Petarus and Vanja Topic /4 ⍟
OyunI will make allies of whomever I deem useful. We have observed the actions of both blackguard and exile, and it is Petarus and Vanja who give meaning to those actions.

This {akhara} has not mixed with other than its own for over two hundred years. The outside world has now discovered us, so it is time that we discovered it.
KiraAs we give strength to the outside, we grow weaker on the inside. First, there was Petarus and Vanja. Now there is you.

It shows how little faith Oyun has in us, in her own {akhara}, that she would treat blackguards and exiles with such admiration.
TasuniPetarus and Vanja. Two mouths that speak from one mind.

When together, they express some quite interesting thoughts. When apart, well... half a thought isn't really even a thought, is it?
IrashaTwo of a very few outsiders I've met worth a lick of salt.

I'm not saying I think they should have as much sway in the {akhara} as they do, but the fact is, the people like them. Oyun liked them, and despite their clumsy attempts to adopt some of our traditions, I like them as well.
Petarus and Vanja Text Audio /66 ⍟
Petarus: I used to hunt your kind back in Theopolis, Shadow. I've seen what you do to people, and I know why you do it.

Vanja: 'Why' stopped being a useful question the moment we set foot in Wraeclast, Petarus.

Petarus: Without the 'why', what's left?

Vanja: 'How'... to survive. Please, Shadow, ignore Petarus.
Vanja: You are most welcome here, sister. What you did back there in Sarn, it was truly...

Petarus: ...terrifying. Don't get me wrong. Piety, the rest, they had it coming. But there's no one like that here. These Maraketh, they're good people.

Vanja: She knows that! Please, sister, ignore Petarus.
Petarus: My lord Templar, I can't tell you how good it is to meet a man so willing and able to put the Order back on the road to Faith...

Vanja: ...oh my god, Petarus!

Petarus: Vanja!

Vanja: I've just seen too many foul deeds done in the name of Faith.

Petarus: Committed by those who talked of God while they acted for themselves.

Vanja: Fine, Petarus, fine.
Petarus: I saw you fight, back in Theopolis. You were good. But what you did back there in Sarn, it was truly...

Vanja: ...terrifying. Don't misunderstand me. Piety, the rest, they deserved what they got. But there's no one like that here. These Maraketh, they're good people.

Petarus: He knows that, Vanja!

Vanja: I hope so, Petarus.
Vanja: It's one thing to watch in awe as the she-wolf hunts, quite another to invite her to share your campfire. Wouldn't you agree, Ranger?

Petarus: No, she wouldn't, Vanja, and neither do I.

Vanja: We both saw what she did in Sarn!

Petarus: And we both know that Piety and the rest had it coming!

Vanja: Fine, Petarus, fine.
Vanja: Talamoana, warrior. I can't tell you how good it is to meet a man so willing and able to fight for...

Petarus: Oh my god, Vanja!

Vanja: Petarus!

Petarus: I've seen the heads of too many friends dangling from Karui belts.

Vanja: {Friends} whose orders were to clap slaver's irons on as many Karui as they could get their filthy hands on. Please, Marauder, ignore Petarus.
Petarus: My lady, what you achieved back there in Sarn was truly...

Vanja: ...terrifying. Don't misunderstand me. Piety, the rest, they deserved what they got. But there's no one like that here. These Maraketh, they're good people.

Petarus: She knows that, Vanja!

Vanja: I hope so, Petarus.
Vanja: Emperor Voll is dead, for good this time.

Petarus: And the entrance to the Mines stands open. I suppose you'll be heading down there to...

Vanja: free us from the sickening supremacy of Nightmare.

Petarus: I was going to say, 'to kick some nightmare arse'.

Vanja: I think I put it better.

Petarus: Of course you did, sweets.
The Mines
Petarus: My Grandfather was a captain in the Ebony Legion. My father too. And me. Just following the path that'd been laid out for me.

Vanja: Until you met me.

Petarus: Yes, until I met the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.

Vanja: Behind bars. An exile waiting to become an experiment. Not quite how I imagined meeting the man of my dreams.

Petarus: I realised then that I wasn't part of the Ebony Legion any more. I'd become a Blackguard, like every other damned legionnaire in Sarn, taking orders from a madman.

Vanja: Petarus freed me and led us here.

Petarus: I'd heard about the Maraketh from those few legionnaires who survived the assault on Highgate.

Vanja: And I talked them into harbouring us.

Petarus: Vanja can be very persuasive when she wants to be.
Petarus: Dialla was there when it all went bad. If anyone can help put things right, it's...

Vanja: ...why would she? Wraeclast has been like this for almost three hundred years. What's made her want to do something about it now?

Petarus: She's the Gemling Queen, Vanja! There's no way we could understand what goes on in that mind of hers.

Vanja: I know, and that's precisely what worries me.
Vanja: Kira is a racist bully with that fancy hair crest of hers stuck so far up her...

Petarus: ...come on, Vanja, she's a warrior. It's not her job to be nice. It's her job to defend...

Vanja: ...look all lithe and sweaty when you're watching her train? That's the only 'job' you're interested in.

Petarus: I'm studying the Maraketh fighting style!

Vanja: Sure you are, sweetie.
Vanja: Oyun gave us a home...

Petarus: ...our lives back.

Vanja: Appreciate the good ones when you find them in Wraeclast.

Petarus: It's not like there are many.
Petarus: Tasuni? He's a conman.

Vanja: Petarus just doesn't understand him.

Petarus: I understand that he gets his every need catered for by talking in riddles and telling lies...

Vanja: ...the truth about the Nightmare. He makes sense of the chaos, as best he can.

Petarus: How can we possibly know whether what he's telling us is the truth or not?

Vanja: We can't. But who else is there to ask?
Vanja: We've a few bits and pieces lying about that might help with what's to come.

Petarus: "Bits and pieces?" I risked my neck to salvage those artefacts!

Vanja: I know, sweetie, and I really appreciate your... artefacts.

Petarus: You didn't say that when I brought them in. You said, "Is that all?"

Vanja: You'd been gone for ages!

Petarus: And you think {you} could do a quicker job of it?

Vanja: Yes, if you'd let me, yes!

Petarus: No. Not for all the jewellery in the world. What if I lost you?

Vanja: Ok. I'm sorry. We have charms and regalia, sourced at great risk from some of the most dangerous places in Wraeclast. Better?

Petarus: Yes. Thank you.
Vanja: Piety... she still lives?

Petarus: Then she needs to die {again}...

Vanja: ...{permanently} this time. I honestly don't know who I'm more scared of, the Beast or that black-hearted Witch!

Petarus: It's the combination that scares me, and it should scare you too, exile.
Vanja: I'd heard of the Beast before coming here. Piety talked about it. I suppose she saw no point in keeping secrets from the people she was planning to murder.

Petarus: I'm so sorry, Vanja.

Vanja: God, it's not your fault, Petarus! Piety used to say that the Beast was the source of her power, how she managed to turn poor men and women into those... things. She kept using a phrase... what was it?

Petarus: Universal transmogrification. I heard her assistants talk about it, too.

Vanja: The power to change the world into anything you like.

Petarus: Bloody scary power in the hands of someone like Piety.

Vanja: Bloody scary power, full stop!
The Beast
Petarus: Daresso? He's down there, inside the mountain?

Vanja: Are we talking about {the} Daresso? The Sword King?

Petarus: Seems like it. But... how did he get in there? He left Oriath about a century and a half ago, hoping to find a cure for his lady, Merveil. He would have had to fight his way through the Maraketh, but... Oyun's never mentioned anything of the sort.

Vanja: Maybe he didn't go in alive.

Petarus: What do you mean?

Vanja: We live in a land where the dead walk and {things} like Dialla live for centuries.

Petarus: You think he died somewhere else and then the Beast got hold of him?

Vanja: Could be.

Petarus: Well, if the Beast can do that, then... what bloody good was Deshret's Seal?

Vanja: Exactly.
Petarus: You killed the Sword King?

Vanja: Daresso wasn't {actually} alive, Petarus.

Petarus: Daresso must have thought he was alive.

Vanja: True. Thinking and being... a bit of a blurred line here in Wraeclast.

Petarus: Exactly.
Petarus: Dialla saw the mistakes of the past with her own eyes, and now she's given everything to fix them. Right, Vanja?

Vanja: I don't know, Petarus. I saw people die for each other in Sarn. I saw clarity, resolution in their eyes. In Dialla's eyes... I see ghosts.

Petarus: Those eyes have seen horrors that we can't even imagine.

Vanja: Maybe, but this 'sacrifice' of hers? I think it was more like a {deal} and Dialla didn't quite get what she'd bargained for.
Petarus: It's obvious to everyone now.

Vanja: There's no one like you, Witch.

Petarus: The Beast learned that the hard way...

Vanja: ...and the whole of Wraeclast will learn about it, one way or another.

Petarus: So, I guess this is the happily-ever-after they promised us when we were kids, right, Vanja?

Vanja: For us, for Wraeclast... maybe. What about you, sister? Do you even know what that looks like for you?

Petarus: There's plenty of happiness to go around now.

Vanja: You deserve a piece of it.
Petarus: There's no arena, no trophy, no accolade, no title...

Vanja: end to what Petarus could spout in your honour.

Petarus: In this case, I think it's all right to do so for a bit, don't you? We're standing in the presence of the greatest Duelist that ever lived.

Vanja: For once, I actually agree with him.

Petarus: You've done more than attain glory, Duelist. You've saved the entire bloody world!

Vanja: We needed a hero and you rose to the occasion. Thank you.
Petarus: I am proud to be part of the Order. Your order, my Lord.

Vanja: And I am sorry. I should have had more Faith. I've always believed in God. It's just that, until now, I didn't think the Templar did.

Petarus: I guess sometimes it takes a miracle, something to prove that we're not on our own in this world.

Vanja: True. Thank you, Templar, for reminding me what it's like to believe. It's a luxury that I haven't been able to afford.

Petarus: Yet it's something that all of Wraeclast can have now.
Vanja: I am proud to know you, Karui.

Petarus: And I'm sorry. I should have been less hasty...

Vanja: ...bigoted?

Petarus: {Quick to judge}, but, then... Wraeclast tends to bring that out in people. Quick to judge or quick to die... it's been that way for far too long.

Vanja: But thanks to our warrior here, that could all begin to change.

Petarus: Dominus is gone. The Beast is gone. Feels like we can all start again now.

Vanja: Oriathan and Karui, everyone. Thanks to you.
Petarus: We are in your debt, my Lady, and soon enough all of Wraeclast will understand the thanks it owes you.

Vanja: You're actually the first highborn woman I've ever met who {deserves} to be called 'my Lady'.

Petarus: Vanja!

Vanja: It's true and she knows it. Leadership isn't about power, it's about responsibility, and this Lady took the burden from the entire world.

Petarus: Well said, Vanja!

Vanja: It'd pay for Petarus to listen to me more often, but when it comes to you, Scion, I'm glad he didn't.
Vanja: You are indeed a wonder, mountain cat.

Petarus: Oh, so she's allowed to share our campfire now, is she?

Vanja: I can admit when I'm wrong.

Petarus: Sure, someone just has to save the world before you do it.

Vanja: A girl's got to have standards, Petarus.

Petarus: Well, I think it's safe to say, Vanja, that our Ranger here has managed to set a whole new standard. One that the whole of Wraeclast will need to live up to.

Vanja: I'm happy to say that I think you're right, Petarus. So utterly, wonderfully, right.
Vanja: I thought you were going to teach us how to survive, Shadow. Instead, you've given us all the chance to far more than just that. You've given us a chance to live.

Petarus: Yes... maybe I was wrong about you.

Vanja: Maybe?

Petarus: Completely and utterly wrong, and happy for it. How's that?

Vanja: Perfect.

Petarus: And what's next for you, Shadow? You've committed the greatest murder in the history of Wraeclast. How will you top that?

Vanja: He's a resourceful man, Petarus. He'll figure something out.
Vanja: You can gripe all you want lover, we can't stay here. Not with all this blood...

Petarus: Where do you expect us to go, Vanja? We have our whole lives here in Highgate.

Vanja: I don't know... west, perhaps? The Ezomyte lands. I don't care, just somewhere that has unpoisoned water...

Petarus: Oh, ah Beast Slayer!

Vanja: Good to see you again!

Petarus: Even if you have happened upon us in a rather unruly time...

Vanja: Shush now sweetie, there's no need to bother them with our woes.
Petarus: Oh, they don't know! I can see on your face, you haven't heard...

Vanja: It's Kira, she's gone mad!

Petarus: Absolutely bonkers.

Vanja: She's abducted Oyun...

Petarus: Stolen off with her into the desert. And, to make matters worse...

Vanja: ...The whole of Highgate is in a state of disarray. There's Beast blood in the water!

Petarus: ...Usurpers are eyeing up the throne...

Vanja: And the old gods have risen! If you want my advice, get out of Highgate...

Petarus: ...Or save us...

Vanja: ...While you still can.
Petarus: Please, Vanja, don't say it.

Vanja: Say what? I told you so? Well, I never trusted Kira. Her need to control everything, no matter the cost, was never a trait I held much faith in.

Petarus: Yes, but ambition is not the problem. I have ambition, do you not...

Vanja: Of course I trust you, sweetie, but you're not about to go killing everything that moves in exchange for a bit of power now, are you?

Petarus: Well, I'd trade dreams of power for dreams of you, my sweets, any day!

Vanja: Oh Petarus...
Petarus: Irasha? Well, she's the best we've got. Strong, purposeful, an honourable warrior...

Vanja: I think the description you're failing to provide, love, is "stick in the mud".

Petarus: Stick in the mud?

Vanja: Yes. As stubborn and serious as they come.

Petarus: You just don't like her because she treats you differently.

Vanja: Irasha is a stuck-up elitist. She refuses to see me as a woman.

Petarus: Oh, sweets. You're more woman to me than all of them put together.
Petarus: You must've encountered men and women like us before...

Vanja: Relic hunters!

Petarus: ...Ahem, Collectors of rare antiquities. Anyway, Vanja and I are the best in the business.

Vanja: And we need your help locating a particularly rare item.

Petarus: Sweets, I was working them into it...

Vanja: It's an ancient sword, belonging to the Maraketh goddess Garukhan!

Petarus: The Storm Blade some call it. A weapon carved from crystal, capable of capturing even the most powerful of storms within its rigid edge.

Vanja: The goddess lost it, somewhere in the eastern desert during her ancient battle against the necromancer Saresh and his undead horde.

Petarus: ...According to our research.

Vanja: Find the blade for us, and we will make it worth your while.

Petarus: We'd do this ourselves, but what with the political unrest in Highgate as of late...

Vanja: We fear leaving, lest we find the gateways barred and ourselves without a home.
The Storm Blade
Vanja: You did it! They found it, Petarus, they found it!

Petarus: By the gods, Garukhan's famed Storm blade...

Vanja: Do you know what this means, my sweets? Once we find the right collector...

Petarus: ...we can go anywhere, have anything. We will be like royalty!

Vanja: But the storm inside is a problem. It's too volatile in its current state.

Petarus: You're right, we can't trade away a weapon of such apocalyptic nature.

Vanja: This will require some pondering, my love. In the meantime, thank you, exile. Take your pick of our stock.
The Storm Blade
Petarus: Well, it took some time, but thanks to our Maraketh neighbors...

Vanja: ...and their ancient traditions...

Petarus: ...We managed a strain of thaumaturgy, to remove the storm from Garukhan's blade.

Vanja: We even bottled it for safekeeping.

Petarus: We'd rather not trust anyone with this sort of power, but perhaps you can use it to clear away that sandstorm in the desert?

Vanja: Find out what sort of nasties are hiding out there in the desert and put a stop to them!
Bottled Storm
Petarus: I'll let Vanja take this one.

Vanja: Thank you, love. I trained in Oriath...

Petarus: As a witch! Imagine that!

Vanja: I thought I was telling this story, Petarus?

Petarus: Yes, sorry sweets.

Vanja: I learned all about the old gods. They were supposed to be our idols, beings of divinity that guided us through our mortal lives.

Petarus: But they aren't like that at all, are they love?

Vanja: Hardly. The gods're no better than we are! And nobody that is as bad as us should ever wield that much power!

Petarus: As bad as us? Speak for yourself. I'm positively delightful!

Vanja: Yes, yes, you're so sweet, they dipped you in a barrel of sugar as a babe. We know!
The Old Gods
Vanja: Oyun was my friend. To depart this world in the manner she did is...

Petarus: ...Barbaric. And without a protector for the tribe, we're sitting ducks here. Tasuni thinks he can rule, but he is seduced by all manner of dark things.

Vanja: There is no easy fix here. I'll be awake for many nights to come.

Petarus: I'll be right beside you, my love.

Vanja: Let's not fool ourselves love. You'll be sleeping.

Petarus: In any case, it'll be time to crown a new chieftainess soon.

Vanja: Or chieftain. Tasuni is next in the bloodline. Sure, he doesn't mind breaking a few rules, but at least he's no Dominus.

Petarus: I do hope you're joking, sweets! The Maraketh are a matriarchy! The men here aren't used to being in charge. Tasuni would ruin everything the Mother stands for.

Vanja: You would have them crown Irasha?

Petarus: She's strong, stable and traditional. I don't see why she shouldn't rule.

Vanja: Because, ironically, Tasuni has the one thing that Irasha lacks.

Petarus: What's that?

Vanja: Vision.
Vanja: Tasuni has the feather? Then Highgate is saved. It's about time they gave the men of the tribe a chance to prove themselves. Tasuni will usher in a new dawn for the Maraketh.

Petarus: For all our sakes, I hope you're right, sweets.

Vanja: Have you not got anything between those legs of yours, my dear? One would suppose that man would like another man to rule more than he would a woman.

Petarus: Well one would suppose wrong then. Tasuni may benefit me simply because I was born of the same sort as he, but it's the future of this fascinating tribe that worries me - he's reckless and flippant of their sacred traditions. I fear with him at the front of their {dekhara}, they will lose what makes them sacred. They will become like the bloody savages that wander the wastelands, or worse - a Blackguard!

Vanja: Being a Blackguard wasn't that bad, surely?

Petarus: ...never again.
Petarus: Irasha holds the feather? Then Highgate has been saved. She may not be in the bloodline, but she holds fast to their traditions, and that's all that matters. Just think, Tasuni may have steered the tribe into dangerous and unknown territory.

Vanja: The beast you know is not always better than the one you don't, my love.
Petarus: What was that earthquake caused by? Some sort of death shudder from that volatile Beast? I've no thaumaturgical bone in my body, yet still I can sense the corruption seeping out of the cracks in that mountain. This can't be! Why would you disturb its rest?

Vanja: Hush now sweetie, the situation is more complex than you would first think.

Petarus: The Maraketh sat under the curse of the Beast for thousands of years, they had just gotten free, yet now you do... something... to bring the source of its darkness into our very presence? This is unconscionable, it's...

Vanja: ...the right choice. Would you rather a hostile reign of warring immortals? Our hero obviously has some kind of plan in mind. If this shift in the mountain can remove the gods from Wraeclast, then I for one am happy to be shook up a little.

Petarus: Well, whatever the case, at least we have each other.

Vanja: And we are strongest when we stand together.
The Beast
Petarus: Have you ever heard much of the Maraketh legends?

Vanja: A truly unique cosmology of strange creatures, pagan gods and powerful treasures.

Petarus: One such story talks of a magical stone dial...

Vanja: A Maraketh Calendar, said to detail important events in the future of our world.

Petarus: General Adus, a war hero of the Empire, reported in his diaries of discovering a dial meeting that description at a dig site somewhere in the Foothills.

Vanja: It appears the war hero had a secret penchant for archaeologies...

Petarus: But the cataclysm wiped the land clean, and buried the dig site in rocks and sand. No one has been able to locate it since, nor the stone dial.

Vanja: Seems that with everything that's been going on of late, knowing what's due to happen in the future, could be a fairly profitable ability...

Petarus: We know you would never have use for such a gift...

Vanja: It would remove all the enjoyment out of adventure for someone like you!

Petarus: Yet, In times such as these, us small folk could do well with a heads up if something particularly nasty were to occur. Besides, a relic like that should sit in a museum...

Vanja: ...Or our collection...

Petarus: ...Not be lost beneath the rubble where it benefits no one.

Vanja: If you were to track the Calendar down for us, we would pay you handsomely, exile.

Petarus: Yes, we are traders of antiquities after all.
The Maraketh Calendar
Vanja: Ah, our relic hunter returns!

Petarus: You could make a regular go at this.

Vanja: How about it, hero? Leave behind your warmongering ways and work for us...

Petarus: ...No? Well, nevermind. In any case...

Vanja: Here's that reward we promised.
The Maraketh Calendar
Vanja: A noble Legionnaire...

Petarus: ...but a Legionnaire all the same.

Vanja: Petarus and I did our research on Adus.

Petarus: We needed to know as much about him and his dig site as possible...

Vanja: make sure he was worth our while.

Petarus: The General was an eternal commander of the Highgate Legion...

Vanja: He ran a mining camp up here in the mountains. The bastard was the one responsible for controlling Karui, Maraketh and Ezomyte slaves, forcing them into the black bowels of rock fissures in search of gems...

Petarus: ...At least he treated them fairly and as human beings.

Vanja: A slave is still a slave my sweets.

Petarus: For all his faults, the general appears to have been a good man for his time. It's a shame what happened to him... an even greater shame that by the sounds of things, he's come back.

Vanja: Yes, we'd advise steering clear of his old camp.
General Adus


























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