2018-03-22: Faces of Forgotten Legends

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<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Vane and Meribia aren't so far apart that the Company of the Fox can't stop at one on the way to the other. It helps that Benedict Greygust handed over a map of the area showing a shortcut through the mountains, significantly shortening the adventure back from Takkar.

Not long after the group arrived in Vane, Talise headed for two places. The first was to check if she could get into the Silver Spire. (She couldn't.)

The second place she went was the library at the Magic Guild. She was up for most of the night, sorting through ancient, decaying tomes and reading deeply.

The same thing continued through today. If nothing else, she went to bed for awhile and put on fresh clothes after a bath. She's picked out a warm red tunic with a gold pattern around the collar and short sleeves over a pair of cream-coloured slacks and a simple pair of boots. The tunic reveals the definition of her arms pretty completely.

Talise brought along a box of Mrs. Mumford's Old-Fashioned Biscuits when she crossed over from Filgaia. She's nibbling on one now, careful not to get any crumbs on the old tome she's sifting through at one of the library's tables - a table she has piled high with ancient books and even a few scrolls. She's gone so far as to put on a pair of reading glasses.

"Althena's thong," Talise sighs as she looks up from the book, grimacing. "I've read more about the Battle of Vane than I've read about anything else and I still feel like I'm no closer to figuring this out."

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephilia Lampbright might once have chafed at the delay, especially to visit a LIBRARY of all things, but here, now, she's excited to finally be able to take advantage of the discount-rate membership she has paid for in the Magic Guild. Also to come get like, any Official Paperwork and stuff signed off on so she can really call herself a member of the Guild. Because that'll be really cool to show her Mom and Dad.

She's been doing some reading too, of course--or, rather, has been trying to find any reading whatsoever on the subject of dolls, comma, magically animated.

Not much in that category exists, she's finding. Her own journal is also out, and she's taking notes in it as she goes, compiling what little she CAN find into one place. So far, it has: "What we know about magical dolls:" written on an otherwise blank page.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle has actually been to Vane before, having detoured to it after splitting off from the group briefly - not because she wanted to abandon them, but because she wanted to check for other Filgaians.

She'd actually found a couple, so that was a plus. She knows, for instance, that Cecilia has previously been here, which made Tethelle feel a little better; they aren't the only people to appear up here, and other people may have survived whatever went on down in the Pleasing Gardens.

But she's not looking for her now. At the moment, she is assisting Talise. Tethelle knows very little about Lunarian history, so she's not actually being very helpful with the search into deep knowledge, but is instead educating herself about things like 'basic geography'. Or is it moonography? Lunagraphy? Tethelle doesn't know, and mysteriously that isn't covered in these scrolls.

"You should curse less," Tethelle says, without looking up. She does not believe in Althena, but she knows that Talise does. Tethelle is wearing her usual outfit with no changes except she has been polite and peacebonded her sword; it's tied into the carrier with a complicated knot in ribbons. She could draw it if she had to, but it slows her down.

She stands up, walking away from the table to go back to books. She wants to find something on spirits, now, if she can. But the layout of the battered old library is confusing to her at the best of times. It reminds her of her temple's scrolls, except less organized (or, more accurately, organized in a manner she doesn't understand).

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

Lemina Ausa has a lot to research lately. That and, well, she just likes being home, honestly. As a result, when Talise arrives at the library, Lemina's already there -- but buried in her own semi-private corner... at least until Talise mentions the Battle of Vane and gets her attention.

The Premier sits down across from Talise without hesitation, because, you know, all things in this world belong to her -- well, no, but this library pretty much does. "Oh hey -- you're looking into the fall of Vane too, huh," she says, smoothing out her skirt.

"What're you trying to figure out? And, uh, have you been here to check out books before?" Lemina adjusts her own reading glasses, before giving a brief, pleasant wave to Sephilia and looking over to Tethelle, who she just realized she passed without a word on her way here. "Oh, uh, are you looking for something, too?" She pauses before admitting, "I heard 'Battle of Vane' and got mega-excited."

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    It's not strange for Lanval to be here among Fox Company. He's been following them like a lost puppy ever since Talise tripped over him in Meribia. That much is, in so far as anything can be in today's day and age, normal.
     What isn't is that he's been stone silent roughly since they even first set foot in here. The colorful drunkard of a water spirit may as well be invisible (figuratively, in this case) as he sits quietly within his present vessel - a bottle - somewhere on Tethelle's table. Maybe he's asleep? This might be something of a boon for now, though. It's a library and all, not the sort of place to just laugh away and be merry in 24/7 boorish revelry.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

It was usually Dahlia that did all the important reading. That was not to say that Layna didn't read, or couldn't, it was just not something she often did recreationally, and definitely not for research purposes. She can understand why Talise is curious about the particular enigma they've been faced with, but unfortunately for Layna it isn't a problem they can just punch until answers come out.

So at the moment Layna's kind of reclining against a wall and half-heartedly flipping through a book. She has a pile of books stacked up next to her, some of them looking more relevant than others.

"...They sure have some unusual books here...dunno what some of these really have to do with magic..." Layna comments, looking up.

She says this about the same time as Lemina walks in. This was entirely coincidental.

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy waves excitedly, though it's clear she had the urge to rush over and hug her friend. "I'm looking for stuff about dolls like Chauncey! An' stuff. Also should I get any kind of like, guild badge or uniform or anything? Something that shows I'm a member paid up and all."

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Talise figures most of the Filgaians will be either here or in Meribia - and the second one of those places was off-limits. But she's also been keeping her eyes and ears open for two important people: Rosaline, and Ida.

Talise pouts slightly in Tethelle's general direction, but lets it pass with a sigh before setting her tome to one side. "Maybe I should," she concedes as she reaches for the next book in her stack.

And then, of all people, here comes someone mega-blonde and mega-famous. A little part of Talise tempts her to get really hype because Lemina is an Ausa and therefore genetically made of pure hero. She shunts that part of her aside and just nods, pushing her glasses up with a tired smile. "Hello, Miss Ausa." Hey, heroines deserve politeness. "And yeah, we're doing some research. I mean, I knew the story in general, to be honest with you... I've sung it a lot of times. But we were out east and came across some weird inconsistencies. Something about a singing woman with blue hair and a weird hat being there with the Magic Emperor. And it seemed really weird to me because I know I've never heard of anything like that."

Talise gestures to the pile of books around her. "I've been here most of the day trying to figure out who that was. I haven't yet, though." She reaches for her next book, a decaying leather-bound thing with the name 'Sigrel' visible on the spine.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Maybe I should ask Lanval, Tethelle thinks.

...maybe after the books.

Tethelle recognizes Lemina from some of the... encounters they've had where they were both present at various battles; she's not sure she's really just sat down and spoken to her. Lemina ought to know she's not Lunarian though, unlike everyone else here. "I was, but it's not about the Battle of Vane," she says.

"I was looking into lesser spirits. Not... Seraphs, smaller things," Tethelle explains. "The little spirits of wind and rain and river." Tethelle does not go into further detail, but if Lemina recognizes her as a Baskar it should make at least a little bit of sense. "Oh, and I am Tethelle Cirdian," she adds, since the others all seem to know each other. (Lanval possibly excepted.)

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

"... Weeee don't have the money for those anymore," Lemina admits, with a bit of an awkward smile at Sephilia. "I can draw you up some papers later though!" Lemina takes a look up toward the roof. ... huh, Maya must be working really hard! Not everywhere in the library is leaking, for once.

Lanval gets only the briefest glance. It's actually fairly common for there to be seraphim in the library, because Vane... still does that whole seraphim veneration thing. There's plates of hash browns in front of each of the statues flanking the central tome of magic at the rear of the library, clearly as offerings for seraphim, if he's into that.

Tethelle gets first attention. "We have some stuff on that -- depending on whether you're looking for using them for magical purposes or just spiritualism, you're going to be looking in either the 200s or the 500s. It might not be the best, or in the best condition, but we're still the biggest mega-magic library on the continent!" Because Pentagulia is an island and Neo-Vane is in the sky. Also, Vane has the Dewey Decimal System. Who knew?

Layna gets a shrug. "Not everyone here is a wizard," Lemina points out. "Those books are important!" And, finally, to Talise. First, she takes a peek at the leather-bound tome Talise has -- and then moves on to her actual comments. "I saw a lot different from what I knew..." She reaches into her pack, pulling out a notebook. "Let's compare notes. The blue-haired woman is the weirdest, but everything's a little weird."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna shuts the book she was reading. That one...was decisively irrelevant to their situation at hand. Well, maybe the next one would help...? Or at least it might, if she bothered to pick it up at all. Instead, she hears Talise greet 'Miss Ausa' and looks over. A part of her expected to see Miria herself when she hears someone greeted that way, so she's a little surprise to see Lemina

"Oh, hey, Lemina." Layna greets with a wave, and then shrugs. "Aye? Well, that's fair, I s'ppose."

She folds her arms in front of her as talk turns to the reason why they were here.

"Yeah, Talise was telling us about it...I don't quite get it, m'self." Layna comments with a pensive expression. She knew her history, but not nearly as well as Talise or Lemina did.

It wasn't exactly necessary for proper pirating.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    The bottle sits alone. It may not even be empty, which is weird. (Well, it spiritually isn't empty but let's not devolve into word games over this.) As chatter surrounds concerning matters of the Battle of Vane, of visiting current generations of heroic lineage, and other matters of spiritual questions concerning animated dolls or 'lesser' spirits, there remains but one truth.
     Hash browns.
     Somewhere within the vessel, Lanval considers snacks. There is no urgent need to eat - ever - but for all the vices and other cultural detritus that mortals have oft infected his ilk with, that seems to be the one he's taken up in whole.
     The bottle stirs. It shakes. It... inches?
     It seems like it'd be a lot less trouble to simply just manifest and be done with it.

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Talise has crossed Lemina's path before! She ran into her outside of Adlehyde about a year ago.

She nods at Tethelle's explanation, smiling ruefully. "You're a lot more sensitive to that kind of thing than me. It took Sorey holding my hand before I could even tell Seraphim were there."

Talise opens the tome as Lemina's focus shifts to Tethelle. She taps a finger absently against the first page, arching her brows, then looks up again as Lemina and Layna both weigh in. "I'd heard the stories for years - my uncle was a huge storyteller. I learned 'em from him." Her smile returns, a wistful note colouring it.

Lemina fishes out her notebook, and Talise nods crisply, pushing her reading glasses back into place and reaching for her own notebook. She's had it lying beside her and has been scribbling in it periodically! "Okay! What've you got? The woman was weird to me too, but so was the fact that she was singing. From what I knew, singing only came into it once, and that was when Althena came down and sang during the fight with the Magic Emperor."

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

There's a reason Tethelle is calling them little spirits, usually. They're just as important as the larger spirits, but their area of power is more limited. But for something like testing the weather, she'd rather speak to them, and not try to bother - say - Fengalon, who has much bigger things to worry about.

"Both," Tethelle says, surprised that Lemina actually had that complete an answer on hand.

She hesitates for a moment. Well, Lemina has been to Filgaia, so she can get away with this question: "I didn't know you had many spiritualists," Tethelle says, "thought I don't know if they're the same as my beliefs." They almost certainly are not. "I knew you had the little spirits around, because I tried to talk to them. They don't speak the same way as the ones I'm used to, though..."

Tethelle couldn't tell if they were intentionally ignoring her or if she was just having a critical failure to communicate with Lunarian spirits. That's why she was going to look in the books. Which is why she brings up: "The spirits sing, too. And you've mentioned Althena has, before. So I assumed that was normal - that there was a tradition of magic in song...?"

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

"Well, papers is still great," Sephilia pipes up. "I...I'm sorry I'm not much use at finding out this kind of history stuff. I know what Dad taught me, but that's a lot more about like, how to identify what era ruins are from and stuff..." She trails off.

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

The shaking of the bottle gets another glance. Lemina frowns.

More important things, though! "It's not really common? Like, that's kind of a... culture, hero, thing," she says. "Plus waaaay back you have people referring to Althena's blessing as channeling elemental spirits, or maybe they were and were, like, mini-Shepherds or something, but I dunno if that, like, counts. But if you're gonna find something about it, it's probably here!"

Layna gets a grin -- as does Talise. It turns out talking about her own research efforts is enough to excite her, which means Layna is about to get a crash course. "Let's see... where to start..." Conveniently, all roads seem to lead to song, so let's start there!

"We do have a tradition of magic in song -- the magic usually associated with the priesthood is litany-dependent, and song tends to be associated with the Goddess Althena," Lemina starts, for Tethelle, before adding, "Uh, all current mega-weird edicts aside..." That... really feels weird, to Lemina in particular, raised in a tradition of Goddess-worship outside the mainstream. "And -- yeah, that's what I've always been told, too. What's weird to me is that, let's see..."

She pops open the notebook, which is a mess of arrows and concept webs. "Woman singing too early... woman dressed like Vile Tribe but no markings, no pointed ears... crest on hat matches current Church of Althena but not the Church of Althena back then or earlier..." It turns out even the negative space can be useful, in research.

Lemina puts her elbows on the table and rests her chin in her hands, looking down at the notebook, then across to Tethelle's. "Oh! I was always told Vane did battle with the Grindery, but Vane doesn't get in any mega-magic offense in the projection. ... it could be that I just missed it, or that it's missing a part, but..."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna finds her eyes being drawn to the bottle as it stirs and shakes. Lanval's bottle, specifically. She raises an eyebrow.

"...You okay there, buddy?" She asks, curious. If she was closer to the table she'd reach over and prod the bottle, but she isn't...so she lets someone else do it instead.

She could always just walk over there, but...that would take effort.

So instead she just glances over toward Talise with a slight smile. It was good to see her in a positive mood.

"...Strange. ...Maybe they did somethin' you wouldn't see in the recording, aye? Like some kind of attack from the inside...?" Layna suggests with a shrug. "Any idea what Vane of old woulda been capable of?"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    An expert in the matter captures the attentions of the majority of Fox Company about pressing questions as regards some utter mega-weirdness. Somewhere in the background of all this, a bottle continues to stir -
     It stops, as Layna calls out the weird behavior. The bottle goes deathly still. No word from anyone there as to whether anything's okay there, but then again, no news is good news, right? Besides, there's important things to figure out other than whether or not they are about to be in the company of history being made in the world of risque party games. Stuff like what they saw down in the Mystic Ruins, or what it all could have ever meant.
     ...
     ...
     ...
     There is a light 'tink' as the bottle falls over on the table and noisily rolls a short distance, each passing scrape of wood against rolling glass met with the misfortune of distracting, attention-grabbing sound.
     The bottle curves counter-clockwise, as though the bottle itself were too ashamed to show its mouth to everyone there.

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

"Yeah, Althena has always been a goddess of song," Talise agrees with a nod back to Tethelle. "A lot of her stories and prayers are songs, and even the priests used to sing magic litanies, before the big ban. I could even sing you a litany or two if you're ever in the mood to hear what religion used to sound like up here." She scratches her cheek. "Mine ain't magic, though."

Lemina fills in a few more litany details, and Talise nods slowly along.

"I wonder why the spirits still sing when Althena has said song is a sin. You'd think they would listen to the Goddess and go quiet," she muses.

Looking over to Sephilia, Talise smiles gently. "It's alright... I'm not great at going through old books, either. I just... feel like this is something I've gotta check out."

The note-comparing begins. Talise picks up her pen of choice; it's actually a charcoal stub, which she taps absently against the page. The notebook is full of scribbles and roughly-jotted notes, and a few bits of musical notation. The taller woman moistens her lips with a pass of her tongue. "I thought Vile Tribe too. And I didn't notice the crest. I thought the style of the hat was weird, though. Her and the Magic Emperor both had those droopy flares on their headgear like Althena does now - or at least she had the hat wings when she appeared to us in the water."

She looks across the notebook, pursing her lips as Lemina and Layna make suggestions. "Well, it looked like whoever cast the imaging spell or started the Rememberizer up was on the Grindery and not on Vane, at least to my eye...."

The sound of the bottle falling over and rolling causes Talise to start a little in surprise. She eases her open book out of the way. A few pages turn, revealing a weathered illumination of a man in a conical red and white helmet standing in front of a huge black metal tower.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

"I'd assumed that she was just casting a spell," Tethelle admits. "By singing. If one group can do it, why not another?" Though if it's always associated with the priesthood... "Perhaps they're trying to keep the magic for themselves. The priests, I mean. If they took that symbol, too, perhaps it used to be a rival order."

Tethelle has no idea.

"But the spirits were certainly still singing. If I went outside I could probably get them to start up again," Tethelle says, sounding slightly amused. "They only know one song - no, that's not true. They only sing one song to me; I don't know the right response. Or perhaps they don't like a foreigner in their territory."

Her gaze shifts over to the bottle. If she could tell where it was trying to get to, she might pick it up and move it. But... well, she's not sure. "Sephilia," she asks instead, "if you can find more ruins of that era, that would be one way to find out more."

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy sighs. "I was worried someone was going to say that. We... may need to go back in. I wasn't really paying that close attention to the particulars that would tell me how old those specific ruins were. And then I'll wanna talk to Dad about other likely ruins to check out. He knows everything about ruins!" He's a famous explorer. She goes over to the bottle and rights it. "Stop playing around, please, Lanval!"

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "Shh, shh." The 'shhs' are barely audible - intended for only Sephilia to hear. For the quietness of the 'shh,' there is something kind of... urgent, about it? "Not soo loud." Pff, 'not so loud,' says the one whose vessel just made some unwelcome noise!
     ...
     "Um. Sephy. Sephy. Can ya do your bestest friend in the whole wide world... a biiiiiig favor?" Beat. "Just a... a li'l thing.... a big favor." So, um, is it a little thing or a big favor?

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

"Hmmm, maybe you're right -- but if they were going to, like, board it, why would they move in close?" Lemina reflects, thoughtfully, to Layna. "I mean -- I see what you're saying, but it's not like ship to ship combat where to do anything you have to get boarding hooks out and... stuff." She doesn't actually know that much about ship to ship combat.

She moves along with Talise, though, still thinking carefully. "It feels... weird -- like, the whole thing. If we could speak to the Goddess directly we could probably just find out, but as far as I know Pentagulia isn't accepting new..."

... Lemina gets an idea. She decides not to voice it, for now, because it's probably a really bad idea.

So instead she moves on. "A rival order, huh... that might make sense," Lemina says, still thinking aloud. "I mean, religions merge all the time..." She looks to Tethelle with a brief, quizzical expression, adding, "I've -- never tried anything like that. Trying to respond to that kinda stuff, I mean. We could give it a try..."

Her gaze turns back down -- and then to the man in the helmet. "Is that...?" she starts, canting her head. "The hat looks right..."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

Layna stares at the bottle a bit more. It stops when she calls it out...and then falls over, and begins to roll.

"...You just keep doin' you, buddy." She says. It's...probably for the best, anyway. Lanval didn't really seem like the type for studious work. ...Not that she was either, but that's neither here nor there. Besides, Sephilia was taking care of it.

Yeah, Talise raises a good point - why did the spirits sing if song was banned?

"Maybe it's a human thing? Like, 'humans are way too prone to corruption to handle this', aye? Not that I really believe that, but..." Layna shrugs. It's not like she really cared about any of those edicts, even though she claimed to be a believer.

Lemina gives her thoughts on how the fight went down, and Layna considers it.

"Well, you'd probably still have to get close...unless you had some kind of teleportation magic or flight, but..." Layna shrugs. It's hard to tell exactly.

Layna glances over to the picture...but she can't really figure anything out, herself.

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Curiosity digs a little niche into Talise's soul. She looks over to Tethelle, smiling thoughtfully. "Is it possible... for others to hear it? I would kind of like to hear what they sing... if only to know what the spirits sound like. I've never even imagined such a thing."

She blinks back at Sephilia and smiles quietly. "I don't mind doubling back. We might find something that'll help you. And who knows? Maybe even something that'll help get Tethelle closer to home."

The mention of speaking to the Goddess causes Talise's expression to darken just a touch, but she keeps that thought to herself, shoving it aside and lingering on the mystery. She frowns a little. "Well, the Magic Emperor was supposed to be of the Vile Tribe. I don't see why the Tribe would merge with Althena's church. They've been enemies of Althena even since the oldest known stories. Like, since Dragonmaster Bartz, even...."

Talise trails off as Lemina indicates the illustration. Blinking, she looks down at the page. Part of it has faded away and several pages have outright rotted; this one, at least, is intact, along with more closer to the back half. "...I think it is Dragonmaster Alex. I mean, this book is...."

Lifting the book a little, Talise checks the cover. "...It's a biography of Alex. Someone named Sigrel wrote it... I thought it might have something because apparently it was written while Alex was still alive."

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

"What did you need? And why are we whispering?" whispers Sephy in response to the bottle.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

"Well, I don't mind going back." Tethelle hadn't planned it, but... "Not today, certainly, but we do need to look into the older ruins. Which is another thing we need to look for," she adds, looking at Lemina. "The oldest ruins you know of. The Elw ruins brought us here, so the Elw have been here, and nobody here knows what they are, so it must have been a very long time ago. Perhaps they left something here when they went back."

Talise makes a request, and Tethelle nods. "I don't know if you can hear it, but we can try later," Tethelle agrees. "Maybe you know the proper response to give to them." She is a bard, after all, and Tethelle is not; she's certainly not tone-deaf, she can hum or chant along with songs, but she doesn't have Talise's musical talent.

Tethelle doesn't have an answer for the Vile Tribe - she's not entirely sure what they are, or were, beyond the very basics - so she lets the people who actually know this kind of stuff discuss it. They're more likely to come to a conclusion that works than she is.

But she does look at the book curiously, walking over to examine the picture. ...well, okay, it still doesn't mean much to her either.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "If ya look behind you... over the left shoulder." Lanval's voice continues to whisper. "There's some food there." Hash browns. Hash browns for the Seraphim that drift by the library. Seraphim venerated by the people of Vane at a level of worship and respect one doesn't see so readily.
     "Ahhh... d-don't worry, they won't notice ya, 'cause," Lanval's whispering voice trails off, "it'll be okay! Could ya just... put some near me? Pleeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaase?"
     That 'please' sounds like a seven-year-old begging for a cookie. Lanval is one of the Seraphim. Why is he suddenly so lazy to reach out and get it himself? (Actually, no, that's not a great way to frame the question, knowing him...)

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy goes back to the conversation.

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Then she pauses, sighs, and picks the bottle up, putting IT by the hashbrowns instead of moving the hashbrowns.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    "...Nooooooo~"
     And then moments later.
     "Yaaaaaay! Thank you. Thank you. Thank you~"
     Which is nice and all, but now there's a bottle in the hash browns. What exactly is this guy's next move? Well, at least they're happy...?

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

"... That's possible," Lemina says, "But it'd be really new and really weird. Like... mega-weird, since, that's kind of always been the... division of labor, I guess? Seraphim fight Malevolence, the priesthood is supposed to heal the sick and help the needy, wizards and sorcerers are supposed to protect the people and render aid to the Dragonmaster or the Shepherd..."

Her brow furrows. This doesn't add up. None of this adds up. It's a big headache.

"That's a big find. I thought all our copies of stuff like that were stolen or water-damaged... we're supposed to have journals from every Premier and Guildmistress, but they fell into a human septic tank that then flew off into the sky." Lemina crosses her arms and scrunches up her entire face.

Then, to Tethelle: "I'd be interested in that too, actually."

Lemina taps her chin, looping back to the topic of the boarding -- and then to the Magic Emperor. "It'd be foolish to risk Vane if they were gonna focus just on boarding -- since everyone could just leave the town through the Spring and then go on foot... or if they had a Dragonmaster, like... there's options."

The final topic -- the Magic Emperor -- is the least... penetrable. "... What if they had a common cause, though? Something that'd make it worth it to go for doing a heresy?"

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

"I hope it's not that. I don't think I'm that corrupt," Talise admits with a grimace at Layna.

As Tethelle makes her suggestion, a slight blush touches Talise's cheeks, right around the points of her cheekstripes. "I don't know if I've ever sung to a spirit before. But I'll try. Would be easier if I had my lute, but...."

But it burned down with Fortnight Cove, she remembers, making yet another mental note to calmly make the Trial Knight pay for that little transgression.

Talise taps a finger against the page, delicately. "Alex Noah was the last Dragonmaster," she explains to Tethelle. "As the story goes, when the Magic Emperor attacked Vane, Alex came out of nowhere with the rest of the Five Heroes-" She gestures at Lemina. "Including Lemina's ancestor Mia, actually."

A small frown crosses her face as Lemina makes her suggestion. "Maybe something like that's in here," she suggests as she begins turning pages.

Immediately Talise furrows her brows as she leafs through several pages on which the ink has turned into a runny mess and much of the parchment has crumpled and warped.

Elsewhere in the library, on a bookshelf from a thousand or so years ago, an old stain sits, left by a hole in the roof above where the book was stored.

"Some of it's still legible," she says, flipping past a page full of smeared colour. "Look, the writer talked to the other heroes. Here's your ancestor saying how eager Alex was to stop being the Dragonmaster when the time was right. Here's--" She blinks. "--Jessica de Alkirk talking about how she wanted to marry him."

She squints at the faded illustration of Jessica, then touches one of her cheekstripes. "...Nice style, girlfriend," murmurs the tall swordswoman who really does look like a six foot two Jessica with muscles if you look at her right.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"And you know I'm always up to help out, of course." Layna replies with a nod. If her friends were going to go off to something like that, she would be sure to help out. What kind of responsible adult would she be if she didn't?
...Well, admittedly, she was only one of those things.

To Talise, Layna simply shrugs.

"I don't think you are, either. I might be, though." Layna comments with a smirk. She's clearly not entirely serious.

Lemina raises a valuable point, though - this is Vane they were talking about, of course they had other methods. She simply shrugs again.

"You'd know 'em better than I would." She replies. Her attentions turns to the book again, though she doesn't have much to say about it.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle is currently trying to guess why Lanval wants to sit by the potatoes. She likes fried food too, but just sitting nearby doesn't do anything for her. Maybe he only cares about the spiritual essence of the hashbrowns?

"Then we can try it," Tethelle agrees. It might be interesting. "You don't need your lute; they use their voice, and I assume they'd want you to use yours." Hopefully they don't need any other tools, because they don't have any.

Instead: "Or they had a schism in the ...Vile Tribe," Tethelle points out. "Like Riesenlied's group, from the Metal Demons. I don't know." It's a mystery, and probably not one that's going to be solved in the library today.

She leans over Talise's shoulder to look at the pictures. "Hmm," she says, thoughtfully, before deciding, "Nah." She does not explain further. Though now she knows that Talise's general appearance as a half-Beastman isn't too unusual for them.

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

"The way they tell it it's..." Lemina pauses. "... aaaaactually that sounds pretty smart, Tethelle," she reflects, a moment later, once the comparison really sinks in. "I bet they wouldn't know the difference out here -- only in the Frontier..."

That gets something to click. "Blue hair... huh, maybe the singer is Prairie Tribe. I think they're all Hylanders now though..."

The mention of Mia gets a big grin, as Lemina says, "Yeah -- that's whose journals I was looking for first, except, again. Septic tank. Flying. Dirtbag. Whole thing." ... why was anyone but an Ausa allowed to even get near those, Lemina reflects...

Layna manages to get a bit of an embarrassed laugh. "You'd think that, but... a lot of this stuff is lost, and with the journals gone, it's guesswork for me too. Based on stuff that's still... mostly working?"

Lemina drums her fingers on the table. "I'm... mostly trying to make any sense of this. I feel like we have more questions now than when we started..."

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

"I dunno, you can't be that corrupt. I mean, Hell Mel was one of the Companions of Dragonmaster Dyne, and he was a pirate, too." Talise throws Layna a crooked smile, still blushing.

As Tethelle leans over her shoulder, Talise hunches forward a little to return her attention to the page. "Yeah, maybe... I can sing at 'em, then. And Lemina might have better luck understanding them, so we can try it together."

Speaking of Lemina, the blonde sorceress makes an observation, and Talise scratches her cheek with a pensive frown. "Yeah, they might be... I don't think the Prairie Tribe is even around these parts anymore. Maybe they used to be allied with the Vile Tribe...." She nods at Lemina's observation as she flips through the pages. A few at the back are still legible, but only one in colour.

"Oh wow," she gasps as she looks down at the intaglio cameo on the page. "It's Alex late in life. I don't think I've ever even heard of something like this. And he's with--"

Talise pauses and blinks at the faded print, and the radiant woman pictured next to a smiling, early-middle-aged Alex. She taps the page delicately.

"Hey Lemina," she says, her voice tightening. "I think I just figured out who that woman is."

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

Sephy scrambles over to peer at what Talise has found!

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

The print of the cameo does, in fact, depict a smiling, broad-shouldered man in his early middle years, with a dazzling woman beside him. Enough pigment is left on the page to reveal the blue tint of her hair rather obviously. She's added two or three decades but the face is fairly familiar, though her eyes are the wrong colour altogether.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

"Who is that?" Tethelle asks, because despite her many talents, identifying historical figures on a different planet is not one of them.

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Oh, aye? Maybe I oughta learn more about 'im." Layna comments with a grin over toward Talise. Right now, though, the important thing is the mystery they're trying to solve now.

"Hey, at least we know what those questions are now, aye?" Layna says with a grin toward Lemina. The questions were always there, after all, they just didn't know them.

Talise says she knows who that woman is, so Layna moves out to take a look and considers the picture appraisingly.

"...Huh. She's pretty." She comments, but doesn't say more than that.

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    The studies of Fox Company into whatever it is they saw seems to reach a climax as Sephy goes over to crowd and see what it is! Together, they seem to be on the cusp of defining an uncertain point in history...!
     Meanwhile, the bottle shakes one more time in the presence of the hash brown offerings. Bottles lack eyes, but one may get the sense that it is exchanging shifty glances through the way light filters through the glass. Somehow. What cue its occupant is looking for does not seem to be all that certain from the onset. Maybe it's waiting for them not to look? Why would the mortals care if he decided to appear and have some hash browns? He's a Seraphim.
     There is a blue flash of light as Lanval manifests himself from the bottle, a hungry grin on his face as he rubs his hands together. At last, whatever opportunity he's waiting for seems to have arrived, as he helps himself to a...
     ...restrained, tiny portion of the hash browns in question. The same Seraphim they usually see drinking alcohol virtually non-stop.
     Huh.

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

"Yeah -- piracy was a big thing back then," Lemina says, eager to show off that she is Smart and Knowledgeable and Good. "And that was the height of Althena's power, if this isn't..."

Talise flips through -- there's a brief moment where Lemina gives the book a slightly baffled look, shortly before the cameo... but whatever thought that was, it's sure gone now, as Talise points out that they have the start of an answer.

Lemina slams her hands down on the table and -- while technically she walks around it -- damn near vaults it to get a closer, more direct look. She resists the urge to immediately shout 'HOLY FRICK MOM' loud enough to be heard cross-town like some sort of gremlin, but she REALLY wants to.

"Like -- there's no way that's her, but there's no way that... isn't her, either, that's mega-exactly her face. And her hair. ... goddess, she's gorgeous." Her brow furrows a little, and she focuses down on the page, conveniently not noticing Lanval... actually putting the offerings to their intended purpose. Huh. "... If she was serving the Magic Emperor, then how -- what --"

Looking to Layna with a slightly worn-down laugh, she says, "I wanna be done with knowing more questions!! I wanna know more answers now! This is too many questions!!!"

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

Furrowing her brows, Talise moves her hand to the edge of the book, squinting down from the art to the faded text beneath it. "It says it's his wife, Luna Noah," she murmurs.

She's also leaning close, enough so that she nearly bumps heads with Lemina. Her teeth close around her bottom lip, pointed incisors digging little dimples into it. "Yeah," she murmurs a bit wistfully as Lemina comments on how gorgeous Luna is. "She's even prettier than Althena...."

Her frown deepens a little. "...Maybe Alex rescued her somehow," she murmurs. "But that seems like it'd be such a great story... so you'd think it would've been told...? But...." Trailing off, the swordswoman-singer stares at the page cluelessly for several baffled moments.

Finally, Talise sighs and weaves her hand into her hair, leaning back in her chair. "...I have so many things I want answered now and I have this annoying feeling I won't get 'em. Damn."

<Pose Tracker> Sephilia Lampbright has posed.

"But...yeah, why have we never..." Sephy asks, confused.

<Pose Tracker> Tethelle Cirdian has posed.

Tethelle is still in the dark about some of the story, but at least they've explained it a little.

"Maybe she didn't want to have the story told, and if she married the Dragonmaster they could stop it," Tethelle says. "Or maybe it was told, but was forgotten. We lost a lot of our writings in the Day of Calamity - I know you didn't have one, but something else?" These are absolutely shots in the dark. Tethelle doesn't know any better than the others.

"...well, if we are going back to the Ruins, perhaps you'll find a clue there?"

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Aye, she's got a point - there are some things people just don't want known." Layna replies with a shrug and a nod toward Tethelle. She knew that all too well, herself.

And, of course, it's fair that Lemina doesn't want anymore questions...but it seems like, for now, they have all the answers they're going to get, at least from this source...

<Pose Tracker> Seraph Lanval has posed.

    Lanval enjoys his uncharacteristically tiny nibble of the hash browns! His eyes open as a few more things are being discussed. He thinks to just help himself on over and join in on the crowding around Talise, when--
     He straightens up with a silent cringe and disappears in a soft blue light back into the bottle as a deeper yellow-hued Seraphim comes by. He reaches forth to enjoy his share of the offered hash browns...
     ...His brow furrows as he picks up the bottle, stares into it, and frowns. With a grumpy 'harrumph,' the poor bottle is chucked across the room. By some means, the bottle doesn't shatter. It does skip and roll along right out of the library.
     The hash browns from that plate go untouched for the rest of the day.

<Pose Tracker> Lemina Ausa has posed.

Hash browns: nibbled
Bottle: ready
Bottoms: up

I am forcibly ejected from the library of Vane

"Well -- it was told, here, in Vane," Lemina points out, gesturing to the book. "That says to me that it was less, you know, untold, and more, uh." She gestures expansively. "Mega-suppressed. Probably because it involves the Dragonmaster probably doing a heresy. Or seven."

Tethelle and Layna get her attention, though -- and it's Layna, ultimately, who gets the bigger nod on this one. "We've had big events, but... not in quite the same way as the Blue Star. And I bet if Borgan wanted to get in Pentagulia's good graces, handing off a bunch of books from the era that could corroborate this would probably have gone a long way..."

She crosses her arms again. "... This bites though. Mega-bites. I think our best bet is to start poking around some other ruins -- or the same ones again, I guess."

<Pose Tracker> Talise Gianfair has posed.

"...Yeah. Yeah, we might have to do a little more exploring," Talise admits, scratching her cheek. She looks away just long enough to watch Lanval suck himself back into the bottle as another Seraphim comes by for some hash browns.

"...I didn't even realize Seraphim liked hash browns," she murmurs as the bottle rolls away. "Wonder what got into Lanval."

As Lemina makes a good point, Talise scratches her cheek with one fingertip and lowers her eyelids a shade. "That's a thing, yeah," she concedes. "I still wish I knew more. But you're right. We could do a little more digging, especially since we're trying to find a way to get Tethelle home anyway...."

And I'll probably go with her, Talise leaves unsaid. She reaches for her notebook.

"There's a place we could hit -- Benedict mentioned it to me. Associate of ours," she explains for Lemina's sake. "Apparently it's up in the mountains a little bit southish of here... something about really old artifacts being found in a big cave by a river. You can come if you want, Lemina."

<Pose Tracker> Layna Manydays has posed.

"Besides the usual? No idea." Layna replies with a shrug toward Talise, and then a considering frown. ...Yeah, it seemed like if they wanted more information, they wouldn't get it here.

"...That so? Iiinteresting... Aye, we should check it out." She says, nodding in agreement.