A (Not Terribly) Hallifaxian Story

AramelAramel Member Posts: 202 Fabled

In which Keth-bits provide the impetus for a lot of things.

---

Before the Matrix. 

Banks of clouds roil about here. Suspended by four bridges of transparent crystal, an enormous circular walkway looks out over the crystalline structure of Hallifax. The walkway is made of semi-translucent gemstone with handrails around both the inner and outer circumference to prevent any unnecessary accidents. Though wispy clouds can be seen to move around the crystalline towers of Hallifax, the cool air here is only a gentle, serene breeze, as if the wind itself was tamed before the Nexus of Power. A deep-seated chair of crystal sits here, glittering. A statue of Elostian stands here, memorialising His noble spirit. Silver breastplate polished to a shine, a Hallifax Sentinel stands here at attention. There are 30 Sentinel Deputy Commissars here. The graceful, translucent form of a bird of paradise dances in the air, the insubstantial image shifting through a constant stream of vivid colours. Radiating with an incandescent brilliance, the Matrix floats within the circular walkway, slowly turning and revealing flowering geometric patterns. Wind whipping through his wings, Fraesic Sunfar, Keeper of the Matrix is here, face upturned to the chill breeze. A Guardian of the Apeirohedron floats here, confusing onlookers with its impossible to grasp shape. There are 2 storm-coloured greyhounds here. There are 10 Guardians of the Dodecahedron here. Eddies of frost swirl around the graceful form of a lordly snow phoenix with skeletal wings of black frost. A green parakeet scratches against the ground in his search for a quick meal. Leaping about after its shadow, a curious young kitten playfully wanders about here. Falmiis Shevat with a Barrister face is riding on a companionable cube. He wields a golden whip of the pious in his left hand and a tower shield of the Matrix in his right.
You see exits leading northeast, southeast, southwest, and northwest. 

You brandish a basic wooden easel menacingly.

Falmiis peers at you unscrupulously.

Mirthfully, you say, "Hush. You knew this was coming."

Teasingly, Falmiis Shevat says, "What? That you would torment me with chaotic paintings for the rest of my life?"

Solemnly, you say, "It is your own fault for providing the subject matter."

Falmiis Shevat frowns and says, "It is not my fault Kethuru is attracted to my medallion."

You say to Falmiis, "It was your fault for giving me eyeballs."

You say to Falmiis, "You will recall that I never painted disorderly creatures before they became my disorderly creatures."

Defensively, Falmiis Shevat says to you, "You had eagerly scooped some up. I thought you liked them."

You say to Falmiis, "Your sense of aesthetics leaves much to be desired."

Falmiis Shevat says, "You are the one who wants to immortalise these things in art."

You say, "Art imitates life."

You begin to wield a sapphiric skylark in your left hand.

Falmiis Shevat frowns and says, "You do like those, don't you?"

With a cheerfully chirping, fluffy bird in each hand, you say, "Yes."

You have emoted: As if on cue, a third skylark flies up from Aramel's arms to perch happily on her shoulder.

With relief, Falmiis Shevat says, "That is good. I worried that you would treat them like the eyeballs."

You say to Falmiis, "It would be cruel to bury a bird."

You have emoted: The vivid blue bird in Aramel's hand chirps at Falmiis, as if in agreement.

Falmiis Shevat says to you, "I wonder if your ability to turn my allies against me applies to the skylarks."

With a small smile, you say, "Probably."

With a resigned sigh, Falmiis Shevat says, "Don't you think these battles are very unfair?"

You have emoted: Aramel opens her hand, and as the skylark flits out of it to settle on Falmiis's head, chirping happily at its new nest, she says, "You have forgotten that the rules of fairness do not bind me."

As if cataloguing, you say, "Tongues, tentacles, eyeballs... am I missing anything?"

Falmiis peers at you unscrupulously.

Lifting his chin, Falmiis Shevat says, "No."

Sounding pleased, you say, "Very well."

Sighing, Falmiis Shevat says, "I regret giving you those eyeballs."

You smile broadly and say to Falmiis, "That is, I believe, the correct response."

Shaking her head in mock pity, you say, "Still, I suspect you shall not escape the fate of a painting."

Falmiis slumps slightly as his brow furrows. "If only you would be so benevolent as to forgive me for the eyeballs and we could forget it ever happened," he says.

Virtuously, you say, "I am benevolent... but not that benevolent."

Yarith doffs the Holy Helm of Avechna cordially.

Yarith peers about himself unscrupulously.

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius says, "I'm trying to .."

Yarith removes the Holy Helm of Avechna.

Yarith removes the Holy Helm of Avechna.

Yarith removes the Holy Helm of Avechna.

Yarith doffs a cheerful, blue squid hat cordially.

Yarith slips into the Holy Helm of Avechna.

Yarith slips into the Holy Helm of Avechna.

Yarith slips into the Holy Helm of Avechna.

A wry smile spreads across Falmiis's face.

Airelah, Cadenza Harmonia says to Yarith, "Why do you have three?"

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius says to Airelah, "Classified."

Airelah, Cadenza Harmonia says to Yarith, "Well, that's not a very interesting story."

Gravely, you say, "Stories are important."

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius smiles and says to Airelah, "It is. You're merely not privy to it."

Airelah, Cadenza Harmonia says to Yarith, "Which means... it's not very interesting."

Falmiis Shevat asks, "Is it story time?"

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius smiles and says, "I believe it is."

Resignedly, you say, "Very well."

Falmiis Shevat asks, "Who is going first?"

You say to Falmiis, "You."

Falmiis blinks.

Falmiis Shevat asks, "What kind of story would you like to hear?"

Airelah, Cadenza Harmonia says to Falmiis, "An interesting one."

You say, "That consists of more than the statement, 'Classified.'"

Airelah nods her head at you.

Falmiis clears his throat.

You have emoted: Aramel settles down, putting her easel aside for the moment.

Falmiis Shevat says, "Once upon a time there was a gnome, called Nutty Nickles."

Falmiis Shevat says, "Nutty Nickles spent most of his life in the Facility, doing gnomish things. From when he was a little boy, he was taught that all good gnomes must follow the Deep Beliefs, and Nutty was a good gnome, so he followed them in his daily life."

Falmiis Shevat says, "One day, he met a female gnome called Suzie. Like Nutty, Suzie had spent most of her life doing gnomish things in the Facility. You know, like failing experiments and blaming the helpful people who bring them slugs and such."

You cough softly.

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius says, "Those do sound like very gnomish things to do."

Tilting his head, Falmiis Shevat asks you, "Is something wrong, dear?"

Waving her hand in negation, you say, "No, no, I merely had a feather in my throat. It's all these skylarks."

You have emoted: The skylark in Aramel's hand chirps disgruntledly at being waved.

Falmiis appears unconvinced by your explanation, but his focus returns to the rest of the group as he continues his story, "Anyway, as Nutty and Suzie both enjoyed doing gnomish things they immediately felt a strong connection with one another. Those familiar with the Higher Emotions would know that they had fallen in love, but according to the ancient traditions of the Deep Beliefs there was no such thing, so we won't call it love for the purposes of this story."

Falmiis Shevat says, "One day, there was a giant hunt in the aetherspace around the Facility. Suzie was out doing gnomish things in the outer wall when she noticed the battle between the cloiers and the algontherines and she watched with keen intent. As you probably know, when things in aetherspace explode they leave behind aether dust. This was no exception."

Xeii curtseys gracefully.

You beam broadly at Xeii.

You say to Xeii, "You've arrived just in time."

Xeii flickers curious shades of light green, her head tilting slightly.

You say to Xeii, "Your father is in the middle of telling a story to the Cadenza here."

Comprehension flashes across Xeii's face.

Xeii tilts her head and listens intently to Falmiis.

Falmiis Shevat says, "As the battle was so huge - one of the biggest in the history of aetherhunts, a lot of dust was generated. Naturally, some of it fell down into the Facility. Suzie was not prepared for this and found that a large amount of dust had fallen into her eyes."

Aficionado Xeii Shevat, Contralto Drammatico whispers to you, "The wee sandcastle builder?"

You whisper to Xeii, "A gnome, I think."

Showing that she understands, Xeii nods her head slowly.

Falmiis Shevat says, "With the dust in her eyes, Suzie could not see a thing at all. She started flailing about, not knowing what to do. As we are all aware that gnomes only know how to do gnomish things so common ailments such as blindness are completely foreign to them."

Airelah hides a grin behind her hand.

Falmiis Shevat says, "In her state of temporary blindness, she grabbed one of the slugs that had been minding its own business. It was a red one, in case you are wondering. Anyway, it was at this very moment that our tragic hero, Nutty Nickles, entered the scene, looking for his companion."

Dark astral currents flow together and congeal into a mass of tentacles.

A mass of tentacles howls as a companionable cube hacks into him.
The Medallion of Knowledge worn by Falmiis sends forth a beam of azure light which blows the brains out of a mass of tentacles.

Curiously, you say, "Did Suzie mistake the slug for a tentacle?"

"Tentaclessss!" Airelah hisses, sinuously waving her arms around.

You nod your head at Airelah.

Falmiis Shevat says, "Nutty saw that Suzie was clutching onto a slug and immediately came to the most logical conclusion that she liked slugs. So he went away and collected a few more slugs, hoping to surprise Suzie. Meanwhile, Suzie finally figured out that you just have to eat some faeleaf to cure blindness. Just in time too, because Nutty had just returned with many, many slugs. Presenting them to Suzie, he did not expect the reaction that was to come. Suzie tossed them to the ground and threatened to make a gnomish contraption to mock Nutty with his many slugs."

Falmiis Shevat says, "The end."

With a flourish of his arm, Falmiis bows deeply.

Xeii pauses for a second, a slight frown upon her face.

You open your mouth but say nothing.

Airelah covers her mouth with one hand, eyes twinkling as she tries not to laugh. "Um. That was unexpected."

With a heavy sigh, you say, "I see that we have yet to teach you how to do endings."

Aficionado Xeii Shevat, Contralto Drammatico says, "I hope Aeromancer Windwhisper's interruption has not overruffled your feathers, Father."

Yarith nods in agreement to Airelah. "Oh. Yes. Very. I was expecting Suzie to complain about the slugs not working in the experiments thereafter."

Falmiis Shevat says, "Well, I could have told you about the part where Nutty tried to apologise to Suzie but Suzie would have none of it."

You ask Falmiis, "Do all your works have wonderfully engaging beginnings and end abruptly?"

You smile impishly and say to Falmiis, "Are all your works also vaguely plaintive allegories about your own life?"

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius says to you, "The most abrupt endings are drama to the senses which they do not indulge."

Falmiis Shevat looks thoughtful and says to you, "Now that I think about it, yes."

Airelah gives a trillingly melodic laugh.

You nod your head emphatically.

Falmiis Shevat says, "I do think that our hero deserved a better ending."

Falmiis Shevat says, "But you know what they say, life isn't always about happy endings."

You say to Falmiis, "Alas, he should have had better sense than to give slugs to his not-lover."

Falmiis Shevat looks thoughtful and says, "I feel that after overcoming this, Nutty and Suzie will grow closer together."

Xeii's dark, rich voice blooms into peals of melodious laughter.

You say to Falmiis, "Or at least Suzie will greatly enjoy her gnomish contraption, which will be just as good."

Aficionado Xeii Shevat, Contralto Drammatico says, "I shall make a painting of them...and the slugs. sometime."

You beam broadly at Xeii.

Airelah congratulates Xeii with some wild clapping.

Falmiis Shevat says to you, "As already explained in the story, he came to the very logical conclusion that Suzie liked slugs."

Xeii steps forward with regal poise, one hand graciously extended to Airelah as she sketches an elegant bow.

Sounding pleased, you say, "Ah, yes. Paintings. Thank you for reminding me once more."

Falmiis Shevat says to you, "We can hardly fault the poor hero for coming to such a logical and reasonable conclusion."

You say to Falmiis, "You have failed to mention that our hero previously had acknowledged that logic did not apply in this situation."

Xeii taps her chin with her finger, looking intrigued.

Caught off-guard, Falmiis Shevat says to you, "Well, um, you know. Those are minor details that I left out so that the story could flow better."

Shaking her head, you say, "That's like writing a murder mystery and leaving out the clues so the reader can't solve it."

Falmiis Shevat says, "Anyway, I think what this story tells us is that Suzie should forgive Nutty, because Nutty only gathered the slugs because he thought she liked slugs."

Airelah nods solemnly to you.

You say to Falmiis, "No doubt she will, after she has tested her slug-mocking contraption to her satisfaction."

Falmiis Shevat frowns and says, "Poor Nutty."

Aficionado Xeii Shevat, Contralto Drammatico murmurs to you, "And how would that contraption work, exactly?"

Simply Yarith Shevat, Tactical Genius says, "Oh. I wouldn't worry too much. Gnomes are terrible engineers half the time."

You say to Xeii, "I'm sure it would involve gnomish things. Like paint, and, uhm, canvas."

Aficionado Xeii Shevat, Contralto Drammatico says, "How very exclusively gnomish.

Falmiis Shevat says, "If you ever see Suzie, please let her know that Nutty deserves to be forgiven." 

(clan): Falmiis says, "Aramelise, verb, 1. adorn with many flowers."
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