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  • saadow
    saadow  1 day ago

    Hey friends! Nature night is starting in about an hour and ten minutes!

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    MSM, i get the same complaints. At 60 WPM... it's a difficult task, though.

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    Need some dat Roman engineering.

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    Actually Scratch has the right of it. You start dropping gold at 5, exp penalties at 10.

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    Up to lvl 10 I have had no penalty on death. No gold loss and no death clock.

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    I think the gold loss starts at level 5, and the xp penalty starts at level 10 .. but I an not sure.

The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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A Kinship in Spirit

LAN_402 LAN_403
Ramana Jala
11:38:11 pm GMT 01/09/08
Ramana Jala Registered Member #1033 Joined: 12:18:42 am GMT 04/25/07
Posts: 1106
// The Gravity of Love // Jalla sat alone on a fallen log out in the quiet of the deep woods, Navarre and Sola laying nearby. She was thinking over the perfection of her wedding reception, and all the love and beautiful gifts from the heart that Krin and she had been presented with. Memories that she would treasure for a lifetime. Among those gracious gifts were those of lovely words and songs. Krin himself had laid his heart bare for her, out in the open for all to see, and her heart swelled to remember it. Then Ras... and Soleil, and Letheria each presented them with poem and song. She had no words to explain how beautiful each little gem was, how much it had meant to her, and still did. Fortunately they all made sure to give her copies, so she could enjoy them again and again. But among them all, she was most drawn to the one that Ras had gifted them with, a poem by a bard named Fade M'Kiir. She couldn't explain it, but among them all, that one had touched her so deeply. She opened her pack and carefully drew out the scroll that Ras had handed them. She unrolled it and read it again, as she had many times since the wedding.
Love should never be hoarded Or caged like a wild animal Locked away and pining. Love is set free in shared laughter In every happiness and joy Between two people. There is love in every kind word In every selfless act In every small touch and friendly gaze. Friends give selflessly because of love Curling their fingers around yours Sharing their warmth. Love is like a small seed It needs nurture and shelter And fertile ground to grow in. With faith, hope and care Love becomes strong And unshakeable.
Jalla's heart surged at the meaning she found in the words, words that resonated with how she felt for Krin, and for her family, and for her friends. She looked over at Navarre and Sola... and thought of Krin... and Shade, and Bristlefang. She thought of her mother Aquila back home on Merit island, and her father Dirk... at which her heart gave a little cry that he was still missing.... Then she thought of all her friends, most of whom had attended the wedding, and to whom she was so grateful for having made this foreign land friendly to her. She sat there with her feelings for many minutes, her eyes misting. She thought to herself, this bard must have known the gravity of love, how it feels to truly open one's heart and love, how important it is to Life itself. Such depth of feeling.... Jalla looked up at the sky, suddenly aware that the day was coming to an end. She should return to camp. She smiled to herself at the thought of her beloved Krin there to greet her, probably already returned from his patrol. Slowly she rolled up the parchment and carefully replaced it into the leather carrying tube where she protected her papers. As she collected the pups and headed back, she thought to herself that she must go to the library in Steinkreis and see if she could find any more of this bard's works. In the warmth of the setting sun, she smiled with the anticipation of this pleasure.... [ Edited ]
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Ramana Jala
6:20:01 am GMT 11/09/08
Ramana Jala Registered Member #1033 Joined: 12:18:42 am GMT 04/25/07
Posts: 1106
// At The Library //

Jalla had some free time and decided it would be a good day to make that trip to the Steinkreis Library. ' The Great Library ', as Master Tomas was fond of correcting people. A funny man, he was apparently happy to just be a librarian and read about adventures rather than go outside and live them. But he was an avid collector and appreciator of knowledge, history, and legend. Just like her father, and she respected that-- although her father was much more hands-on in experiencing life, often having been the one to go searching through some ruin for knowledge. Master Tomas had even a while back given her the key to the upper research chambers, after he had realized that she herself was also devoted to knowledge and wisdom. As proof of that, she had shown him an ancient artifact that she had found in her explorations, a tablet that had upon it only one rune, the elven symbol for 'Hope'.

Master Tomas was in his usual cheery mood, as she greeted him on her way through the library. She had been to the library several times, and had scanned the titles on the shelves. Thus she happened to remember seeing a book of Fade M'Kiir's works, The Writings of Fade M'kiir, Bard. Jalla went directly to the F shelf and was happy to quickly find the tome that she was looking for. She took the book down from the shelf and went over to sit in a comfy chair, then opened it and quietly began reading.

The contents of the book were as follows:

1) Lay of the Dragon Hunt
2) A Love Song
3) Battle Song
4) To My Shadow
5) The Doe and the Hunter
6) Elegy to the Lost Gods

The second poem in the book, A Love Song, called to her. She pulled out her notebook, and began copying it down. Finishing that, she looked over the rest of the poems, and decided to also copy them into her notebook. Then Jalla closed the book and sat musing. After a few moments, she rose and put the book back on the shelf, and then went upstairs to the restricted floor.

As she unlocked the door, she thought how appropriate and synchronistic it was that the ancient rune of 'Hope' had been her key to the opening of these chambers filled with secret knowledge. It was hope that had brought Jalla to Thain, hope that had kept her searching for knowledge of her father's whereabouts. She thought how her father would have loved to peruse these rare manuscripts, always with the hope that he would find some new truth, discover ancient science.... Hope... she kept it alive for him....

The room was dimly lit by the floor candelabras, their candles nearly burned down to the quick. Jalla did not intend to peruse the valuable collection, so she did not light the desk lamp, instead she sought out a comfy chair in the middle of the quiet room. It was nice when no one was around like this, peaceful amongst the reassuring books, like being amongst so many polite friends who only talked about their subject of passion when you inquired about it. Back home, father's den was full of books.... but also much more... plans, with their inventions starting to take shape on the workbench, artifacts that he had collected from all about the land, and his prize adjustable compound magnifying glass that he built himself.

She opened her satchel and took out her notebook again. She had found the six poems very interesting... although the cautionary tale of the fifth one had made her feel ill, being about a tragedy in shape-shifting. She thought to herself, how fortunate it was that Krin and herself always intuitively knew each other no matter the forms they were occupying. She dismissed those thoughts and opened her notebook to the first one she had copied down. She folded her legs in the large chair and sat in a meditative pose to re-read it, her sharp half-elven eyes having no difficulty in the moody low lighting.

(to be continued)
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Ramana Jala
6:23:08 am GMT 11/09/08
Ramana Jala Registered Member #1033 Joined: 12:18:42 am GMT 04/25/07
Posts: 1106
// At The Library // continued //

~A Love Song~

You are fire
Take flame and burn
in my desire.

You are water
Fluid and flowing
Carry me away.

You are air
A tempest
I breathe you in.

You are earth
Steadfast mountain
Bear me up.

You are my heart
I am yours.
This poem could have been written by a druid, she thought. So elemental.... Jalla's feelings had always been bound up with elemental forces. A rush of emotion could mean real sparks rushing over her skin, or fire springing from her fingertips. It had long been so, and only since her Initiation, and with much meditative discipline, had she really gained more control over that. Even now, when she became very passionate, her emotions could rush out in elemental expression. It was fortunate that Krin seemed to have tolerance for her energies... probably another effect of their unique empathy.

She reread the poem. First of all it made her think of her beloved Krin. As in the poem, she also experienced her lover elementally. The Red Wolf frequently became to her her Fire Wolf, fanning the flames to rise in her spine. Then like water his emotions might rush into her forcefully with waves of passion and sweep her away, or flow gently around her to provide a soothing harbor. Like air he was her inspiration, and the clear blue Skye that her soul flew in, that held his Little Storm. And he was nothing if not earthy, as he usually was, a solid foundation in her life. They danced in the elements together.... This poetess certainly spoke to Jalla's feelings. The bard's feelings about her lover, who was unnamed in this volume, were so much like Jalla's feelings about her own mate.

(to be continued)
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Ramana Jala
4:41:12 am GMT 11/11/08
Ramana Jala Registered Member #1033 Joined: 12:18:42 am GMT 04/25/07
Posts: 1106
// The Singer, the Instrument, and the Song //

But Jalla could see a higher allegory here in the poem. The beloved of the poem here almost like the Source, that very Soul of Life, taking different forms to dance intimately with the poet, who was in essence another manifestation of the Source Itself.... in all forms loving and dancing with all those who were parts of It. Jalla had found her resonance with the elemental energies to be a very moving personal experience, and really only Krin had been privileged to share her mind and feelings, and thus understand. For Jalla, resonating with elemental energies was rather like submitting to be an instrument of the Source, with the merest grant of control to her own will. She had sometimes wondered who was controlling whom, her own mind and will calling upon Nature, or Nature's Mind and Will impelling her to act. She wondered how it had felt to this bard when the poetry and music sprung from her-- or did she feel such coming -through- her?

Jalla sat back in the chair and mused upon the expression of poetry and song and music. She definitely felt a similarity of expression there with the feelings of directing the elemental energies that was her privilege as a druid. It seemed to Jalla that the elemental forces that rushed through her and reacted in sympathy with her were like creative impulses from the Source seeking expression. Like raw music, like the possibility of notes before they escape the instrument, so were the pure elemental forces. Feelings like those that made musical notes come from a harp, did it feel the same as the feelings linked to the energies that coursed through her and made electricity spring from her hand and invoke the sky's resonance? She wondered if the bard had also experienced the poetry and song that came from her breath and voice, and the music that came to her fingers, as if those acts were those of an emotional elemental force seeking expression.

Jalla had not dabbled much with playing any crafted musical instrument, but had always considered the energies and sounds of Nature to be musical. From the beating of one's heart to the sighing and rustling of the wind in the forest, to the crack and crash of lightning and the rumbling drumming of thunder, natural sounds were an expression of the energies that were the very soul of Nature and of Life. Jalla could extend her hand and command lightning to occur, as if plucking the taut string of the ground's desire to release its energy in a vibrational rush to the absorbing sky. She smiled to herself, realizing that the play between Krin and herself was so just like this-- when he plucked the earthy string of her heart's desire, her soul rushed to fly into and resonate in her Skye....

(to be continued)
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Ramana Jala
4:42:04 am GMT 11/11/08
Ramana Jala Registered Member #1033 Joined: 12:18:42 am GMT 04/25/07
Posts: 1106
// The Singer, the Instrument, and the Song // continued //

And practically every creature had a Song-- a cry of the soul, a communication from the heart, a language of self-expression-- often joyful, sometimes mournful. The Song started as an urge of the emotions, and was shaped by the mind and directed by the will through the instrument of the body-- in voice, or in the breath's or the fingers' manipulation of an external instrument. Or that cry of the soul could reach out and provoke the elements of Nature to respond and play Her Song.... The emotional forces rising out to express their message.... The wolves, the musician, the druid, Nature... they all had their Song....

Jalla spoke four languages-- Elven, Druid, Sylvan, and Common-- and she had always found it fascinating how different cultures of creatures developed certain sounds and symbols to express themselves. The purpose, the expression of meaning was the key, the commonality among language and poetry and music and even other energetic expressions. Even in the Wolf Song, there was language-- more feeling than words, but stories were told and communications passed on nevertheless in that palette of emotions.

She chuckled to herself about how when she had gained more expertise in the principle of combustion and the corralling of fire, she had found it not only convenient for lighting campfires, but had become even able to hold a flame stable just off the surface of her palm to use instead of a lantern to communicate with the Fey 'Lights of the Forest' in their flashing-light version of Sylvan.

Elven, Jalla's first language, and Druidic, were two languages that she had found especially suitable to focus her mind and direct the use of the elemental energies of her own spells. It was well-known that elves were naturals at wizardly arts, and many credited that to their understanding and use of the naturally-linked resonating properties of the ancient Elven language. Elven words, so it was said, had been chosen in the beginning of time for their resonance with emotions and natural forces. For the sensitive, the internal resonance of Elven words could be readily felt. Like the word for 'love', 'mela', which when one said it properly, felt like a motion of the heart.

Thus a word like Sol, wind (the written transliteration of the word in Jalla's regional dialect, or Sul in high Elven) sounded like the rush of air or 'breath' of wind, starting at first with a slight hissing which then lengthened into a sighing murmur which then trailed off the tongue with a slight swirl. The root of the verb for breathing was of course closely related, 'suul-'. Jalla had heard bards talk about 'inspiration'. The Elven word for inspiration, "suula'e'a" --'inspiration' or 'breathing into'-- was derived from the word for breathing, 'suul-', and closely repesentative of the feeling involved, of course. The Common word 'inspiration' was also, remarkably, apparently derived from the Common word for 'breathing'. She had heard some Bards say that some nebulous 'Muse' had 'inspired' them, as if they had been breathed into and been filled with a force by a Higher Power. Thinking of the poem again, she wondered if Fade M'Kiir had felt poetic and musical expression in this way. She had certainly had a muse in her beloved, but also she had written and sung on more universal themes-- perhaps she also felt a Greater Muse, filling her with insights upon life's journeys and the urge to celebrate them in story and song.

Jalla had found in Krin, the love of her life, an inspiring muse, and had started a few poems, as yet unfinished-- but even with her interest in languages, and her appreciation of poetry, the art of writing such was not her best talent. Jalla's greater instrument was her entire body, as, directed by the choice of her mind and controlled by her will, it connected with the ground of being and resonated with the elemental energies to express her chosen purpose of the furtherance of the Great Balance and Greater Good. Jalla's Greater Muse was now the Source Itself, which inspired her with the reasons, intuitively and emotionally given, and infilled her with the ability, to express by the elemental powers. She had had only to develop her instrument-- her body, mind and will-- to be a proper conduit of beneficial and harmonious purpose rather than an undisciplined chaotic issuance of the play of those energies.

When Jalla had been young and inexperienced she had relied on the goddess Mielikki to help her, for Jalla's own will and wisdom had been weak. But now since Initiation, she was directly connected to, and identified as her very own soul, the Source of All Life. She had someone say to her once in disdain that the Source was no god, and could not be called upon for aid like a god could, but this was a misconception. The Source was the Mother of all the gods, and the gods themselves were but Its Agents, Its arms and legs, as it were. The principle and force of Life Itself was prior to and larger and stronger than the mere actions of gods. But bypassing dependency upon gods and going straight to the Source took greater internal will and discipline and wisdom and personal morality than just relying on the decisions and will of some god outside of oneself. The privilege called for the assuming of greater personal responsibility, as an individual now held the reins of great natural power, and the decision was in the hands of an individual as to the exercise of this power, with the decision to cooperate or not with the gentle intuitions of inspiring wisdom in the purpose to which it be set. But to use this power-- or any personal power-- selfishly or for anti-Life purposes would always in the end bring back ruin to any such a trespasser of Natural Law.

(to be continued)
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Ramana Jala
4:42:53 am GMT 11/11/08
Ramana Jala Registered Member #1033 Joined: 12:18:42 am GMT 04/25/07
Posts: 1106
// The Singer, the Instrument, and the Song // continued //

Jalla closed her notebook and put it back into her backpack, as she stood up to leave the quiet sanctuary of the library's upper rooms. It was probably getting late, and she was eager to return to her beloved Krin, who would likely be returning from his patrol, accompanied by Shade and the others. She smiled to herself, always grateful for the blessings that the Source had bestowed upon her in the perfect fulfillment of her life's path. She knew who she was, a child of and servant of the Source, and to be at one with It and Its beneficent Will, was her greatest joy.

The Source worked in mysterious ways, being both the infilling Source of Life-energies, and the wellspring of such to use creatively, as one opened one's heart to it, and disciplined the mind and committed the will to act responsibly in self-expression. It always loved Its children and would always be there with the inspiration, the very breath and soul of Life, that by its very nature taught compassion and kindness, and wisdom. If one but opened one's heart to Life....

Perhaps a wise Bard came to also understand these principles of Nature, and that her or his Art be best used and directed to educate, illuminate, console, to heal others, or to celebrate-- and really all of those words just meant to Love. To be the vehicle of the discovery and release of feelings and truths, to liberate hearts, or reassure, or enliven, or embolden with courage.... To be subsumed into the inspiration of Life playing through us, the joyful Song of Life coming from Life through Life communicating to Life of the Joy of Life.... In the end, the distinction between the Singer or Player, and the Instrument, and the Song became blurred, as it really came down to the urge of intelligent Life expressing the Song and story that be Life, by the force of Life through the instrument of Life. Beneficent Life fostering Its children, Its children who are a part of Itself, whom It wants to be happy. Life loving Life, and acting to foster the perfect Way of the whole of creation through the harmonization of all of the Songs of Its individual creatures.

It took an identification with this Love to make the most beneficial decision in the exercise of any personal power. Those alive naturally loved Life, but sometimes this instinct became clouded by damage to their hearts and souls, and they needed encouragement or relearning. 'Every kind word...' -- Jalla hearkened back to the first poem of Fade M'Kiir's that she had ever heard, at the wedding. What was expressed in that poem was part of the privilege and gift of every being, not just the Bard, but sometimes better understood by such a one, the gift of Love that anyone could choose to offer another. A gift that could be offered in the hope of healing if that should be needed, to return another to that native state of knowing the Happiness inherent in Life. Or the gift of Love exchanged with each other simply in communion of the joyful celebration of Life. The joyful celebration that is Life Itself.

The vehicle, the instrument, hardly mattered... spoken or sung or written words, poetry... that calmed the mind, or led one to see a lovely or different view.... or music that reached beyond words to directly touch the feelings and lift the spirit.... The energies from one's hands... a healing or caring touch, the companionship or embrace of a friend, or the tender and passionate physical expression of a lover... It was all of Life loving Life, giving from Itself to Itself. The Bard, the Druid, and any other who would come to understand this, either intuitively or explicitly, would be privileged to know and work with Its compassionate and loving intent.
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