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Old June 3, 2009, 12:52 AM   #1 (permalink)

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Meat [GF'd] Of Little Matters, This and That (Ensnare, Closed)

 
 
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Timestamp: Last Cycle of Aperitus, Spring Era XV Post Fractum.

Continued from here ...

As promised, the Consul arrived on the isles in the form of a griffin. It was his most dependable Animal Form thus far, and it was his way of doing two things at once: to share his identity as a druid among Arios' famous magicians, and to idealize the seal and guardian animal of the House Leonardes. He arrived on the Ariosian harbors a few candlemarks following his departure from the Capital of Eunesia and greeted the posted guards in turn.

"Serale" said the Consul as soon as he had shed his Animal Form via dispel. His Shield of Arcana made this process all the more ready, his permanent tether to the Astral Plane a real boon especially now that he was a full fledged Master in Druidism. "I am Royal Consul Straylor Felix Leonard" he smiled "I believe the Lady Thane is expecting me."

Thus, Straylor Felix Leonard waited at the hands of the local guards. It would have been rude to by-pass the harbor as the druidess who had been acting as messenger did in Ieffreon. A security issue, the Council had called it. He hoped that Ariosians weren't as fickle. But then again, Stray had been known to be a poor judge of first impressions. He was a swordsman, not a psychic. Donning a white poet shirt, black vest, and matching riding trousers, Straylor was anything but islander this brightening -- save for his sandals, of course. They were rather comfortable, and Stray was getting quite accoustomed to them. They also prevented him from ruining his riding boots.

Along his waist was a sword belt equipped with two short swords, each one sealed with leather-bound steel to protect both its master and those unfortunate enough to butt heads with the Consul. Straylor also wore a bracelet, his Silver Lions amulet which possessed most of his best imbuements; then there were more discrete, hidden mechanisms of Arcana about the politician. In most cases, mages avoided wearing their imbuements. But seeing as Straylor could perpetually see Arcana and its manifestation in the Material Plane, he could prevent the worst accidents from occuring before they happened.

At least that was the idea of it.

Once he was cleared for entry, Straylor allowed the guards to escort him with an easy smile. It was going to be a great brightening. He could almost smell it against the salty air and the rush of waves behind him.

Last edited by Ensnare; June 3, 2009 at 01:15 AM.
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Old June 12, 2009, 09:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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OOC: Link to modplan for personal reference (ie keep out Straylor!)

As the griffon-shaped Straylor alighted onto the gravel-sand beach near the Ariosian docks a handful of eyes of varying colors glanced disinterestedly at him. Not many were impressed by the rather straightforward spell, druidism was pretty commonplace in Arios after all, and there were quite a few citizens, both of note and not, that were capable of performing it. But as he shape shifted back to his human form, in his dashing mainlander clothes, Straylor would find that the people he had greeted under the assumption that they were guards were not guards at all. For Arios had no guards, no military, no legions, and certainly no militia, organized or otherwise.

But Straylor was not speaking to empty air; there were people, after all, meandering around the rather empty, grey-cloud clogged shoreline. The smell of salt was quite strong and fresh and the breeze was pleasantly warm, rolling off of the crashing, blue-green waters. A woman turned around to him, while all others at and around the docks simply ignored him, her severe red eyebrows arched in unmasked malcontent. She was clearly elvish, with sharply pointed ears and a lithe build that elves were so famous for. The woman was dressed in traditional Ariosian clothing: a forest green Ta'ovala wrapped snugly around her breasts, lined with a silver bead fringe and a matching short pareo wrapped tightly around her curved hips. Her clothes left little to the imagination, with her feminine qualities clearly accentuated and many inches of flat, toned belly exposed. She was barefoot, but her skin was glowingly clean. Her emerald-green eyes slowly trailed the Consul's figure from head to toe and then back up in reverse, no detail missed.

When the elf did speak, her enticing eyes locked onto Straylor's own, her voice was soft and gentle yet commanding and strong, "Serale to you as well... Royal Consul Straylor Felix Leonard." The elf cocked her hip and crossed her arms across her chest, "I am Haramwen Galatwae'ii of no special title. But if the Lady Thane is indeed waiting for you as you say, then I would urge you to hurry along your way." She pointed behind her to the earthen trail that cut through the enormous trees of the Ariosian forest, "The city of Arios is that way, your excellency. If you follow that you will go right into the heart of the city, and then you will be closer to your meeting with our Thane." Her words were icy with no love lost, the Ariosians harbored no secret nor blatant fondness in their hearts for mainlanders or outsiders.

Last edited by Ensnare; July 4, 2009 at 07:02 PM.
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Old June 13, 2009, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)

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Smiling at the elf maid, Straylor continued down the path pointed out to him. He enjoyed the tickle of Arcana in the air. Arios was indeed a magical place. The druids copse here was rumored to possess its own Enchanted Glade. He wondered if a foreign politician and druid would be allowed that deep, on sacred ground. If so, perhaps he could use the pathway that would lead him to Trysvale from Eunesia. Such a pass would be priceless to have entrance to.

Along the way, toward the city center, Straylor mused on the very thoughts that drove him to the tiny island. In Trysvale, after his confrontation with the demons, he was left Promoted, a Master physically and mentally, but neither trained nor tried. It was an odd place to be in. Like a warrior with half his armor on, armed only with an old sword and spear. Perhaps the guardians of Nature, the dryads who had possessed him and nurtured him, were unused to the structured Arcana he possessed? The lessons, no matter how brief, granted to him by the mystical nature spirits haunted Straylor's dreams and thoughts.

How could the very personification of druidism not give him the spells and techniques he needed as a Master? Now he had to seek difference sources of knowledge, other pools of power. Here in Arios, he hoped to find both: power and wisdom to shape his world and craft even more powerful weapons against the darkness that once nearly annihilated him.

But between himself and the city was the thick Ariosian forest. The huge, towering trees were legendary, famous for the fantastic means of growing, and quickly dominating the lumber market of Eunesia and even some mainland ports. Sensing that the path would be long, Straylor quickly activated a single imbuement from his person: Summon Animal: Warsteed. The spell was crafted to mimick his own Carmelyn Warsteed, Saber, back in Trysvale.

Mounting the creature, Straylor urged it onward with divined weaves dominating the animal's mind without restricting its spirit and fierce, unrestrained power.
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Old July 4, 2009, 05:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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OOCVery sorry for the delays! I have been a very bad GM!

Straylor would find that the journey from the docks to the city proper was not terribly far, though farther than most cities were from their respective entrances. But the distance was considerably lessened by the speedy ride of his summoned steed. But the luxury of a quicker journey got him a few weird looks from people in the main area of Arios; it was not that horseback riding was illegal in Arios, far from it, it was just uncommon. The thick trees and underbrush of the surrounding wilderness coupled with the small size of Arios made the practice cumbersome to explore the wilderness and unnecessary to travel through the town.

But for Straylor it worked just perfectly well and he found himself entering the Oneiro-Kaimelea District. A light rain was falling, causing Straylor's white shirt to become a bit see-through and to cling to his skin. No one surrounding him blinked an eye at this fact, though his odd way of dressing, which distinctly marked him as an outsider, got him quite a few strange glances. But if he asked anyone how to go to the Government Building he would find that all people were equally willing to help him and no one was as abrasive as the woman on the beach. All were willing to help him despite his oddities.

After navigating his way to the Moss Weave District, Straylor would easily find the governmental building as it was by far the tallest glistening spire in the entire area; only the trees were taller than this building. Once he entered he would be greeted warmly and kindly by the front clerk, "Serale, how may I help you this brightening?"
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Old July 8, 2009, 04:12 PM   #5 (permalink)

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The tallest structure was indeed difficult to miss. And after shortly navigating the foreign streets of Arios, Straylor found himself in the island's government district. Thousands of thoughts filled his mind, most of them alluding to the thrill and excitement of finally going through a normal Mastership. His last attempt ended in the massacre of his friends, his family ... the stuff of nightmares, to say the least. Yet somehow, the help of the dryads sustained him. They were truly his Mistress' creatures, for they gave him solace where mortals would have found none.

The Consul greeted the clerk with a warm smile of his own. "Serale" he said "I have an appointment with the Lady Thane. I am Consul Leonard."
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Old July 17, 2009, 09:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The pretty faced human Susan smiled warmly and brightly at Straylor, "Of course! Pardon me Lord Consul, the Lady Thane is waiting for you now! If you would just follow me, please." Susan deftly swung her hips out from behind the counter, and motioned for Straylor to follow her. She turned sharply on her heel and walked with sharp, precise steps, leading Straylor to a ladder that rose up into a hole in the ceiling, leading to the next floor. She turned to him, a smile on her lips, "We have to climb, but I am afraid I am in a dress, would you be so kind as to go first?" A wink.

Presuming that Straylor was a gentleman enough to comply with the simple request, the pair would end up on a landing together in a circular hallway with no windows, though globes of fireflies hung in clusters along the ceiling, lighting the way. "Thank you Lord Consul! We are almost to her office, just follow me down here," She started walking down the circular hallway, "So what do you think of Arios so far? Is this your first visit? I must say, we are very honored to have you!" Susan was nicer than most Ariosians and more tolerant to non-Ariosians, so she was probably the only one in the office that was thrilled to see the Consul. It was nothing personal, Straylor just represented mainland interference, which was not generally liked.

Before too long, just after Straylor could finish responding, the two were before a wooden door, which Susan promptly knocked on and then opened, "Lady Thane, the Lord Consul Straylor Leonard is here for his meeting with you." There was a low response that was hard to hear from where they stood, but Susan turned around and beamed at Straylor as she waved him in. "It was nice meeting you," She whispered with a smile and a wink.

Behind a desk at the end of the room was a short, brown-furred, female dorin with mismatched eyes, one brown and one purple. She rose quickly when he entered, "Serale Your Excellency, it is a great pleasure to finally meet you! Please have a seat," She shook his hand, or attempted to, and then offered a seat in front of her desk, "How I may I help you this brightening?" She smiled, but it lacked all warmth. This was a meeting strictly for business to her.
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Old July 18, 2009, 04:34 PM   #7 (permalink)

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Straylor beamed at the pretty faced Susan and happily inclined to follow first. There was little use in appearing like a jerk after all. He was here on a diplomatic mission ... which he hoped to use for his advantage. It was a little embarrassing to have one's training left incomplete. But that was his fate, it seemed, and he would have to undergo another set of trials and testing before finally becoming a Master in Druidism. Where better to find druids and masters than in Arios?

"Arios is wonderful" Straylor replied in response to the woman's light mannered query "every bit as magical as described in the Royal archives." The Consul smiled, then nodded. "My very first time. But not the last, I hope." At the woman's compliment, Stray merely smiled wider and gave Susan a light bow of his own. "It is my greatest honor to serve Eunesia and citizens as yourself, my lady." And before long, the pair arrived at the wooden door of their destination. Once knocked upon and opened, Straylor was introduced and he thanked Susan before he entered the offices of the lady Thane.

Who Straylor saw behind the desk of office was not someone he expected. The Consul's experiences were a little limited when it came to the furred races. His stint with kattas back in Mystique left him a little ... wary. But the Lady Thane was warm enough, and the reception lacking daggers and poisoned bolts. Straylor smiled and accepted the she-dorin's hand into his own firm handshake. "A pleasure to meet you, Your Grace. Please" his smile widened on cue "call me Straylor, or Felix. Formalities are tiresome among allies."

Taking his seat, Stray silently measured the room in his mind before continuing. It was a bad habit, a tactical method he learned some time ago whenever entering enclosed spaces. He wanted to ensure that nothing was within arms reach that could be used as a weapon. Obviously, it was hardly friendly but it served to save his ass more times than he could remember. The process took less than a few heartbeats, just enough to remain inconspicuous, then Straylor allowed his eyes to return to the Lady Thane again. "A beautiful office" he complimented lightly "but, to business." He paused.

"First of all, Your Grace, I am but a servant of the Crown, as we all are, and my loyalty is first to the Kingdom. But I am not a dictator but rather a mediator between the Capital and the isles. My primary and personal goal is to maintain balance within the realm and ensure the safety of all Eunesians. I understand the Arios is the primary source of lumber in the region. Does Arios control this resource, or is it owned privately?"

When the dorin was done, Straylor continued. "Also, regarding the druids copse, I am interested in meeting the masters of the silvae there. I am, as I've mentioned previously, a practitioner of druidism myself." He smiled.
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Old July 21, 2009, 04:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Liat noticed Straylor's cursory look around her office, but thought nothing of it, taking the comment with a simple wave of her furred paw. The female dorin did not really care about aesthetics, she was more concerned with people, Arios, and of coruse, arcana. She folded her hands in the center of her desk and listened to his address, nodding every so often to indicate she was following and that she understood. Her race was always seen before her intellect, so she always had to strive hard to prove that she was quite the capable leader, not a stupid dog like most humanoid races thought.

"Well then Straylor, if we are to drop formalities, please refer to me simply as Liat." Her mismatched eyes peered strongly at Straylor, "Well I can only hope that your job brings you little work. Arios is very small, as I am sure you have seen, and we really have very few problems. Especially with the crown." The matter was closed in her eyes, she had no complaints and so needed no mediation. Not at the moment anyways.

Liat nodded accordingly, "You are quite correct, Consul. You have clearly done your homework. Ariosian lumber is famous throughout Eunesia and in many places on the mainland. It is of the highest quality, and we do not want for more of it. But that being said, it is mostly privately owned. Small individual families mostly, there is no large company that does it all. You will find that Ariosians are quite the hard workers, and some families make quite a profit off their hard labor harvesting the trees."

Liat eyes opened wide with surprise and intrigue, and hunched forward on her elbows, "A druid? That is fantastic! It is about time that the crown sent us someone who was competent in the art of Arcana. I myself dabble in sorcery, but I want to learn some druidism as well. It is a very popular sphere here. Oh this is such a pleasant surprise!" She smiled broadly, her demeanor much warmer and more receptive.

The dorin Thane frowned at the mention of the druid copse, "I am afraid that you will find our druid copse a little unconventional. It is populated by an mysterious group called the Kalans. They are a group that are not just observant of nature, but also of time. Their leader is a mysterious elf named Mwaev. You could seek them out, I am sure. But I am not sure how receptive they will be, or if you could find them. Mwaev is... a bit... cool and aloof. But if you wish to speak to our druids you could go to the Temple of Carmelya. In Arios, the temples, and those that maintain them, are our main sources of arcane instruction."
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Old July 21, 2009, 06:18 PM   #9 (permalink)

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"Sorcery?" Straylor found himself warming up a bit indeed "a most practical sphere, I must admit." The Consul himself had uses for teleportation charges, especially when his offices were leagues away. But the dorin's mention of also learning druidism brought on a quirk on Stray's brow. Surely she didn't mean hedging the two spheres. That was an impossibility, granted the Consul's library was not filled with outdated material. But perhaps that could be a topic for another discussion. "If you don't mind me asking, Your Grace" Stray continued "are you capable of producing imbuements? I am currently trying to explore the other spheres of Arcana, and I would be more than willing to produce druidic imbuements for your own personal study in exchange for spells of sorcery."

The news about the famous Arios lumberworks being privately owned was a welcomed one, though mysterious druid factions were also a source of worry for the Consul. His last dealings with such groups did not fare too well. But that was Natura. Perhaps Ariosian druids are much more receptive of their brothers, especially one Promoted to Master ... if not yet trained to completion. "Thank you for that information, Your Grace" Stray replied in regards the copse's location "I will make sure to pay my brethren in Carmelya a visit before I retire this darkening."
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Old July 30, 2009, 09:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Liat's ignorance at things as simple as what spheres you could hedgemage in was clearly evident, or perhaps she was guided by a tricking instructor that promised such a hedging would be possible. But only for her. But her mismatched eyes revealed none of this to Straylor, except her confidence in what she hoped to undertake, "I am afraid that I am too new to the world of Arcana to know how to do embuements, otherwise I would have been more than happy to trade. You could, perhaps, go speak to the priests and priestesses at the Temple of Phedos, I know they are quite proficient in that sphere."

Liat stood readily when the Lord Consul prepared for his exit, she wished him a warm farewell, entreating him to come pay a visit soon so she could show him the forests, and also gave him a general guide how to find the Kalans, "But, I warn you, they are not always in their grove. They are an elusive group, those Kalans. But you will find Mwaev to be very... capable, if not a little odd. She had very little skill with city life, she has lived in the forest as long as any Ariosian can remember. May Carmelya help you find her, and I guess Kalendryas as well." She winked one of her mismatched eyes and escorted him out, give a curt bow goodbye at the door, while Susan curtsied.

And now Straylor was left deposited at the doorstep of the governmental building, facing the tall, dark forests. The woods were deep and dark and it was hard to imagine that they ended on that rocky beach shore not terribly far away. Carmelya's garden seemed to go on forever and ever and ever. But such was her gift to do. But the forest was much different on the inside, one step into the trees would leave Straylor into an entirely different world, divorced from the city he would soon be leaving behind.
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Old August 5, 2009, 09:03 PM   #11 (permalink)

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Divorced was a nice term to use. Indeed, once he entered the fabled Ariosian forests he was met with an eternal garden, wild, beautiful, and untouched by city life and all its woes. Straylor always felt empowered whenever he entered the domain of his Mistress. Carmelya was at full strength here, and he was all too aware of its glorious richest and deepest secrets. In nature there was strength like no other. No dominion of evil or pure will could overwhelm the natural power of his Mistress. Here, Straylor, too, was lord. He could almost taste the lingering essence that he has grown to love , that he has mastered above all else.

So started Straylor's quest to find this hidden coven of druids, his allies, his brethren. Without pause, the Consul produced his Shield of Arcana and casually cast a string of Detect so that his higher senses could perceive the life force of anything hostile or evasive. Stray was not one to be blinded by pride or oversight. He liked to know, to see, to touch. Following that, Stray proceeded to a silent but almost religious 'scan' of the various charges on the amulets on his person. He made sure that everthing was ready, that he was prepared for both the best and the worst.

Then, he proceeded forward as briskly and carefully as his legs could take him -- toward the Temple of Carmelya where he may find what he sought at last.

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Old August 26, 2009, 11:27 AM   #12 (permalink)
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If Straylor planned on going to the Temple, he was heading in completely the wrong direction. He would have wanted to stay in the city proper and not venture into the forest. But, the way his feet were taking him, Straylor would not be entirely disappointed with where he ended up.

He had to stray deep into the forests, and only by wandering randomly could Straylor hope to find the place he didn't even know he was seeking: The Kalan Circle. He had passes numerous trees, an uncountable amount, some with trunks so big that they would make houses look small, and still others that were so twisted and gnarled that its branches soon became like a maze for the eyes. Carmelya knew how to grow a garden, and here it grew thick, strong, and true.

Soon Straylor burst unexpectedly from the trees, entering a clearing where the sun shone brightly into and green, fresh grasses grew in abundance. Resting in the sunlight was an enormous Treant, standing at least 20 feet tall with leafy, green hair and a mossy covered body. The Treant turned to see who disturbed his sleep, the creaking of his limbs was quite audible. When he spoke his voice creaked as well, and his words came slowly as if he were in no rush to finish what he was saying, "Serale... You are not a Kalan... not one that I am familiar with anyways... what brings you to their circle... and what is your name...?"
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Old September 2, 2009, 05:42 PM   #13 (permalink)

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The Treant's sudden manifestation was ... surprising. Straylor flinched noticeable as the ancient trees gave way into the majestic creature. If gnomes were Carmelya's gardeners, then the great Treants were her guardians. "S-Serale" the Consul began a little hesitantly. His experience with Treants had not been overly positive thus far. There were darker species of the same ilk, and Stray had reason to be uncomfortable. Something so strong and so great could only mean trouble if he decided to attack him -- like the other, evil and corrupted ones did. But it seemed peaceful enough. So Straylor bowed, a full ceremonial gesture meant for a student owing respect to a master. The trees around him were perhaps thousands of patterns old; it would not have been a far-off guess to say that the Treant before him was any younger.

"Master Treant" he began, trying to carry his voice the entire distance between himself and the enormous creature "I am not Kalan, no, but I am a Druid in search for a Master. Do you know where I can find the knowledge I seek? My training was left incomplete when my teachers ... the dryads of Trysvale ... were killed by demons." He paused, the grief striking him with bitterness and regret. "I am here to complete my Mastery and to seek out the truth behind my masters' death."

"My name is Straylor Felix Leonard" he told the Treant in a firm voice "I am but a servant of Eunesia, sir."
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Old October 21, 2009, 05:15 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The Treant listenned, unmoving, near imposable to read whatever body language that might be hidden in the ancient beings wooden limbs. Like everything in a life lived so long, the conversation progressed slowly as the old Treant considered the visitor's response carefully. Those not used to dealing with such drawn out intercourse might have thought the tall motionless individual had not hared his words. "A worthy cause..." He finally began, addressing Straylor's statements and questions in the order they were presented, not that this was necessarily made apparent as he continued systematically. "I do... Nasty pests,... demons... You have my condolences... for your loss..."

His words were well crafted and seemed quite deliberate as he continued. "We are all servants to someone... or something... What makes you think... you are a suitable subject... for the attention of a Kalan master?"

The old and wizen Treant moved for the first time since he had been noticed and leaned in toward Straylore slightly, which was something he was quite unable to do without looming over the considerably shorter visiting individual.
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Old October 21, 2009, 06:28 PM   #15 (permalink)

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Straylor didn't have to contemplate that question for very long. He already knew his purpose as a Druid. "If the Kalan are indeed guardians of nature and followers of Carmelya, then we are brothers under the same discipline" the Consul began "I was blessed by the Archdruidess Dhwae of Natura when I sought religion away from the walls of my home city, Medonia."

"What the druids revealed to me was much more than a quest for power, which is what most people see Arcana to be"
Straylor's voice fell to a more solemn tone then "but unity. Oneness. Passion. I learned that the smallest acts of kindness can affect destiny; and the most seemingly insignificant can impact the whole. Druidism has taught me that mortals are a community. Just as an individual leaf cannot survive on its own, an individual without family, without brotherhood, without Carmelya, can never find truth in this chaotic Plane."
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