, charred and still smoking. Everything from the knee down was wet, and a thick smoke hung in the air, something that would likely seep through the cracks of the walls and into surrounding rooms; they would need to be aired out for months or years to lose the stench.

Amidst the wreckage stood two ponies: A stolid-looking, middle-aged, blue Phoenixpony, and a sheepish-looking, younger, cream Kirinpony.

"Kyralic," Pristine's voice had a harsh ring, even if it sounded weary, "I realize this is a school, and there will be mistakes..."

"I know--" Kyralic started to reply.

"Ah!" Pristine cut her off and stared her down for a moment before continuing, "I realize there will be mistakes... but I expect them to come from the students."

"Uh-huh," the Kirinpony's head dipped and she ashamedly let her red hair fall over her face. One cloven, steel-covered forehoof twirled circles in the sodden, soot-covered floor.

"I expect you'll have this room clean enough to teach in, by the time new sewing machines can be crafted."

"Y-yes, absolutely," Kyralic gritted her teeth a bit.

"Sera," Pristine turned to the Phoenixpony, who perked up at her name being spoken, "Come with me. We need to make a shopping list for when we go into town to order the new sewing machines... and we'll need to put together another fire safety assembly."
Structured Role-playing / Re: [Averri 1:1] Parading About the Town
« Last post by Pristine on July 25, 2014, 01:44:38 PM »
Leader Post

"Hear ye, hear ye! And see ye, too!," an overenthusiastic, gaudily-colored Unicornpony stallion trotted back and forth across the road that led from the east docks to the town center. He had a satchel around his neck that was almost overflowing with paper pamphlets.

"Maps, maps available! Directions! Does anypony need directions?"

"Care for a map, sir?" he approached a nearby pony, then pulled a map from his satchel with a flourish, to hold it up for the pony's inspection. It was well-created and a number of businesses were clearly-marked, as was the Procession route and the best places to witness it from. There were even some instructions on how to sign up to be in the Procession if one was so inclined.

"Compliments of Trosham's Garden," the Unicornpony tipped his horn to the visitor before trotting away. His eyes darted across the road and courtyard, looking for any pony who seemed to look lost or confused.
Thread-Specific Resources / Re: [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 22, 2014, 10:11:58 PM »
Sodan of the Claw

An Aspect of the Goddess Janil, a mixture of Unicornpony and Purrpony

Sodan was the third Aspect to receive his powers from the Goddess, and he is the youngest. Another of his clan was set to accept the powers, but Sodan knew he deserved them, and he will always say his proof is that he has them now!

Sodan is a strong believer in following one's own path. He has a very "live and let live" approach to life... except where his dominance is concerned. He acts as a patriarch to the tribes roaming the Wilds of Talnor-Daess, and the cities in the lands beyond; he offers answers to quandaries, help to those in serious need, and he protects his borders by rallying the peoples across his land to come to the aid of others. 

Symbols of his followers include wildflowers and long grass, rivers (especially depicted with multiple offshoots), horseshoes, the colors pink, cream, and green, and cat pawprints. The standards of the tribes of Talnor-Daess must include the pawprint symbol above the symbol of their clan.

The majority of his work is done through his "Associates", a number of ponies he trusts with his business.
Thread-Specific Resources / Re: [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 21, 2014, 09:31:03 PM »
Prince Eloric Nashorn III

Prince Nashorn is the current ruler of the Kingdom of Aldoreld. He is the 57th ruler of the Kingdom, the thirteenth of his line, and (as his name suggests) the third Nashorn of his family.

Nashorn will become King of Aldoreld when he takes a wife; he has yet to take one but he is just reaching the prime of his life and should probably begin to look...

The Kingdom of Aldoreld has always been devoted to the idea of a strong army making good neighbors, and it has a strong military force. Nashorn is the head of this force, but he has appointed three Generals to do the majority of the work.
Thread-Specific Resources / Re: [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 21, 2014, 09:15:26 PM »

An Aspect of the Goddess Janil, a mixture of Earthpony and Phoenixpony

Greymist was the second Aspect to receive his powers from the Goddess. They say his body changed into the somewhat-disfigured shape it is now as a result of grasping the Goddess' power; Greymist insists it was the Goddess' plan and blessing.

Greymist's ideals are not well-known. He is not prone to speaking, not even to those who manage to find him despite his elusiveness.

Greymist has an agreement with the rulers of the Kingdom of Aldoreld. The precise details of the agreement are unknown, perhaps to all but the rulers of the Kingdom, and maybe lost to them with the ages as well. His agreement involves patrolling the borders of the Kingdom of Aldoreld and helping the populace with any troubles they come to him with.

Symbols of his followers include a number of great and sturdy trees, mountains and boulders, silver-colored metals, the colors grey and lavender, white skulls, and several symbols, namely a series of three mountains silhouetted by a silver moon, and a symbol known as The Earthcall.

Currently, Prince Nashorn III is on the throne of Aldoreld, and it is known he has had contact with Greymist only a couple of times since his inauguration.
Thread-Specific Resources / Re: [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 20, 2014, 09:23:46 PM »
Captain Shermain Gunnard

The Captain of the Empress Calliome's personal guard and head of the commanders of the city guard.

Shermain Gunnard (who never goes by 'Shermain') is a just-past-middle=age, but no less muscular or healthy than stallions half his age, Pegasuspony. The Empress Calliome adopted him as a brother when he was only a tiny colt, and Empress trusts him implicitly.

Gunnard has shown an innate physical prowess since childhood, and has had very little trouble surpassing his peers at every athletic challenge put before him.
Thread-Specific Resources / Re: [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 20, 2014, 07:19:50 PM »
Empress Calliome

Empress Calliome is an ages-old flutterpony, the chosen of Salhara Whitehoof.

Salhara originally did not choose a figurehead for her following; it was only many ages later, when Empress Calliome had grown into a young filly, a very outspoken follower of Salhara, that the Aspect considered and then agreed to the arrangement.

Empress Calliome has been granted a long life as part of her connection to Salhara. However, even the Aspect does not know how long the extended life will add on; Empress Calliome has lived thrice as long as a regular flutterpony and thusfar seems not even middle-aged yet.

The Captain Gunnard is her adopted brother.
Thread-Specific Resources / Re: [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 20, 2014, 06:55:56 PM »
Salhara Whitehoof

An Aspect of the Goddess Janil, a mixture of Kirinpony and Pegasuspony

Salhara was the first Aspect to receive her powers from the Goddess, and she was the eldest of the three Aspects when she received them.

She believes very deeply in the power of knowledge, and that living a peaceful life allows one to more easily gather knowledge. She supports academics in almost all of their forms, and her ideals try to foster a thirst for knowledge in all who follow her. She teaches all to live simply and to care for their fellow pony.

Symbols of her followers include lilies, the sun (especially depicted with multiple rays of light beaming out from it), books and parchments, and a symbol called the Wings of Destiny.

She has chosen the Empress Calliome as the link between herself and her followers.
Thread-Specific Resources / [Averri] Leader and Non-Player Characters
« Last post by Pristine on July 12, 2014, 11:52:03 PM »
A thread for all Leader-used and Non-Player Characters in the Averri Role-Playing threads. I will try to organize them as best I can here:

Salhara Whitehoof and Her Followers:
- Salhara Whitehoof, one of the Three Aspects (Kirinpony and Pegasuspony)
- Empress Calliome, the single trusted contact and figurehead for Salhara's followers
- Captain Gunnard, brother and guardian to Empress Calliome and head of her city's guards

Greymist and His Followers:
- Greymist, one of the Three Aspects (Earthpony and Phoenixpony)
- Prince Eloric Nashorn III, Greymist's trusted contact and figurehead for his followers, and the current ruler of the Kingdom of Aldoreld

Sodan of the Claw and His Followers:
- Sodan of the Claw, one of the Three Aspects (Purrpony and Unicornpony)
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