Sorgen had heard Cassiel doing "that thing" before, but didn't give it much thought before this moment. He could guess those were very exotic languages, and he pondered for a bit if to ask Cassiel about them, or just try to consult with "the cube" (how he sometimes called his Hedron Archive) about them. He decided he wanted to approach Cassiel later on to talk, and see how open he was about it before "asking the cube": he would have left that as a way to double-check the sincerity of his travel-mate...
For some reason, though, Cassiel made him consider the option of getting a bit more personal, casting aside his loner demeanor for once. A feeling/thought he also had about Lerithyn, and in a different way about Ra'sakar and Aukan, although in their case, that instinctive respect was also mixed with envy about their Zendikari backgrounds being more extensive than his. He had more neutral feelings about Major for now, due to his nature, but he knew he could relate well with warforged, back in Sharn.
All in all, he was surprised to find himself in the company of individuals he felt quite comfortable with, a rarity in his experience. He wondered cynically if the Foundation or the Covenant, or even Flamewind himself had something to do with this coincidence.
As Aukan moves through the city, he is always one pace behind his guides, following in their wake. At times he looks to each guide individually in admiration. Ra'sakar for his connection to the Sulatar and his vast experience of living in the wilds of Zendikar. Lerithyn for his trinkets and comprehension of both the archaic and the futuristic. And finally, the Major, a creation of war. Aukan pays particular attention to Major, watching each step, each glance, deciphering in his head the precise movements of the machine as if they were lessons in the martial arts. Though the two have yet to share spoken words, to Aukan, being in the presence of Major is instruction on it's own; he sees Major as an equal, if not a master, in terms of strength and battle prowess.
In response to Ra'sakar, Aukan says, "Nedelyne is an expert in her field. Her tutelage was precise, if demanding at times. She taught me the basics of spell-casting, to which I am grateful to her. It would be a light in my day to have that tutelage continued by you in your family's tradition." Aukan listens closely as Ra'sakar explains the Roil, not recognizing the name. "I did not encounter such a beast in my travels. It sounds elusive. Can it be tamed?"
At that moment, Aukan overhears Sorgen speaking of the Roil as well. "Ah, that is Roil. In the Goliath tongue we call it Käfed; the trickster. A dangerous force indeed. You are able to commune with it?"
In the city of Stormreach, Aukan is all but ignorant of the path taken or the shops and people cluttering about. His attention is strictly on the guides and his companions from Morgrave; to him, there is presently no greater source of information.
With a tiny bit of pride, Sorgen replies to Aukan about his connection to the Roil. "Well, I can commune with what I would call a spirit of the land of Zendikar. Or with a connection to it. An aspect of The Traveler probably, which might coincide with the entity called Talib by the Kor, and Cosi "The Trickster" by the Merfolk. This makes it close to the Roil, according to my knowledge, and now even according to the name you have for it..." - Sorgen couldn't avoid showing he doesn't know the nature of this entity clearly, even if the connection with the Goliath name seemed convincing. Perhaps his pride made him speak too hastily, and he recognized this, so he changed the subject quickly. - "I will show all of you in due time, for now, we better reach our destination quickly. Thanks for asking though, Aukan..."
After observing the exchange between Aukan and Sorgen, Cassiel approach them in a totally out-of-character mater neither has seen during the trip and asks Sorgen with great enthusiasm: Sorry for the interjection in your conversation masters Aukan and Sorgen, but did you say that you are able to talk to the spirits of this land? Would you be able to talk to... at this moment his demeanor changes and he continues now more like the the Cassiel from the trip:...sorry, I really shouldn't burden you with this at this moment, before even we share a warm meal.
Going back to walking behind the party Cassiel, says in almost at an after thought to himself with a little smirk in his face: They cannot help me, anyway.
"We will best the Roil," proclaims Aukan to Sorgen. Then with a smile he adds, "At the very least, the Roil will trick us into believing so."
At times, Aukan's ears perk up to a faint word or two of the Abyssal that Cassiel mutters to himself. This behavior had initially struck Aukan as that of a weak mind, but gradually Aukan accepted it as a part of Cassiel, a sign of something more profound. He is Aasimar, and a capable sorcerer as well. Perhaps he communes with a greater force... Out of respect, Aukan does not ask about the behavior, only studies it intently. To Cassiel's interjection he replies, "My shoulders were built for burden, my friend. You may speak your troubles to me at any time, warm meal or no. I will be your compass." In Abyssal, he adds, "When it doubt, go north."
Taken aback by the fact that Aukan understood the language of Adriel and showing a bit of discomfort and relief at the shame time Cassiel says in common : Master Aukan I am profoundly thankful for you offer of support and am sorry if I decide to take you on your promise. In our travel and now with our guides I sense goodness around us and am thankful that this is what portrays our journey.
Still in common and with a legitimate smile in his face: It is good to see that you are not afraid to approach me after knowing what I speak and be at ease, even though I know evil is part of the world my objective in life is to confront it face on!
No in celestial to his side Cassiel murmurs: Barachiel, my heart feels light with the company we find ourselves in. But he hears in his head in Abyssal breaking his good mood: Yes, fine company indeed if you like walking with weaklings, I've already told you that no where you go good shall happen.
The Chapterhouse is a joint venture between House Ghallanda and House Phiarlan, serving as tavern, hostel and performance space. Run by Sorala d'Ghallanda, it provides inexpensive accomodations at a variety of comfort levels and excellent entertainment. The hostel is big enough to almost always have rooms available, the only drawback being that, if you stay in the Chapterhouse, you can be certain someone knows exactly where you are. The place is a wonderful place to find information: jungle expeditions, gossip about a Storm Lord, ships with mysterious cargo, and any sort of interesting news run all around the tables in there.
As they enter the place, the noise provides the best cover for private conversations. A young maiden shows you an empty table close to the stage, where a group of elves is playing some exotic wind and string musical instruments in a curious harmony full of rhythm, excitement and momentum. The crowd in the other tables was the most diverse many of our heroes have seen in a long time.
As they seat and order some food and drinks, they leave some space on the table for the utility box provided by Flamewind and display the maps, just as most tables around them.
The inscription inside the box looks more enigmatic now... "The whole is greater than the sum of its parts".
"Major," Lerithyn gestures next to him as he sits on a chair, "If you wouldn't mind standing here so I may continue my examination of you. I don't want you malfunctioning at a critical moment." He places his pack near his feet and his cannon leans awkwardly against the heavy table. It starts to slide a bit, but Lerithyn stops it, pulls a small saw from his pack, and saws a notch in the table. He then begins to sand it down before applying a quick-drying wax solution as finish. There, the barrel of his cannon fits comfortably.
He looks to the others, "Well here we are." Without permission Lerithyn pulls the box closer to him and begins to examine it. He pulls a satchel from his pack, unrolls his tools, and begins the ritual of identification. "Tis an odd thing, this box."
Sorgen looked slightly irritated by Lerithyn move, but tried to tie in in an accommodating manner: "Oh, yes, the box... I was just going to ask you, sir Lerithyn, if you could help us understand if there's some extra magical property in it, since it feels strange they would have left m- I mean, us, with one less object of utility than the members of this party. I'd like to take this box as part of my share, later on..." - Sorgen referred to the quick decision made when they met, about which item would go to which member. He didn't find those items interesting, the box was instead more interesting, especially since he was always on the look-out for a way to store his hedron in a fitting container - one that screened the precious relic from scrying, possibly.
Sorgen's words seem to fall on deaf ears as Lerithyn examines the box. It seems he uses a mixture of arcane gestures on various parts while at the same time poking and prodding with various tools from his satchel. The magnifying glass he uses to examine the intricacies of the craftsmanship exaggerate his pale white eyes, giving him a ghostly look when compared to his ivory skin. He's utterly lost in this ritual...
Aukan takes a seat at the table and watches as Lerithyn snatches up the Flamewind box and examines it. He nods along as Sorgen asks about the magical properties. From the maiden, he orders a Gnomish meal and a house ale.
"This is... fascinating indeed." Lerithyn looks up from his ritual to the group. "Someone has managed to stuff a boat in this box. Or... more specifically they've altered it's material properties to account for the transmutation required to alter it's molecular structure to that of various seacraft." He nods to Sorgen, "Do you want to trade?"
An Idea occurs to him. "We have a feather token that is meant to pick up sails and an anchor token that is meant to root a ship in place... Perhaps we should take the river through the jungle." Lerithyn begins to put his tools away, carefully making sure they're all in their rightful place before turning his attention to the rest of the group.
Sorgen couldn't hide a smirk after the revelation... He remembered of old stories told by his father, of a shadowy warrior who eventually became a hero, after deserting a pirate ship in the hidden Halimar sea, eventually becoming an explorer of his own, pushing into the farthest reaches of the Silundi Sea, beyond the Island of Secrets, confronting the legendary Wrexial, the Risen Deep... Now he had his own boat, and portable too! Too bad he had no idea how to helm a ship..!
"There were a number of items inside," says Aukan to Lerithyn. "A few magical trinkets of the adventuring type. The inscription seems to be a motto of sorts. Should be helpful on our journey." Turning his attention to the maps, Aukan points to the Fangs of Argarak. "My home village is here. There are hill giants in these parts, though the greatest threats will come from the sky." The memory of a Roc plucking his mother from the earth sparks in his mind momentarily. "Keep your arrows handy."
Lerithyn nods to the giant and points out the various routes that the map has marked. "These routes are all irrelevant now. As I'm sure Ras will be quick to point out, you must forge your own path each time you enter the jungles." He looks to the box, "These rivers lead straight down into Fangs. The currents may be odd, but the vessels that the box can make come in multiple varieties. The word..." he stops, realizing he was about to say Kar Skif, the trigger word for the box to transform into a longboat. "The dwarven phrase for long boat will give us plenty of room to make for an exciting and somewhat safe journey through the Jungle."
After a while, Sorgen realized Lerithyn had actually asked him a question. He asked him to trade him the folding ship. Initially this seemed ridiculous, but after thinking a few more instants, the scholar realized he could have found more use in something else. "What would you trade for it?" - He finally asked, looking interested and suspicious at the same time.
A Flamewind's quote, nearly a slogan for the Covenant, flared into Sorgen's mind: "Never run away from the responsibilities that have been given to you." - The absent-minded rogue shakes up abruptly and finally replies: "Never mind, Lerithyn, never mind."
"I actually think the boat might be useful to navigate the treacherous Silundi Sea... "The Sea Of Lost Souls"... " - He utters the name as if making fun of it. - "... And reach the much-sought-after Sunder Bay. We would avoid the countless perils of the Vastwood. But I'm not the expert, I will follow you through whatever course you will decide."