2018-10-12: It's ( not important )

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  • Log: It's( not important )
  • Cast: Claude C. Kenny, Gwen Whitlock, Fei Fong Wong, Hiro
  • Where: Arlia Village
  • Date: 10/12/2018
  • Summary: After discovering an old tapestry depicting the Warrior of Light with brown hair, Fei, Hiro, Ruby, and Gwen go to present it to the priest in Arlia Village. It's a pleasant exchange, but something about the whole affair makes Fei feel uneasy. But why would anyone be concerned about such small details? It's-'

==============================<* Arlia Village *>===============================

Arlia is a rustic village located on the southern border of the Arlian Woods; it is the northernmost settlement in the Kingdom of Krosse. There is little in the way of industry here; most villagers travel to the nearby town of Salva, whose mines are worked for iron and copper that feeds the industry of the kingdom and continent both.

The village is notable for hosting the sole surviving Church of the Warrior on the continent of Ignas. This odd little sect believes that the ancient first head of the kingdom, Kahlus Krosse, will return to life in the future. Clad in alien raiments and wielding a brilliant sword, the Warrior of Light will save FIlgaia from some sort of tragedy. The religion was once popular throughout the Kingdom of Krosse, but over the years its adherents have dwindled; they are generally viewed as quaint but harmless.

BGM: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3KkYhOQDcw
<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Arlia Village is something of a rarity on the Ignas continent. Far from the creeping threat of desertification or the violence gripping the Adlehyde Kingdom, it is a simple, peaceful, rustic village on the border of a forest green with life. While the lack of communication from the capital has left most of the Krosse Kingdom in confusion, very little of this has touched Arlia. It is an oasis of peace in the continent of chaos.

How long it will last, nobody knows. But for now, you're off the hook.

The leaves of the trees bordering the Arlian Woods are turning a cornucopia of gold and burning crimson, dancing in the soft breeze of a mild autumn evening. Villagers are making their way home from the fields and the forests, retiring to well-appointed and sturdy-looking homes. The largest building in the village by far is a stone keep with a red roof and a single spire, outside which a man in pale, well-worn vestments is sweeping.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    "Makes ya think you're still on Lunar, don't it?" Gwen grins back at the others as they walk into town. "And what a time t'come in! Fall, with all the leaves turnin' colors. Maybe the tavern'll have some nice drinks because of the harvest. Somethin' spiced and hot to warm a body after bein' outside!"

    But it's not too cold. It's the pleasant sort of cool that happens with autumn, the air having just enough of a bite to clear the sinuses and clear the air.

    Wait, does Lunar even....

    Gwen turns back to Hiro (and Ruby, if she's joined in), her face twisted into that universal expression of 'this is probably a stupid question but I'm going to ask it anyway'. "... Does Lunar... have seasons? LIke, fall and winter? Or is it just spring and summer year round 'cause of Althena?"

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

It's a nice peaceful village and those always break Fei's heart. It reminds him of home, it reminds him of places like Wehaca that have been harmed terribly, of places like Azado that just became...gone. Or worse. it's felt like a pretty prevalent problem and part of him can't help but wonder if Arlia Village, particularly now that he has visited it, will become the next on the chopping block. It is part of Krosse after all. Will hellions invade? Will there be a war that ends up in the town? It's so similar, it's so similar, it hurts it hurts and it hurts some more. He doesn't know if he can take it happening again. It happens so often. Can he distance himself enough just in case? He's not sure. He really isn't.

But this may lead to the solution to solving the Krosse Krisis and the one thing worse than a town being destroyed is a capital city being destroyed.

"Reminds me of home," Fei tells Gwen. "Hopefully, it won't remind me too much of home."

Fei looks back to check on Ruby (and Hiro, if he's joined in). He blinks a few times at the question. "Well obvious--" He begins.

He pauses for a moment, and then he says, "Huh."

His feet crunch along fallen autumn leaves. Like the lives he's crushed to make it this far, he thinks miserably at himself, before chastizing himself to stop looking for reasons to be depressed.

<Pose Tracker> Hiro has posed.

"Peaceful with a side dish of encroaching malevolence and imminent doom? Sure." Ruby answers Gwen sardonically, while Hiro just walks with his hands behind crossed behind his head as he walks alongside Gwen. "Well I'm feeling it after we grew up in that dust bowl Ruby." He says as he catches a smile at the sight of the changing leaves. The world in cycle. To him he's taking it as evidence that the world still has hope. "... a warm glass of milk would be nice.

If he were more grim, he'd be wondering if this could be Filgaia's last fall unto an eternal winter - which is probably where Ruby's at.

And thus it is proven that they've both joined in.

"Sure Lunar's got seasons. I just didn't... really get to experience much of them around where I grew up. It was hot during the day, cold at night pretty much year round."

Ruby on the other hand has gone over to nudge Fei with a pawsie, "Guess I know who's joining me on team cynicism." Ruby makes a light joke, though with a grin that makes it clear that she's more trying to draw him away from it.

"... Does that make me and Gwen team optimism?" "Sure let's go with that."

Hiro's grin becomes a bit lopsided. "Well either way-" From a distance, he spies the man sweeping, "-business first." And raises his voice to hail him from afar, "'lo there Sir. Don't suppose you'd happen to be what counts for clergy around these parts?"

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

The path of the four travelers is unimpeded; the village gates stand open, and nobody is even bothering to guard them... which may seem a bit foolhardy, but such is life. The first person who even notices their arrival is a small boy of about seven hurrying along carrying a fishing rod in one hand and a bucket in the other; he stops when he spots the group, eyes widening to dinner plates, and then he scurries away toward the house nearest the stone keep, crashing the door open and then vanishing inside. Voices can be heard echoing out the swinging door.

(there's a flying caaaaaaaaaaaaaat outsiiiiiiiiide)
(sure, dear)
(no for reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal)
(can i feed it a fiiiiiiiiiiiiiish)
(only if you clean it first)
(but mooooooom)

The voices catch the attention of the sweeping man, who looks up, his expression bemused with the well-worn expression of a man seeing a familiar sight. This changes when a legitimately unfamiliar sight comes into view, i.e., a couple of hobos and a flying cat, both of whom are accompanying the mail girl. "Oh my," he says in a deep baritone, eyes widening at the sight of Ruby... but the lack of reaction from Gwen, combined with Hiro's friendly grin, seems to put him at ease.

"Hello, travelers," he says, his voice echoing out. "Welcome to Arlia Village... or welcome again, I should say, Miss... Whitcock, was it?" the man shakes his head. "My apologies, young lady, I've a terrible head for names." He offers an apologetic smile. "Yes, indeed, I'm Father Matthew. It's a pleasure to meet all of you," he adds, giving all four (even Ruby) a pleasant nod. "Are you here seeking the mayor? Regis is in his home at this time of day."

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Ah, there it is. The rub. "You say that like it's a done deal. Communities like this need to act like there's always going to be another year of seasons, because in farming, you have to think in the future. If they decide there's no point in working, there'll be no future for them, regardless of whether we succeed or not." And they will. Both in thise case, and whatever else may come in the future.

    Because they have to.

    Hiro's answer causes Gwen to nod. "... I 'spose I never really got much of a taste for seasons either, bein' out in the badlands. It was pretty much th'same there, as you know by now." Listening to the reactions of the child and their poor hampered guardian, Gwen clears her throat to stifle a laugh. "... Sometimes I forget that Ruby's... kinda a novelty. But they don't know any better, Ruby, so, uh." Don't set anyone on fire. Gwen likes having repeat clients.

    Hiro's comment is a welcome distraction. "Heck yeah, Team Optimism is where it's atOH hello there! Good to see you in good health, Father." Gwen strolls up casually with the air of an experienced courier, a gracious smile on her lips. "It's Whitlock, but close enough. I hope y'don't mind that I brought some friends, but we came here on some business." She pauses a beat, looking back at the taciturn Fei, the sardonic Ruby, and part of Team Optimism. "... And... they will explain the business!"

    ..... something about a tapestry or whatever Gwen's just thinking about spiced ale

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei gives Ruby a tired but warm smile as he gives Ruby's paw a tiny fist bump of comradery. It's difficult to tell just how much her encouragement pulls him from the brink, but he does at least recognize and appreciate Ruby's presence as a wholly positive influence on his life. If nothing else, worrying that he's bringing her down, he says, "Thanks. It's been a rough couple months. I hope you're handling having to deal with yet another detour well."

Despite Ruby's attitude and, yes, cynicism he is ever amazed at how positive she manages to be about it. He should do something nice for her, he thinks, maybe go out fishing and bring back a bounty for her? He is mulling on this as he hears discussion about a 'flying cat'.

"Actually she's a dragon!" He says, just loudly enough to be heard. Always fight for your friends' identities, folks!

He gives Gwen and Hiro a smile too. He appreciates optimism even if he's not good at finding it himself.

But before he can go back to thinking about kind acts towards flying cats (dragons), he looks towards the seeping man. "Oh you've been here before, Gwen?" Fei at least wears peasant wear and shaves but...okay, yeah, fair. "And Regis? Ah, actually we were curious about the Warrior of Light. We found a discovery pertaining to it." Fei says. "So I guess...we're...here for you?"

<Pose Tracker> Hiro has posed.

"Better than Lucia is at least."

Gwen gets a high five which might as well be 'Go Team Optimism!'

While Fei sticks up for her identity - the conversation is just loud enough to be heard and Ruby's eye twitches though between all that's going on in that household and Gwen saying she's a novelty. "Excuse me while I reinforce Fei's point and set the record about this 'novelty' straight..."

"Ruby wait-!"

Ruby is already at the swinging door. Putting her back into it before the scolded boy can close it.

(For the record-! I'm a magnificent red dragon!)
(Yes that's right. A red dragon. Now I know this is a lot to take in but...)
(You definitely need to apologize for this error because I am a magnanimous sort.)
(But now that you know. I definitely don't mind if your charming boy would like to offer tribute in the form of fish.)
(Bass or Trout preferably - though I wouldn't turn down Tuna or Salmon.)

Hiro runs a hand over his face, "Well that's surprisingly calm for her."

Hiro offers a long sigh through a smile. As exasperating as it is, this is who Ruby is and ultimately he likes the little firecracker. "Nice to meet you Father Matthew. And-" He points a thumb towards Fei, "-yeah what Fei said. I'm afraid I'm not... to well read on... the Warrior of Light since I grew up in different parts but..."

Hiro opens a journal to look through his notes, "However our research shows that... that he's supposed to have fair hair in all iconic depictions. So much so that it's like a church law or something? Thus he is legally... blonde. Yet this tapestry we found... shows otherwise... that he's more like a-"

He wonders how to put it without taking the thing out here, then jams a thumb towards Fei, "-Fei than a Claude."

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"Brunette." Fei says. "Also hi I'm Fei."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Ruby's pursuit gets the reaction Hiro probably expected.


This will continue for as long as Ruby wants it, which may be forever.

Meanwhile, Father Matthew brightens at the interest in his church. "Why yes indeed," he says proudly, waving back at the building behind him. "This is indeed the Cathedral of the Warrior of Light! The gathering of the faithful of the legacy of lord Kahlus... who are, admittedly, rather few in number these days," he admits with a good-natured chuckle. "I'm not surprised you haven't heard much of the legend."

The man of the cloth listens carefully as Hiro begins reciting from his journal, and his eyes definitely widen as he mentions a tapestry. But then he breaks into a sudden laugh. "Ah, so you've met Mr. Kenny, have you?" Matthew asks. "Yes, he caused quite a stir when he arrived in our village some time ago. Not surprising little Rena mistook him for the Warrior, given what he saved her from, but to think him the incarnation of the divine warrior Kahlus Krosse..."

Matthew's eyes unfocus, and you can practically see a cartoon Claude derping his way across his mind.

"...well, he means well," Matthew decides. "But yes, please, come in and let us talk. I will make you some spiced... tea," he adds, crushing Gwen's hopes and dreams as he opens the main doors and makes his way inside. The interior of the cathedral befits its rustic heritage, with well-worn wooden pews and a simple altar at the front. The main attraction, however, is the far window, which is a massive stained-glass job that looks like, well, this: (https://youtu . be/xcMH7V5Yxbc?t=74).

Matthew exchanges a word with an older woman, who smiles and bustles away. He gestures at the window and smiles proudly. "This is the image of the incarnation of the Warrior," he says. "So you can... forgive our confusion, I imagine," he adds.

(derp derp derp derp)

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Gwen readily accepts the hearty high five from her fellow Team Optimism member. "Well, I mean, just 'bout anything's a novelty 'round these par-" oh no Ruby don't, don't go and try to extort fish from the poor family for their mistake "Eheh, that Ruby..." Well, at least Ruby's now found a new inductee into the Order of the Red Dra- er, the Ruby Fanclub.

    Now, they need to get back to business. "Yeah, I make deliveries here," Gwen says, nodding to Fei. "Well, I did when I was able to. It's kind of touch n' go sometimes, eheh..."

    Gwen quiets as the other two explain the matter to Father Matthew, picking a stray gold leaf from her hair and pausing to look at it.

    Oh, wait, that's what it was. Right. So how did this whole Warrior of Light business go? Did he have to have gold hair? Or actually be a decent dancer, truth be tol- wait, no Gwen's getting offtopic. "I'm not sure if... Father knows who or what a Claude i-wait you do?" And so, the courier stares, spellbound, as Father Matthew fills in a bit of background on the mysterious Claude, and his connection to Rena. "Huh. So she was the one..." She trails off, her expression likewise growing hazy.

    One can almost see the same image of a mini-Claude, derping across the mental landscape of two souls.
    But the mention of Spiced...... tea brings Gwen back into the real world. Sure, sure. Tea will be a good prelude for the SPICED ALE she is certain to find. "Yeah, we were diggin' round some ruins nearby and found some artifacts that depict the Warrior of Light a different way. Now, we got no idea if this is just due to some issues with the dye used, or the air in that chamber, or whatever. If anythin', I think it's just a cool look into the past. Figured it'd be best to let someone know before some thieves nab it n' try to see it to parts unknown." Gwen runs a hand along a pew, reflecting on the stained glass that glows in the autumn light. "... I 'spose it doesn't matter in the end. Having a legend like this is enough to inspire a lot of people throughout time, no matter what."

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei's eyes widen. "Hold on, you know Claude?" Fei suddenly steps backwards, hesitantly. He always feels a little nervous about Claude. He's managed to swallow it down so far as he's been a good friend and husband to Cecilia, but there's also a great deal that's strange about him. He has strange ARMs and is evasive about where he's from and he may be from Shevat. Why would he come here? "And this is where Miss Rena's from?"

He doesn't interfere with Ruby's important work. In fact, it kind of grounds him for a moment. The world is good, still. The world has honor. Ruby can lecture people about being a dragon and get fish and screamed at. Life proceeds in a functional way.

He follows after Father Matthew. He would be quite miffed if he was played off as THE TRUE WARRIOR OF LIGHT so it's just as well that this conclusion isn't drawn by anybody. "Being a large religion comes with its own problems," Fei says, however as he looks around, his eyes trailing towards the stained glass window even before it's pointed out to everybody.

"I first ran into Claude at the tournament." Fei murmurs. "He lost his match against a man named Dias Flac and became known as the King of..." He pauses. MAybe he shouldn't actually ruin Claude's rep here. "Well his heart seems to generally be in the right place. I suppose the warrior of light could've dyed his hair, but it's still a strange incongruence."

He looks back to Father Matthew. "I don't know much about the Warrior of Light legend. What kind of man was Kahlus Krosse? I heard he died fighting an 'ancient evil' but I don't actually know what form that evil took." He looks back to the stained glass window. "And you say Claude was mistaken for him but...just because he saved her and is blonde?"

And the weird clothes, Fei thinks.

And...weird mannerisms.

And just...how sketch he's always acting.

<Pose Tracker> Hiro has posed.

(Yes I should have expected that you'd be in awe of my magnificence.)
(Just... dragon. No cat. You know what. I'll gladly accept your...)
(Please stop screaming. It's making me really uncomfortable.)

Ruby eventually departs with the fish in her mouth, unable to eat it right there with all the screaming.

"That's a word?" Hiro asks Fei after a moment. Perhaps it's just one he didn't grow up on...

Hiro closes up his journal, looking towards Gwen and Fei, giving them a thumbs up. No heresy accusations immediately. No being arrested on account of not being from these parts. No Hellion Werewolf guards apparating out of nowhere to gnaw on their bones...

So far so good!

Then Gwen points out that they might not have heard of Claude, "You think?" Hiro seems mildly taken aback by the thought, until the priest mentions that yes in fact they have. "Yep. Sure have. He's uh..."

Hiro tries to picture anyone mistaking Claude as the Warrior of Light, the Dragonmaster, and the Shepherd all in one. Then going back to the Shepherd seeing as he actually has met Sorey and deciding it's actually a fair mistake to make. "... quite a character." He says as he rubs the back of his neck with a grin.

As they get escorted throughout the Cathedral - Hiro gets a slightly different impression than being around a Temple of Althena. Mostly because they haven't already demanded he tithe his life-savings away. The stained glass window though reminds him of... well... the tapestry. Except for one key detail.

While Gwen and Fei discuss the tournament and how they found it, he starts taking it out of his pack from the haphazard way he had to fold the ancient tapestry. Then after getting it out fully, unfurls it so that it rolls to the ground, then as it strikes it, continues to roll down the aisle

Causing it to erupt into a cloud of dust. And giving Hiro a coughing fit since he's at ground zero. "Wachoo-! WACHOO!"

However... once the dust clears, there it is. It looks nigh identical except for the hair color.

Sniffling as he rubs his nose, while trying to keep his edge of the tapestry held up... "Here's... what we found. Now there's a lot of reasons why it could be this way, Gwen mentioned a few... the most exciting one though is if it provides some clue to a past tradition, that's closer to the historical figure. Stories change over time after all - even religious ones."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"Of course I know Rena," Father Matthew answers. "She was... well, she's lived in this village with her mother ever since she was a baby," he says, the slip so small it may go unnoticed. "She was visiting the forest about..." he frowns thoughtfully. "Oh, about a year and a half ago, I think, when she was attacked by a large bear monster that had been mutated by the Sorcery Globe."

"Fortunately," Matthew says as he sits down in one of the pews, gesturing for the others to sit as they please, "Mr. Kenny came along and rescued her." The priest frowns. "It is said Lord Kahlus will return from beyond wearing -alien raiments- and bearing a -Sword of Light-. His clothes are certainly strange, but as for the sword... Well, Rena was a bit star-struck, I think. Hard to blame her given what she had been through. And Mr. Kenny is a well-built young man, after all," adds Matthew, whose eyes unfocus again.

(yes just put the barrels over there mr kenny)
(okay sure but can i take off my shirt it's kinda hot)
(....yes you definitely can)

Matthew sighs contentedly, then clears his throat. "But yes, let us see..." The priest leans over the dusty tapestry, pulling a pair of spectacles from a pocket. He leans over the ancient tapestry, which... basically looks exactly like the one on the stained glass window. Except for the black hair. His hands shivering, Matthew touches a bit of the hair, then lifts his fingers away. "No hint of discoloration," he mutters half to himself. "And the colours in the rest of the piece are... almost identical..."

Matthew looks back and forth, then drops into his seat. It's at this time that the older woman comes back, bearing cups of hot tea, which she passes out. Matthew takes a deep, steadying draught from his.

"This is astounding," he says, voice shivering faintly. "All of the Warrior's iconography, including this chapel... well, this window is... not quite glass, exactly. It's almost unbreakable, and according to our records, it's almost a thousand years old." Matthew swallows. "If this tapestry is older... it could suggest that somehow the image of Lord Kahlus was... changed. But for what reason..." he shakes his head. "This is... a most perplexing discovery. Where did you get it?" he asks.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Sure, Gwen thought Claude was strange in some ways. But, since she met him around the same time as so many strange new faces, she had just accepted Claude as just another strange face. Another colorful thread in the tapestry of life. And soon, his mannerisms just seemed, well, a different pace of normal.

    So she still can't see him and a legendary anything. Fei? Maaayyybeeee, if Gwen squints and puts aside what she knows about Fei. After all, he has those cool martial arts moves, and, well, the Gear is sort of neat when she puts aside the fact that it's claimed many innocent lives.

    "What word? Brunette?" Gwen peers at Hiro, pausing to scratch a finger along the side of her cheek. "... Uh, well, brown hair." Did they not have brunettes on Lunar? Or- Wait. Hiro lived with Gwyn, Gwen's slightly different namesake, in an isolated little house. No brunettes to be seen, really. "What Ronfar is, kinda."
    As for Father Matthew's reaction, it's a nice change of pace. As Hiro unfurls the dusty artifact, Gwen quickly draws the a top fold of the handkerchief around her neck and eases it with a few sharp jerks over her mouth and nose. "I didn't realize you had it on ya, Hiro," she says, her voice slightly muffled through the fabric. "Good thinkin'!"

    Graciously accepting the offer of Spiced.... tea, Gwen tugs the cloth from over her nose and mouth, and sips delicately, the teacup's handle perfectly held by the gloved metal fingers of her right hand. "... Ahhh."

    It could be the worst tea in the world, but at that moment, it feels like home. "It's not quite glass? What'sit made from, then? Maybe it was some artistic license on either portrait's part?" Maybe even both.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

"I'm not sure why they'd change the coloring." Fei says. "It's not like Krosse cares about hair color and if someone showed up and had all the details right except the hair--I don't think that would really change much? And I doubt anybody could have predicted Claude showing up either."

Fei does have brown hair but he's not really a sword guy and also wasn't alive one thousnad years ago. What about the dream guy from back then? Well he used martial arts not swords too by his understanding. Maybe he did both? Well he wasn't an alien. So that's out of the question.

But there is one group of people Fei KNOWS is really into blonde hair for some reason. But is it possible? Have they existed for that long? Or perhaps it wasn't precisely them in their current form but a precursor? But even so, what benefit would that give them? More easily controlled people?

"Brunette? Yeah, it means brown hair." He looks to Father Matthew, then to Gwen. She's got a good question.

"...The only people I know of," Fei says. "That put so much value in hair color..." He looks to Hiro. "...is Solaris. Elly told me that most people from Solaris have blonde hair." He doesn't go further into her story than that because it's not really his story to tell, but the implications can probably be suspected.

"I guess it's not much evidence that they altered anything though, just from saying they care about hair color." He murmurs.

He looks thoughtful. "Gwen had a good question. If it's not glass, what is it?"

<Pose Tracker> Hiro has posed.

Hiro looks between Gwen and Fei after a moment, "I mean... I figured from context..." He says with a sheepish look, sounding a little embarrassed more than defensive.

Holding out the tapestry though, he listens to Father Matthew describe the discrepancies. "A thousand years old and... unbreakable..." Hiro finds himself looking at the stained 'glass' while holding up the tapestry.

"Anyhow we got it from a cave not far from here... we were sorta setting it up for new Drifters and happened upon this... hidden chamber..."

Repressed memories of curry adventures try to poke into his surface consciousness like glass shards.

"... my memory is kinda fuzzy on how we found it exactly but it was... entirely an accident I think..."

Fei brings up the fact that Solarians value blonde hair, and Hiro quirks a brow, maybe because he's thinking of Elly being a redhead. That sounds like there's a story there, but he doesn't question it right now. "I mean from what little I know, would they even care about what people around these parts believe?"

... Hiro being entirely oblivious to the idea that someone could fake a religion to control people.

"I guess my question then Father is... don't suppose your religion had different off-shoots? Like heresies to your orthodoxy... or any times of conflict... schisms in your Church. Could explain a lot."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"We're not quite sure what it is, to be honest," Matthew admits in response to the question on the window's materials, warming his hands with his teacup. "It's older than the Cathedral, and we think it came from another, grander church of the warrior... but so many records were lost during the dark times after the Collapse," he adds. "But it's essentially like glass in almost every way except it just... doesn't break. You could crack the stones around it with a hammer, but the window wouldn't take a dent." The priest frowns briefly and then laughs. "It's odd, now that I have to explain it," he says. "But... we're just so used to it here that we don't even think of it."

Matthew continues examining the tapestry as Fei begins unspooling his theory. And while Matthew has been attentive throughout this entire conversation, he just sort of... drifts away for a but when Fei starts talking about some strange people who obsess over hair. It's---

(not important)

"It's not all that important, really," Matthew says firmly, interjecting into the conversation. "Much depends on the age of this tapestry. If it is older than this window, then... perhaps the Warrior was also older than we believe. Our Church teaches that Kahlus was the first king of the Krosse Kingdom... but what if he was even older still?" The old man shakes his head slowly. "You have rocked me, travelers, truly. And yet I feel excited by this all - such a wonder unsought, and yet brought to my door."

Hiro's question is a good one, having nothing to do with things that are not important, and so Matthew leans forward, his expression pensive. "None that we know of, young man - and it would be unusual, given the nature of our faith." He shrugs sheepishly. "We believe in the Warrior of the Light, King Kahlus of the Krosse dynasty, Kahlus, who died fighting against an ancient evil. We believe Kahlus will one day return, -alien raiments- and bearing a -Sword of Light-, which he will use to save the world from a time of crisis. And that is all we believe."

The man of the cloth spreads his hands open. "We are not Granas, or Nisan. We lay no commandments on our worshippers, demand no tithes or service, promise no reward or punishment for actions taken or withheld. Like those who worship the Guardians, we ask of our adherents one thing alone: to have faith," he says, smiling. "Nothing more. Nothing less." Matthew takes a sip from his cup. "So to directly answer your question, young man... no, we have no heresies, or orthodoxies. We simply are, and we believe. If others chose another path, we would smile and wish them the best."

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Gwen chuckles uneasily as Fei mentions the concept of Solaris. Hopefully Father Matthew wasn't listening to closely.

    But maybe it could explain why Fei is suddenly digging into this so intently. As for Hiro, digging into quests for information is practically what he's been doing all along, between his exploring to his adventures with Lucia.

    Which leaves Gwen, the odd (wo)man out, just content to see it as a matter of artistic license. It's just (not important). Like that weird city Fei mentioned, ha ha ha ha

    "That strong of material, eh? I guess that's what makes it special. Now you got two artifacts from long ago of someone who's inspired a lotta people, religion or no." She continues to draw from her spiced tea. "And I havta admit, your faith is a nice change from what I'm used to. I'm glad we were able to help you out in a way, Father Matthew. Maybe someone could put a bulletin or somethin' out. It's likely attract onlookers, maybe some new converts." She rubs the hand of her neck with a free hand. "I mean, that boat's sailed for me, but I like the notion of a faith centering around hope."

    But man. Claude might be strange, but an -alien-?

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei recognizes that Hiro is likely thinking of Elly but he is not gonna get into it here. He can direct him to Elly if he is curious but he kind of wants to ask Elly too.

Fei does seem kind of careless about thw term Solaris doesn't he? Still he was aiming it more towards Gwen and Hiro rather than Father Matthew who would not even know of Solaris.

He is in fact nearly about to leave matters at that when Matthee says it isn't important.

"Not important...? Perhaps not today but small cultural alterations like this can lead to..."


Fei's mouth clamps shut. He wants to insist that even a small detail like this when altered can have huge reprecussions. He wants to point out that on a deep subconcious level these small changes can add up and change how people act even if they are not realizing they are being changed. He wants to scream that its the most dangerous thing in the world if not resisted.

But he xannot get any words out. Id knows better.

It will not go well for us if you press this matter. If you are right they will kill us, if you are wrong you will be seen as a fool. The religion is peaceful enough. Let it go.

Fei lowers his head, looking strangely defeated over such a small thing.

You may have already killed him just by showing it to him. Let him choose his own fate as much as he can.

Fei looks at the floor for a while, fingers curling into fists.

Eventually he says, "A lack of judgementalism is to be commended." Fei says and then, perhaps, in defiance of that voice in his head. "But the truth is important too."

Expecting to be pushed away, Fei starts edging for the door.

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Fei's reaction is... odd indeed. But it's not important.

( )

"Thank you, stranger," Matthew offers pleasantly, but his attention is primarily fixed on Gwen. "By two artifacts, do you mean... you are interested in donating this artifact to the Church?" The man looks blown away, his eyes wide and face flushed. "I could... I mean, this is a priceless artifact, but... We can pay a small amount, but..."

He regards the tapestry with undisguised longing.

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei Fong Wong glances towards Gwen for a moment. He suspects the kindest choice might be to burn it. It's impossible to account for all the variables as to whether it would be a good or bad idea to let this man have it. What's the alternative? Give it to a university? That also might be a bad idea, drawing eyes towards places of learning. The important thing, the most important thing is to make sure it isn't locked up shown to only a privileged few. Better to erase the truth than to make it a special privilege.

"You said that people are free to disagree and if they disagree they can walk away." Fei says, looking back to Father Matthew. "What will you do with it, if we give this to you? I don't care about money. If Rena came from this village, if Claude protected this place, then it's important to me too. But I can see how something like this could cause trouble even amongst well meaning sorts."

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

"I would hang it here, in a place of honour," Matthew says, his expression excited, his voice pulsing with sincerity. "And I would head to Salva, to tell others, and spread the word of this astounding new Discovery. Invite the learned of Linga to come and study it, discuss what it meant. It could revitalize and change the faith!" the man of the cloth says, his face beaming. "Why would anyone be concerned about that? I appreciate your concerns, but they're---"

(not important)

"---not important," Matthew says firmly.

<Pose Tracker> Gwen Whitlock has posed.

    Oh. Uh. Oops. At least one part of Team Optimistic is blasting off (again?), it seems. Maybe it was a good idea for Team Cynic to come along.

    Gwen looks at Fei, a small apologetic smile on her face, then looks back. "Well, eheh, it's not entirely up to me. I'm just one part of the team here. But I mean, if it gets shown anywhere, people'll wanna come see this place, right?"

    Maybe that's Gwen's disadvantage here- she just can't see anyone she's remotely familiar with in the village as anyone more devious than, perhaps, the town drunkard, or the loud child, or... a nice old priest who has trouble with names. You get a relic, and you give it to the nice priest, and you even pass an idea on how it could help him. You don't think about scary cities in the sky, you don't think about differences in presentation leading to conflict. You don't consider the Malevolence creeping towards the town, or the fact that Mother's awakening could make everything a series of fruitless gestures in the end.

    Because she can't afford to.

    But she's already doing it, because Fei did, and like an infectious worm, Gwen sees Father Matthew's enthusiasm and feels... uneasy.

    Why is it not important?

    Her eyes look towards Hiro and Ruby, nervously, then back at Father Matthew. "I'm sorry, Father, I think I kinda got caught up in your excitement n' spoke outta turn. My friends here have felt a little bit more of the harshness in the world than you n' me, so naturally, they wanna make sure we're not openin' a can of worms for everyone. It's real easy to do this with artifacts, 'specially when we get excited with the possibilities. But we felt it was important to come here first, no matter what."

<Pose Tracker> Hiro has posed.

Hiro listens a lot here. Listening to him describe their faith. Their lack of judgment. That kind of tolerance paints a stark picture that differentiates itself from the xenophobic king and how readily he accepted tainted gifts of malevolence. Pensive, he's caught up, lost in thought on the idea of corruption and how it can taint even these simple, benevolent ideals.

Fei's internal conflict doesn't register to him at all, though the way he shuts up and looks thoughtful for a while before he keeps going does catch his attention. Quirking an eyebrow, he looks at it the tapestry.

Then back at it. "My Grandpa taught me to look for the truth in all things. I'm not doing this for the money. So as far as I'm concerned - if it helps you figure out some mystery of your past heritage then that'd be enough for me... usually."

There's a beat, "But I think Fei's asking the right question. With the way things are going at the Capital right now..."

Michael says his piece though and something about it makes Hiro shut up, a little uneasy looking sidelong to Fei and Gwen - scratching his chin.

Before he says in a sotto voce, "I'm not a betting man like Ronfar, but I think if he were here he'd tell me we're taking a real gamble here."

The question is - if something does happen, are they responsible for it?

<Pose Tracker> Claude C. Kenny has posed.

Matthew listens carefully to Gwen and Hiro, then nods slowly. "Very well, I understand," he says, disappointment slowly evaporating from his face. "If you should change your mind about it, I would be honoured to display the tapestry here. But it is your discovery, wanderers, and I make no claim over it." He drinks the last of his tea and shrugs. "Seeing it alone, and knowing how much remains to learn, is a thing I could never have dreamed of when I woke this morning. It would be greed beyond measure to demand more of you."

He looks at the tapestry one last time, then moves to help roll it up. "That said... I would hope you take great care of it, whatever you do. This is a treasure beyond reckoning to my faithful."

<Pose Tracker> Fei Fong Wong has posed.

Fei looks towards Gwen and Hiro. "...Huh?" He seems surprised by their own conclusion. Fei seems to have come to another conclusion. "Are you two sure? I just wanted to be careful." He looks back to Father Matthew. "I'm sorry for the trouble. I am an overly cautious man but over caution can be worse than carelessness and your eagerness is understandable." He feels he may have turned Hiro and Gwen into worrywarts too and he definitely doesn't want that.

"How about this. We'll sleep on it rather than waste your time with a long discussion." This will let him talk to Hiro and Gwen privately too. "We'll come with an answer tommorow, after we've had a chance to appreciate the town. I think we can all agree this isn't a decision that should be rushed. For either of us. We should consider the possible positives of what may come about too." He dips his head. "Thank you for your patience, and understanding. Whatever we decide..."

He means this most sincerely of all. "Please, be careful."