2017-10-14: Loose Threads

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  • Log: Loose Threads
  • Cast: Claude C. Kenny, Avril Vent Fleur, Catenna, Matilda Whitehead, Cyre H. Lorentz
  • Where: Nisan
  • Date: October 14th, 2017
  • Summary: A group of Drifters follow up on a note they found -- and had translated -- from within the depths of the Sacred Ground and head to Nisan to ask about its contents. What they learn only raises more questions about the faith's history.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

The city of Nisan is an oasis - in many ways literally - in the west of the Ignas continent. While strictly speaking part of Aveh, its status as the centre of the Nisan Orthodoxy has given it a nearly neutral status int he eyes of the warring powers. No Aveh troops are garrisoned within the city, which has no military of any kind.

It holds only the faithful, and they in multitudes.

In the heart of the crater in which the city sits stands the Great Cathedral of Nisan, one of the oldest structures still standing upon Filgaia. It was built shortly after the Day of Collapse, and the tithes of the faithful keep this ancient building in immaculate condition.

It is here, perhaps, that answers to questions regarding the faith may be found. Here, or nowhere.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Many months ago, a group of Drifters had explored the depths of the Sacred Grounds and turned up an unreadable scrap of text. Discussion with the scholars in Linga had ultimately produced a translation, if one riddled by words and text that was beyond their ability (centuries have taken their toll).
Indeed, the fact that the entire campus had been more or less summoned over had been sign enough that what they had found was something big, something dating to about the Day of Collapse.

And the only name in the letter that was even remotely recognizable was a reference to the Holy Mother, a possible reference to the Holy Mother of Nisan.

Which is why a fragment of the group has found themselves here today.

"Perhaps it may be a foolish pursuit, but I feel as if this may be important," Avril comments, gazing up at the cathedral looming above them. "Someone here might be able to tell us more about this document, and what it may detail. Matilda, Catenna, do either of you have any suggestions?" She glances, briefly, between the two women.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

This is church country, and not a place Catenna is overly comfortable coming. It's why she left behind her usual eastern-looking dresses and went local. Her dress today is of the full-length, high-necked, exceptionally conservative sort more common in more faithful corners Ignas, done up in black with white accents, and she's even put her hair in a milkmaid's braid and donned a bonnet.

She feels absolutely ridiculous, but she does at least pass for, if not a native Ignas person, then possibly s convert to the Nisan religion.

"Perhaps this faith has some manner of library of such... ancient documents," Catenna murmurs, keeping her voice low and herself close to Avril, anxious about getting separated from the group at the heart of a religion that might consider her creed heresy. "I have heard that some of those with churches and central cities do such things... keeping a vast body of old documents, and old knowledge, that is. Such archivists may be able to help us learn more."

Not that Catenna's all that used to organized religion. Guardian worship is not nearly so centralized, especially among the Zortroa.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda can't imagine a less comfortable place to be. If there were ever a city more singularly philosophically in opposition to her, it would... probably not exist on Filgaia. More than anything, Matilda seems anxious as the group heads through the city; her long white coat, usually allowed to hang open, is buttoned totally shut, and her arms are crossed over her stomach.

Avril's question gets her to focus up, though -- and while she's uncomfortable here, she is an experienced researcher. "That's very common, yes. I would... honestly think that we might want to request to speak with the -- erm... truthfully, I'm not sure of the Nisan term for the role... It's almost certainly not simply 'librarian...' directly."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"Matriarch Scalzi."

The voice comes from an older woman, in her late fifties at least, busily sweeping the street in front of her home. The woman is dressed in a simple flaxen robe tied off with a soft length of rope; a woven shawl bearing Nisanian iconography provides some comfort against the late autumn wind.

The woman turns slightly to regard Avril and her companions with her single eye; the other is concealed behind a wrap of black cloth that serves as a patch. "Matriarch Scalzi is responsible for the library of the Great Cathedral," the old man says as she continues to sweep, her eye dropping down to look at the cobbles. "Though I'm not certain what business an outlander would have with her."

Sweep, sweep, sweep.

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

"Matilda. Are you unwell?"

It's probably an unwelcome bluntly-directed question.

Avril, perhaps by contrast, dresses as she typically does.

That is: not from this part of the world (at the very least).

"A keeper of letters and tomes... yes, that does seem about right," Avril murmurs, brow briefly furrowing as she apparently attempts to recall something, before nodding in agreement with the other women's collective assessment. "...The archivist? Yes, I think the word may be 'archivist'," she affirms--

In the moments before a voice pipes up from not very far to their side.

Avril turns. "Matriarch Scalzi?" she echoes, glancing the sweeping woman over with vague befuddlement.

"...Yes, that sounds like who we are seeking. ...Oh. We," and she glances over her shoulder at Matilda and Catenna in turn, "found what appears to be an old letter in a ruin that mentions the Holy Mother, and felt it may be wise to speak to someone who might be able to tell us more about it."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

With quiet concern, Catenna watches as Matilda moves along. The young woman's anxiety is plain to see. The moon priestess flashes her traveling companion a tiny smile that she hopes is reasuring.

Clasping her hands at her waist, Catenna draws in a slow breath, then lowers her head a little and does her best to assume the demure appearance of a simple member of the faithful.

Her lack of an eyepatch probably gives her away, given that the old woman with the broom quickly identifies at least one of them as an outsider - and it's probably her. She can't exactly hide her accent, after all.

But the old woman does, at least, tell them what they want to know. "Yes, we merely seek wisdom, no more," she says, bowing her head steeply. "Please excuse us."

She steps in a little closer to Avril, letting the other woman explain. "Perhaps we should make haste to... wherever it is that one might find the Matriarch Scalzi," she murmurs, though it occurs to her that she has no clue where that might be.

Stupid cities, always having so many buildings and streets and stuff.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

"It's..." Matilda pauses, looking to Avril and answering her first. "It's nothing. I'm simply -- nervous. I've never been here before." Lord, if that isn't an understatement. She takes a moment to shift her weight, take a few breaths... and she's feeling a little more up to this.

She looks to the woman, adding, "We're from the Academy of Linga. That... we probably should've led with that. But yes -- thank you very much for your assistance... we're sorry for intruding."

Matilda looks up toward the Cathedral, adding, "The Matriarch is most likely in the library wing of the Cathedral proper -- my understanding of the Nisan region is that towns are usually set up to support pilgrims, rather than perform important functions, which are usually localized inside churches and cathedrals... though truthfully I've -- truthfully I've never been here, so it's just hearsay."

She takes the lead at this point, heading toward -- and hopefully into -- the cathedral.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"Ugh, seeking wisdom," the old woman grumbles. "Why run around seeking something you don't have to go anywhere to find?" She continues mumbling to herself as Matilda and the others walk away.

The path to the Cathedral is not terribly hard to find - all of the main streets in the city lead directly to it after all - and the massive doors stand open, admitting travelers and faithful freely. The interior of the Cathedral is massive, more than a hundred feet high, with well-worn wooden pews and polished marble floors. The great hall is lit by sunlight passing through towering stained-glass windows, giving the room a sort of golden sheen.

The great altar sits in the centre of the rear wall, and looming over it is an enormous painted wall of immaculate quality - the work of a lifetime, done by a true master of the craft. The scene shows a pair of humanoid angels, each with a single wing, entwined in clouds and reaching out to each other, surrounded by golden light.

"Impressive, is it not?" asks a young woman garbed in the habit of one of the sisters of Nisan; she steps forward, smiling. "It tells the great truth of our faith - for though God could have created humans perfectly, had he done so, humans would not have helped each other. These great single-winged angels teach us that in order to soar through the heavens, we must trust and depend on one another." She smiles again and bows. "I am Sister Vari. Is this your first time in the Cathedral?"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

"I like to think that people help other people because we're pretty good at heart, not 'cause we necessarily need something from someone, you know?" A man says from behind Catenna. He's wearing a thick, white hood and the flowing robes of someone who has spent years living in and travelling through the desert. "Perfection's something else entirely. I think I'd go crazy if I approached every meeting with that in the back of my head, buuuuut that's just me, I guess."

It's... Cyre. Because of course it's Cyre. At least he's smiling pretty jovially, no matter how uncomfortable places like 'this here cathedral' seem so often to make him.

"Sister Vari," the shaman bows his head. "I am Cyre H. Lorentz. We've brought something that's of particular interest to Nisan, I think. Would you know where we might be able to find a religious scholar in here, or maybe an abbot or something like that?"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Avril's gaze rests on Matilda for a few moments more, as if to ascertain that everything is really alright. And then, at that significant length, finally nods. "...I see. Being in a place you have never been is uncomfortable. ...Wherever I go, I feel as if I have already been. It must be unsettling to be uncertain about a particular place."

Which is an odd way of putting it, but, okay.

"Then it is inside the cathedral somewhere," Avril voices at last, on the subject of where the archivist/keeper of lore may be found. "I know little of Nisan or its practices, but that feels somehow to be correct. Then, shall we go?" There's a pause, before she says to the old woman, "Thank you kindly for your assistance." And bows, if shallowly.

It isn't hard to find the catherdral, or to enter the building. Avril's gaze lifts almost immediately, her blue eyes widening a touch at the sight. She stays rooted there to the spot for several moments.


Has she been here before?

Avril's answer is a mute shake of the head, but the truth is: she has no idea.

Helpfully, Cyre enters about this moment and explains matters.
"...Yes," Avril says simply, at some remove.

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

Catenna lowers her eyelids ever so slightly as she watches the old woman go. She resists the urge to make a snitty remark.

Instead, she falls in behind Matilda. Soon enough, they've reached the Cathedral, and Catenna takes in the sheer immensity of it with eyes slightly wide and lips apart just a bit. Stepping through the rays of sunlight that stream through those immense windows, she finds herself feeling incredibly small by the sheer immensity of this kind of architecture.

They didn't have anything like this in any of the cities she's been, saying nothing of back home. But then, back home was a forest.

Then a voice pipes up from behind Catenna. She sucks in a little breath and jumps half an inch before settling, a gentle blush colouring her cheeks as she looks back.

The smile she flashes Cyre is small, but genuine. She takes a step back and falls in by his side.

The reaction from Avril leaves her touching a hand to her chin, considering for a moment. Perhaps the woman's thought of something.

She cannot pry just yet. "Yes it is, devout Sister," she answers Sister Vari politely, bowing her head. "I am Catenna Lorentz. As my dear husband says, we seek the aid of the Matriarch Scalzi."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Sister Vari smiles broadly at Catenna's words, regarding her and Cyre with a twinkle in her eyes. "Oh, is that so!" she says brightly. "Well, if you are wed then I have no need to explain the lesson further," she notes, "Since you would know it from your oaths and the sermon at your wedding."

The young lady folds her arms into her sleeves, crossing her arms underneath her breasts. "Well, if you need to speak with Matriarch Scalzi, then the place to find her would be the library, up on the second level in the west wing of the Cathedral," Vari says, gesturing.

"However," the young woman notes, "The Matriarch takes a day of rest on sixthdays; her assistants handle matters in her place. But if your business is with her and truly urgent, you can find her at her home." Vari points out the doors of the cathedral. "Her home can be found down this main road, three roads into the centre of town. She's normally outside at this time of day," Vari explains. "You can recognize her by the eye she has lost; she binds it closed with a strip of dark cloth."

Vari smiles pleasantly.


"Well, I told you you didn't have to run off in search of wisdom," the old woman says as she wrings out her washcloth and begins scrubbing the stoop. "So, what's this thing you found?"

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda looks toward Cyre with a sudden, flat expression. She does not offer any particular comments on what he's saying, though -- other than a nod as he speaks to Sister Vari. She instead scootches toward Avril -- and nods. "... yes," she says, a little softly. She again declines to elaborate too much.

She raises an eyebrow briefly at Catenna -- and then offers her own take. "While not all of us are working in -- perfect, unison, in our reasons for looking into this, I'm here representing the Academy of Linga in this matter. We want to maintain a friendly relationship with Nisan, and believe we have found a preserved document that would be of interest to the Matriarch." There's a bit of an awkward pause, before she adds, "Ah -- I am Dr. Matilda Whitehead, of the College of Compounding and Pharmacy, but in this capacity I'm here in association with Professor Krasner, of the College of Arts's linguistics department. He's presently significantly behind on local affairs, as is customary for him in the season after the Tournament of Arms, and I had other reasons to travel."

This is ... kind of a lie, but contains many true components!

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Catenna Lor--

Cyre chokes and transitions straight into a cough. Clearly he's just an easily flustered newlywed.

He gives Catenna a Look.

You're just trying to mess with him now, aren't you!?

Well that's fine. There will be revenge. Oh yes.

But not now.

"Wisdom's weird. Sometimes you need to talk to the right people before you can properly appreciate it." There are some steps involved, after all. Cutscenes don't just activate because you're at the right place. You gotta be there at the right time too.

"We've got a text we think you'd be interested in," Cyre parrots the Cyre of ten minutes ago. "Found it over near Adlehyde and had a translation done by the scholars in Linga. Do you know of a place called Nimrod?"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

One thing serves to jolt Avril from her apparent reverie -- no more than some familiar feelings, connection and loss paired jointly at the hip so to speak -- and that thing is Catenna declaring that she and Cyre were wed.

"You... you are?" She glances from priest to priest. "I was... unaware that you were wed. Congratulations, the both of you."

There is not the slightest trace of deception or sarcasm or ANYTHING ELSE except the most sincere statement of her happiness that they are now married.

Matilda, in the meantime, gets down to business. "Yes," Avril pipes up again. "I understand that the library is located within the cathedral walls. Would we be able to receive permission to speak with the Matriarch?"

Sorry Avril, but the Matriarch is in another castle. ...So to speak.



"Ah," Avril starts, glancing over the woman now busily scrubbing at a step. "We should have thought to have asked you your name, Matriarch Scalzi. My apologies," Avril says, once again dipping into a shallow bow. "Would we be able to ask you about a letter that we have found? It was translated for us by the scholars in Linga, but they did not know more about its contents."

She pauses a moment, before extracting from under her wrap a copy of the translation. "Here. This is what they were able to translate for us. As you can see, it mentions a 'Holy Mother'."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

A good Nisan girl of Catenna's age wouldn't be unmarried, she reasons. That said, she does glance towards Cyre, favouring him with a tiny smile that doesn't quite hide the little sparks of mirth dancing behind her eyes.

And then the time comes to backtrack. Catenna blinks rapidly.

Damn it. And now Avril thinks she was serious, too! She'll have to dissuade the other woman of that notion at some point, but right now, there's a time card sailing in.


"We accede to your wisdom in this matter, Matriarch," an abashed Catenna murmurs with a deep dip of her head, closing her eyes and weaving her hands together. "Please forgive our haste. It was... undue."

She looks to the letter as Avril produces it, leaning in for a moment as if to familiarize herself with what is written. "That mention led us here, of course," she adds, her voice quiet.

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda... ultimately doesn't consider other people's romance her business. She does offer a quiet "Congratulations," echoing Avril, but not much else. As they return to the woman, Matilda... elects to let everyone else restate their business. For her part, she not-so-contentedly looks embarrassed.

She doesn't volunteer anything else for the moment.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"No, but I think I'm looking at a person called that right now," the old woman mutters, looking up from her work at Cyre. She looks back down. "Noisy Baskar boys with all their questions..."

Avril's mention of the Holy Mother, however, finally attracts the old woman's attention. "Hn," she grumbles, then straightens up, groaning softly as her joints pop. "Here," she says, tossing the rag at Cyre. "The stoop won't clean itself. Scrub, boy." Scalzi takes the proffered paper and begins to read.

She squints, and frowns.

"Hn," she mumbles.

She sniffs thoughtfully.

"Well, this is interesting," Scalzi says. "I can see why those gluesniffers in Linga got so worked up. They don't know who Bishop Penuel is either, or this Nimrod place," she explains. "I don't either. But that's not the important part," she says, tapping the paper. "This is."

                              Ash--- Monastery

"mentions of the Ashura Monastery are only found in the oldest records of the faith," Scalzi explains. "It was destroyed years before the Day of Collapse, and never rebuilt. But the senior members of the Nisan faith - and me," she allows, "Know of it because it's the birthplace of the first Holy Mother of Nisan." Scalzi looks at the paper and frowns, then looks up. "Well?" she asks. "Any of you figure out why that's strange yet?"

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Cyre's expression is aghast. Now these two think he's married, too!? CATENNA, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?

But that was then.


And now... He is being racism'd at by a grumpy old lady.

"Uh, excuse me?" One of Cyre's eyebrows shoots right up into his hairline. "Wow, just because I'm Baskar. You're pretty swarthy for a holy lady, you know that?" Elder Halley and this old bat must never be allowed to meet. There would be a singularity of old person snark, the likes of which Filgaia would never be able to escape.

It would just be granny nagging all the way down from there.

Cyre mutters, taking the rag and taking a knee to do some HARD LABOR like some kind of INDENTURED SERVANT.

"Why the heck is it that only the senior members know that it was a thing if it was so important to your faith?" Cyre asks from around his scrubbing work. "And it seems weird to me that there's a girl to come from that place who went to this other place and yet nobody knows where that other place was, or who that girl who lived was. Other than that, no damn clue. Enlighten us, please, o' wise old lady."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

"He does have certain virtues, honoured Matriarch," Catenna murmurs as she lays a hand on Cyre's forearm, and she doesn't even have to pretend to be his wife to do it.

She does, however, stand back with a blink as Cyre is asked to scrub the stoop. Her eyes narrow ever so slightly. Does she not like men?

Or does she not like Baskars? She lifts considering eyes to the Matriarch, pressing her lips firmly together and moving to Cyre to give his shoulder a discreet, supporting touch. "He is a good man, Matriarch," she says softly, her voice carrying a hint of protest. and her eyes hardening ever so slightly.

But to make a fight of it - as much as she wants to - would only hurt them right now.

"The Ashura Monastery," she murmurs, then, as Scalzi begins to explain.

The question leaves Catenna drawing a blank.

"The letter... speaks of a girl, who was found somewhere - it seems like it was at the Monastery itself? - and ushered away," she murmurs, folding her arms under her chest and frowning as she turns the issue over in her head. "...The girl could surely not be the first Holy Mother, for another Holy Mother is mentioned before her."

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Cyre gets to clean a step! This earns a blink from the young woman in green, but other than that, well... it doesn't seem as if he's protesting (well, much)?

Avril tilts her head to one side as Scalzi explains the context of the Monastery, perhaps not too unlike the way in which an inquisitive dog might. Her own silence maintains through the whole of the Matriarch's explanation of its signficance, up until the point where she asks the lot of them what's strange about this.

"It does seem odd that the birthplace of an important figure in the church remains unknown to any but those high in its ranks," she brings up at length, a slight frown on her lips, having apparently hit upon a similar point to Cyre. "From what I have learned, 'place' is an important aspect for many. Would not worshippers wish to make pilgrimage to the birthplace of their first Holy Mother?" She pauses, as Catenna points a fact out. "It... does appear from this letter that something terrible occured at the Monastery. It seems to say that 'many died'..."

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

Matilda pauses for a moment, thinking carefully about the order of things that Scalzi describes. "... Why would there be a Nisan monastery to host the birth of the first Holy Mother?" she eventually muses. "Such suggests a reorganization of the faith -- a different model of ecclesiastical governance entirely."

She lets the facts spiral out before her mentally, picking through it. "Years, rather than centuries, might suggest that the events that precipitated the Day of Collapse either caused, or necessitated, this reorganization, as well as the destruction. Times of strife are often said to precipitate miracles, of course, so this isn't particularly inexplicable -- but it is unusual."

While Matilda doesn't know shit about religion, she's a systems thinker. This is actually a great distraction from the way she feels! "Of course, it's also possible that the Holy Mother we record as first was not the first Holy Mother, and that previous Holy Mothers were eliminated from the modern canon due to political expedience or, again, a result of something poorly documented during the Day of Collapse, such as a false provenance of claim by the previous line, or..."

It's at this point that she stops herself, saying, "Those are just the hypotheses I can construct as a lay person, however."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"It's mostly we're the only ones who know of it because nobody else can be bothered to read the damn scrolls, boy," Scalzi grumbles in Cyre's direction. "Besides - we can't make a pilgrimage to a place we don't know exists. Keep scrubbing - I want to take advantage of young arms. I'd best be able to see my reflecton in that stoop." Considering the stoop is made of slate, this will take some doing.

The Matriarch takes in the ladies' theories, and finally nods gruding approval. "Well-reasoned all," she says. "The texts suggest that the Holy Mother did leave the Monastery and come to Nisan, and that the place was destroyed in around that period. But this Bishop Penuel speaks of another Holy Mother before her." Scalzi scowls, looking at the paper again. "So as you said, this suggest that either the woman in this letter wasn't the first Holy Mother... or that our faith was born of some sort of split." She sighs. "Or this thing is a load of bunk. But you don't seem like scoundrels," the old woman allows. "Scoundrel wouldn't've been scrubbing just for an old woman's say-so."

The matriarch hands the paper back to Avril. "I'd appreciate it if you'd march your buns back up to the Cathedral and let my girls make a copy of that," Scalzi says. "God only knows what I'll make of it, but we know so little of Sophia's life. It would be nice to share something with our Holy Mother Marguerite, when she returns."

<Pose Tracker> Cyre H. Lorentz has posed.

Mutter mutter scrub scrub. This is Cyre's life for the better part of however long it is that this whole exchange takes. "...Reflection in slate of all things. How do you turn rock into a mirror? Ugh."


At least he's not a scoundrel, right!?

"Weird thing is that Penuel takes that girl to Nimrod, right?" He says, still scrubbing. "But nobody seems to know who Penuel is or where Nimrod was. But if she's the Holy Mother, she must have ended up here." Scrub-scrub-scrub. At least Catenna still loves him. Scrub-scrub. "If there was a change in the faith somewhere along the line, then who says this place isn't Nimrod?"


"Names can change a lot over the years. And both names are kind of a little similar, aren't they? The Ni- is, anyway."

<Pose Tracker> Catenna has posed.

A part of Catenna is quietly pleased that she figured this one out.

The rest of her is rather unhappy with how Cyre's being treated. She lowers her hand to rest on his shoulder once more, before she sinks to her knees and takes up another cloth, beginning to help him wash the slate stoop. Her eyes close for a moment.

Perhaps it is degrading, but if Cyre is going to be degraded in this way, she won't allow him to face it alone.

"We are merely explorers, Matriarch," she says with a shallow dip of her head, a few locks of hair slipping free of her bonnet - in the form of her usual braided lock. She's still got her bangles clipped into it. "And there is still much from before the Collapse that is unknown... though pieces like this do, sometimes, emerge from the travails of one Driter or another. I have always believed it is important to preserve and understand these finds."

As opposed to selling them like most Drifters, she reflects bitterly.

With a glance back towards Cyre, she nods pensively. "Names can certainly change with time... but until we have more proof...?"

<Pose Tracker> Avril Vent Fleur has posed.

Even names can be forgotten.

"It is certainly possible to forget many things," Avril comments slowly, her gaze briefly tilting downwards towards the cobblestones, "But even in the calamity of the Day of the Collapse... no, that the name of this place still endures, it does seem rather suspect, does it not?"

She briefly clasps then unclasps her hands. Her gaze lifts and meets the sole eye of Scalzi.

"Matriarch, have you encountered other information that would support this story? It does seem that this may be familiar to you. You did not seem to be shocked by the suggestion."

She does nod in the end, of course. "I would be happy to assist. This is important. And..." She hesitates, if only for a second. "Perhaps some things are best left to the past, as some say, but I feel there are also things that should be recovered. Not all things ought remain lost and forgotten."

<Pose Tracker> Matilda Whitehead has posed.

"I, at least, am..." Matilda pauses. "Ah -- sorry, this is -- not a circumstance in which I'm... experienced, in knowing what to say. I have an interest in history, even if my talents lie in compounding and botany... there are circumstances in which I'd call myself a scoundrel, but historical research... isn't among them."

She continues to muse on the others' takes on the document for a while, before noting, "A single vocal fragment isn't quite enough to go on... after all, how many lands do you know that end in 'City'? It could well be that 'Ni' simply denotes a settlement." She doesn't want to totally dunk Cyre here, but...

"In any event -- as Ms. Avril implies, we would appreciate the opportunity to explore this find further, with your permission -- and if possible your assistance."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"Not a bad thought for a scrub boy," Scalzi says playfully, "But remember that our faith endured the Collapse. And we have records dating back to Holy Mother Sophia's time that talk about Nisan, not Nimrod. And ink doesn't change over time." She shrugs. "Still, like your wife there said - not much we can say for sure until we got more proof."

Avril's question draws another shrug in return. "Ah, young woman," she says, sounding amused, "After so many years spent trying to sew together the rents in history's tapestry, you get used to life throwing you a few loose threads from time to time." Scalzi smiles. "It may be hard for... explorers..." she glances at Catenna, her lips quirking, "...to understand, but it's all the excitement an old lady like myself needs."

The matriarch nods to Matilda. "I don't know much else, I'm afraid," she admits. "Holy Mother Marguerite may know more... but she's trapped in the palace with that damned Shakhan," Scalzi says with a growl. "But wherever you found that note - there may be others like it. Bring 'em to me, and I'll tell you what I can."

The old woman clucks her tongue and makes shooing gestures at Cyre and Catenna. "All right, all right, enough of that, you did fine," she says. "You head off and be lovebirds and leave this old hen to manage her own nest."