It's The Little Things

   
Aurelia shrugged. "It doesn't matter but, since my mouth is open, I suppose I might as well continue." She returned her attention to Ravan and Sam. "Everything in this world has what my people refer to as a True Name. It is the Word or amalgamation of Words that sums up their essence, defines their entire being. There are Tazaoth who utilize True Names in order to separate minerals from stone and pull impurities from metal without the use of crucibles or traditional mining techniques. One is simply removed from the other, as though they were never a part of the same piece of rock or ore.

"I believe that we may be able to do the same thing with Dravin and Tobias. It won't be easy, though. In order for such a process to be successful, we will need to know the entirety of at least one of their True Names. That, in and of itself, will probably be quite difficult given both their present states.

She shifted in her seat, leaning forward a bit as she got the crux of the matter. "The more unique properties--and, in the case of living and sentient creatures, experiences--that a thing or person has, the more complex their True Name becomes. For thinking, self-aware creatures such as ourselves, a True Name changes frequently. After all, none of us is exactly the same person that we were the day we were born or even a year ago. Our experiences, what we learn about ourselves and the world around us, changes us. Sometimes, fundamentally.

"For instance, Tobias has managed to save a portion of himself by separating it from his body. Unfortunately, any True Name that we could get from him at present would also be incomplete as a result. In order to separate him completely from Dravin, we will need to gather all the pieces of his full Name that he left behind in his escape. Otherwise, we could wind-up with all of Tobias except his feet or a Tobias with no memories after the age of three. But, if we can get his Name, I truly believe that we can retrieve him. And, once robbed of his vessel, Dravin may be weakened enough for us to put an end to him once and for all."

Sam was getting a little impatient. She didn't need a recap from the beginning of existence, nor did she need to know the details of how they intended to separate Dravin from Tobias. Unable to sit completely still, her foot wiggled back and forth under her seat as she waited for the information she'd come for. It did not appear to be forthcoming.

Being as polite as she could manage, she cleared her throat and interjected before the conversation could go anywhere else. "Now that the entire table is all caught up on how you do what you do, could you please elaborate on what you actually need to accomplish the task. Going back to The Pit for a peek at Dravin isn't exactly an option."

Ravan

Ravan considered Ruve's response and Aurelia's elaboration for a long moment, during which Sam voiced her concern. "You said we'd need at least one of their full Names for this to work - it seems like getting Dravin's would be more efficient. We could save your friend and annihilate the demon in one stroke, if the Names are everything you say they are." Of course, the unspoken truth was that Ravan was far more concerned with the possibility of destroying a demon prince than with the rescue of one man, however virtuous. He would rescue him if he could - but the destruction of such a potent force for darkness as Dravin was worth a great deal more than a single man - which included Ravan himself.

Ravan thought it would be impolitic to point this out. But he didn't have to - these were not stupid people, and they knew what his calling was.

Jasper frowned, paying attention closely. It unnerved him a little to hear the Tasaoth expound so... readily. Since he'd known her, Ruve only opened up when she was distracted, tricked, or after long consideration about the subject at hand. Secrets seemed to be a thing that were apart of her. No reason to expect her kin was any different. Still, if any situation called for a "reveal all", it was this one.

Ravan's comment made him snort and, thankfully, he wasn't sipping soup when that happened. Otherwise, that spicy liquid would probably destroy his ability to smell or think for life. "Ya got it wrong, Ravan. True Names are complex and the only way to really truly get one is to Look at the creature with the Truesight, yeah? Now, though, the demon and Tobias are fused, their True Names all jumbled up together with no way to pull them apart properly.

"Now, I'm bettin' that Ruve has looked at Tobias at least often enough to know the general idea of him and, with what Aurelia just said, I'm also bettin' there's another way to get True Names."
He paused, glanced over at Aurelia approvingly, checking her expression. "Experiences. They change us, that's whatcha said. So, if you think there's hope of saving him, then there's a way that the experiences get left behind. Which means we need to go where they happened which-" he glanced back at Ravan, "for Dravin, would be the Pit. Which is crazy at best to go there, looking for what made a demon lord wild. Besides, he's older than Tobias is, which means his True Name would be longer and more complex, yeah?

"Which leads us back to Tobias."
He stopped, let his thoughts catch up with him, and blanched. With what he'd guessed and learned about the Words, it was possible that the experiences could linger. After all, if the experiences happened to the person, then they probably happened to the land as well. Could a place have a True Name? Could an event leave a mark that would last through time? The thought made him uneasy and he looked at the Tasaoth speculatively, then resolved not to bring either of them to a place that had any value to him. Ever.

There were some things he couldn't risk them uncovering.

Sighing, he waved a piece of his bread at them. "So, do I got the shape of it? We've gotta figure out what we know of him, hunt down the important events of his life, and put his Name back together again?"

Ravan

Ravan considered that for a moment. It occured to him that it was possible that they were decieving him in order to win their support in saving their friend. But if that were the case, they probably would have presented their information in a different manner. Besides, he was not at all opposed to a course of action that saved a soul from damnation. Finally, he nodded towards Jasper and looked expectantly at the two Tasaoth women.

The spirits flared up for a moment and Samantha pushed them back down with a calming breath. It took another moment to gather her thoughts on what Jasper had said together. "Not to be negative, but if Tobias left parts of his name behind, then how are we supposed to know what he left behind to go find it? If it isn't part of his name right now, then he won't remember it. And not that I doubt Ruvria's memory, but sifting through all that information based on a glance? This does not sound like a well thought out plan. That's not even taking into account the missing feet thing, which were clearly left behind as well."

The concerns this new point of view brought up were going to drive the paladin crazy if she let them, and she was no good to anybody that way. Sam put her hands up, stopping herself from running away with those thoughts. Calm once more she continued, "More to the point, that wasn't an answer to my question. If the answer is that you need more time for research, just say so. I'm happy enough to stay out of this until you decide to go after the demon lord. It's just... It's been six months without any information, and I've gotten a tad antsy." The weak attempt at an explanation was more for Ruvria than anybody else.

Ruve understood Sam's worry, but where had the paladin been all this time, when Ruve had felt like she was the only one who actually cared about saving Tobias? She hadn't even had a chance to say goodbye to anyone in Katar before they all vanished to various parts of the world. (Although that may have been her fault for holing away with her notes. Maybe she had just been impossible to find.) It was just - she had done the best she could with what she had.

...hadn't she?

She pressed her hands against her temples. "Of course it's not the best plan. It's incomplete. We're still missing vital information. But it's a place to start. And the place we need to go next is the Lady's tower - somewhere I should have gone a while ago. The research I was doing there, before we went after Tobias, will help us with the next step. I'm sure of it."

That was about about what Sam had expected to hear. "Okay, more research," which was like saying "no Sam, there's nothing you can do to help and you'll just slow us down if you try." She wasn't sure how to feel about that, not that she had any right to be upset about something she couldn't do taking too long. She wasn't about to dwell on that.

"Derek is taking me back to Shallon this afternoon. If you haven't arranged for transportation yet, I'm sure he wouldn't mind a few more. But more importantly, that's where I'll be if you need anything. If I'm not there, then Helm's children will know where I've gone."

Ravan

Ravan raised an eyebrow. "The Lady? And who is she?" Curiously, Ravan's concerns were similar to Samantha's. He wondered if he could be of assistance, if the "research" required an ability he didn't possess. It was possible that this was just an attempt to politely push him out the door. And if it was, could he really blame them?

"She runs, among other things, a library that holds knowledge no other library possesses," Ruve replied. She had no intention of revealing any more than was strictly necessary where the Lady was concerned. "I do not know if you would be welcome at her Tower or not, but we could ask her. She is...selective, and protects her knowledge." That was as close to the truth as she could come.

She turned to Sam. "I think we are very close, Sam. I was despairing of ever getting what I needed, but I think with Aurelia's help we can do this. I think - I hope - you won't have to wait long." It pained her a little to know Sam was leaving so soon, but everyone had things to do. The paladin was still Helm's Chosen, despite his passing.




 

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