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 For Whom the Bell Tolls

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DM_Sapphire

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PostSubject: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Tue Aug 12, 2014 2:26 am

A quiet rainy night begins in the town of Shadowdale. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. The guards do their patrols, chickens wander the city freely, town folk moving indoors from their long day of work. One man in particular seems to be pacing out in the center of town near the well. A torch in one hand, a hat on his head, the rain drips down as he looks to be very anxious.

The man is known as Elder Farl, the Elder whom watches over and takes care of the farmers in the town. This is not normal behavior for him. While he is a blunt, outspoken man, he has seen much not to worry about things so easily. Tonight, however, it seems things may indeed be out of the ordinary. He constantly looks to the East of town, as if waiting for someone to return. Soft mutters to himself are heard, but hardly defined.

It comes to pass that a small group of adventurers return to town, looking weary and beaten. Elder Farl looks to them with a mix of hope and worry. He finally inquires about something, asking if they had seen a young man with duel swords and a mask, mentioning that the area he would have been seen would be around the Crossroads or Edge of Cormanthor. Words are exchanged and a recent incident is brought to light by the adventurers of a skirmish.

The worry on the older man's face is apparent, and one of the adventurers goes back towards the area to see what information or people can be found. After some time, the adventurer comes back with two bodies; the bodies of scouts that had been sent to survey things in those areas. Upon noticing one of the bodies in particular, Elder Farl scoops it up with no show of strain, holding it close as if a precious and small child. He immediately departs into the temple. The adventurer makes his way to the Temple with the body, and after some time, another adventurer follows.

It is unclear what happened or what was said inside. Only those there would know the truth. However, one thing is apparent as the door to the Temple opens and closes. Cries of anguish, sorrow, and a broken old man are heard from within.

Three tolls of the bell echo over the town's center, signalling the death of an important and cherished individual. Guards pause in their patrols and a moment of silence is held.

Elder Farl is not seen coming out of the Temple. Rumors are that his son was slain by Zhentarim.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:45 am

Elder Farl is still not seem coming out of the Temple. Anyone that would go inside do not see him in the main section either. It's likely that he is in a private room for now.

Word begins to spread that a funeral with a pyre will be happening in roughly two days time. All who wish to pay their respects are welcome to attend, but absolutely no hostilities will be tolerated. Should anyone begin to disturb this funeral, they will be thrown in jail and will wait there until Elder Farl himself comes to speak with them.


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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:08 pm


The House of Plenty always had a sweet smell to it. Laura wasn't certain if it was intentional or just a side effect of all the plantlife, but it was always something that brightened her stay. Unfortunately, today was not a sunny visit. She walked into the temple with a somber if not professional face, walking up to a sister with a basket hooked around her arm.

"Priestess. Where is the Elder staying, I would like to try and speak with him if I may." She says quietly as to not interrupt those praying nearby.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:13 pm

There are a few praying softly, recuperating from a recent Hallowing they aided with. The sister looks to Laura with a soft, yet concerned smile. It's clear she's very worried for the Elder.

"He's in our big guest room. The door is locked. We have a key, but he's moved the wardrobe in the way..."

She trails off, looking to the basket. Motioning Laura to follow, she begins heading to the private areas.

"I will show you."
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Thu Aug 21, 2014 7:47 pm

Laura followed the priestess, following in her shadow around the sanctuary and to the room. She was calm and quiet to those around her, but on the inside her mind was racing. What could she do that others couldn't? This was a job for the priestesses here, if they couldn't get him out what could a subordinate sister do? Her mind raced, rewinding back to the abbey. Grasping for anything that may help her. Mother Glentrix's voice filled her memories like a spark bursting into flame.

"Once all of you become priestesses you will have to bear the burdens of your communities. One of those many responsibilities will be taking on the burden of grief. There is only one way to relieve your flock of this burden, and only one way alone. You Listen. Many of you will want to relate to your flock, to tell them stories that pertain to the pain you have endured, to what they are enduring. Do not do this. It is Not. About. You. Listen, and speak only when you must....And Sister Ellie if you do not put that paper down and listen I will have the rest of the class practice upon your mourning parents."

Laura smiled briefly. She didn't know why she remembered the last bit of the reverend mother's speech, but it was a fond memory. The door to the room towered over her, waiting patiently for her to snap out of her thought. It was good advice to remember, but now she was stuck. How could she just listen if the Elder didn't know she was here? She would end up listening to a wooden door all evening. She needed a way in, to get the Elder to open the door. Thankfully she brought it within the basket.
Laura knocked on the door gently with one knuckle. A soft noise, but it broke the silence harshly.

"Elder...it is Sister Laura." She spoke, leaning into the door until her cheek almost lay against it. "I would like to have a word with you and...I heard you liked apples."
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Fri Aug 22, 2014 1:14 am

As Laura knocks, the Lay Sister that had lead her to the area gives her a soft smile. However, behind that smile it's clear she feels helpless about the situation. She softly speaks to Laura.

"We've tried for a week now. Any food we leave for him has gone untouched. Our words go unanswered. We know he's in there, as you can hear him...um...you can hear him crying every so often."

Her expression is a solemn one, looking back to the door.

"Sister Laura, he's lost everything. His wife, his only child...I do not know how to get him to realize that there are still those of us he has helped that are still here. He's truly broken."

She dips her head to Laura at that point, stepping off to the side.

"I will leave you now. If you need anything, feel free to ask any of us, including Sister Sophia. She's aware of the situation and will help if you need anything. He won't even listen to her, though. Perhaps he may listen to you, as your faith is more understanding of his situation, I think. Blessed Be to you, Sister Laura, and may our Great Mother give you strength during this."

At this, she departs, making her way back to the main temple area.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:45 am

Sophia knowning Farl was in the Big Room, alone. Would walk by dipping her head low. She would make clear that no Chaunteans are to bother him, leave him in Laura's capable care, should she stop by. Should Sophia meet Laura, she would say nothings and return to her room, where she would sit by the fire, at her table busy writing letters and reports
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Fri Aug 22, 2014 7:37 pm


Laura's confidence shattered and fell to her feet. Her only in was cooling by the second. All she was receiving was a deafening silence. There were no fond memories of her Mother Superior to fix this. There was only Laura, and she was empty.

She stood at the door, both hands grasping the basket that rested against her thighs. Five minutes of nothing passed, then ten. She remained frozen as time slipped by her. A bride of the church left at the alter. Her mouth was dry, and a lump was forming in her throat as the situation rose far over her head. She knew the Elder could hear the priestess talk of him. He knew, they knew, he was not letting anyone in. The Elder was purposefully upholding the hopelessness.

Sister Laura pressed her shoulder against the side of the door and sighed, rolling over and pressing her back against the wood as she slid down to the ground. She hit the ground and sat against the door, her head tilted back and looking up to the chandelier.

"It's alright Elder..." Laura said quietly, it was so quiet she didn't need to speak very loud to be heard through the door. "My hospital shift is covered."

She remained sitting there, the apple pie in the basket an ambassador to time, slowly degrading in the cold.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Fri Aug 22, 2014 9:48 pm

After some time goes by, Laura would be able to hear shuffling from inside the room. The steps move towards the door, and a sliding can be heard against the door. On the other side, Elder Farl moves the wardrobe that has been blocking the door with ease. His many years of exercise from farm work helps in this action, and he doesn't even break a sweat. Slowly, after the wardrobe has been moved, a sliding can be heard against the door. Elder Farl himself slides down and sits on the ground against the door. He tilts his head back, his bloodshot eyes peering at the ceiling.

It's a first step for now, as he is near Laura, the only thing separating them being the large oak door between them. He still doesn't speak just yet. For now, he remains there, silent. Perhaps it's as if it's a soft comfort to him that one whom has helped his family before is there. No words are spoken just yet.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:30 pm



Laura could hear the wardrobe being moved. This was her chance! She couldn't scare him off. If she seemed too eager, he run away from her. Sister Laura was like a hunter preying upon an easily spooked rabbit. She was afraid to move, or even to breathe too suddenly. The wardrobe stopped and there was silence. Laura's muscles tensed as she waited for the doorknob to turn and the hinges to creek open. The sound didn't come. Instead there was a soft ruffling and a gentle sliding against the door behind her. He was right on the other side of the door. She could feel the light vibrations of him resting his head against the door. It wasn't what she was expecting, but somehow it was better. There was a sense of detached intimacy. The Sister closed her eyes and let the moment unfold.

An hour passed without either one saying a word. From afar it looked like Laura was asleep, but she was just basking in the holy energies of the temple. She could hear the energy singing to her, giving her confidence. Her eyes opened and she looked down at the basket.

"I'm sorry...What I brought you is too cold and ruined now."
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:01 am

A deep breath is heard from the other side of the door as Farl listens to Laura speak. Was he sniffing the air? Just simply relaxing? Who knows. A furrowed, almost dead-like expression on his face as he opens his mouth and says the first word he has said in a week. It comes out hoarse. Pained. Broken. One simple word. One simple question that comes from his mouth, yet as simple as it sounds, has more meaning to it and pleading to it than any word ever could have.

"Why?"

Was he asking why she brought him something? Was he asking why she is sorry? Or was he asking it in a general sense. His face showed the answer to this, but she would not see it. Not yet.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:53 pm

It was a delicate question that deserved a well thought out answer. At least, if it wasn't about the food. It very well could be, sometimes in the depths of grief people focused on small things. She didn't want to give him the wrong answer.

She had a lot of technically right answers. The Ilmateri had a lot of theology in the field of grief and suffering. The cycle of suffering, the stages of sorrow. She could talk all day about the technicalities. There were days she did just that. Many wondered why she associated with people such as Azzelas or Zaburra, but they were some of the few people that talked philosophy. Or at least, allowed her to speak about it without talking down to her. Laura was a secret theologian.

But the Elder didn't need theological concepts. He needed comfort, and the two didn't often intersect. Laura could read every text there was about the creation of sorrow, but it wouldn't give her the words she needed to comfort the man.

Laura heaved a sigh. It was long and drawn out as she pushed up against the door, making herself more comfortable.

"I...don't have an answer that justifies what you're going through." She said honestly. "I have a few things I was taught when I..helped, people. But they feel hollow. I wouldn't want to give you something that was disrespectful." Laura fell into another awkward silence. Perhaps that was too honest. She shouldn't have told him the last part.

"I'm sorry." She repeated again. She pressed a hand against her forehead. She was not faring well with her first consultation.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Thu Aug 28, 2014 9:30 am

On the other side of the door, Elder Farl is quiet, contemplative. After everything that had happened, he was a broken man. Nothing to live for, nothing to die for. At least, this was his thought. He reaches up and rubs at his bloodshot eyes, then lowers his hand, posture sagging.

He then had another question. This one had more specification to it, and it was an honest question all the same.


"Why bother with me, Sister Laura?"

It seems he didn't even understand why it was she was there and speaking to him. Why she was giving her own time to help someone who had nothing left. In his mind, he had given up. Why shouldn't everyone else? He continues sitting against the door, furrowed brows and looking older than he ever had in years.
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Sun Sep 07, 2014 12:54 pm

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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Sun Sep 07, 2014 2:21 pm


"It's not a bother." Laura spoke to the door. "It's just...what I am here to do. I'm not very good at helping defend the town, or what most others in town are good with. But, I am good at talking to people. I think. Everyone is worried about you. They asked me to come see you, and I wanted to come and help you through this." She spoke softly, trying to keep the conversation quiet. It's a difficult task to have a private conversation between a piece of wood. "I know the priestesses here are worried, they've been trying to help you too. The other Elders are concerned."

Laura shifted and turned towards the door, sitting on her knees in front of it. The conversation had finally begun to chug into motion. She couldn't let it die now.

"I think a lot of people are torn between trying to give you the peace and space you need right now, and showing their concern and wanting to be there for you."

She licked her lips in thought. She should have brought some water or something to drink along with her. She expected it might be a long visit, but she didn't prepare to stay here all night. Her throat was dry and that gave her an idea.

"I'm betting you're thirsty, I certainly am. Do you want a glass of water?"
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:24 am

There is silence on the other end of the door for a long while. He was indeed thirsty, likely very dehydrated at this point. His lips were cracked, slowly bleeding at every move he made with them.

He had given up the will to live. However, he himself was worried about Laura. She had sat outside the door for so long and he did not know if she was tired, hungry, thirsty, or simply tired of being there. He knew the girl was busy with the hospital, and his self pity was only making her late.

He thought on her words, then simply resigned to answer her question for now. Quietly, hoarsely, he spoke up again.


"Alright. Jes make sure ye get some for yerself. Don't need a lass like ye to be uncomfortable."
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PostSubject: Re: For Whom the Bell Tolls   Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:30 pm

"Of course" Laura said as she pushed herself up. Her legs protested at first. She had spent too much time on the ground, her ankles were sore from grinding into the temple floor. She walked a few feet away from the door, peering around to see if she could find any help. She didn't exactly know where the kitchen was, and she didn't want to help herself to their things.

"Excuse me." She said, speaking loudly to catch the attention of someone down the hall. "Can we please have some water? Maybe a little bread won't hurt." She added as her stomach began to growl. She had been sitting at that door for some time now, she had forgotten to eat.
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