CLOSED SIGNUPS Strangers: The Council Convenes

Camleen

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#1
Richard and Benjie are escorted through the winding streets, and towards an innocent enough looking building. A simple hall, but one swarmed by armed guards. The guards all wear identical armors, but the stature of them all varies greatly. Some are barely over 4 feet tall, some seem to be easily over 7 feet tall. They carry a variety of weapons and shields… from regular swords to spears to bows. And most of those guards watch the escorted Strangers as they are brought into the hall.

And once inside, they would find the hall mostly barren. Save for a large table at the center of the hall, 8 beings of different races around the circular table. 7 sit in metal chairs, and 1 of them stands at a podium. The large room is lined with guards and scribes and assistants. There is a voice coming from the direction of the table, a deep female voice. “-wrong to br-” but the voice cuts off as the Strangers enter. As one the 8 beings look towards Benjie and Richard, none of them seeming particularly pleased, save for the woman standing at the podium. She smiles politely, perhaps diplomatically. Arah, the Barbin child that had been sent to fetch them, now runs ahead of the group towards the woman at the podium. As she does, she points towards Genessa and the group with a pleasing smile. And a series of short purrs and growls comes from her throat. The woman at the podium nods to her as she smiles, her own long tail flicking back and forth. Arah nods, as if they had just spoken whole sentences to one another, and then the child moves to the opposite side of the podium, staring wide eyed at the oncoming Strangers.

The woman at the podium now steps away from it. She is Barbin, and she looks like she could be in the age range of a young adult. Her steps are smooth and graceful, as if each little movement was well thought out ahead of time. There is a very fine white fur along her form, and white hair along the evenly colored ears atop her head. But undoubtedly her most striking feature.. those eyes. Thin irises surrounded by an almost crystal quality pale green. Piercing, beautiful. “Lady Orlock. Thank you for showing our guests here. You are welcome to stay, should your duties permit.” Her tone is as smooth as her gait. “Allow me..” her words come forth softly as her gaze drifts from Genessa’s eyes towards Benjie and Richard “to be the first to welcome you here. Your arrival upon our humble world has been quite the topic of late. We” she motions towards those sitting around the table as she continues “are the Peacekeeping Council, formed to keep serenity between some of the races of this world. We have asked you here.. to put to rest rumors we have been troubled with as of late.” She now motions towards a few men standing near the wall, and those men bring 2 simple chairs forward. “I am Chize” pronounced like ‘mice’ “and I am the head of the Council. Please, sit. I shall introduce our esteemed members before whatever questions might you have.” They would notice a third chair near the table, one empty. But ornately decorated, not just normal wooden chairs that have been presented for Benjie and Richard.

Chize now moves back to her podium as she continues. “I am of the southern Barbin tribes, as you may have noticed.” Standing now at the podium, she motions to each Council member as she introduces them.

“Gurak, of the Orcneas race.” The very large green skinned… man… narrows his eyes at Burton specifically as he sits there quietly. When sitting he looks.. rather massive. Standing, he would be nearly 8 feet tall. Sharp teeth protrude from his jaws.

“Seirye, representing the Zylrel.” The red haired woman nods in acknowledgement, her blue eyes carefully looking over Benjie and Richard. She seems very human, save for the fact her ears come to a sharp point. She also seems to be very thin, at least thinner than most at the table. But that’s a common trait amongst her people.

“And this… is Osgararika, of the Veda people.” The smallish woman turns in her chair to finally look towards the Strangers, and she scowls angrily at them. She is very short in stature, clearly shorter than the others. But she also looks to be all muscle. She wears heavy armor along her form, and while she says nothing verbally… her gaze and posture speak of a harsh dislike of Benjie and Richard.

“Of the Maleese, this is Tirri.” The man nods to Benjie and Richard, smiling widely. He actually appears to be human, to the untrained eye of course. He is wearing a light armor, mostly leather and brass plates. “Welcome, Strangers.” he says in a pleasent tone before Chize moves on.

“From the southern lands, this is Valbum of the Xanth race.” As his name is said, the wholly mechanical being acknowledges it with a nod of his head. He reaches up, tipping the metallic tophat he is wearing. On Earth, he would be called some kind of robot. Each movement of his body is accompanied by the soft whirring of gears or a faint whisper of steam. His voice seems to eminate from his direction. “Honored greetings, soft ones.” The voice seems to have a metallic echo to it.

“And this is Varg, representing the Palerme of the plains.” Varg is what can only be described as a large vicious wolf on 2 legs. He is nearly 7 feet tall, his form covered in thick grey hair. One of his clawed fingers tap at the table in front of him, his nostrils flaring as he breathes in the scents of the Strangers. His ears flicker as he speaks in a low growling tone. “They stink of dead manticore.” He then glances towards the other members of the Coucil. “I like it.” Some of them join him in a brief amused chuckle. And Chize doesn’t even respond, she just moves onto the last member of the Council.

“And finally… Aenon of the Mon Zennor.” The final member seems to have.. a blue-ish sheen to him. As if his skin were coated in some kind of film. He stares towards Benjie and Richard, saying nothing as he does so. They would notice the fins along his arms and head, as well as the webbing between his fingers. But perhaps moreso, they would notice the gill like slits moving back and forth along his neck in a breathing pattern.


Ms.Ezra Ms.Ezra , Nomad-22 Nomad-22 , Gands Gands , Dunruffle Dunruffle
 

Ms.Ezra

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#2
"If my duties did permit, I would, however Overseer Germaine has told us to wait for him." Genessa then adds "And please, when in uniform, I am Senior Orlock." She performs her salute to the Council, which Osgararika returns and even breaks her scowl to smile at her.

"We will be able to handle these two, should they misbehave, most honorable Senior Orlock of the Red Shield." The Veda says to Genessa with an air of reverence, then eyes the two suspiciously "Unless they have some terrible power we should be wary of..."

"To my knowledge, they should be no trouble. Richard in particular." Genessa answers the Veda, and turning to Benjie and Richard tells them in a quiet voice "Patience with her. Her people have a very...harsh history with Strangers I'm certain they will inform you of." She turns on her heel and leaves out the same door, heading back to the courtyard with the rest of those left behind.

No sooner is Genessa gone, than there is a small commotion from the other side of the door and it opens again. This time it is a tall woman in red flanked by two White Guards who enters. Benji would recognize her from the portrait that was hanging in the Red Shield Guild Hall when he arrived: Queen Gweyr. Gone are the black gown and veil of mourning which had concealed her face earlier; now she wears a red dress and shawl. Not quite 'royal' attire but you wouldn't know from the manner in which she carries herself, or how everyone rises from their chairs at her entrance and resume when she takes the ornate chair just as it is placed to the right of the podim To look at her, you would see that she is of the Zylrel race from the pointed ears, though they are more subdued than those of Seirye, as well as bend back, and her skin appears to glimmer subtely in the light.

"Queen Gweyr, representing The Throne of Gatecia, and as its primary patron, the Red Shield Guild." Gweyr announces herself. The guards flank her on either side with polearms up. She looks around at the assembled, neutral in her expression and posh in her manner of speech. "Appears all who need be present are, and we may begin this inquest."
 
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Nomad-22

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#3
To be completely honest Benjie did not know to expect. Given what has happened so far the resistance fighter can guess it will be interesting at least. Before their escort to the council Ben had taken the liberty of removing both of his firearms and leaving them with Anne and Harry. As much as he hated to do so, Ben didn’t want to add further trouble to an already complicated situation.

Still got my bolo knife for self-defense. The Filipino told himself in quietly with the blade sheathed on the left hip. He walked down the streets with Richard the Englishman, Arah the young feline official and their Red Shield keepers. Soon they entered the building protected by a strong garrison of warriors of various sizes. Briefly the islander whispered to his gentleman counterpart.

“They take security seriously if not nothing else. Let us hope it is enough.”

Once they were brought inside to the main hall, Benjie quickly took note of the table and the occupants who were in the middle of a discussion. To say the Council’s members were diverse would be putting it mildly. Never in his wildest imagination the wayard Filipino thought to be standing in the presence of such beings from legends and fantasy. The tin man with the top hat was especially fascinating to Ben who tried to keep himself from gawking too much. In the back of his mind, the sergeant couldn’t help but think with amusement.

All we need now is a talking scarecrow and some flying monkeys. That film was quite entertaining.

Of course his nostalgia quickly disappeared as the white cat woman who spoke with Arah began the council’s introduction and presented them two seats. With a sharp military salute Ben did as requested while the assembly of diplomats reminded him of a smaller version of the Earth’s own League of Nations. Remaining calm and professional as the eight representatives examined the small party before them Ben’s concerns increased. Already he can tell their presence wasn’t universally welcomed.

It should be expected by now. Even so he couldn’t shake the feeling the dwarf woman in armor called Osgararika wanted to kill them on the spot with the open contempt she displayed. Perhaps she is waiting for an excuse to do so, Ben considered. The conversation between Genessa and Osgararika gave further evidence of the mistrust. As if reading his mind Genessa silently told him and Richard to have patience and let them know the Veda had bad blood with Strangers before she departed.

Why do I get the feeling this is a trial? Before sitting in his new seat, another arrival came in. Instantly he recognized who it is as does the Peacekeeping council, the queen of Gatecia herself! Made sense the more Benjie thought of it as he stood up with the others when the queen, entered before sitting back down. When the monarch was done speaking, the soldier turned guerrilla cleared his throat then finally replied.

“Thank you for your gracious welcome honored council members and your royal highness. I am Benjie Delfino, formerly of the Philippine Commonwealth. Rest assured we will do our best to answer your questions.”
 
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Gands

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#4
Richard Francis Burton

Burton too was thinking about the upcoming meeting. A peace council ? More likely a collection of beings who all hated strangers. He watched the young soldier hand his guns to the some of the others, notably not the Japanese woman. As they walked down the winding streets, the young soldier seemed to comfort himself with the presence of a knife after giving his weapons up. Burton himself had no intention of giving up any weapons without a guarantee he'd get them back. That being said, he at least had diplomatic experience. The soldier was the right choice though. They arrived at the building, Genessa and a couple of her Red Shield and the annoyed & excited catling in tow.

{They take security seriously if not nothing else. Let’s us hope it is enough.”}

"Indeed sir, I am a bit concerned though, that if anything does happen, we will be the targets of all these fine soldiers. Particularly the Dwarves... "

As it turns out, Burton had to suppress the shock at the many different types of creatures were present at the meeting. He did use his long walk down here to remember as much as he could of his diplomatic time.

{ Quietly to Benjie } " Listen, I rather have a good opinion of you so far. Here are a couple of diplomatic pointers. Your best bet is to treat any questions you have to answer like you were doing a military report. Also, if you can help it, don't curse or take anything personal."

They found themselves at a small bare table with a couple of simple wooden chairs. The leader of this council was another Barbin, female with rather striking eyes. She was diplomatic bordering on friendly. She went on introducing the council.
Burton watched each in turn, trying to get a read on them. First, Gurak of the Orcneas, 8 foot tall and warrior built. He seemed to look back at Burton particularly, but not necessarily with malice. Second, Seirye of the Zelrel, a thin wiry woman with pointed ears who at least looked at both he and Benjie. Next... A Veda woman...Pure malice all the way through, enough said there. Then a man, Tirri, they call the humans of this place, Maleese. If not human, then the closest thing. The next … creature... was … Valbum of the Xanth race... some sort of created metal creature ? Next to last, a canine with human stance. Another hunter, appreciative of dead Manticore smell. Lastly, some sort of amphibian humanoid.

Genessa spoke some then, in the end defending them a bit to the Veda woman. Burton summoned some willpower to keep a straight and neutral face. The Queen made her appearance then, representing the Kingdom here and the Red Shield.

Thank you for your gracious welcome honored council members and your royal highness. I am Benjie Delfino, formerly of the Philippine Commonwealth. Rest assured we will do our best to answer your questions.”

Benjie spoke up, professional and concise. It was time for Burton to speak just then.

"Indeed, your Majesty and esteemed members of the Peace Council. I am Sir Richard Francis Burton, most recently of Queen Victoria's British Empire. I hope we can be of some assistance."
 

Camleen

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#5
There are many races in this world, this world called Nomae-Ralo. Most represented here amongst this council. The races native to this world all have different belief systems, all differing cultures. But something most every race agrees on… the authority and honor of the Royal Court. So as the Queen makes her presence known, each of the representatives are on their feet. As one they bow to the Queen and her court, Seirye going the extra mile of moving to one knee in respect. As the Queen calls for the beginning of the ‘inquest, all of the representatives return to their seats and podium. It is Chize that starts things off.

“Firstly, we are honored and grateful for Queen Gweyr’s attendance and continued support of this council. Thank you.” She says kindly, half bowing to the Queen once more. Chize’s eyes then move towards Benjie and Richard. “And we are appreciative of your presence here. We shall move this along as quickly as we can for you.” And then almost immediately, the Veda taps the table in front of herself very loudly. Chize lets out a gentle sigh as her ears perk up, and she looks towards the woman. She motions to the Veda as she speaks in a calmed, gentle tone. “The floor recognizes Osgararika of the Veda first.” Now the Veda pushes herself to her feet, pushing the chair out a little as she does. She is just over 4 and a half feet tall, but it’s obvious she is as much a warrior as the green skinned Orcneas. Muscles showing through her armor, scars along her face and arms. Her eyes are cast towards Benjie and Richard as she speaks. “I once again object to their presence within these council chambers!” She looks towards the Queen a moment, and then to Chize. “We have no real idea who they are, who they truly serve or what their intentions are! We know only very little from what the Red Shield has been allowed to observe. For all we know they were responsible for the assassination attempt on her Highness!” she says as she motions to Queen Gweyr as she continues “For all we know they could be extremist Parohness members! Or working for the elusive rogue Hit-ler!” there is an underlying anger in her tone, almost as if she is insulted by them just being here…
 

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#6
Queen Gweyr listens to the Strangers introduce themselves, then Osgararika speak; her face betraying nothing like she were wearing a porcelain mask. Once that woman has said her piece she raises her hand.

Chize acknowledges this gesture "The floor now recognizes Queen Gweyr." The Queen remains seated as she speaks then.

"Osgararika. I would like to first state we all understand your suspicions, nay your hostility, of these men and the rest who have come. Your people lost much to the ravages of Vlad and his cohorts." Gweyr gives her a bow of the head. "All the same, I must offer some corrections to your accusations based on the brief reports I was given. Mr. Burton has been under the supervision of, and cooperating, with Senior Orlock since his discovery in Doren." She gestures at Benji with palm up "And Mr. Delfino was there with myself and The King when the attack occurred. He was allowed his weapon, and could have made an attempt when the first assassin fled." At this point a ghost of a smile comes over her lips. "He would have failed as well, but it was the opportune time with all attention on catching Mr. Dean." She lowers her hand to rest on the table.

"Now, if we could please refrain from accusations, and proceed with questions to dispel the air of the unknown for all of us. There are perilous times ahead. We need not make them more so now harboring ill will." She says not seemingly to the Veda woman in particular. Gweyr redirects her attention to the Strangers "And that goes for you two as well. Between all of us on the Council, much of the world's knowledge is before you. If you do not feel comfortable asking the others something, I am what I've heard a man from your world call 'more than a pretty face' " She tells the two men with a more noticeable smile this time.
 

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#7
Just when it seemed they were going to start with the questioning the dwarf official interrupted into a spiteful rant of accusations. Benjie found Osgararika’s logic in not wanting Strangers here because they didn’t know them or their intentions quite ironic.Then what is the whole point of summoning us? The resistance fighter thought in a mixture of confusion and frustration. For the most part he maintained a mostly calm though slightly baffled expression.

Until the Veda representative went as far as remark that Richard and him could be agents of Hitler.

In that very moment the council and their staff would note the Filipino’s eyes widened in utter shock. Subsequently, they narrowed in bitter resentment right back at Osgararika. Don’t take it personal, don’t take it personal. Benjie repeated to himself in the back of his head, trying to calm down with both hands underneath the table squeezing tightened as if he was in pain. It was perfect timing that Queen Gewyr intervened.

Only then did his silent rage ceased, looking on with wonder as the monarch shifted the discussion back on course for all involved. It seems her husband isn’t the only capable leader in the royal family. Upon requested that they don’t harbor ill Ben with a soft sigh nodded in acknowledgment. He’ll try at least as long as Osgararika didn’t attempt to kill them. Of course it became more evident a Stranger called Vlad had wronged the Veda people in the past.

From the sheer hostility displayed and references made so far Benjie had a solid guess the crimes must’ve been monstrous. The sergeant had to resist the urge to chuckle at the Queen’s last comment about being more than a pretty face.

“Of course your Grace. For the record I am no agent of Hitler nor even desire to be. Him and his followers are my enemies, and nothing can change that.” He said with full sincerity, before asking.

“If it pleases the council for my first question, I could ask who are the Parohness?”
 
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Gands

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#8
Sir Richard Francis Burton

Burton too observed the standard movement when a Royal entered the room, giving the Queen a Victorian English bow, then sitting down when everyone else does. First things first though, the speaking of the Dwarf woman. Predictably, she harped on her one note of objection, seeming to barely hold back physical violence. Burton himself just barely managed a smooth face. Those with exceptional sense of smell might be able to tell that he is holding back a feeling of anger behind his smooth diplomat's face.

Like Benjie, the Queen's words were right on the mark as far as Burton was concerned. He took a moment to breath deeply and let loose his anger. He too locked eyes with her Majesty and gave the briefest of nods to her request and gave the hint of a smile at the "more than a pretty face remark " He let Benjie lead again. This time the soldier spoke with a bit more passion regarding being the enemy of Hitler.

Then Benjie's question about the Parohness. He waited to speak of course until the full answer was given.

Then he stood to speak.

" Your Majesty, valued council members, in my short time here I have barely had time to consider what questions I would ask. I had sat down with Senior Orlock a couple of times to do questions, and both times we were interrupted by emergencies. I suppose I will start with this. Is there some working theory on why Strangers are brought here ? '

Camleen Camleen Ms.Ezra Ms.Ezra Nomad-22 Nomad-22
 

Camleen

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#9
Queen Gweyr is given the floor, and the full undivided attention of every being in that chamber. It’s obvious her words and opinion carry muc weight here. As she pointed out in an amusing way, she isn’t just a pretty face here. She isn’t here just as some show from the royals, as if to pretend they are concerned about these issues. They are as hip deep in them as the representatives.

And while some don’t understand exactly the phrase ‘more than a pretty face’, they get the jist of it.

The Queen addresses Osgararirika directly, and immediately the woman’s cheeks get a darker red color. She isn’t being admonished by the Queen, persay. But… “I am deeply humbled and honored with your words, Queen Gweyr. Deeply honored.” She, and most of her ilk, aren’t used to such reverence from someone as important as the Queen.

It is then time for the Strangers to ask their questions, for them to address the Council. The Council members glance at one another with the questions, but it is Chize who speaks. As head of the Council, it’s her role to moderate and mediate, as well as speak for the Council.

“I think, men of Earth, I can speak to that. One question I can answer with certainty, the other I can only give theories…” The Council direct their attention to Chize as she now steps away from the podium in a smooth, almost dancelike motion. Elegance with every movement. Her ears flick a few times as she steps away from the podium, her hands folding behind her back. “BenjieDelfino” Her bright eyes rest on Benjie’s as she continues “The phenomenon we call ‘Strangers’ began not long after our world came to be. When the first united colonies were beginning to emerge. Over the centuries, groups of our own world began to see Strangers as vessels of Gods. The prime Gods, in fact, Altalus and Troa. The Parohness have made a religion to that effect, some of their members are even considered extremists. They think they act on behalf of the Gods, and the Gods to have Strangers rule over all. But that.. is the extremists amongst them. There are more than a few religions created around Strangers..” her voice gets softer as now she looks towards Richard. “SirRichardFrancisBurton” she pauses a moment, a little smile now moving along her lips (showing a hint of fangs) “We don’t know how… or why… those from your world come here. It seems random, both in number and being. We have yet to find a pattern. Some, like the Parohness, believe our world’s Gods are responsible. Others believe Strangers are sent to this world as a kind of punishment on them. While still others believe it is a conscious act of some unseen force in your own world. We simply.. do not have answers. Perhaps there are races amongst our world with such answers… but we just do not know.”
 

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#10
"I would like to include further clarification." Queen Gweyr says just as Chize finishes. "I personally studied the Strangers phenomenon before my marriage into the royal family, and I met with these Parohness sects in that time. The more extreme sects not at all, but those I did were rather pleasant people. Why there is even one at the border between the Northern Mountains and the Barbin Forests that serves, for lack of a better word, an enclave of people descended from Strangers." She gestures at the Xanth representative "And I do believe you, Valbum, could speak to the unique relationship between your people and a Stranger."

Valbum emits a series of whirs, and a small grind before speaking "Unique is putting it very very lightly I'm afraid, and if the Council could, pardon me my manner of expansion on that topic." Valbum rises and puts his arms out, sets his legs tight together to form a rough T with his body.

"We the Xanth owe our existence, with every turn of all our parts, to Tesla the Maker! He came forth to this world, and sought not dominon but creation ! He toiled with the metal taken from the ground to form the Prime Xanth, then forsook the joys of the flesh and his own life to surrender his energies to us, his children." Valbum sits back down, whirring again. "I will not bother others with the particulars of our creation."

Gweyr returns her attention to the Strangers. "As you have seen, that is one of the most beneficial contributions of a Stranger to this world, and so we hope you may understand why we are apprehensive of what this Hitler could do, making this inquiry necessary."
 
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Nomad-22

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#11
All would see Benjie turning a bit pale as the Parohness and their ideals were explained to him. Religions revolving around us. You got to be kidding me! Delfino shook his head, hating the very idea. The resistance fighter didn’t wanted be worshipped as a god nor be revered like some kind of a saint, knowing how human and very flawed he really was.

Fortunately the discussion about the many theories of how Strangers come here shifted the focus away from that uncomfortable topic. Of course Chize’s explanation about the phenomenon left more questions than answers for him. Honestly, he didn’t know what to believe. Subsequently, Queen Gwyer proceeded to add her own piece to the spokewoman’s explanation. Hearing the monarch describe the Parohness cult as being pleasant Benjie had to resist the urge to interrupt, thinking to himself.

Anyone who worships like that is dangerous.

His attention came back to the council just as Valbum the tin man told the genesis of the Xanth people. The name Telsa did not ring a bell, but Ben did find the story extremely fascinating. A stranger who created an entire race but without trying to conquer or destroy others. In a strange way it sorta reminded him about a certain film with a puppet who comes to life with a hat wearing cricket for a mentor. Then the Austrian-born tyrant was brought up again.

“You have every right to be concerned about him. Hitler is not just any rogue but a monster who took over one nation and with an alliance of like minded tyrants tried to conquer the world we came from and nearly succeeded at one point. Fortunately they were being defeated by the time I came here. But not before causing millions of people to suffer and die... If that wasn’t bad enough the bastard now wields supernatural powers that he didn’t had back on Earth. I saw it with my own eyes last night.”

Everyone in the room would see in Ben’s haunted eyes that the stranger was completely serious.

“Honored council members I tell you now Hitler must be eliminated. Or else your world will suffer the same fate as ours did or worse.”
 
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Gands

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#12
Richard Francis Burton

Burton listened to Chize's complicated explanation. Basically it seemed to him much like some sort of test..He had no real facts to back up his theory. But his intuition held the theory up to the light.

When the Queen spoke up, he found himself fascinated by the idea that a Stranger had used his abilities to create life, much like Mary Shelly's story. Only these were mechanical where Shelly's creature was reanimated flesh..

Then the soldier spoke. Rather passionately, about his opposition to Hitler and the great danger he posed.. A strong point really. But not something Burton would not consentrate on.

Then it came his turn to talk.

"Your Majesty and honored council members. If I may... Let us then discuss our enemy and what he has done so far. Within a couple of hours of my arrival, there appeared five individual strangers in the woods outside of Doren. Myself, a young woman who seemed newly arrived like myself, a French woman.. Joan of Arc, James Dean, and lastly my new friend the Hunter Grimm."

"Four of the five brand new to this world and Dean knew to be there to grab up Joan and run off with her. That bothers me. Exactly one day later, another stranger arrives outside Doren.. Leonidas of Sparta. Thats just at one city. . Again that second day.. Some of Hitlers people, a small raiding party were spotted. Same day Hitler attacks the Red Shield here. Lastly as you all know, the attempt here today. I think Hitler had people ahead of time in both cities getting information. Probably someone or something else to explain Dean.. What, Honorable council members and your Majesty can you tell me sbout him and his people?"
 
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Camleen

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#13
“There…” Osgrarika starts as her gaze lingers on the Queen. “Can be no denying that Strangers have benefit.” Chize now speaks, motioning to the stocky woman. “The floor recognizes the Veda representative.” Now the Veda woman stands as she continues. “The miracles brought to our world from yours” she motions to Benjie and Richard “are proven on record. But from my people’s perspective, those benefits are far shadowed by the horrors brought upon us. It took only 3” She holds up her little finger, ring finger and middle finger to illustrate “Strangers to decimate my people’s culture and enslave most of us. Something that still haunts what is left of us. It was Strangers that made my people an endangered species.” It’s obvious to any observing that Osgrarika is starting to get a little emotional. Further evidence as to how close to her heart this subject is, and perhaps one of the reasons she was chosen for this Council.

“This council agrees with your consensus, Mr. Delfino. For many suns we have suspected something is being built, right under our tails.” Chize now speaks, her hands resting on either side of the podium she stands at. Her head is turned a little, her eyes watching the men of Earth. “Hitler, we believe, has been building himself an army. To this point, loosely affiliated bands of like minded beings. From nearly all the races present within these halls. They would attack random villages in the wilds.. villages of the Barbin and Palerme mostly. But when Dean made himself known, working for Hitler, and then attacking today… well this does not bode well. Once he was one of our greatest champions… and now… “ she shakes her head, her ears leaning down a little. “we had thought him perished, but it would seem we were wrong.”

“Lady chairwoman.” The blue hued being that had been silent to this point raises a single webbed finger, and Chize motions to him. “The chair recognizes Aenon of the Mon Zennor peoples.” The seeming aquatic natured man now rises, his hands folded behind him. As he speaks, his voice seems to be slightly muffled. His form impossibly clad in a sheen of glistening water. “What you speak of, Mr. Burton, could be reflected as conspiracy. We don’t know if there is reason why all of this is happening so abruptly. But that doesn’t matter. What we do know… tying all of this together… there are sects of the Parohness that are… extreme. And gullible to the words of Strangers. We suspect Hitler has eyes everywhere, in the form of members of the Parohness. No doubt he has spies here, and little doubt they were the ones that detonated the bombs in the square, killing themselves. Such suicide missions are common amongst them, they see such a death as glorious. As glory to Strangers.” Now he motions to Benjie “There is a power Hitler possesses, a form of magic. None here are authority enough on magic to speak to it, really. The ones we would consulted have cast themselves away from civilization. But many higher order magic users are known to have a precognition sense. Able to see what might come to be. Able to see far passed the range of their eyes. I believe Hitler possesses this ability.” He now glances to the others at the table. “And that is a prospect we should find terrifying.”

“We need answers from the Dean.” Now the very large orc like being speaks with a growling tone, his thick arms crossed over his chest. Chize nods as she motions to him. “I, myself, had found glory fighting alongside the Dean. We killed the Vlad, destroyed much of his technology. The Dean was thought to be dead, honored the Dean we did. It is I that says the Hitler can’t convince the Dean to do the evil we have seen.”

“So you suspect he is under some kind of control, my large grass colored friend?” The smaller Maleese man sitting next to him says. The Orcneas nods as he growls out once more. “Saddened we would be if the Dean was working for the Hitler willingly. And unbelieving I would be. Fought too much beside the Dean in honor to believe as such.”
 
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Nomad-22

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#14
Well Benjie didn’t know what to say to all of that. He still didn’t like the dwarf personally but in honesty the resistance fighter couldn’t blame her people what they will feel after enduring cruel oppression and genocide. It was a too familiar theme for him, one with raw scars that haven’t fully healed. Could this place actually be punishment for my failures?

The man sighed, frustrated with the very idea of Hitler having all these kinds of powers. Where the justice is that? Regardless he was determined to fight. Better focus on that than wallowing in despair, Ben told himself. When the discussion turned toward the attacker named Dean, the sergeant was very puzzled. The honorable description given by the Orc did not fit the man he encountered a short time ago.

Very troubling indeed. Ben would rather die again than becoming some possesed pawn or whatever Dean is. Suddenly a new thought occurred to him and decided to switch the topic a little bit. “Are any there other strangers or descendants of them out there who have similar features to me?” He asked pointing at his dark tan skin.

“My people live usually live in islands or near the coast. We call ourselves Filipinos...in my time at least.”
 
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Gands

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#15
Sir Richard Francis Burton

Burton of course waited politely and listened to the council member speak. He considered now who his opponent was. A man of considerable charisma, cunning and now in this world, quite resourceful. The man had quite a head start too, establishing organization, albeit taking advantage of something that had been there for quite a while.

He thought about it for a moment. Despite everything, Hitler wasn't perfect. There were things he could have done but didn't. That being said, it still wasn't going to be easy.

His companion, the soldier seemed again very strained just thinking about Hitler and the ugly possibilities. Then a question about others like himself. Interesting. He thought about what he wanted to say. He had mostly spent his life after soldiering serving himself.

"Honored council members, your Majesty, in light of certain events, I would like to tell you a bit more about myself. I spent a lifetime, trying to learn about different cultures, people, languages. I have been over the years a soldier, an explorer, a diplomat, a scholar and a linguist. Today I find myself in sympathy for a people who wanted nothing more than to murder me in my first hours on this world. I find myself thinking now about a man from my own world who is filled with evil thoughts. I find myself lastly thinking that this is a second chance at life to do the right thing, even if those you wish to help would see you buried in a plot next to the evil you now want to stop. "

He takes a deep breath now.

" My last question, is how can I help "
 

Camleen

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#16
With Benjie’s question of those of his ilk, the Council looks towards one another. It’s the wolfman like Palerme that lets out a short snarl. And Chize knows that’s his way of getting her attention. And so she motions to him. “The floor recognizes Varg of the Palerme.” He doesn’t stand, he just remains seated. His clawed fingers drag lightly against the tabletop. His tone is low, gutteral and with an edge of a snarl in some words. “Burnt skin, half open eyes, no tails or fur… yes, I know of some.” He motions to Benjie, almost seeming angry in his words. But… that’s just the way he is. A compliment from him makes you think he’s going to bite off your head (literally) while he tells you how great you are. “In Linia… an island on a vast inland lake. Grow foods and offers for the Moon, and we trade with them. Offer some of our plains harvest.” He shakes his head quickly as he now leans back in his chair a little. “Otherwise, we avoid one another. They are savages, and have no respect for our Gods.” That.. might be just his perception.

It’s really possible the Strangers find things in this world are up to interpretation, including how the races view one another.

Chize speaks as Varg falls silent “Representative Varg’s opinion of these people is his alone, and perhaps not appropriate to bring up in these meetings. As I have stated many times.” A low snarl of warning comes from the wolf like man, and Chize narrows her eyes at him, bearing her own fangs, some of the fur along her neck rising a little. But then slowly she turns her attention to Benjie. “I hope that answers your question, Mr. Delfino. I could, if its your wish, send word to them? If you would like some contact, or something of the sort. It’s the least we can do for you after all you have done for us.”

The Council now turns their attention towards Burton as he speaks. One can tell, just by their expressions and attentiveness to his words that they are curious about him and his world. And as he asks his question, the Maleese man speaks in a joking tone. “Perhaps start by not harming any of us.” He chuckles again, seeming to have amused himself very much. But the dirty looks given to him by every member of the Council, and his young (perhaps 11 or so) page standing right behind him, tells him they don’t think he’s as funny as he thinks he is. So he clears his throat and looks down, suddenly very curious about a little scratch in the table right in front of him.

Chize’s voice breaks the awkward silence before it ever gets momentum, and she motions to the Zylrel sitting at the Council table. “Sierye? You’ve yet to offer any thoughts.” The young elf like woman looks towards Chize, her head dipped down slightly. She then looks towards her folded hands on the table. “I am the youngest of the Council, and the newest member. I am wholly appreciative of the respect given me during my time here. My Pilgrimage has just been completed.” She says in a faintly proud tone, a small grin on her lips as she discretely glances towards the others. A soft chuckle from the Maleese, and the Council knocks lightly on the table in front of them. Their version of clapping. “Thank you.” Sierye says softly. Her clear eyes lift towards Benjie and Burton. “I am not as versed as the others on this Council, but I know what is right and wrong for our people. And this is my only concern.” She motions to the two Strangers present. “You ask how you can help… my answer to you would be not so dissimilar from” She glances towards the Maleese Council member “Sir Tirri, though his joke is in poor taste…” and he just grins to her in response. Seirye continues to speak, looking back towards the Strangers. “You are a part of this world now. We know not why, we know not how. But you are children of our world now. You wish to help… Recall the face of the poorest and weakest man you have seen, and ask yourself if this step you contemplate is going to be any use to him.”

When she says this, the rest of the Council seem taken aback slightly. Perhaps they didn’t expect her to say such a thing. “Well.” the Maleese man speaks softly, a tone of admiration “She doesn’t say a lot, but when she does it’s always good.” The others nod, and now the mechanical being raises his hand. Chize motions to him. “The floor recognizes Valbuhm.” The mechanical man now pushes himself to his feet, his hands resting on the cane he holds. “Lady Seirye, a meatbag wiser than” click click “her years would have you think, is right.” click tack click. Soft sounds emanate from his body as he speaks, barely discernible but there. “You may think not, but you are in this world for a purpose.” tack tick tack “Who knows what it is. The Great Creator may have a plan for you. I hope he does in his infinite wisdom. If you’ve want” click whiiiiiiirrr “to be of use, then help those of this world wherever you can. Helping any you see in need.” whiiiiir tack tick tock “Be as simple as helping a fallen man, or defending the Kingdoms and Thrones from this tyranny.” a soft serious of tack sounds come from him as he sits once more, and he adjust the monocle he wears over one brass eye. “If Hitler is the same as he was in your world, from what we understand, he could be the most dire of threats we have seen. Eclipsing even Vlad.” Chize says softly in a tone of contemplation. The large green and muscular Ornaese immediately speaks in a prideful tone. “Ended the life of the Vlad I did, with the Dean! Ending the life of the Hitler we will see! And this is soon!” The rest of the Council nods a little, falling silent.
 

Nomad-22

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#17
It was to Ben’s surprise that the wolfman provided an answer. The sergeant’s epxression brightened from the council. He had been enjoying the company of fellow strangers like Anne and Harry. All the same it was a relief to know there is a strong possibility that some of his own people were living here. Of course his joy turned to offense when Varg referred to the mentioned islanders as savages.

Briefly his eyes narrowed with silent fury.

Little did the Palerme would realized the term savage carried a deeper meaning for Ben. By that same expression outsiders used to justify their invasions of his homeland for generations from Spaniards, Americans and to the Japanese. To ‘civilize’ us poor little savages to becoming their trained pets.

The thought made Ben want to spit in utter disgust. Subsequently he calmed down once more while Chize intervened into the discussion. It was a good thing she had or else there could’ve been a unpleasant confrontation.

Smiling with gratitude to the feline, Deflino replied. “That would be most appreciated Council Member Chize. Of course I intend to stay and fight against our common enemy until it is over.”

Inwardly Benjie wondered if some of the lake islanders did happen to be from the Philippines would he known any of them personally. The thought was layered a mixture of fear and hope. His people were diverse set of ethnic groups and they didn’t always get along with one another. In addition those from Earth likely came from any time era from the past to the future, and the descendants who born here could be very different.

Regardless, he didn’t want them, or anyone else in these lands suffer anymore from the zealots and mad men who are already waging aggression. He listened to the other members, from the would-be jokester, elven woman, Tin man, to green skinned warrior himself. In regards to Sierye’s words, the islander considered her recommendations as fair.

If some of their own came into our world like we have with theirs I know I would want such newcomers to be reasonable.

He wasn’t completely sure about being here as part of some kind of divine purpose. In fact it was an uncomfortable idea for him. Not wanting to focus on it Benjie decided to a raise a concern that developed earlier. The resistance fighter turned toward the queen gain

“Your grace sometime short time afte the attack on the square me and our group of strangers came across a gathering of your subjects. Some of them were accusing your husband, the King and his brother as being too weak to fight a war. The...Japanese warrior with us confronted the crowd and was about to duel the chief speaker when we stopped them and calmed things down.”

Ben confessed, believing the royal as a leader deserved to know how her people felt. Subsequently he added.

“They’re grieving and frustrated with what happened in the square. They further claim his majesty is too afraid of giving them more say in how the kingdom is run. Furthermore the people seemed very resentful any strangers who is employed by the kingdom like in the White Guard. If it pleases, your grace can you shed some light on what they’re talking about?”

The survivor of Bataan already had a pretty good guess of what was going on between the monarchy and the common people. Still it would be wise to try see the other side’s view on the matter.
 
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Gands

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#18
Sir Richard Francis Burton

Burton as has been the cycle here, listened to the council as they gave simple advice. Burton noted that Chize doesn't completely get along with the Palarme. That being said, he could not deny it, he was like it or not, part of this world. Perhaps in time, he might feel that way.

" My world, in some ways is not so different from your own. Different people from different areas, different cultures, different patterns of worship. Rarely can they be brought together. So, I salute you Council members to be able to do so with so little real rancor. I will do what I can to aide my new adaptive world, before it succeeds in killing me. "

"My first words with a senior of the Red Guild.. that their primary objective was to protect their people, their world, from Strangers. A chilling thing to hear on my first day on this your beloved world. I would tell you that I now very much respect Senior Orlock. Her charm and intellect have kept me around despite having emergencies every time I wanted to sit down and trade information with her. With your permission Majesty as primary supporter of the Red Guild, perhaps I could exchange information with your people soon ?"

For you dedicated Council members, I will take this place to be my home now. I think you will find me a decent fellow before the end. ( He looks directly at the Dwarvish woman now ) I respect your feelings and feel sympathy for your losses. I will work to bring the opinion of your people up with regards to myself, and endeavor to forgive those who trespassed against me with such passion. "

With that he seems to give her a little bow, but never takes his eyes off her until he is up standing straight again.

To his new acquaintance Benjie...( in a quieter voice )

"When this is over, should we survive the coming madness, I will go with you to this island. ( He smiles, thinking the Palerme might be able to hear him. ) We savages have to stick together after all "

Camleen Camleen Ms.Ezra Ms.Ezra Nomad-22 Nomad-22
 

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#19
Feeling she had said enough thus far, Queen Gweyr is more inclined to listen through the few rounds of questions. Those eyes almost seem to never blink as they dart around the speakers through all the talk of the genocide committed upon the Veda, and the potential threat of Hitler armed with magic. To her and the rest, this man had done much the same in their home world as Vlad had before done in the current world. That called into question whom it was Hitler would attempt to wipe from the world. Gweyr reacts to Varg’s less-than-flattering opinion of the people who look somewhat like Benjie with a blink and sigh. She also gives the Maleese representative her closest approximation of a ‘dirty look’ at his attempt at humor.

Hearing Sierye had just completed her Pilgrimage, Gweyr does offer a slight smile and rap on the table in celebration of this accomplishment. She would have said more, but that would have to wait until after the council dismissed. Again she remains silent while the others continue to speak, until Benji asks a question to her directly. The woman opens then closes her eyes slowly with a breath in, then out before responding.

“It is a fact that in our world, just as Strangers have been threats and allies, others have also chosen to side with a native faction, be it a certain individual or a whole nation. However it is due to the Enders, those Strangers who choose to bring death and misery to our world, that one in service to a nation has come to be seen as them reaching for legitimate power they could then wield as an Ender. It makes many nervous.” Gweyr pauses a beat. “And since some Strangers possess abilities, it has led to many thinking of them not as people but as weapons. And so a leader of any kind employing a Stranger is seen as them holding a potentially dangerous weapon.” Gweyr pauses again and takes a breath “The rest of your concerns will have to wait, as they refer to an internal matter outside this Council’s scope.”

That said, Gweyr listens to Burton and shakes her head slowly at first. “Senior Orlock….misspoke on our mission. The Red Shield was conceived after Vlad and his cohorts were defeated, with the intent to protect both the Strangers from the native populace, and the populace from them, by encouraging understanding, and assimilation.” She smiles at him. “And given the polite manner of you both, I see no issue thus far. Once this Hitler is dealt with, Red Shield will assist you in any way you need to make yourselves more comfortable here.”
 

Camleen

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#20
The Queen speaks of Benjie and Richard’s positive demeanor towards them all, and the stout Veda woman just scowls to herself. She wonders if Vlad had acted in such a charming manner when first he came to this world. When something of a tragedy of the magnitude of what happened with the Veda, it’s hard to not be a bit skeptical of… everything.

Once the Queen falls silent, Chize is quick to speak up. “This Council will do all we can in order to abide the Queen’s words. Once this newest threat is dealt with, of course. And now that we have that all settled… we should perhaps decide on a more immediate plan of action.” She glances towards the Council and Queen as she speaks. “Dean is to be interrogated, but I see that as being an excersise in futility. I feel he is the same man he was, but his loyalties are vastly different. And as our ally, he was one of the more willful and purpose driven Strangers I have ever known. Up to this point, we have been acting in a more defensive manner. Since we’ve no real intelligence on Hitler’s location, only some of his camps.” She now motions to Benjie.

“Mr. Delfino… you have first hand knowledge of Hitler. And of his defeat in you lands. You clearly are a warrior, we all see it.” The Palerme snorts softly to that, discretely. A couple of the Council glance towards him, but let it go as Chize continues. “I should like to you consider being the chief advisor on a small group of warriors we would like to assemble. Trackers, scouts, warriors. Assembled to actively seek out Hitler and put an end to his tyranny ‘pon us. In the least, hinder his operations.” Now the large green skinned behemoth of a man speaks up “Big big secret, this operation. White Guild… Red Shield… they won’t be part. The Benjie would aid us? And as part of thanks, our scouts takes the Benjie to his people of the island. Yes? Yes.”

”And Mr. Burton..” Now Chize speaks as Gurak falls silent. “A soldier, explorer, diplomat… all things that are valuable to us in these dire times. You would be invited to this task force also, sir. None of you are truly under the jurisdiction of this Council, so we can only as you consider this proposal. You” she motions to Benjie and Richard as she steps away from her podium. “Would have free rein to add whomever you wished to the task force. Any of your allies amongst your own group, any you think would be advantageous to this case.”