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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

We'll Always Have Paris Archives
Go Down Swinging, Part I

Character(s): Ebreth Tor
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris If I Have Anything To Say About It
Title of Post: You Wanted An Alpha Male, Doug?

"My lord," said Amatsu, turning to Praxis and bowing his head slightly, "would it not be dishonorable to disobey the wish of a man to sacrifice himself for his people?"
"It depends on the situation," said Praxis, impassively.
"Listen," said Ebreth, "what was your name again?"
"This one is Amatsu Mikaboshi, last of the Red Crab Clan."
"Ebreth Tor. Look, sometimes people make bad decisions. That's when they need friends to pull them back out. Someone who blindly accepts your judgment on things isn't a friend, he's a toady. I've had some of those too."
"How can you know it is a bad decision?" Amatsu frowned. "Perhaps we merely do not understand its wisdom."
"Show of hands!" said Ebreth. "Who thinks trying to keep us all out of trouble by sacrificing himself to Ælwyn and telling us to go home and play Parcheesi is a bad idea?" Valende jutted her hand up fiercely, before Ebreth had even raised his. Khyrisse, Skitch, Vas, Alderon, and, after a moment, Crandall, raised their hands. "I abstain," said Rani. "I abstain too," said Marty, eagerly. Rani didn't seem impressed.
"Seven is greater than three," said Ebreth. "I can do that one myself." He grinned at Amatsu. "Listen, we're a bunch of adventurers. We're not going to stay out of trouble anyway."
"We're not going to Hell again, are we?" said Skitch, wrinkling up his nose suspiciously.
"If we need to," said Ebreth.

Character(s): Khyrisse Starshadow of the House of the Rat
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: WAHP: Plan B
Title of Post: I'll Take the Reins Again, Thank You...

Khyrisse caught a glimpse of Val’s rather white face and felt a spasm of sympathy for her. Well, I’ve been here... Oh, poor Val.
“Val, I’m sorry,” she said. “We won’t leave Jack there.”
“No,” she agreed. “We won’t.”
Khyrisse yanked her glove tighter and tried to explain to Amatsu. “I agree with you about self-sacrifice being a sign of a true leader, but I don’t think this particular sacrifice was necessary, and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted him to make it for me. We were temporarily allied with the Parises, not working for them; and Jack and I were sharing the leadership of the Rat Pack. I am under no compunction to follow the orders of the leader of another clan. Particularly not Caimen Paris’.” Plus the fact that I don’t follow anyone’s orders, but why bring personal motivations into this...? It’s probably confusing enough.
“Khyrisse, you haven’t fought with the Parises, have you?”
“No, they fought with us,” she told Ebreth. “We went back to find out what happened to Jack, and Caimen just threw us off the island with orders never to come back.”
Ebreth looked surprised. “Did he say why?”
“Not a word. He was very insulting.” She almost added that she didn’t care if Ælwyn kicked Caimen’s ass all the way to Ansalia, but remembered that Mina was present and thought better of it. Khyrisse sighed and turned back to Amatsu. “So if we pursue the destruction of the Remnant, and I think we’ll have to, it’ll be for purely personal reasons now.”
Amatsu nodded solemnly. “I believe I understand.”
Vas moved over to his sister, his face unusually sober, and wrapped an arm around her. Val closed her eyes and rested her head on his shoulder with a little sigh.
Khyrisse raked her hands through her hair, trying to reorganize her thoughts. “All right, so we don’t have to contact Geryon anymore... We’ve got no way to tell him where Ælwyn is. Flicker, was Luthien headed straight home? We need to talk to a necromancer.”
“He said he was.”
“Are we leaving tonight?” Skitch said, bouncing up and down.
“Yes... No. I don’t think the Carriage has enough hours left to get us to Annwych today. Mina and I are still magically tapped out, too.” And Val needs some time alone with her brother, I think. What a mess. Khyrisse glanced back over her shoulder at Ebreth, a single phrase from his last telegram replaying itself in her head. Okay, and I won’t mind a little breathing space either. “We can leave first thing in the morning.”

Character(s): Rani
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: More Dead-End Plans
Title of Post: Rani Puts Two And Two Together

"The Parises don't trust you anymore?" Ebreth blinked. "Jack couldn't have--no. No, that's not like him." He shook his head. "Well, Caimen never trusted me, and he sent me anyway, so maybe he'll listen to me. I've got to let him know Ælwyn leads the Remnant. Maybe there's something he can do." He paused. "Maybe there's still some way we can lead Geryon to him."
"The Parises are acting very strange," Khyrisse admitted. "I don't know if it's safe to tell them anything right now."
"Asinus can find a way to alert the others," said Rani. "If they're working for Ælwyn already, what have we lost telling them he's there?"
"You're assuming Asinus listens."
"Oh, he'll listen." Rani still didn't know what the deal was with 'Jack', but she'd seen the last couple of pieces she needed to for Asinus.
"I'm out of message spells," said Khyrisse, impatiently. "Can't you contact him?"
"No, I think you'd better do it," said Rani, cryptically. "It can wait till morning."

Character(s): Ebreth Tor
Author: Laura Redish (with input from Kris)
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Body and Soul

"That reminds me," said Khyrisse. "I have a contract for your soul in here." She rifled in her bag.
"Well," said Ebreth, "you might as well keep that, really."
She looked up at him rather dizzily. He grinned.

Character(s): Rauvin Paris
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Something Rotten In The State Of Paris

Ælwyn himself had taught Rauvin the skill of staining souls.
It had not worked on Jack Paris, of course, and there was something about Asinus which was somehow too... too good to corrupt. However, Rauvin Paris had been working his arts on Caimen and Dar with a great deal of effectiveness. Tora seemed to follow her husband's lead, which left only Lora...
Speak of the angel, Rauvin thought, as his cousin raced into his room.
"We just got word from Lady Margo," she said. "She's on her way... we just have to arrange security for her from X Island."
"So I assume that you wish me to remain here while you set sail to that mystery spot?"
"No," Lora said, "Caimen's staying. He's conducting the hunt for Alverado, we're hoping if we can capture the assassin that he could give us some information."
"Do you think that it's wise for me to know the location of X Isle?" Rauvin asked. "I think that our policy of giving each of us only one piece of the puzzle will still be useful if... if something were to happen."
"Look, Rauvin, Asinus is dying, Caimen is mad with vengeance, Jack's friends are... oh, I don't know what I'm supposed to make of that mess... and Jack himself is missing. We need you."
Rauvin nodded, slowly. "I'll be ready by morning."
"Thank you, cousin," Lora said, and embraced Rauvin. "I'm so glad you escaped... I'd be at wits end without you here."
Rauvin actually blushed.
"One last thing... have you ever met Maxwell Silverhammer?"
"I've never had the pleasure," Rauvin admitted.
"Damn," Lora sighed. "I was hoping to be able to locate him, but even the Word hasn't heard much from him since the Madness."
"Anything else I could assist with?" Rauvin asked as Lora headed for his door.
"Pray for Asinus," she said, and closed the door behind her.
"Oh, rest assured I will be," Rauvin said.
When Lora had been gone for a few minutes, Rauvin pulled out one of the smaller Orbs of Kenru. Focusing on it, he brought an image of Ælwyn to its surface.
"I'm in," was all he said.

Character(s): Mina, Marty
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Reactions

"So," Mina said, "you're Ebreth Tor?"
Ebreth nodded. He looked lost as to what to say. "Lita?" he finally asked.
"Nope," Mina said. "Identical cousin." She looked at Ebreth oddly for a moment. "Huh. I'd've thought you'd be cuter." Mina shrugged and wandered back to the bar.

"So, uh, Rani?" Marty said, sitting down at the table next to the Diarian. "Do you ever, like, go dancing?"
"Yes," Rani said succinctly, looking to see if anyone else was around to talk to instead.
"Would you like, uh, to go out dancing sometime? I mean, like, with me?"
"I'd rather kiss a psientist."
"Whoa. I'd better start studying, then!"

"You're... Lita's identical cousin?" Ebreth asked Mina.
"Yup. And you're Ebreth Tor."
"I... I don't quite..."
"Oh, get over me," Mina grinned. "I'm not her, so don't bring me down, okay?" Mina playfully tapped him on the chin with her fist, and ditched him again.
Ebreth shook his head, as if shaking something off. "More important business," he muttered to himself. "Later."

Character(s): Vas and Otter
Author: Evan Haag & Laura Redish
Storyline: WAHP: Chillin' in the Dagger
Title of Post: Kindred Spirits

Vas got up and walked over to Otter while Mina went to the Ladies’ room in back. "Pardon me, milady, but you are called...Otter? Am I right?"
"Yep," she said, pleasantly but laconically.
"My apologies for not introducing myself more formally earlier. My name is Vastarin, and I would like to welcome you to our group. Shil arrallie, cuom szes'tarriel minnathe."
"Thanks," she said, "but aren't you the one joining us?..."
Vas grinned. "Actually, I've been one of the Lady Khyrisse's bodyguards since we all joined together. I've just been away watching over a friend of ours."
"Then welcome back."
"Thank you. I was hoping you might accept a gift, milady. It's a custom amongst my people."
Otter blinked, not understanding his intent. "What kind of custom is that?"
"We of Liratyn have always had close and gentle relations with...your people." He gave her a look that told her that he knew exactly what she was, but that he wanted her to be comfortable with his presence. “The quote I just said translates as, ‘Gentle waters, we thank thee for thy voice’.”
Otter looked a bit surprised at his statement. "You're Liratyni? I thought you'd all left."
"I left many years ago, to find adventure. When my people left, my sister decided that we should stay behind to do what we could for those of us who were still here. Besides, I haven’t done everything yet." He shrugged. "Anyway, my people have always given gifts to yours on holidays. Since I don't remember meeting any naiads last Watermark, I thought maybe I could make up for it now."
"I-- don't have anything for you."
He chuckled. "You don't have to reciprocate in kind. We Liratyni know that the spirits of nature will reward us in their own ways." He slipped a ring off of his finger, and pressed it into her hand. "This is a ring of fire resistance. I got it years ago, and I can vouch for its usefulness. Perhaps it will serve just as useful for you."
She looked vaguely uncomfortable; she wasn’t used to receiving homage. "Thank you. We-- appreciate it."
He laughed a little louder. "There's no need to be nervous. I have had many close friends amongst the nature spirits, mostly sylphs, and I just wanted you to know that I know some of what you have to deal with daily. And that you have a friend."
"I'm not nervous, I'm--" She moved her hand like she was trying to think of a word. "A sailor," she finished, and put the ring on. "Thank you. I value your friendship, and I will pass it on to my sisters."
"You're very welcome.” He jerked his head around just in time to see Mina coming out of the back rooms. “Uh-oh, here comes my new shadow. Cute, isn't she?"

Character(s): Garal Tinderhook
Author: Eric Gasior
Storyline: Crossover: WAHP/Lianth Shrugged
Title of Post: Time Out

Garal did not stay long at Nora's home. He could tell that she and her husband needed to talk.
The trip back to Lianth was quick. The town was near Lianth on the Prime Material Plane and the astral pathways were clearing. The halfling reentered the plane near the Mithril Dagger. He planned on meeting Flicker and Luthien there. After taking Luthien where he needed to be, Garal and the Sunfighter were to find out where to meet Khyrisse.
He came upon a block of rubble finally being cleared after six months. Unlike Trade there was rubble to clear. Unlike towns in Riklandir they were just beginning. Garal wondered why it took the leaders of Lianth so long to organize.
He passed through the square unnoticed by the human men and women not only clearing rubble but also measuring the ground in preparation for new houses. The halfling realized they were taking their futures into their own hands. This wasn’t the government, this was individual residents of the city taking responsibility for thier lives.
Their work reminded him of home. Not Trade, but home home -- Ti’Ashantes, The Land of the Little Folk as humans and elves knew it. He hadn’t been there in years. It would be time to go back soon. Perhaps help fix the place. He wouldn’t stay. He could visit, but he couldn’t go home again.
In an out of the way section of the square, he took a hand shovel out of his pack and prepared the ground. Garal Tinderhook, halfling gardener, carried seeds with him. He had time to plant some of the bulbs he had gathered just before the Madness. They would bloom in the spring. They would be his small contribution to this part of the world.
Just as Garal put his shovel away, a man approached. Garal would later know him as Randall Thrayn. The man did not look happy.
“What are you doing?”
Garal said, still crouched on the ground, “Planting flowers. They’re needed here.”

Character(s): Randall Thrayn
Author: Douglass Barre
Storyline: Lianth Shrugged
Title of Post: Flowers For Garalgernon

Randall watched as the young boy planted his flowers.
He'll learn soon enough the hardships of the world, Thrayn thought. And they will shape him better than anything I could say would.
He smiled patronizingly at the child and returned to where the men and women who had assisted him today had built a fire.
There, he pulled out the small pennyflute and began to play.
By the time they all slept, there was a bond between them. They weren't a city--not yet--but it was a start.

Character(s): Garal
Author: Eric Gasior
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Seeds of Change

The human had the dismissive look reserved for children and halflings. Garal had seen in other humans with that look. They usually had a "plan." He decided it wasn't worth stressing over.
That's when Praxis contacted him. Garal was surprised, he had never spoken with anyone telepathically before. If they hadn't met at Khyrisse's party he'd be even more surprised.
The Rat Pack, including Khyrisse, was already in Lianth, across the street at the Mithril Dagger. And Waterloo was with them. Garal washed off his hands with his drinking water, and headed for the tavern.

Character(s): Khyrisse, Val, Vas, and Skitch
Author: Kristin L.K. Andersen
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Vas Misses Many Things-- But Not This Sort of Thing

Khyrisse stood in the circle of Ebreth’s arm, smiling, until she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror along the wall. She winced. Oh, Grendel. I look like someone’s dragged me backwards through a hedge. With a bemused little grin, she studied the bloody, torn-up armor and the chaotically tousled hair of her reflection. Okay, backwards through a horde of undead...
She stood on tiptoe and gave Ebreth a quick kiss. “I’ll be back in a bit,” she told him, smiling up at him, and added softly, “I’m glad you’re home safe.”
She looked around for Skitch, and found him peeking into the back room. “Guaranteed Wyvern-Free,” said the sign. Khyrisse grinned. “Hey, kiddo!”
“Here,” she said, giving him her purse. “Get some dinner for us, okay? I’m going to go get a bath, it’s been a long day.”
“Okay! Should I bring yours upstairs?”
“I’ll get some later.” She dropped a kiss on his head and added, “Oh, and rent rooms for everybody. All together, if possible.”
“Gotcha.” Skitch raced off to talk to Kevin, puffed up with his new responsibility.


Khyrisse braced herself, took a deep breath of bubblebath-scented steam, and yanked the leather tunic over her head. Her sleeves reluctantly parted company with the web of shallow cuts beneath them, scattering flakes of dried blood over her skin.


Valende got up from the table with a rueful smile, hearing the muffled shout from upstairs. “I think someone’s calling me,” she said to Vas. Vas poured a glass of wine and handed it to her.
“Pain-killer. One glass of wine won’t hurt anybody,” he informed his sister’s raised eyebrows, amused. She rolled her eyes and took it with her.
Vas studied the stairs with a slightly pensive look. There was a wan, shuttered air about Val that worried him. He went over to where Skitch was making arrangements with a tolerantly amused Kevin. “Skitch?”
“Hang on... Yeah?”
“I believe I should have dinner with Valende upstairs. I understand you’re in charge of dinner?” Skitch nodded. “We need to catch up on things; preferably in private, I think.”
“Okay, I’ll bring it up when it’s ready. You’re in... what rooms do we have, Kevin?”
Kevin gave Skitch a handful of keys. He sorted through them and soberly handed Vas one.
Vas bowed to him, eyes twinkling. “Thank you, young sir.”
Skitch grinned, and tried to imitate the bow back at Vas. “You’re welcome!”
“And given that Valende and I will both be busy,” Vas murmured, tapping the key thoughtfully against the palm of his hand, “someone will have to take responsibility for bodyguarding the Lady Khyrisse.” He turned to grin impishly at Ebreth. “I think that task would best be given to you, Milord Tor?”

Character(s): Ebreth Tor
Author: Laura Redish
Storyline: We'll Always Have Paris
Title of Post: Stress Fractures

Ebreth leaned back against the headboard, his forearms over his eyes, and tried not to listen to the soft and chilling sound of rain against the roof of the Mithril Dagger Inn. God damn it, Jack. I could have done it.
He had no idea how they were going to rescue the mathematician, either. He had lost his one best chance to destroy Ælwyn, and God only knew what the sorceror was doing to Jack.
And as if he wasn't already frustrated enough, The Catcher In The Rye had been Jack's copy.
Ebreth Tor was starting to realize how much he hated leaving a book after a couple of chapters.
He gritted his teeth and listened to the rain, thinking about all the things he didn't want to think about.
"Are you all right?"
He hit his head on the headboard. He hadn't even heard her come in. "Yes," he lied, struggling to keep his arm from shaking. She was wearing a shimmering green negligee under her robe, and her hair was damp. "I'm okay. I'm okay, what about you?"
"Better," she admitted, ruefully, "now."
"Good," he said, "that's good." She put her hand on his left shoulder and he put his over it, looked down at them there. "I broke your ring," he said softly. "Do you think you could mend it?"
She picked his hand up in both of hers, gently, curled his fingers in and pressed his knuckles against her cheek. "It only works once," she said, running her thumb along the cracked lapis.
"I'd still kind of like to keep it," he said, "if it's okay with you."

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