Once more with feeling/Logs/Small Group/In Denansor/Cael and Nuwa
Around noon on the day of the second council meeting:
Nuwa: Apparently a little lost among the many levels and corridors of the tower Nuwa comes across Cael, her gaze searching as she looks for the little plaque that would tell her whether she is on the right level.
Cael: "Hi, Miss Nuwa!"
Nuwa: "Oh, Cael. A good morning to you!" She looks a little sheepish. "I seem to have lost my way ..."
Nuwa: "I thought I'd look in to see if Rowan's doing better today."
Cael is sitting on a bed, awkwardly pulling on some soft-looking emerald-green shoes. The door to the room is open, hence why she can see him and vice versa. "He's all better!" chirps the little boy, elation obvious in his voice. "He's bathin' in the other room."
Nuwa: "Oh! That's good. Have you spoken?"
Nuwa: "About what he was so afraid of, that is?"
Nuwa speaks a little softer so Rowan will not necessary hear her in the next rrom.
Cael tilts his head. "We haven' -spoken- so much, no. He was havin' a real bad dream 'sall."
Nuwa: The young woman frowns. "He shouldn't have been dreaming ... not normal dreams anyway."
Cael shrugs. "Maybe 'twas my dream, then, but I wouldn've been scared by th' stuff tha' he was hidin' in. Why?"
Nuwa: "I thought it might help him to speak about it. In the light of day and among friends one may take away the fear's power."
Nuwa: "But if he is better already, maybe I was wrong."
Cael: "If you wanna, you'll hafta ask 'im. I jus' wasn' gonna leave 'im in there."
Nuwa looks slightly confused. "Leave him in there?"
Cael: "Wherever he wen'. He didn' like it there, but he wouldn' come back."
Nuwa: "And you helped him?"
Cael nods, smiling. "Well, I -think- so. I don' 'member dreams all tha' well. I think he helped me, too."
Nuwa smiles. "A mystery then, but a good one it seems."
Nuwa: "You are getting ready for our council's next meeting, I see? Maybe today we'll get by with less fights." She laughs sadly.
Cael: "Maybe! I don' like it when everyone's fightin'."
Cael: *quietly* "I'll try t' be good."
Nuwa: "You were wonderful yesterday. Standing up for justice and compassion like that. If I was Crow I'd lift my hat in respect."
Nuwa: "Without a hat ..." She makes a slight bow. "More than one Councilor would do well to take you as an example."
Cael giggles. "Thanks. I was jus' tryin' to-- to--" he screws up his face, unable to think of what he was trying to do. "Well, I didn' think she should be treated like that."
Cael blushes at the praise and rubs the back of his head with one of his large wooden claws. "Thanks. I jus' don' like bullies, y'know?"
Nuwa nods. "Nor do I like what such people do. They are to be pitied as well, though." She shrugs, but her expression is unhappy. "I suppose it could have ended worse. A few times I feared we might come to blows in truth."
Cael grins. "Maybe, but nobody'd've gotten hurt."
Nuwa: "I am not so sure. As polarizing as the issue was ... there would have been several sides, and violence is a vicious circle, it always begets more violence. We might have ripped ourself apart."
Cael shakes his head. "I'd've made sure they couldn' hurt each other. I'm tougher'n I look, even countin' these," he says, holding up his lower set of arms - the ones covered in wood dragon's claws - as if flexing non-existent muscles.
Nuwa: "Yes, I have seen that technique of yours. But if ten or more Exalts are doing their best to do just that ... there are limits even to what one of us can accomplish."
Cael looks down. "I-- I hope they'd stop. b-before I had to let 'em hurt me."
Nuwa: "And if you managed it, the intent would remain. Our harmony, already strained badly, would have been broken." She breathes in and our with intent, a prana technique of some sort. "We have avoided it thus far. That's something to be happy for."
Cael: "I dunno."
Cael twiddles all four thumbs in a complexly nervous gesture that clearly took some practice.
Cael: "I mean..."
Nuwa gives Cael a questioning look.
Cael: "Sometimes, when there's tension in the gang, it had t' come down to one of the boys punchin' the other'ne, an' they'd fight it out, an' then they'd be okay with each other 'gain. I got beat up in a few of those fights. I don' like watchin' 'em, but I know I gotta let 'em go. 'cause if I get in the way, I'll hurt 'em."
Cael: "But with you guys, if I *don'* get in the way, you'll actually hurt people. An' I won' hurtcha if I get in the way. But it maybe needs the fightin', even if I've gotta be the one who gets hurt, so nobody else does. Y'know? I mean, I can take it. I can heal."
Nuwa looks thoughtful. "Unintended consequences to force reconsideration, a possible stimulus of insight. Perhaps."
Cael: "Rowan'd be mad, though. An' maybe sad."
Nuwa: "Some may be too far withdrawn to care, though."
Cael sounds like the latter possibility upsets him more than the former.
Nuwa: "No one would like seeing you hurt. Even if you can heal. And Rowan ... I know if Dhiren got hurt ..." She trails off, turning up one hand in a small gesture to indicate it is obvious.
Nuwa: "I am not sure it would work. But I admire you for being willing to try."
Cael snorts. "What else could I do? 'm jus' a kid. I pow'rful kid, but a kid."
Cael grins self-effacingly. "An' while m'gang'd follow me, tha's jus' 'cause I'm a Lunar. There're Solars on the Council-thingie, an' Lunars're s'posed to work for you guys, not listen to us."
Cael's brow creases. His green eye is missing at the moment. He knows there's something wrong with his last statement, but he can't put it quite together.
Nuwa: "Just a kid? Hardly." Nuwa's expression is serious.
Nuwa: "So Splendor might say, but he could repeat it a thousand times and I still wouldn't believe it. We are equals, all of us."
Cael: "Well, I *am* older'n I look! Stickifin'ers is bigger'n me, an' he's also 'leven. Emari says I still look nine. *pouts a bit* Mr. Splendor's nicer'n he was actin', but he was still bein' a bully."
Nuwa: "Age is not a good indicator of maturity. You understand more than most who call themselves adults will ever learn. Don't let a rigid definition restrict you, define you, tell you who you are. You are who you are and no single word will capture that essence."
Nuwa: "The same responsibility lies on you that lies on all of us."
Cael frowns. It's clear he understands the words oddly well, but isn't sure he agrees. "I know I gotta work hard. I'll make a safe place for everybody."
Nuwa: "Yes. That is what most of us want to do, I think." She smiles sadly. "But even so we disagree on how to do it."
Cael grins. "Easy! Jus' make all the bullies go away."
Cael: "How's Dhiren doin', anyway? He's been hangin' out with that Silver Pac' jerk a lot." *almost spits the mispronounced name of the Pact*
Nuwa: "Ah, but what if some of them sit with us on the council? What if others are stronger than we are? What are we to do with them - Banish them? imprison them? Kill them? Help them?"
Cael: "Banish 'em if we can't help 'em."
Nuwa: "The order of preference is different for many of us, I think."
Cael: "Well, if we didn' even try t' help, we'd be bullies, too, right?"
Nuwa: "Dhiren ..." The clouds in Nuwa's expression give way to sunny skies as she says the name. "That 'jerk' is supposed to be his teacher. He wants to learn and to get the tattoos so he doesn't become ... so nothing bad happens to him in the Wyld." The clouds return for a moment. "I don't like his methods, though. Li ... he is not very responsible."
Cael shrugs. "You don' hafta hide it. But as long as we stay outta the wyld, I don' think we can become Kim'ra."
Nuwa: "I hope they won't try to pressure him into becoming like some of them." She smiles a little. "He is strong though, he won't let them."
Nuwa: "I don't have to hide what?"
Cael: "You did wha' Daddy an' others always do when I ask questions 'bout stuff they think I can't handle or somethin'. You cut off rather'n say 'kim'ra'."
Cael: "I didn' know 'bout the tattoos 'til I met some of the Silver Pac' people, but Miss Salamander 'splained 'em to me, an' this other one tried t' trick me into takin' some sorta tests."
Cael: "so I know 'bout 'em. I jus' don' wanna be in the Pac'."
Nuwa: "Oh. No, it's not that. I just rather would not think about that myself." Nuwa looks troubled. "It is not a good thought."
Cael: "Pro'lly isn' fun. But I've been cas'eless f'r almos' two years now, an' I'm still okay, so don' worry 'bout 'im. He'll be fine."
Nuwa nods. "I know. But ... I was there when Salamander changed. I saw. And now I can't forget." She forces a smile. "You are right, though. I shouldn't worry."
Cael shivers. "I didn' see...I jus' heard. Both...h-her voice an' cries... an' the whisperin' ones' glee. I's even worse when they're happy than when they're sad."
Nuwa: "I have said it myself, worrying only brings unrest to the mind. It is best to free yourself of that. But not always easy."
Nuwa: Nuwa leaps at the chance for a change of subject. "The whispering ones? You spoke of that before, but I didn't really understand."
Cael: "I feel bad for 'em. If I listen, I can hear 'em. They're... well, they're sad, an' lonely, an' mis'r'ble. I hear 'em clearer each time I tas'e a 'byssal's blood."
Nuwa: "Who are they?"
Cael: "They're the ones who made the Deathlor's an' the 'byssals. I think they're called the 'Neverborn,' proper-like. They get louder when necromancy's goin' on."
Nuwa: "They *made* the Deathlords?" Nuwa looks incredulous.
Cael cringes. "I thin' so? 'Swhat they dream 'bout, sometimes..."
Cael: "OR maybe they are the deathlor's...i's hard t' tell."
Cael: "They don' always make much sense."
Nuwa: "You can hear the Deathlords talking among themselves?" Nuwa seems taken aback. "Or am I completely missing the point here?" She laughs nervously. "I'm not a scholar of occult matters after all."
Cael squirms, and focuses on buckling up his shoe. "I dunno. I don' think so. The whisperin' ones aren' like the Mask an' stuff. They like what he does...mos'ly. An' they like it when Nec'mancy's used. They're not usually payin' 'tension, though. They're whisperin', kin'a asleep?"
Nuwa: "All I know is that there is the Underworld and then there's the Void, which is an abomination. And the Deathlords spread a bundle of lies and deception that they call the 'philosophy of the Void'." She shrugs with a bit of helplessness. "Knowing that much has sufficed most of the time so far."
Nuwa: "So the Deathknights serve the Deathlords, but there are things greater than those still?"
Cael: "'smore'n I know, mos'ly. ...I think so? But, um, I don' think the whisperin' ones're 'greater'. They're sad an' pity'ble. They dream. Nightmares. I feel bad for 'em."
Nuwa: "And they sleep and whisper loud enough for you to hear them and they like necromancy." Counting off the points on one hand Nuwa tries to make sense of the situation.
Cael: "It's usually not loud... I think I only hear 'em 'cause the 'byssals whose blood an' memories I tasted could. They were louder when I was borrowin' their memories."
Nuwa: "No one should suffer, in nightmares or otherwise." Nuwa's expression becomes thoughtful. "I wonder if I could use the Dreamspire to help them with those nightmares. But I don't know them and I have to in order to enter their dreams - and of course it's not polite to do that without permission."
Cael: "W'assa dream spire?"
Nuwa: Returning from her thoughts to the present Nuwa smiles apologetically. "I'm sorry. The Dreamspire is a fascinating manse here in the city. It produces a hearthstone that allows me to enter dreams and change them. Like turning someone's nightmare into a nice dream."
Cael: "Oh. *swallows* Rowan's dreams weren' nice for him."
Cael: "He's okay, now, though."
Cael: "I don' sleep very much. I don' know if I could help you get to 'em or not. I dunno if they can hear me the way I hear them."
Nuwa nods. "If he has bad nightmares again, I could give you the stone so you can help him. Although it seems you don't need it to do that."
Cael looks down, blushing with pride. "He's my frien'."
Nuwa: "Yes. It is good that he has you and you him. It is good that we all have each other. Even if we were strong enough to help Creation on our own, we would be less for not having the bonds of friendship and love to support us and make us better." From the way she speaks it is clear that Nuwa means not the magical bonds between Exalts but the more mundane meaning of the word.
Nuwa looks up to where the sun would stand. "We can speak of this again some other time. Maybe together we can help those poor people with their nightmares."
Cael smiles. It's neither as happy as he normally is, nor as sad as it could be. "Yeah. ...we're gonna be late, aren' we."
Nuwa: "For now we should probably take care not to be late for the council meeting." Nuwa smiles impishly though with a hint of sadness as well. "There are some who would take offense, at length."
Cael nods, and hops onto the foor.