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A lesson on shrike theology.

(by Mystra Twinklestar)

	
*** Log date: 1998. oct. 5.
*** Before this encounter I knew very little about the warshrikes
*** what little I knew, had placed them to somewhere where nowadays
*** hutzels are, ie: bloodthirsty murderers :)
*** Well, they actually were like that before the gods became angry with
*** their ways.
*** This event happened a little after those events.
*** I was about to collect material for a book on Gods.
*** So I was asking friends what they know.

The wind blows even more.
The wind circles around you.
The whirlwind whispers to you 'From Angborn: Btw, Clangeddin is around. He is
	master of the shrikes. I think he can help you too.'.
The whirlwind dissolves.
The wind is gone.

*** Now Angborn arranges a meeting in a rowdy place called Vulgar Unicorn.

You sit down to rest a while.
You are inside the Vulgar Unicorn Pub.
This place is owned and operated by the legendary One-Thumb. It is one large
smoke-filled room filled with drunken revelers, whores, thieves, and
cut-throats. There are dark, scored, stained benches and tables in every
corner of the room not occupied by a body. A few tables have dark strangers
sitting at them, trying to look casual but failing miserably. Their eyes
dart about the room, as if looking for a hidden assailant (or maybe an
escape route?). Here and there, fights break out and bodies, limbs, and
weapons fly. Geez! What a rough place!.
There is one obvious exit: south.
A slot-machine.
Murphy, One-thumb, a black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf and a fisherman.

The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf smiles at the barrel-chested
stone-faced male dwarf.
You smile at the barrel-chested stone-faced male dwarf.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf grumbles in kanuc: Uthai High!
The barrel-chested stone-faced male dwarf smiles and greets you!
The barrel-chested stone-faced male dwarf sits down to rest a while.
One-thumb goes hmmmm.
The barrel-chested stone-faced male dwarf grumbles in xyllic: Heigh-ho!
You ask in xyllic: Axes high?
The barrel-chested stone-faced male dwarf smiles.

*** Sure he is Clangeddin I remember him now, watch his black eye.
*** shrikes are always missing a tooth or two, got black eyes
*** and are spattered with gore. Well not always :)

Ok.
Clangeddin is a barrel-chested stone-faced male dwarf, presenting himself as:
Clangeddin, male dwarf.
You see here a dwarf of indeterminate age. He appears neither young nor
old, but mostly he seems unnaturally white. His thick, curled hair and drooping
moustache are pure as whited snow. His broad, impassive face is set with pale
blue eyes, and his skin seems to glow with a pallorous shine. From beneath
his sleeves, you notice tattoos that mark him as a member of the Warshrikes.
He has scars on his left leg, right leg, left arm, right arm, left hand,
right hand, forehead, left cheek and right cheek.
He has a black eye.
He is short and lean for a dwarf.
He looks ugly.
He is in good shape.
He is extremely alert.
He is wearing an axe belt, a golden bracer with a jewel, two golden rings,
a mailed left glove, a mailed right glove, a medium backpack, a pair of
leather boots, a shrike helm, a studded leather hauberk, a very dark red
cloak and a wiry amulet.
You guess he is wearing a golden combat mail, an old worn pants, an old
worn tunic, a pair of greeves and a snake suit additionally.

Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: You're writing a book about gods?
You say in xyllic: I know a few things, but of course Akai-kurushi is a
	miracle for me.
One-thumb goes hmmmm.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
One-thumb mumbles in an unfamilar tongue: Nostosh belong ka ger tathunun..
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Hmm. Let me see... Are you looking for general
	history? Or actual stories about the gods?
You say in xyllic: I know only that his symbol is four rings connected,
You say in xyllic: representing the holy four.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf just inserted a silver coin into the
slot-machine.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf pulls the lever of the slot-machine.
The machine starts rattling...
Rrrrrr.....
Rrrrrr.....
Rrrrrr.....
Rrriiing!
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf just lost on the slot-machine.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf lights his pipe.
White sweet smelling smoke drifts around.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf inhales some smoke from his pipe.
You breathe some smoky air.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf smiles dreamily.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Oh, Akai-kurushi, well His symbol is actually
	the Gryphon.
You say in xyllic: Err, can't we go to a more silent place ?
You say in xyllic: Maybe the temple complex.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin rolls to an upright position and grunts loudly while getting up.
You flutter with your wings, lift up a bit and land on your feet.
Clangeddin invites you to join his team.
You force Murphy to leave your team.
The black-bearded grey-eyed male dwarf extinguishes his pipe.
Your leader is now Clangeddin.
One-thumb goes hmmmm.
Clangeddin smiles friendly at Murphy.
You whisper to Murphy in ancient language: do join dwarf
Murphy joins Clangeddin's team.
Clangeddin smiles.
Clangeddin stomps south.

*** We stomp to the temple complex.

You are inside of a grand temple. There are runic symbols of what seem to be
four different gods along each wall. Despite the obvious attempts to keep
this area clean, there seems to be small traces of blood on the floor,
particularly toward the west exit. There seem to be four shrines connected
to this entrance hall. There are runic signs above the entrance to each.
There is also an obvious exit out of this temple.

There are five obvious exits: east, north, out, south, west.
A mysterious box.
Clangeddin is resting here and Murphy.
You sit down to rest a while.
You unwield the long, wooden staff.
You say in xyllic: so his symbol is a Gryphon ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Let's see... oh, about the symbol.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: The rings are the Warshrike guild symbol.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: That is what is on our flags and the amulets
	we carry.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Each of the gods has a bird symbol.
You say in xyllic: Ohh!
You say in xyllic: I did not know.
You say in xyllic: i knew only the phoenix
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: The Old Ones are like a race of alien demons.
Not very much is known about them, and their appearances can change.
Clangeddin nods solemnly to you.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Hmm. Let's start with Oosama.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: He is the Lord of War and Honour.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Happily, I can say that I have met and spoken
	with Him when he arrived to these lands.
You say in xyllic: He is represented as a comic fat man, is that true ?
Clangeddin chuckles politely.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: I suspect that is just the form He chose that
	once.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: He is normally represented by us as a fierce,
tall human warrior.
You say in xyllic: What is his bird symbol ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: And it was Him who brought the dragon spear
	(one of our guildweapons) to us.
You say in xyllic: Ahh his holy weapon is the dragon spear.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: His bird symbol is the drakin. The drakin is a
	small bird which brings good luck during combat.
You say in xyllic: I never heard about it.
Clangeddin smiles.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Hmm, I can tell you that Oosama was the first
	of the Four to join Akai-kurushi in the Alliance.
You say in xyllic: Let me guess, the wyvern belongs to Xogina.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Yes.
You say in xyllic: And something called Yuma belongs to Asgoth.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Yema. It is called the Bird of Death.
You say in xyllic: Ahh Yema.
You say in xyllic: Well, I saw these symbols but I was not sure.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: It's passing forebodes great woe and will
	strike terror into the most firm of heart.
Clangeddin nods understandingly.
You say in xyllic: Is it a kind of vulture ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: It is a massive bird, and appears ghostly in
	some ways. The feathers can appear translucent, like a ghost flapping in the
	wind.
You say in xyllic: Ugh, very creepy.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: It is a fitting symbol for the Lord of
Destruction.
You nod solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: And then there is the phoenix, the symbol for
Koranishaxx.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: The life-giver which rises from the ashes of
	it's own death.
You say in xyllic: Yes, I saw no antropomorph representation of her,
You say in xyllic: just the fiery phoenix.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Akai-kurushi's symbol is the noble Gryphon,
	the Lord of the Skies, half eagle and half lion. It is most often represented
	as having golden talons which tear at the hearts of it's foes.
You say in xyllic: But as I've heard he is in prison.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Ah, He was at one point. But He exists among
	us. Inside me, actually. Inside the Jitsua of the Warshrikes, which means
Keeper of the Truth.
You say in xyllic: Ohh, so you are kinda avatar of him ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Each Jitsua shares their body with
	Akai-kurushi.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Somewhat, yes. I am the mortal bridge between
	the Warshrikes and Him.
You nod solemnly.
You say in xyllic: Is it demanding to the body ? Or  you feel just stronger?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: It is an incredible honour, firstly. And it is
	a great responsibility. Sometimes I feel led by His actions, and sometimes my
	own. I must choose my words and perform my actions with care, for my failures
	can seem as His.
You say in xyllic: If he does not took control all the time it might be
	funny, err interesting
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Akai-kurushi is called the Lord of Life and
	Death During War.
You say in xyllic: I know he guards our world against those old ones.
You say in xyllic: If these old ones are not coming yet, he works well.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: And He fights with the strength of both Heaven
	and Hell. He serves both the light and the darkness, because it is this
	nature of the Alliance that He Himself resembles, the balance that He
	mantains.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: In the Alliance, we have both good and evil.
You say in xyllic: Hmm, I see any relations with Xan ?
You say in xyllic: The only difference is that Xan is a chaotic god.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Oosama and Koranishaxx are holy beings. Asgoth
	and Xogina are damned.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Ah, that's a good point... Let me explain.
You nod solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Xan maintains only the extremes. Either the
	evil side controls, or the good. Akai-kurushi maintains both in a harmonic
	arrangement. He walks the middle way between those sides, and He honours the
	relationship of both, rather than one individually.
You say in xyllic: I see, yes it's true,
You say in xyllic: though Asgoth seems a bit off balance now.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Hmm, if you see the being that MarCais and his
	warriors worship as Asgoth, then yes. More likely it is some demon in
	Asgoth's guise. Though, that is difficult to prove one way or the other.
You nod solemnly.
You say in xyllic: An old one ?
You say in xyllic: Or Hutzi himself ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Hmm. I could not say for certain. Not an 
	Old One, I think. Because I have witnessed MarCais commune with it. 
	And it seemed less malevolent than an Old One would appear to me.
You say in xyllic: Old Ones are nastier than even Bhaal ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: And certainly not Huitzipolochtoli. This being
	chooses to appear in a wolf's form. That has never been a symbol for Huitzi
	(or Asgoth).
*** actually, we recently found out it was indeed Asgoth who
*** incited fight among his own followers probably trying to
*** sort out the weaklings :)

You smile.
You say in xyllic: then it might be a completly different god 
You say in xyllic: some newborn one
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Old Ones, who we call the Morin Ak-Fazeel, are
	the greatest danger xyllomer will ever face. Their power is such that only
	Five strong gods could overcome them, and only then by achieving a unique
	balance among themselves. Their powers are many and great, and it is to guard
	versus them that the Warshrikes were created and train to this day.
You say in xyllic: in my theory, if there are enough people to believe in
something, then it will be true
Clangeddin nods solemnly to you.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Perhaps some new god. And yes, I believe you
	are right.
You say in xyllic: well, you provided me very useful and unique info
Clangeddin smiles.
You say in xyllic: i'm very grateful
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Oh, one last thing about the gods.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: When our gods came down, they killed two
	mortals. Warshrikes. Oosama killed Ahazamandias for his previous belief in
	Huitzipolochtoli. And Asgoth slew Valias, for the same reasons.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Just interesting history there that I thought
	I would mention.
You say in xyllic: Hmm.
You say in xyllic: Only hutzi believers, any reason ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Yes, for their previous belief in the jungle
	god.
You say in xyllic: Are you sure Hutzi is not an Old One ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Our Lords and Ladies are no friends to Him.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: I am certain. In fact, Asgoth and Huitzi are
	brothers, I believe. At least, I think I remember the story that way.
You say in xyllic: I've heard this story about Bhaal.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Ahh. Apologies then, it must not have been
	Asgoth.
You say in xyllic: Hmm, what is the relationship with Rokoon ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Rokoon is a great friend to us.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: When Akai-kurushi first battled the Old Ones,
	and his body destroyed, it was Rokoon who preserved His soul, by placing it
	in the heavens until the body of the first Jitsua was given up to house the
	soul.
You say in xyllic: ohh!
Clangeddin nods solemnly to you.
You say in xyllic: i did not expect it from Rokoon
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: For this, the Warshrikes are forever indebted
	to the clerics.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: And Rokoon.
You say in xyllic: Asgothians do not show too much debt.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Perhaps not in their actions. In their hearts,
	though, they understand our debt to Rokoon.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: They follow a very different path of course,
	but the obligation will remain. Without Rokoon's assistance, Akai-kurushi
	would have been lost to us.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: I'm speaking of Warshrike Asgothians here. I
	don't know what relationship MarCais' group has with Rokoon.
You say in xyllic: Does he have a shrine ?
You say in xyllic: Or the shrine is the current Jitsua ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: He has a temple, inside the Chapterhouse.
You say in xyllic: Who are allowed to see it ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Any who are interested may visit.
You say in xyllic: Ohh, i did not know.
You say in xyllic: I thought it's some very secret place.
Clangeddin nods understandingly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Few know very much about Akai-kurushi. He is
	mostly only the Warshrike god.
You say in xyllic: May I see it ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: certainly
Clangeddin rolls to an upright position and grunts loudly while getting up.
You flutter with your wings, lift up a bit and land on your feet.
Clangeddin smiles.
Clangeddin stomps west.

*** After some stomping.

You are in the Chapel of Akai-Kurushi. There is a huge mural of the logo of
the Warshrikes. In small runic script, there are the names of the guild's
patron Gods and Goddesses printed on various parts of the mural. On the
chest of the bird, there is a small symbol of Rokoon. The feelings that you
get from this room are quite strange. You are filled with an overwhelming
sense of peace. However, you can feel a small part in the back of your mind
is filled with rage. On the wall to your right is a huge marble slab with
some carvings on it. There is a small altar here.
There is one obvious exit: down.
A donation box.
Clangeddin and a benevolent sacrificial male human.
Murphy arrives.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Here we are.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Notice the symbol of Rokoon on the bird's
	chest.
You put two gold coins into the box.
The benevolent sacrificial male human hugs you.
You feel a voice in your mind: Your noble deed has been noticed.
You say in xyllic: Yes, I saw it.
Clangeddin smiles.
You say in xyllic: It's amazing!
Clangeddin smiles broadly.
You say in xyllic: This is not known among the public.
Clangeddin asks the benevolent sacrificial male human in xyllic: akai-kurushi
The benevolent sacrificial male human yells in xyllic: He is a Great and
Terrible Lord.
The benevolent sacrificial male human yells in xyllic: He is The Lord of Life
	and Death during War.
The benevolent sacrificial male human smiles proudly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: His priest is Rohan.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: I'm Clanggedin Coppin, Keeper of the Fighting
Warshrikes. Proud Ryuutachi clansman.
The benevolent sacrificial male human yells in xyllic: I'm Rohan - One of
Many.

He is One of Many.
He comes from a long line of Warshrike members. Each was a Warshrike Shinu
at one point in his life. Then they retired and turned to Rokoon for His
Clerical guidence. After learning the healing ways, they returned to
Akai-Kurushi to loose his given name and become the famed "Rohan" of his
generation. Simply, To be the personal healers of the the Jitsua.
He is normal and normal for a human.
He looks fine.
He is in good shape.
He is extremely alert.
He is wielding a heavy magic mace.
He is wearing a pair of brown leather boots, a soft cloak and a wiry amulet.
You smile at the benevolent sacrificial male human.

You say in xyllic: What it does mean?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Because it was a young warrior called Rohan
	who first gave up his body to house the soul of Akai-kurushi.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Since then, the priest of Akai-kurushi has
	been a retired Shinu (champion) of the Warshrikes who has gone to train among
	the clerics.

Those whom we hold near and
 dear to our hearts as former
 Jitsuas and spiritual leaders
 of our beloved guild of Warshrikes.
 Our first Jitsua: Octdavian
 Our second Jitsua: Senang
 Our third Jitsua: Gunder
 Our fourth Jitsua: Kamalam
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Rohan has always been the personal healer of
	the Jitsua.
You nod solemnly.
Clangeddin smiles.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: The Warshrikes have much history. Few know
	much about us or our ways.
You say in xyllic: Well, I don't want to reveal everything in a single book.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
You say in xyllic: Maybe we could speak about it, I'm personally interested
	in it. The shrike gods always fascinated me.
Clangeddin smiles.
You say in xyllic: Keeping all the colours in balance is very hard to achieve.
Clangeddin nods firmly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Yes, it is. A very difficult task. Oh, you
	mention colours:
You say in xyllic: Every patron deity has a separate colour ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Each god is represented by a colour also.
	Oosama's is white, Asgoth's is black, Xogina's is red, Koranishaxx's is gold,
	and Akai-kurushi silver.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: During combat, a Warshrike can be blessed by
	his or her god, and the weapon of the Warshrikes may glow with divine favour.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: The colour depends on the god the Warshrike
	serves.
You say in xyllic: my favourite colours are golden, silver and green
Clangeddin smiles.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Those are all valuable colours. They represent
	wealth and power.
Clangeddin smiles.
You smile.
You say in xyllic: They are just nice.
Clangeddin nods solemnly.
You say in xyllic: Well, every colour is nice, better than a simple grey.
You say in xyllic: You revealed a lot of amazing facts.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Thank you for your interest.
Clangeddin smiles.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: I am glad I could help.
You say in xyllic: Do you have a library ?
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Yes, but I'm afraid it is only for Shrikes.
You say in xyllic: Well, I thought I send you a book.
You say in xyllic: After I've finished it.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Oh, excellent.
Clangeddin grumbles in xyllic: Yes, I would like that very much.

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