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The Island of Thain :: Forums :: In Character Discussion
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The Trials of Drusilla of the Copper Clan

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Ivy
3:13:45 am GMT 02/09/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
The Life of the Metal

Stupid cat. As she modeled the fist-sized cat's head in clay, she tried to remember the features of the one that had mauled her... the shape of its skull, the ripping teeth. She neatly scooped out sockets where the gems of its evil yellow eyes would go. Stupid cat.

Drusilla was a tall, slightly awkward, teenage human. Her black hair, usually held back with whatever she could find, was today restrained by a leather tie. She stopped periodically to make a peculiar gesture with one hand that caused the debris of clay particles from her sculpting to skitter off her dress, leaving it clean.
___

In the back of the Keep grounds, near the arena, she'd found a small spot to set up the things she found for metalworking. Wood for casting flasks, clay for patterns and crucibles, salvaged bronze, brass, and iron--even some decent steel for which she'd paid coin.

She pressed the clay cat head she'd made into the sand of her wooden flask. She dusted them with powder from the soft, slipper stone found in the hills before firmly pressing the other half of the mold over it.

Removing the clay model and making sure the gate was clean, she tied the halves of the flask together and she and Iggy focused on a crucible of bronze scraps.

"Just the metal? Why just the metal? Everything on this plane is frozen!" Iggy looked about, finding plenty of other things that needed melting. Or just burning.

"Just do it, Iggy! We're making something."

"Always making. Funny Dru!"

"Now, Iggy!" She pointed impatiently at the crucible, sending a blast of heat from her hands at it as she did so. Iggy, still muttering, began to melt the bronze. After the metal lumps turned into a glowing puddle, Drusilla pulled on her gloves and used tongs to pour the liquid bronze into the mold.

"Thank you, Iggy! It's going to be beautiful."

"Yeah, bye!"

"Don't leave yet, one more."

The mephit started spluttering something that might have been curses, but remained hovering around Drusilla as she set the first flask aside and readied the next, bigger one. In the evening, at the Crossroads fire, she sat with a file, touching up a small bronze cat's head and a larger one of a dog, snarling and open-mouthed.
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Ivy
3:17:21 am GMT 02/09/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
The Geometry of Destruction It wasn't the best blade she'd ever made, by far. But it wasn't so bad, considering that she didn't even have a real forge. Even Iggy didn't seem as grumbly as usual. It was wider and heavier than the spear-like shapes she favored. She set the topazes in the cat's eye sockets and peened the edges to hold them in place. The dog's eyes were purple--baleful gemstones found in the mines. The cat's head, with its blazing yellow eyes, went on the butt of the shaft where it was pinned in place. The tang of the blade went into the dog's open mouth, and that tightened down onto the other end of the weapon. When everything was snug, she fished a diamond out of her jewel pouch and, putting it in an iron holder designed just for it, began to scribe on the blade. Some scrollwork, and, because it looked pretty, the blade's name in elvish script. Then the hard part. Making sure she had the spell clear in her memory, she gestured over the blade and uttered the ancient draconic words - it worked! The blade held the enchantment. For now, at least. She stabbed at the air. Iggy hovered, watching, as she made the weapon shimmer and vanish. "What's it's name, Dru?" Smiling the first real smile she'd felt in weeks, she held up a hand and called out. "Dogbreath!" Her arm fell with the weight of the thing. In the diffuse light of dusk, Dogbreath's flickering light lent a touch of instability to their shadows on the Keep's stonework. [ image disabled ] [ 578_dogbreath.jpg ]
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Ivy
1:53:22 am GMT 03/28/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
The Seeker's Progress

*trudge, trudge*

*flappity flap*

"What happened to them, Dru?"

"Dun know, Iggy. Sometimes they're just mean!" She returned to her pensive state, walking along in silence.

A pack of krenshar followed Dru, Iggy, and a floating disk heaped with the things she owned that didn't fit in her sleeves. They walked--well, one of them walked--along the path inside the crater and away from the Keep. Her room there was empty of her things now, the key left on the bed.

One of the krenshar snarled and she felt it trying to affect her mind. Iggy must have felt it too, for he wheeled about in midair, giggled, and hurled a bolt of fire.

The smaller pack of krenshar followed.

None of that registered with Dru. She wondered if she'd be able to use any of the forges that people had recommended, or if she'd have to improvise something again? She wondered what her new teacher would be like? At least she'd be a teacher, something that Red never got around to, locked away in his tower all the time with his research or his girlfriend or whatever. She wondered what it'd be like not to have Miggen's wonderful meals all the time. She wondered why there were eight schools of magic, and if there were an obvious correspondence of the four elements and the different kinds of elemental damage and those schools. There seemed to be a mismatch somewhere, and she wondered if there were still another kind of force to be discovered. Perhaps she could be as famous as Tenser or Bigby someday. Mages would study Tamrakin's Excruciating Exfoliation or Tamrakin's Snippety Scissors. She resolved to draw up charts to study as soon as she got a room, because it was puzzling that magical principles would be asymmetrical like that.

"Dru?"

"What, Iggy?"

"There's a lot of them."

Dru looked back. There were over a dozen of the creatures now, snapping and nipping at them as they reached the pass near the mines. She sighed. The guards might get mad if she led all the krenshar to them. With a twist of a hand and a word, she evoked a red cloud in the pass.

*trudge*

*flappity*

*hover*

They heard whimpers behind them, but no krenshar followed.

"Iggy?"

"What, Dru?"

"Do you think anybody at the Keep will notice I'm gone?"

"There are people there? You could have introduced me."

"Since when do you want to know people?"

"Kidding, Dru! Sheesh." Iggy flapped ahead, looking for a goblin toy.
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Ivy
7:47:16 pm GMT 04/01/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
The Dimensions of the Weave

Drusilla soaked in the tub, staring at the wall while she contemplated the problem. First that drow. Now the ogre mage--how was it that they managed to do that? She hated to waste a perfectly good spell.

She thought back, analyzing, remembering. The mage hadn't dodged the lightning, as she'd seen some creatures do. It wasn't absorbed or reflected... It had been as if the energy of the spell had just gone nowhere. Yet still she had seen the coruscating globes swoop at the mage, still felt the drain on her system.

She frowned and absent-mindedly cast a spark at the bucket of steaming water next to the tub. The spark skittered around the bucket's iron hoops and dissipated.

She contemplated. The Weave, wild magic, dead magic areas. She remembered: the dress she'd made with the yuan-ti fabric. It had that property--once or twice while wearing it, she'd had spells aimed at her simply... stop. Just like that.

Out of the tub, dressed, her hair hastily tied back, she took the dress and went out to find an isolated spot for her experiments.

Sparks, bolts and spheres cracked and flickered as she tried every technique she could think of. It wasn't a matter of more power, it was something subtler. Like that feeling when using her bow - there were times she'd done it just right. She could feel the instant the string left her fingers that the arrow would end up exactly where her will directed it.

The same feeling of rightness came to her. Manipulating the Weave was study, practice and sense of technique like that. Slowly her awareness, her control of the Weave grew.

(( Feat: Spell Penetration ))
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Ivy
4:22:16 am GMT 05/30/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
A Disturbance From Afar

At a table in the Trade covered in scraps of paper with cryptic sequences of letters, Drusilla sat and sipped the fresh apple juice she'd gotten from Bence. Her many rings, incised with arcane symbols and phrases in Draconic, clicked lightly against the ceramic cup. She turned the note over in her hands, cracked the wax, and unfolded it.

She wrinkled her nose seeing the sloppy writing, then stared at the signature. Drat? She hadn't even known he could write.

"Drat Endive" wrote ...

Dru,
We were told you are alive and still here on the island. Please get in touch with me at the inn in the Landing as soon as you get this. Kenji came with me to find you but there's been an accident.

Drat

Oh, perfect.

Her family really must hate her to send her brother and his best friend after her.

She put the note on the farthest corner of the table and looked over the cyphertext again, trying to remember her place. Right. She inked her reed pen. She straightened the half-full piece of paper. She glanced at Drat's note. She tried to remember which part of the cyphertext she was working on. Right. She inked her pen. She dripped ink in her juice. She grimaced.
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Ivy
1:23:32 am GMT 05/31/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
An Undiscovered Facet

FADE IN:
INT - LANDING INN, EVENING

(sounds of laughter, crackling fire, drinking, eating)

SLOW PAN across CROWD, stop with the entrance in the background.

(beat)

(door opens)

(DRUSILLA enters, looks around room, heads toward waitress)

DOLLY SHOT through CROWD eating, drinking, joking.

(DRUSILLA stops as she sees:)
(DRAT ENDIVE - black-haired, slim, high cheekbones - at one of the common tables)

(DRAT spears a chunk of meat from his stew with a jeweled dagger, then slurps some soup from the bowl.)
(DRUSILLA approaches from behind)

DRUSILLA
Hi, Drat.

DRAT
(stands up, bumping the bench, jostling others)
Dru! Thank the gods you're alright!
(Others at the table look between DRAT and DRUSILLA with mild interest)

DRUSILLA
Why wouldn't I be?
My stupid family only sent me to an
island where everything tries to kill me.

DRAT
(Reacts to her temper with a suppressed grin)
But you look good. Pale, though.
I wouldn't expect that in anuntamed place like this.
And you know your folks sent you here for your
coming of age, just like they did Kenji.
When you didn't come back after the year,
everyone thought you must be doing so well
that you had your own shop - or something.
But then they started to worry.

DRUSILLA
Good! They should!
(frowns)
I did send a letter when I heard of a ship going
towards home, but you know how that is.

(They take seats.)

DRAT
Finally your family decided something must have happened,
and Kenji and I came--
(stops as he realizes she hasn't heard)
oh.
Dru, we need to get Kenji's body and take
him back to Nakamori.

DRUSILLA
His body?
(patiently)
Drat, where is Kenji?

DRAT
These metal things got him, Dru. He wanted to show me the hills,
butwe were blinded by some birds and kind of got lost.
He was running through the hills killing everything that attacked us
until that. I couldn't fight the beasts off by myself, so I hid
and eventuallyfound my way back here.

DRUSILLA
So... let me get this straight. You and Kenji went by yourselves
into the Grauer Suden without lifestones?

DRAT
Lifestones?

DRUSILLA
Crystals that can bring people back to life.

DRAT
(with a shake of his head)
I've never heard of anything like that, Dru.
And it's not like there were priests up there.

DRUSILLA
You buy them at temples, Drat.

DRAT
Temples? Here?

DRUSILLA
You're hopeless.

DRAT
So...we can get lifestones and bring Kenji back to life!

DRUSILLA
Maybe. Has it been long?
He's probably been eaten by manticores by now.

DRAT
It's been four days now, but he won't be eaten since
he's sort of a statue.

DRUSILLA
Drat?

DRAT
What?

DRUSILLA
Why didn't you say he was turned to stone?

DRAT
(spears a bite of potato with his knife)
I did! Well, I said he was dead...
what difference does it make?


DRUSILLA
A lot.
(beat)
I can't believe you still have that dagger.

DRAT
(with a smile)
Of course I do.

DRUSILLA
I guess I really liked amethysts that year.
(looks it over)
I must have been about fifteen when I made that one.
(hold on DRUSILLA and DRAT)
CUT TO:
EXT - END OF PIER OVER WATER, NIGHT
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Ivy
6:58:21 am GMT 06/01/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
ALIEN COUPLE IN WATERFRONT SHOCKER! Starlight lanced through the reaches of space to find two humans with the look of Kara-Tur about them. The woman was tall and, if not for her youth, would have looked almost regal in her mage robe. The man, a touch shorter and a year or two older, had a relaxed air but no obvious clues as to his occupation. They stood at the end of the pier looking out to the east as the moon climbed slowly. The cold salt air was refreshing after the crush of humanity in the inn. "Why didn't you come back, Dru?" "I started learning, studying things I'd always wanted to know. I didn't want to go back and spend the rest of my life in the shop." "You were always buried in books, Dru. But you can learn at home." She shook her head. "Oh, the family was alright if I was learning to stop casting porosity or polish up my dwarven accent for our suppliers, but even you made fun of me for wanting to study the arcane." "Magic?" He looked at her, incredulous. "That's why you've been here all this time?" She folded her arms. "That's right." He considered her silently for a moment, then looked out to sea. "You really should come home, you know."
-30-
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Ivy
3:31:29 pm GMT 06/07/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
A Measure of Idleness

Drusilla sat on the deck amidships dressed in the same gray and navy travelling dress she'd been wearing years before when she arrived on Thain. The sun was improbably bright, making the air seem almost to glow between the cool shadows of the ship's sails.

A thin sliver of steel peeled away from the white-painted dagger blade as she guided the burin to follow one of the lines she'd drawn. The design was complicated enough that she hoped it would keep her from getting bored during the trip. Arcane arabesques would loop along the thick of the blade, at times flickering away in a flourish.

Having left the island, so went her days. At least until they reached land. She didn't even notice the rolling of the swells anymore. The graven curves on the dagger blade grew longer in between naps and meals.

The ship's crew watched her with suspicion. She didn't dare cast anything. She'd made the mistake of using a spark cantrip to stun one of the fish Kenji pulled in, and now they seemed to think she was going to set the ship afire. Without decent light--magical light--to work by in the evening, there was nothing to do but listen to the inane chatter of the crew, her brother and Drat. At least Drat was tolerable when he wasn't around Kenji. If she were lucky, the flying fish would be full of roe. The crunch of the salty little eggs would drown out the conversation.

After they docked, there would be weeks across land. Most of them, she remembered, very dull weeks.

She could hear Drat and Kenji arguing over something ridiculous while they trolled for fish. Another tiny curlicue of shining steel fell into her lap.

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Ivy
11:59:39 pm GMT 06/19/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
A Decision in the Dark

...............................This won't do, she thought.

Not right. Drat dimly became aware that he was asleep. Sweet, dark sleep. No. Wrong. He shouldn't know this. He kept his eyes shut, willing himself to slip back into dream, dreaming as they rode across the desert swathed in loose pale robes near-hypnotized by the rhythmic undulations of the dunes, the days, the desert sounds--the cloth almost inaudibly swished, their mounts' footsteps sank in the sand with soft hisses, an unseen bird trilled a low warning from a patch of scrub, and the sun always on one side of his face dried the skin to vellum-- papery, thin, sloughing off. He woke with a shudder and his hand went involuntarily to his face. Gah! It was peeling away in a sheet. His mind panicked before he realized that somehow one of Dru's papers had migrated into his bedroll. Gods knew she had enough of them. As the shock wore off, he was more tired than ever. Silly Dru. So impractical, so stubborn. He would have smiled had not all his muscles swept into slumber with him.

Speckled blackness turned to deep blue along the eastern horizon. By the time the sun rose, she would be leagues away from the camp, and farther than they could travel in a day without magic. Silly boys. Drat would find the note she left when he woke. They would just have to go on without her. At least her family would know she was still alive, and now they'd have her letters.

She stopped in the dune shadow before the sun had risen far, and cast her spell. A gray hemisphere, twenty feet across, materialized in the sand where she and her mount would rest during the heat of the day.

Someday she would return home, but not now, not to be the ignored little sister. There was too much to learn, too many unanswered questions.

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Ivy
4:28:55 am GMT 08/16/06
Ivy Registered Member #578 Joined: 6:16:29 am GMT 07/21/05
Posts: 1454
Notes Ink stained the side of her hand where it had landed on the paper. Asleep at the tiny desk, the ink in her reed pen drying, the glyphs of her inquiries twisted through her dreams. [ image disabled ] [ 578_drunotes1.jpg ]
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