Planning and Vastad

JP with Omni and Lorem;

Gonyaul found Zargani’s replies to be less and less favorable each time the man opened his mouth. Where they were going sounded interesting, which captured his curiosity; however, in regards to survival it came across as the worst environment imaginable for those without proper experience and exposure.

In addition, he did not appreciate that Zargani would answer in such a way that left them more deterred to go than inspired to go. Gonyaul did not let on about such inner thoughts, but if he were answering such questions he would have generously poured out every ounce of knowledge and practical know-how in order to most prepare someone. Why did it feel like Zargani would prefer not to be bothered at all and gave the minimum amount of effort in the dialogue? Perhaps if they had another thing to trade, he would have been more forthcoming?

It made matters worse to hear the talk about the religion in the Holy City. Leave their gods behind? He was sure that would not sit well with Voah. Nor did it make much sense. It was not like they carried gods around in their pockets; they go where they pleased he assumed and never would think to ask Gonyaul or Voah their thoughts on the matter.

Gonyaul bowed respectfully at the grinning Zargani. “Thank you much for taking the time to answer our questions. We know more now than before.” He smiled, everything he said was true and could be grateful for.

Looking to Voah, he reached out his hand for her to take before anymore frustration, anxiety or discouragement could take root. “Come love, we should talk over what have learned.”

Voah thanked Zargani for his insights and agreed to Gonyaul’s suggestion with an affirmative sign.

Gonyaul took her hand and smiled. It was such an honor that she had given him the privilege to be able to take her hand in general. It was a silly thing to be thinking with the gravity of everything they just heard; however, he couldn’t help himself.

Gonyaul led her back to their tent and once inside and comfortable, and more importantly away from the eyes and ears of their hosts, he started.

“That was not what I was expect to hear. It makes me question our plan. How do you feel about Zargani said?”

This destination was sounding less and less agreeable the more they learned about it.

”No, it does not sound altogether reassuring. Heat is one thing, but a complete lack of water is not something that is easy to endure. We must find the secrets of navigating the desert. Also… I cannot understand… if they tolerate no other Gods, and they have a Holy City, then they must hold their own in great honor… but then… why would the city be largely abandoned?”

She couldn’t even imagine one of the shrine cities being partially empty. Hiding her open worship was going to be difficult for an extended period of time.

“It still feels like a waypoint to me and not our final destination… not a permanent home. But where else can we go? We cannot stay in Desmen, not for long… or rather ‘I’ cannot.”

Gonyaul agreed with affirming gestures to everything she was saying.

“When get to Desmen let’s be focused on learning. Must be least one person willing help teach in more detail. In addition, if secure passage to Holy City with horses, perhaps new group will show. Or we learn by watching.” They weren’t traveling there alone, they had another travel host most likely; according to their bargain with Zargani.

“Holy City does not sound like place live, but place to visit. Maybe just step closer to next step?”

“How feel about what he say about leave gods?” He knew this topic was very important to her.

“It sounds awful, and intolerable. I have left the genocidal Inquisition, but I cannot abandon the Pillars. In one way or another, they are a part of my every fiber. The Arbiter in me would want to find these sorcerer priests and end their worship. Unless they can be converted… but magik…”

“I have not been one place that not hate or ignore pillars. Perhaps no give up, but only practice in private. Like me in Helios and Ostiarium, only do Vauxian things in private until know safe.”

Gonyaul placed a hand on her shoulder, “Was Arbiter in you? Or was just inquisition job title?” He wasn’t quite sure how her thoughts on that matter worked.

He wasn’t going to like the answer to that.

“Arbiter, Inquisitor… it was always in me. It has always been my nature to investigate… inquire… and judge the situation accordingly… perhaps to an excess. Not to be a killer…”

It was a good answer in his opinion, honest and accurate. “We each design unique. So it is as you say.” He smiled and gave her shoulder a little reassuring squeeze. His other hand reaching up and rested on her heart.

“Justice” he presumed. A desire for fair play, finding truth, revealing the unknown, honesty, setting things right, trustworthiness, accountability, etc.

“Such things are special for you. I admire these things. But if may add, inquisition … arbiter … are just man made names. You do these things because it you, not them?”

He wondered if she felt almost compelled to investigate this Holy City, even though it was intolerable and dangerous.

Killing was not a part of her, but spite and vengeance were. It was what made the killing easier. And though she took pleasure in punishing the wicked, killing was only one means to an end.

“Justice, yes. Vastad is supposed to be the pinnacle of Justice… and War. But in this land, the tenets of Vastad… mean automatic death. How is that Justice?”

Gonyaul thought for a second and then shrugged, returning his hands to himself.

“I not have all the answers. I can help you look if want?”

“Maybe justice called by another name. You say fox, I say Enustik. But same thing?”

He tilted his head. “Is Vastad creator of justice. Or is justice existed and Vastad job is promote it?”

“Vastad IS war and justice. Vastad fuels the spirit with the fire to fight and pursue what is righteous and fair…”

Thinking that over brought her the answer she needed to move forward.

“…and in that spirit I must fight on, do what I do best, nnn? Investigate, evaluate, find what is right and true and just.” ‘Though it may be the end of me…’ she thought.

“Yes, let us do our best to learn what we need in Desmen… we will continue on and for the moment, we keep the Gods in our hearts and minds.”

Gonyaul nodded. “Plan in motion.” He was pleased they had an agreed upon strategy, at least until they needed to adapt it again.

His expression slowly grew more perplexed.

“I sorry, am confused.” He openly shared. She was probably explaining things very well and it was more him not grasping the concept.

“I notice many same behaviors as I been from culture to culture. For example, even Odsier have what they call justice. Not same justice as you maybe hold? So how know what justice is good and what is bad, if they say their justice good, but you say their justice bad?”

What was making this more difficult for him was trying to make sense of it with his Vauxian beliefs.

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