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Madrigal 2 Finale / Epilogue

The events described here take place at an indeterminate place and time in the future, in the Madrigal LARP world.

A quiet voice speaks from within a dark gate, “Who stands before the gate of death?”

The red-robed spirit standing outside the gate responds, “It is Adeon.”

“Enter.”

The figure steps forward, passing through the veil and into a dark chamber. Before him sits a Reaper, perhaps the very same one who travelled with the heroes of Shadowfane as they traversed the path of the Aurora to save the world from the Blood Queen. On a table between them rests a book, closed. Hovering in the air above the book are faint, ghostly words, lettered in red with a golden nimbus, “Though my soul may pass through the gate of death a thousand times, yet it shall return, and I to the fight until my family is safe.”

The Reaper speaks, not the words Adeon expects to hear, but rather “I heard your oath, those many years ago, and though not bound by it, I honored it. Your family is safe, now.”

Adeon simply nods in response. Though his wife perished fleeing from Wickford, her sacrifice allowed the children to escape. Adeon had found them in the Greyfang and brought them to Mal’Kharad root, and had spent many years living there with them after the Blood Queen was made whole and sent back to her world to face justice.

“You have not been here a thousand times, but this time is your last. The deck holds only one card for you.”

“I know,” Adeon responds aloud, “or I suspected as much. I am at peace, and ready for my fate.”

“There are some things you must do first,” the Reaper continues, “You have some things of which the world may still have need – the torch, the pendant, the toadstool,” and after a moment’s pause, “the hammer.”

Adeon knows the items to which the Reaper referred. The torch, created of the fires of a volcano and the boons of the Fae, to cleanse the Carrion Rot which Skarris had inflicted upon the Root Maze. The Phoenix pendant, found by chance along a path as he had pursued training in higher magics – the very same pendant which had been owned by an Archmage generations ago whose title Adeon inherited. The toadstool, given to him by the patron Fae of the Order of the Spore. The last one surprised him, though. The hammer the Reaper referred to was once known as the Chaos Hammer, but since defeating Atkoya it had no power. “Shall I leave them with you, then?”

“No, not here. You know where they belong. Go now, as a spirit, and return once they have been delivered.”

* * *

A spirit hovers in the midst of a volcano’s core, just above the fiery magma. The Guardian was brought forth but does not see any Champions approaching. A red-robed spirit appears in front of him, holding a small torch containing some of the Guardian’s power. “The Carrion Rot has been cleansed and there is no further need for this in the world. I return it to you, to hold against some future need, should the Rot return.”

* * *

The red-robed spirit appears in a clearing next to a non-descript path in the woods. He sets a small phoenix-shaped pendant in the center of a fire-pit in the clearing, and murmurs a few words under his breath – an enchantment to keep the pendant hidden until its next owner should rest there.

* * *

On the edge of Shadowfane, a toadstool ring grows atop a tree stump. The red-robed spirit appears in the midst of the ring, and gently sets a red ceramic toadstool in a gap in the ring. A few whispered words, and the toadstool sinks into the stump and becomes a living thing, left behind by one of the founders of the Order.

* * *

Farris, an Eurvein of Fire, stands next to her forge. She has been working all day on a new sword for her not-brother Dag, and after a few more runes are carved, it will be complete. A red-robed spirit appears before her, holding a golden hammer. She looks at the spirit, surprised at first but then understanding. She nods. The spirit uses the hammer to carve two runes upon the sword – a Rune of Sharpening to ensure the blade will always hold a sharp edge, and a Rune of Immolation, his last gift to his son. He sets the hammer down next to the anvil, and fades away.

* * *

A quiet voice speaks from within a dark gate, “Who stands before the gate of death?”

The red-robed spirit standing outside the gate responds, “It is Adeon.”

“Enter.”

The words no longer hover in the air. Adeon speaks quietly, “It is done.”

“Your time among the living has come to an end, then. It is not for me to decide the fate of your spirit; that decision has already been made. Have you anything left you wish to say?”

“No, it has all been said.”

The Reaper extends one arm, and gently touches the teardrop-shaped crystal below Adeon’s eye. “You have wept so many tears for this world; it is good to see you at peace.” With those last words, she inflicts Final Death upon the once-hero of Shadowfane.

* * *

A new rune appears on the Serpent’s Forge. This new Rune of Courage, in the shape of a teardrop, is a warning against Despair. Its spirit is one of Courage and Hope, and lends its power to artifacts created upon this forge.

* * *

A new spirit appears in the Topiary. It resembles the red-robed spirit which stood before the Reaper, and yet it is somehow less. All traces of runes are gone, and only its arcane nature remains. A pair of fiery wings grows from its back before it slowly turns to stone, to stand as a Guardian against any who would threaten the Crystal Tower.

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Madrigal Vignette

The refugees are nervous.  I can understand why – not that long ago they were living in the wilderness, hiding from slavers and wondering when their next meal would be.  We brought them to the havens, and told them they would be safe.  We told them they could live here for as long as they wanted, and no harm would come to them.  Now we’re asking them to leave, to follow us back into the ground, the very place where they lost loved ones and their lives changed forever.  Truth be told, I would be nervous as well, had I not been there to see the World Rune awakened.

Some refuse.  They would rather stay where they are, somewhere they know to be safe even if it is on the surface, than to travel through strange lands into a Root that, in their minds, could be swarming with undead by the time they get there. They lost their homes once, and some of them don’t want to take the risk.  We won’t force them, but I hope once Mal’Kharad is re-settled and seen to be safe, they will follow.

Listen to me…  I refer to “them”, as though I am somehow separate from these people, my kith and kin.  I suppose in a way, I am.  Petros, Halia, Zephyr, Averik, Maven, we all are, in a way.  While most of our people struggle to survive, we have somehow become leaders in the fight against Wickford.  I don’t know when I started thinking of myself that way, I don’t think I really noticed until Mal’Kharad became ours once more.  Once, children saw me as a teacher, someone to learn facts and figures from.  Now, in the faces of the young ones who travel with us to the Root, I see admiration, and I see hope.

The journey from the haven to the Root is not without trouble, of course.  On one such trip, a small band of slavers from Mhurkiel though to waylay us and fill their wagons with more ‘merchandise.’  I suppose seeing one among their prey turn into living fire before their eyes and tear through them with a vengeance must have been more than they had bargained on, for they turned and fled leaving most of their supplies behind in their haste.
As we passed through the Griffon Peaks we were stopped by multiple patrols on the suspicion that we were bandits.  After establishing my identity as a resident of Shadowfane they allowed us to pass, cautioning us that they were watching us and if we caused any trouble we would be imprisoned.  I assured them that we sought no trouble and if we happened upon any Eurvein bandits we would be happy to take them with us so they would cause no trouble of their own.  I had hoped, in fact, that we would find some and that my daughter would be among them, but alas we did not encounter any – nor did any of the patrols we encountered have any useful information.

When we finally arrived at the Root, I saw a miraculous change come over my people.  The once haggard expressions on adults and children alike slowly melted away as they breathed in the air of freedom.  Adults who had once lived in Mal’Kharad rushed to their old homes and began the tedious process of cleaning them out and restoring them to livable conditions.  Children who had lived their whole lives on the surface stood in awe of the beauty of their ancestral homes.  It was not long before the music of life among the Eurvein returned to the Root.  I myself spent a month there, just living amongst my people, feeling their zeal for life renew my own hope.  It was difficult, in the end, to tear myself away from them to return to Shadowfane; but where I once had only an unfounded hope to restore my people to sustain me, that hope is now full and vibrant with the reality that my people will be free, that Wickford will fail, and that all our Roots, not just Mal’Kharad,will be ours once more; and Shadowfane is the font from which that reality will spring.

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RIP Savannah Healy

Savannah

RIP Savannah Healy, loving pet of Robert Healy, passed away in her sleep on Thanksgiving Day, 11/24/2011 @ appx. 8:00am.  Savannah touched the lives of her family, friends, housemates, and all those who cared for her during her 14 years on this earth, and her passing leaves a void that will not soon be filled. 

Non-Madrigal weekend

I missed this past Madrigal event due to Grand Lodge activities.  Could folks please fill me in on the details of some of what went on?  I've been getting bits and pieces from journals, but a full rundown would be helpful.
  • Azerhoten wanted us to get something that fell on the Night of Falling Stars?  What's that all about?  What are the implications of such an object?
  • Path of Erionth was completed?  So, is the Gold Man awake now?  Or is that still "TBD"?  Do we have all the items we need?
  • Malediction trees - does this have anything to do with Wickford's Weald guy?
  • Nexuses - anything alarming happen?
  • AEotE - Are we any closer to getting the Crown of Tides?

Kthx.

Shaving my head!

On Saturday, October 22nd 2011, I will be going bald.  No, this isn't a scientific prediction based on rate of hair loss, it's actually planned,
and for a good cause!  I will be participating in a Shave-A-Thon raising money for St Baldrick's, a non-profit organization which funds
research into childhood cancer.  St Baldrick's is one of the largest providers of grant money for this type of research in the country, and
one of the ways they raise money is through events like these, which are designed not only as fundraisers, but also to increase awareness of
childhood cancer.


If you have some spare charitable contributions laying around,
please consider a donation to this cause, through my "shavee" page at https://www.stbaldricks.org/donate/donationinfo/participantid/472019


Thanks!

Verizon billing sux.

Verizon is still, after SIX MONTHS, not billing me correctly for an order I placed in January.  They messed up my account in February and were over-charging me by about $100/month.  They've since fixed that, but still cannot seem to re-apply the promotional offers (totalling $35/mo for the first 12 months, and $15/mo for the next 12) to my account.  I've called them every month, and every month they say they'll fix it and fail to do so.  Can someone explain to me why I haven't already dropped them?
Awesome, the night vision goggles I ordered at 9pm last night were on my desk at work when I got back from lunch.  :-D

Too long for Facebook

Y'know... There's this bandwagon status update going around Facebook about the 'institution of marriage'... The religious right would have us believe that the government has to protect the 'sanctity' of the institution.. Which is, at its core, a religious institution. But, y'know what? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. Says so in the First Amendment. Will same-sex marriage destroy the institution of marriage? Maybe, maybe not. Doesn't matter. If it's a religious institution, the government has no place controlling it. If it's not a religious institution then the sanctity of marriage arguments fall apart, and the equal protection clause comes stomping in, waving its broadsword and cutting the rest of the arguments to shreds.

Also... prohibiting same sex couples from marrying is discrimination on the basis of gender - not sexual orientation. If two straight men want to marry each other, they are not allowed to - but they're both straight. If a gay man and a gay woman want to marry each other, they're allowed to even though they're both gay. The prohibition is based on the gender of the two parties. Discrimination on the basis of gender is generally illegal.

But what do I know?

Soooo totally unprepared

I'm soooooooo totally unprepared for Madrigal this weekend.  Have not made packets.  Have not finished new costuming.  Have not made adjustments to new pendant to make it sturdier.  Have not made secret santa/revel gift.  Have not enough time to do all of that unless I forgo sleep.  Ugh.

:-(

hee hee