1. #1
    Speedyserd's Avatar Senior Member
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    *ahem*

    Due to the recent events regarding the forum losing many posts since October 2006 and how the server is trying to right itself, this thread will act as a sort of 'substitute teacher'. Until the fora are considered fixed, anyone is more than welcome to contribute to this thread, which will act as a continuation of the Age and Country Hotel story thread.
    You do not need to be a prior member/contributor to join this thread. If anything, we encourage new people to join! I must remind you, it's a little difficult since there are story lines already going on. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a Private Topic.

    Summary (as provided by Marae):

    AGE AND COUNTRY HOTEL PART II SYNOPSIS PP 71-76 - condensed version

    THE SETTING: Crebb is just leaving, and the Faerie contingent have just returned. Tasho is introducing Dayne to everyone (event the people he's already met), Achenar is explaining his phoenix fire powers to Toz, Marae and Tully are in their room having a private moment, and Zander and Jahura are in their room getting ready for the party. Tora and Neko wake up from a nap on the couch as Speedy and Jeff head up to Speedy's suite for their own private moment.

    When Marae came back from Faerie, she was heavily charged with divine energy after channeling Bríd. The wave of energy Marae released at the shrine has had some powerful effects. It returned the plant and animal life around the hotel to normal, so no more talking trees. It restored the health of the hotel gardens and grounds, which had suffered while Bríd was in Faerie and separated from Bres, who has been blessing the hotel gardens for Marae. It also impacted some of the hotel's residents, especially those with ties to Faerie or with their own divine connections. It also has a serious effect on the vampires. Since Bríd energy is in large part fire energy, it nearly toasted Scully (but she's OK now) and it made Spike sun-resistant. He can now go abroad in daylight.

    Hugh Sacristan has made the Journey and returned to the A&C.

    Crebb meanwhile has broadcast a message from the cavern, noting the reappearance of barriers and an influx of new explorers. Green Thing and PaperDragon go to the cavern to investigate. They discover that the A&C linking book has been removed from the Kahlo pub. The eventual upshot of this is that someone from the DRC links into the A&C as a massive storm is approaching, decides the age is "unstable," and tells everyone in the pub to leave until the DRC can approve the age (which, as we know, is Earth). He then Reltos out. Duke thinks this is hysterically funny.

    A number of room changes occur. Zarnic checks out; OracleSong and Kelsa change rooms, Unknown-One comes back and looks for his old room, and Tora registers for a new room. Here are the changes:

    Room 14 - vacant
    Room 204 - OracleSong
    Room 205 - Tora
    Room 206 - Kelsa

    All rooms on the first floor are now inhabited by Ara except Room 1 (TLG) and Room 5 (Ty). Kes moved up to Room 11 a little while ago. We are still waiting to see where UO would like his new room to be.

    Desiree comes back after months in her cat form. She is naked and has largely forgotten some basic skills for living as a human -- such as eating, drinking, and using the litter box... or rather, the human equivalent. Tora helps her get readjusted to human life.

    Kelsa wakes up after a year in stasis; she has apparently been astral projecting or dream walking or something, and put out a call to her soulmate, Adric, to join her at the A&C. He finally shows up not long after she comes to. Kelsa and OracleSong renew their friendship and both move up to the second floor of the new wing.

    In the process of her own move, Tora discovers that the area to the north of the A&C is malleable, since no one has yet declared what we can see in that direction. Apparently, it is just waiting for us to set its parameters, and until we do, it can be changed with a little imagination and will power. She ultimately sets up a redwood forest, but as she is experimenting with different scenes she takes a peek at the ruins of Delphi. Toz sees that, and later on he envisions a field full of centaurs. The centaurs try to raid the A&C, but Kes puts a stop to it and sends them packing. Unfortunately, they do manage to break down the front door first. They will come back and replace it "tomorrow," but meanwhile the Vikings have been called in to make a temporary repair since it's January and a storm is brewing.

    Achenar, under the influence of a Silver Dragon and a Pan-galactic Garble Blaster, has his own fun with the northern area, but Tora and Tasha pull him away finally when he passes out. I think they removed the Salvador Dali watch...

    A guy named Spikins from Wolfram & Hart comes looking for Spike. Spike takes him off to his Relto while Cathyk and the rest of her crew join the party.

    A new character called The Eye (of the storm) has appeared. It is waiting to do something dire to the A&C, and it appears to be behind a very large and serious storm which is building over the western ocean. The Vikings are concerned for their ship, and everyone has felt a cold chill emanating from this Eye being. Kelsa's amulet seems to have some kind of connection with the entity that apparently is the storm. Just before the storm hits, she makes a connection through the amulet, and when the connection is broken, she faints and cannot be revived.

    The Peria continue to explore Merkar, and Angelo feels the oncoming storm all the way from the Library Age and links in to the A&C to see what's happening.

    Marae and Tully seem to be having some issues relating to their experiences in Faerie, and Jahura tries to find out what's going on. She senses that something is not right with Tully. She talks with Zander about it. While they are dancing in the lounge, Zander is also heading upstairs to the library. Green Thing sees him. So does Oracle. She follows to see what he's up to. Meanwhile, Zander and Jahura finish their dance.

    Go ahead. Do a double-take.

    Marae does not remember some of what happened in Faerie, specifically the final battle. She only knows that both Duke and Tully were involved, and the last she remembers Duke was unconscious and Tully had the key that would supposedly save them all. What happened after that is a blank, because Bríd took her over. She realizes that she does not like being a channel for a goddess. She can't remember what happened afterwards, she hates the feeling of all that energy churning in her, and she is beginning to get the idea that what the gods want may not be what she wants. When Bres kisses her (seeing her as Bríd), Marae retreats in actual fear. She tells Tully what happened, but he still has not told her all of what happened to him in Faerie while she was possessed by Bríd. All he tells her is that he killed Yog-Sothoth.

    Meanwhile, Bríd herself is planting ideas in Bres' head, that maybe even if he becomes pure spirit, he might want to maintain a toehold in the physical world, as she is doing by taking on an avatar. Hmmm. Whom might Bres choose for an avatar? Well, if Bríd has Marae...

    Marae and Tully reach that conclusion at about the same time and go

    Next question: Where does one hide from a god? While they are pondering that question, Zander and Jahura come knocking on their door, and Tully sends them packing. Then he turns to his own packing, intending that he and Marae make a run for it. In the overstuffed closet, Tully runs across the tape recorder Marae gave him for Christmas last year, and they finally listen to the message. It's a coup, he tells her, but they don't have time for that now. His primary contact will be waiting for him on the 7th tier of the library, after the delivery of a dossier. Well, let 'em wait...

    At this point Zander breaks down the door. Tully explains what happened in Faerie: that as a result of taking writer's privilege, he was able to kill Yog-Sothoth, but that as a result of that, his deathblock kicked in. He would have died, but Bríd offered him the chance to live as a mortal, and he took it.

    Zander insists that Tully be checked out on the homeship, since no one knows what the medical side effects might be of such a conversion. Tully agrees, on the condition that Marae go with him.

    Jahura asks if Bríd made her offer freely and without obligation -- and learns that, of course, she did not.

    Jahura reveals that she overruled her writer, and wrote in an indemnity clause -- if anything happens to Zander, Jahura will die in his stead. She had just added Tully to the clause, offering him the same protection. So essentially, now that he is mortal, she is also.

    Zander and Tully go outside to try to contact Abelard on the homeship. After a time, Jahura and Marae join them. Abelard agrees to send a smallship to pick up Tully and Marae; they have two hours to get ready. They all go back inside, where Zander hears from Oracle that there is another one of him upstairs in the library, and he and Jahura go to investigate while Marae and Tully go pack. When Marae and Tully return to the lounge, things have taken a decidedly bad turn -- the storm is getting very bad, Kelsa is unconscious... Tully says they don't have time to worry about it, and they head past a very nervous Duke to meet the smallship. Duke cries "Wait for me!" and rushes after them.

    EDIT
    This will be the official Part III of the Age and Country Hotel thread (hence the title change). Please continue to post in this thread until it has been decided to move into a new thread, but that probably will not happen for a while (and when I mean while, I mean a long time).
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  2. #2
    marae's Avatar Dr. Marae, Professor of D'ni Ethnomusicology and Terpsichore, and Duke, OutStanding in His Field
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    Duke pelts down the hill, catching up with Marae and Tully just shy of the shrine. "Wait!" he cries, breathless. "I'm going with you!"

    "You can't go with us," Marae replies, her voice rising to compensate for the increasing roar of the approaching storm. "We're going on the smallship!"

    "I can go on the smallship," says Duke stoutly. "I rode one before..."

    "Duke, you were a little horse, then," Tully belts out over the howling wind. "You're big now! You won't fit!"

    "I could have fit..." Duke's voice is almost drowned by the noise, and Marae instinctively clings to his mane as a gust of wind nearly lifts her from her feet.

    "Here it comes!" cries Tully, and an instant later they are pelted with the first of the rain. "Head for the ship!"

    "No time!" gasps Marae, hauling herself onto Duke's back. "To the hotel!" She holds out a hand to Tully, who leaps up behind her.

    Duke flies for the back door.

    On the veranda they fall off him, since the three of them together won't really fit through that door...

    All three rush into the pub, drenched to the bone, and pull the door shut behind them before the wind can take it off its hinges.

    "OMG -- what a--"

    The lights go out.

    <span class="ev_code_grey">********************</span>

    The lights flicker and slowly come back up.

    For a moment, the pub is a frozen tableau, people staring in shocked silence, taking in the sight that greets them.

    It is a mess.

    Tables and chairs lie in jumbled heaps; whole tables are missing; behind the bar, the bottles are slowly rearranging themselves, some appearing, others disappearing only to reappear somewhere else... At last people begin to talk and move about again, but something is wrong. Words echo and re-echo, and people answer questions that have not yet been asked, only to hear the question a few moments later. Patrons find themselves occasionally sitting at two different tables at the same time, and some appear to have ghostly trailers following them around...

    Obviously something serious has happened, has distorted the whole fabric of the hotel. Could the storm possibly have done this?

    Marae and Tully stand for a moment, irresolute. Then there is a subtle shift, things seem to settle down, and everyone starts talking at once.
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  3. #3
    Speedyserd's Avatar Senior Member
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    Suddenly, there was a tumbling sound coming from the stairs, and then some cursing that was inappropriate for the fora.
    "Ok, who turned out the lights!" cried Speedy as she got to her feet. She dusted off her feathers, for she was a stork once again.
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  4. #4
    cathyk's Avatar Senior Member
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    Mulder and Giles looked at each other as everyone was talking, trying to work out what happened. Then Mulder put his fingers to his lips and let out a piercing whistle, which silenced everyone who all turned to look at him. He held up a hand.

    "Folks, we don't know what happened here, but we need to - get a grip," he said.

    "What do you suggest, Mulder?" Speedy replied testily. Mulder looked around.

    "Scully should look after our unconscious friend there," he said, pointing to Kelsa's recumbent form. "Those with magical sensitivities should concentrate on the storm. See what you can find out about it. And about what just happened now."

    Mary stepped forward.

    "Kestryll, the Ara and I will organise some hot drinks for everyone," she said.

    Everyone nodded in agreement with that last point and Giles pulled Mulder aside.

    "I think you and I should go and check that the Wolfram and Hart chauffeur made it to the Cleft and was nowhere near here when this happened," he said quietly to Mulder.

    "Good idea. I'll just let Scully know what's going on and what we need her to do. I'll meet you outside," he replied and he headed off to Cathyk's and Scully's room.
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  5. #5
    marae's Avatar Dr. Marae, Professor of D'ni Ethnomusicology and Terpsichore, and Duke, OutStanding in His Field
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    As soon as Mulder stops talking, Marae and Tully look at each other. "We don't have time for this," says Tully. "We have a smallship to catch."

    Duke flicks his ears every which way. "Without me?" he asks querulously.

    "I'm sorry, Duke," says Marae, stroking his nose sympathetically. Suddenly she smiles brightly. "We'll bring you a souvenir, how's that?"

    "A souvenir? Oh, boy! OK!" Duke restrains himself from doing a whirl and only just avoids whipping someone with an enthusiastic swish of his tail.

    The storm has abated considerably by this time; the wind still howls but the rain has ceased, and Tully starts towards the veranda. Marae holds him back. "Love, we're soaking wet. I don't know about you, but I don't plan to sit in a smallship for two hours like this, and then meet my -- my -- your brothers looking like a drowned rat."

    "All right, love, we can change. But quickly, all right?" He turns towards the stairs, but Giles has poked his head back in from the registration area and is motioning to them. "Delivery," he says as Marae approaches him curiously, Tully following. "We think it's for him," and he points at Tully. Then he heads on out to the front steps.

    Even before they step through the door they can make out the unmistakable cowboy drawl of an Onion in earnest discussion with Green Thing. The Onion is standing, his Stetson dripping, holding up a soggy envelope and reading from the blurred lettering of the Address: "Tully N... N... Ngromf."

    "Oh, well, not for me," says Tully, and he starts to turn back towards the stairs. Marae latches onto his elbow and turns him back. "May I?" she asks the Onion, holding out her hand. He obliges, and she takes the envelope and carefully turns it over.

    The label on the drier bottom side is much more legible. "Tully Nyrong. Close enough," says Marae, handing Tully the envelope. Tully signs where directed. Then the Onion hitches up his chaps, sets the brim of his Stetson and pushes the door open, stepping back outside into the teeth of the storm.

    Not that the storm has much left in the way of teeth, but it does give him a pretty good gumming as he rides off into the sunset.

    "What is it?" Marae asks, trying to peer over Tully's shoulder as he examines the envelope.

    "Dunno," he says, absently. "Let's go get changed, shall we? We've just got twenty-five minutes before the smallship is scheduled to get here."

    "Well, twenty-five minutes is time enough to open an envelope," chides Marae as they ascend the stairs.

    "Yes, but we need some of that time to get changed, and now we only have twenty minutes."

    "That's because you stopped in the bar to get food."

    "No, that's because it takes time to climb so many stairs..."

    "Well, it only takes me five minutes to change, and I'm half done," says Marae, who has stripped off her wet clothing and is pulling items out of a drawer. Tully only briefly admires her half-clad self before returning his attention to the mysterious envelope.

    "Still, I am curious..." he says. Marae pulls on a shirt.

    "Then open it, silly," she says, struggling with a pair of jeans. "Ugh. I need to lose some weight. I fit into these last year..."

    "You've always had trouble with that pair, dear. Try those." Tully points with one hand while trying to tear the envelope open with the other. It does not seem to be cooperating.

    "Thank you. So, what is it?"

    "I'll know in a minute... if I can ever... get. It. Open..."

    Marae holds out her hand and with a resigned sigh, Tully hands over the recalcitrant envelope. She grabs a letter opener from the desk and deftly slits it open. Tully takes the envelope, pulls out a sheaf of papers, looks at them, looks at his watch, looks at the papers, looks at the ceiling, looks at the papers again, looks at the floor, looks out the window, and then hurriedly stuffs the papers back in the envelope. He turns for the door.

    "What is it?"

    "I've got an appointment, and only fifteen minutes till the smallship arrives."

    "Wait for me, I'm coming with you! And here, put this on; you'll catch your d -- put this on." Marae tosses a heavy sweater at the still-dripping Tully. "And relax. Surely the smallship will wait a few minutes, won't it? They said it wouldn't get here for two hours, and didn't seem too sure about that, even. They didn't say it was going to leave again immediately, with or without us, did they?"

    "One never knows," says Tully nervously. "But I have to check this out."

    "Is it the coup? I'm sorry, I'm not supposed to ask, I know, but..."

    "But you're in on this one, now, love, so it's all right. Come on. We should have time."

    The two head for the stairs and race down them to the second floor, then down the hall and around the corner towards the library entrance.
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    Speedyserd's Avatar Senior Member
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    Speedy sighed.
    "Am I the only one who wants some light in this place? Tianna! Green Faery! Rygell? Any faery? Could we get some candles lit please!"
    "Righto!" chimed a Rygell.
    Within a few moments, the lounge of the hotel was lit by candlelight... prehaps a little too brightly.
    "ACK! A little toned down please!" cried Speedy.
    "Oooo... more romantic like, eh? "
    Speedy "Faeries..."
    And the candlelight was adjusted promptly.
    "Ok, so who is passed out?" asked Speedy, "Sorry but I've been up in my room..."
    "Kelsa. She's been unconscious since the storm began pretty much..." Scully explained.
    "Great, ok, thanks for the tip. And what the heek happened to my front door?" asked the confused stork.
    "A minor detail at the moment..." Mulder stated.
    "It will be fully fixed!" chimed Kestryll from the bar.
    "Good. I liked that door," said Speedy, "so, what can a stork do then?"
    "What room can we put Kelsa in?" asked Scully.
    "Hers could work... I can get a spare key," said Speedy as she went to the registration desk to obtain it.
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  7. #7
    Tora_Neko's Avatar Senior Member
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    Tora glances out the western window towards the Australian beach. The waves have calmed down considerably and other than a light rain the storm appears to be over.

    "All quiet on the western front!" she announces.

    Neko's ears *****, "Unless that's only The Eye of the storm that's arrived." she reminds her human.
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  8. #8
    marae's Avatar Dr. Marae, Professor of D'ni Ethnomusicology and Terpsichore, and Duke, OutStanding in His Field
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    Duke surveys the room, now brightly (and superfluously) lit by candles. "What's that for?" he wonders aloud.

    "Speedy must have bonked her head pretty good when she fell down the stairs," says Rygell as he flits past. "She still thinks the lights are out."

    "Oh," says Duke, shaking his mane. "I remember them coming back up, albeit slowly. She was upstairs at the time, right?"

    "Right," says Rygell. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got something to attend to..." and he flutters off.

    Duke wanders over to Speedy, who is now fussing at Green Thing at the Registration desk. "I need a room to Key 2... I mean, a key to Room 2," she states.

    "Sure," says Green Thing. "What's going on?"

    "Kelsa's out cold. We want to put her in her room."

    "Oh, then you want Room 206," says Green Thing, putting back one key and grabbing another.

    "Room 206? When did she move?"

    "Just before she passed out."

    "Hmmm. Maybe moving wasn't such a good idea..."

    Duke *****s his ears. "It was the storm," he says, observantly. "She was trying to find out about her amulet or something, and she looked out at it. Then she fainted. Ask Oracle and that new guy, Aspic or something. They can tell you."

    "OK," says Speedy, heading for the group with key in hand. "Do you need help getting her upstairs? We can get a Viking or two..."

    "No, I think we can manage it," says Oracle. "Adric is pretty strong."

    "Adric, Adric, Adric..." Duke goes off muttering to himself. "Not Aspic... That's good. I don't like aspic. Too slimy."
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  9. #9
    Speedyserd's Avatar Senior Member
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    Speedy
    "This is what I get when my writer takes a vacation..." she muttered as she watched Adric carry Kelsa up the stairs to her room. She prompty goes to a couch to sit, just as Mary comes over with a warm drink.
    "Here you go, dear,"
    "Is it an Irish Coffee?"
    "No, hot cocoa,"
    "Oh... ok, that will work too, thanks," said the stork as she took the drink and began to drink. She shook her head, as if to unjumble her mind, and then continued to drink.
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  10. #10
    Adric gently placed Kelsa on the bed in her room. She still didn't move and her color was slowly fading. Adric closed his eyes again and tried to feel her. "She's far away...and she's afraid", he said, turning towards Oracle.

    "Hmmm. It sounds like she might be soul-walking again. She may have gotten used to that state after being in it for so long and returned to it as a safe refuge from whatever frightened her. But, although she has a right to be afraid of being possessed, the possession was broken when you let go of her hand. So...why won't she come back?" Oracle asked, more to herself than to Adric.

    Carefully she picked up the amulet and turned it over in her hands.

    "Adric, you're really close with Kelsa, right? I mean, she said you were soul-mates".

    "Yes, we're very close...but ... well, it's sort of hard to explain. Why do you ask?"

    "Have you ever tried to use the amulet?"

    "No. I've been with her when she's used it and we've shared our ...um... thoughts through it, but she's always been in control of it", Adric admitted.

    "So, she's used the amulet with you? And you can sense her when you focus on what you know of her soul, right? Do you think you might be able to tap into the amulet, reach out and try to contact her so we can find out why she's afraid to come back?" Oracle asked.

    "I can try..." Adric said, as he took hold of the amulet. He closed his eyes and focused on feeling Kelsa in the distance and let himself relax as he'd see her do when she used the amulet. Then he tried to speak with her as they had done before. Almost immediately, Adric's face started showing signs of strain, beads of sweat appeared on his forehead and the hand holding the amulet was trembling. Gently, Oracle touched his arm and tried to break the connection.

    "Adric...you need to stop now. Tell her it's safe to come back and let go...Adric..." Oracle's touch on his arm became more insistent as she noticed the amulet's glow was getting brighter and was starting to pulse ever so slightly. "Adric. You must break the connection...NOW!", she shouted. At that moment, Adric dropped the amulet and grabbed his hand with a cry of pain. Dazedly he looked down at the burn mark on the palm of his hand, then looked up at Oracle with a lost expression on his face.

    The amulet was pulsing again...
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