12.12.3013: Druidism And You
Summary: Jeremy and Lorelei talk about druidism.
Date: 26 October, 2013
Related: Taphouse Offers
Jeremy Lorelei 

Western Aerie, Arborenin, Imperius
Rising up above the canopy of Arborenin is a sprawling platform known as the Western Aerie. The circular expanse is actually a vertical slice from one of the oldest of the elder trees, salvaged long ago during the city's original construction. It is ringed hundreds of times, tightening in toward the center of the platform where the rings are very close together. Up here, exposed to the elements without the protection of the broad leaves, the skies are expansive and sprawling, where the sun or moon can shine brightly, or where the rain or snows can freely gather. A barrier guards the edge of the platform, allowing people to safely overlook over the forests of Arborenin. In the distance, to the west, the grand Spinous Mountains rise out of the green, bold and steady.

There is not a lot left to the aerie. There are benches here and there, some clustered together to allow for group conversations, while others stand almost alone and thoughtful. The primary structure on the aerie is the Arborenin Observatory. It is a large, domed structure made of dozens of reflective, triangle panels. During the day, unless there's a sun observation session, the door over the telescope. At night though, the exterior of the observatory suggests great activity within.

12 December, 3013

Snow drifts down from the sky up in the Aerie, but at least it's not a howling blizzard, just fat flakes drifting lazily about on their way to land on tree-branches, houses amongst the limbs, the ground, or people. In the case of Jeremy Keats, however, they always seem to simply drift around him, never quite landing home. The explanation may be found in the fact that his eyes are masked in white, and ethereal leaves and branches dance and sway around him in a wind that isn't quite there. When the young woman from Mott's contacted him, he responded with a message that he would be happy to meet, suggesting a place and a time — here and now.

Lorelei's bundled up, not hating the weather, just wishing she had a better cloak than the hand me down of her brother's. Unlike Jeremy, she's not pulled on any powers, still not comfortable enough to reach for them out in the open unless she absolutely needs to.Much measn she's got a small amount of snow collected on her shoulders and head. She'll smile when she sees his aura, and wonders why everyone has such pretty aura but her's. Stepping up, "Hello Sir Jeremy. Thank you for meeting with me."

Jeremy turns away from looking out at the winter wonderland beyond the railing, turning pure-white eyes to Lorelei and smiling lightly, he bobs his head in greeting, "Miss Quellton. Of course." As she steps within a few paces of him, he takes a slow, deep breath, and there is a faint shift in the air around her, and the fat flakes begin to simply… decide to land elsewhere than on her. "What can I help you with?" Somehow, despite the blank whiteness of his gaze, he manages a sort of clear avuncular concern.

Lucky for Loree, her cheeks were already pink from the cold. "I was hoping that we could discuss what I should be doing?" She sounds even lost in asking, "I've read books that Lord Adian told me to, and I have practiced what I feel safe doing, like Lord Taryn told me to… But I know that's not….I know I need to do more." She'll bite her lower lip, looking out to the view a moment, "I tried what Lord Adain said…He told me to go into the woods and meditate, but…It just gave me nightmares.." She'll not look at him, but shakes her head softly, like she's trying to shake the memory of the nightmares.

Jeremy nods slowly, "Your first steps down any path can be very frightening, Miss Quellton. Especially if you don't have a guide." He smiles just a bit, shrugging broad shoulders, "Any discipline is just that, discipline. It's possible that druidism is not for you, or that you just haven't connected with the ideas of it before." Spreading his hands, he tilts his head to one side, "What have you been told of what being a druid means, Miss?"

Lorelei nods, eyes lower, "I know…I don't mean to make it sound like I was frustrated with my progress…I'm willing to put the time in. I am." She'll look up at the knight, tilting her head slightly, "Being connected to the land, to the forest. To the very dirt underneath us and the air we breath. To be one with the creatures that belong here more than we do." She'll swallow, clearly nervous, "I've…I used to go hiking all the time, before the war. I love the forest, animals….I can't even eat meat. I can't stand the idea of eating one of them." She'll shiver, her arms folding in front of her. She sounds almost ashamed at the next admittance, "Lord Aidan gave me something to smoke….when I meditated. I tried, and it just made everything…I've never done anything like that, and then there was a mountain cougar that was injured and lept at us….It was a mess. I…I stabbed it. It tried to hurt Chirion…"

Jeremy shakes his head slightly, a little chuckle rising to his lips, "Don't worry about offending me, Miss Quellton. I have a pretty thick skin." He tucks his hands idly into his pockets, "I don't know about being 'one' with the animals or the plants. I think it's more… understanding them, at least for me. Druidism is very individual." The mention of the girl being a a vegetarian and killing a cougar causes him to shrug, "I like a good steak, and I go hunting with some regularity. Druidism is not placing nature above yourself, at least to me. It's accepting your part in nature, and not taking it for granted. Too many people on Imperius just take nature for granted, like it will always be there no matter what we do to it."

Lorelei's nervous, "I didn't mean it like that was part of my awakening…I've been a vegetarian for many years, despite my Ma's best efforts." She'll nod, "I get that it's individual…I'm just afraid I'm going to blow up the stables, if I float an apple wrong…" A small smile tugs at her lips, "I hear that. Sometimes I just want to shake people….The idea that the Hostiles are in our Forests…it just makes my skin crawl. More than the idea of them anywhere else."

Jeremy moves over to a nearby bench, brushing the snow off with his arm and then clapping his hands together to clear the clinging snow from his sleeve. He takes a seat and gestures for her to join him, a faint smile touching his lips, "I think this discussion might take a while, Miss Quellton." There's just a little teasing in his voice, but it's very gentle. "So long as you control your emotions, your stables aren't likely to be in any danger. So it sounds to me that you've had the philosophy explained pretty well — even if it included hallucinogens and scary nights in the woods," he brings up one hand to the side of his mouth and stage-whispered, "totally not required, by the way." Letting his hand slip into his pocket once more, he goes on, "but you haven't had much experience with the practical. Does that sound about right?"

Lorelei sits down next to the knight. She'll smile at him, "Thank you….I know this isn't what anyone really wants, with the war and everything. To be saddled with an awakened who doesn't know anything." She'll nod, but there's worry in her eyes and she'll look back out over trees. "I..that's why I'm worried…My Dreams are …I don't know if they're worse than others, but I'm not handling them well. I've started sleepwalking…" She'll bite her lip, watching his reaction to try to tell if this is normal or not. With a sigh, she'll shake he rheas, "I knew I didn't need to smoke that!Ugh!…It was gross!" She looks annoyed at the young lord who told her she did. A shrug at the last question, "I…Like I said…i've been floating apples to the horses….I don't have any more trouble bring up my aura…I've talked to a few people in their heads…Oh! I can warm up the stable and the horses, if they need it!" She sounds almost excited about the fact that she can use it to help them.

Jeremy shakes his head, his own nervousness and worry somehow still showing through the white of his eyes. "It's not the war that concerns me about teaching, Miss Quellton." He shrugs a little helplessly, "I have to admit that I don't know what sort of teacher I would be. I… well, I haven't actually taught anyone before. I've never had a squire or an Awakened student." Rolling his shoulders up inside his heavy coat, he looks down at the snow gathering at his feet, "You should definitely be careful warming anything up, Miss Quellton. Fire can be very dangerous, more so than almost anything else you can do as an Awakened."

Lorelei blinks and then seems to shrink some, "oh..I can find someone else, if you'd prefer…I don't want you to be uncomfortable…" Her eyes also go to the ground. "Oh…ok.I'll…be careful." Meaning she'll stop. Taryn's warning of burning down buildings echo in her ears.

Jeremy reaches out to lay a hand on Lorelei's forearm if she'll allow it, "Miss Quellton, I'm not telling you that I can't help. I'm warning you that I might not be the best person to help. But you will definitely need a teacher, whether it's me or someone else." Smiling just a little, he offers, "Have you tried making small flames?" His hand turns palm-up before them, the idly-waving greenery around the knight sharpens just a little, and a tiny flame dances over his palm, as if an invisible candle were lit there.

Lorelei looks down at Jeremy's hand on her arm, and it seems to calm her some. She'll give a small nod,"I know…I can't imagine how horrible it must have been when people were first awakening …going through this alone must have been awful." her eyes go to his palm, watching the flame appear. She'll smile, "I have…but not often. I mostly just try to warm the air…"

Jeremy nods his head slowly, "I was lucky. My mother had some talent, and my Knight was Awakened as well." He looks down at the flame, nodding his head slightly, "I don't know how you do it, but I was taught to think of the heat that is already there in the air. Even on the coldest day, there is some potential for heat… the warmth of summer, the heat of a snug cave… there's always heat somewhere to be found in nature. I think of that, and bring it into being, tapping into that potential to bring it to reality. How is it that you do it?"

Lorelei smiles at the idea of having someone close that knows awakened things. "I didn't…It's only been a few months for me. I wasn't born like that." She'll think about it, because she knows she's not doing it quite right, "I…well…I just kinda…force it." She blames Taryn's little bit of teaching on that. "I know I need it, and I focus on that need,and then I just…make it happen. Because it needs to…" She'll rise her eyebrows, "I know that's not very druid…" Maybe the druid part is she usually needs it to help the horses….

Jeremy winces slightly, "I know that Sorcerers just say they 'command the elements,' but…" the ranger shakes his head slowly, "…that doesn't work for me. I was taught to work with the potential, what is already present. To shape and guide, rather than force and command. I think it's more in keeping with the druidic mindset as well. If need is something that works for you, you may actually want to talk to a Sorcerer, or maybe there's some way to mold that into druidic teachings, I'm not sure."

Lorelei winces as well, "Please..I don't want to duel anyone…I'll try….I can change how I do it, I'm sure…" Her eyes are pleading, and there's a definite fear there. she'll bring her hand to his arm, avoiding the flame, "I don't want to hurt anyone, ever. I hated that…even though it was a Hostile…I just want to protect.To make things better." Her cheeks go even redder, this time the blush can't be blamed on the cold.

Jeremy laughs softly, "I don't know a whole lot about Sorcerers, but I don't think that the duels are required. I think they might be like the hallucinogens with Druids. Some people go in for that, some people don't." He shakes his head a little, letting the flame die. Despite the pure whiteness of his eyes, there is an easy smile on his lips, his features open, "A discipline isn't about forcing yourself to conform to what you don't believe. It's about finding the way of thinking that suits you best and then exploring how the beliefs of others expand your knowledge of yourself." Taking in a slow breath and letting it out, he adds, "As for hurting people, that's not what fighting is about, or at least not what it should be about. The purpose of a knight, or even a man-at-arms, is to protect the people who can't fight for themselves. Yes, it sometimes means hurting others, or even killing them, but only if those people are a threat to those who can't defend themselves."

Lorelei raises an eyebrow, "That's not how T-Lord Taryn made it sound." She'll nod, looking down again. She has a flighty, almost nervousness to her. "I want to be a druid. I do feel connected to the forests. I'm Arboren, I always have felt that connection. I'm just so scared… The few experiences I've had…" She'll shiver as if suddenly colder. "Now that I can remember the Dreams, instead of just waking up with vague feelings…It's not any better." Her eyes go up to his whited out ones. "I'm afraid…it's hard to just let things happen…." Loree forces a smile, "I know I'm being all whiny…sorry."

Jeremy shakes his head at the mention of the Dreams, "Dreams can be terrifying. Even the most hopeful ones can be terrifying simply because of the knowledge that they are True." The capital letter can be heard easily in the light, backwoods twang of his voice, "You've Awakened at a very scary time, Miss Quellton. Whining is acceptable, at least as long as it comes before actually doing something about your situation."

Lorelei nods but then sighs, "I have yet to have a hopeful one…" He hands go together , she almost wrings them. "I don't want to whine though…I want to make it better. To understand it so it's not controlling me anymore." She'll give another smile, "I just don't want to wake up anymore in the stables. One of theses times, I'm going to end up in the middle of the forest in nothing but my nightgown…"She pause, thinking, "and maybe a scarf…"

Jeremy lifts his eyebrows, "Did you Dream of the growth that followed after the rain? It may not be the most hopeful sign, given what was raining down, but at least it is something. Something of promise." His smile shifts, becoming something a bit dry, "I think, in these dark times, that we may have to look for the silver lining where we can find it." Shifting his hands in his jacket pockets, he adds, "And I think you've taken the first step toward getting that control… wanting it. Now you have to be willing to work for it. Intense practice will help you become more familiar with your powers, and that will keep them from being as scary. Once your abilities don't frighten you anymore, they have no control over you."

Lorelei looks slightly ashamed. "I did have that Dream." She'll take a deep breath, and nod, she'll do better. "ok…I will. Intense training…do I, I mean…Do I do that on my own, or will you tell me?"

Jeremy shrugs his shoulders, letting his smile lighten a little, "I don't know… is this talk even helping? I mean, if I'm helping, I can suggest some things you could practice, I could show you how a few things work. But I don't know… it's not like I could be a real full-time teacher like someone learning to use their Awakened abilities should have… I don't have time for that, and I'm sure that you don't either."

Lorelei lets out a soft chuckle, "You've given me more time and attention than anyone else has." She give her own shrug, "Please suggest. That's…I just need some guidance." She'll smile, looking down to her hands, "Even if you can't, you're nicer than Lord Aidan and Grayson were about it. Thank you." She doesn't sound mad about them, more just thankful that Jer is talking to her.

Jeremy wrinkles up the bridge of his freckled nose, "I never went in for all that shouting and bellowing and 'drop and give me three-thousand' or whatever some knights do. I like to treat rational adults like rational adults." Plus, yelling gives away your position, and draws attention to you even if you aren't actually trying to hide. "So I would suggest that you take whatever ability you've discovered that you can do safely, but that you're most scared of. Whether it's creating a little flame, or helping a plant to grow, or whatever. Something you can do safely," he repeats. "And then, sit down and do it like… a hundred times. Maybe more. Just do it over and over. Focus just on how you're doing it, how you're looking at the natural potential and unlocking it. And then rest, because it's going to wear you out like crazy."

Lorelei chuckles, "Yeah…I don't know if I could drop and give you any." Her smile brightens, "I can do that…That's what I do with the apples. I'll just start with the other stuff…" That tension in her has left some, with even that little bit of a plan.

Jeremy nods his head, "The idea is to get you used to doing the stuff you aren't comfortable with. To make the unusual the everyday." He smiles a little sadly, "I wish I could help more with the Dreams, but they're something that can upset even the best-trained druid. But I would like you to write down every dream you have…" there's a pause, and he laughs a little, "Except the dirty ones. You can keep those to yourself." Again, there's the light, easy touch of teasing, and his nose wrinkles up again, "But all the rest, write them down right when you wake up, and write down exactly what you think they mean, and if you think they're a Dream or just a dream. Then I can look over them every week or two, and compare them to what I Dream."

Lorelei blushes, "I…ok. I'll write them down…I don't really have those other dreams…You should be safe.I don't always wake up near paper, but I'll try." Maybe she can leave a tablet in the stables, for when she wanders there. "There a lot of times just….I become over whelmed with fear…"

Jeremy leans over a little to nudge Lorelei in the side lightly, "Well then find someone to have them about, really." Okay, yeah, he's teasing her again. Sobering up, he nods, "Just keep a datapad or a notebook on your bedside table. Or put them in a pocket." He sighs a little at the mention of being overwhelmed, "Fear is all around us, Miss Quellton. And it's going to be, as long as we're at war. All you'll be able to do is to learn to keep doing what you need to do despite the fear. I'm scared every time I go into combat. So is everyone else. If they tell you otherwise, they're lying to you or to themselves."

Lorelei blushes even more, "I do, I just don't…" She'll huff, embarrassed to be talked about such things. "It's complicated." She'll nod, looking slightly ashamed. "I'm sorry…I know.I'll do better. I'll write them down."

Jeremy nods his head, chuckling lightly and letting the subject go with another pat on Lorelei's forearm, "Don't worry about it. And you don't have to apologize." A quirky little grin plays across his lips, "I'll let you know if you've ever done anything that needs apologizing." Drawing in another breath and letting it out in a little sigh, he inquires, "So. Do you intend to get yourself into fights with what you learn?"

Lorelei smiles nervously, "ok…" And then she'll blink, "Oh…no. I don't want to fight…At all. I just… I just know I need to know these things…I feel it. It's like an echo of a Dream…"

Jeremy nods his head, "Then I won't worry about lessons with the sword, or axes, or spears. Because whatever other Awakened might tell you, if you're going to fight, you need to be able to defend yourself, and Awakened abilities just don't cut it for that." Squeezing her forearm lightly, he nods, "Be careful with that, Miss Quellton. Sometimes the things that we want really badly, can feel like destiny, or like a Dream, but they're just what we want." Slipping his hand back into his pocket, he smiles again, "But I'll do what I can to help. Is there anything else you wanted to ask, about Awakened abilities or… whatever?"

Lorelei Smiles softly. "Oh…I'm no good with sword, anyway. I do better with my club." Her smiles fades, "i didn't…I don't want to fight…" She'll try to smile, "I guess, just that. I'll start working on the other abilities and writing down the Dreams."

Jeremy nods his head, "Focus on one thing at a time — besides the Dreams. Just work with one ability until you're comfortable with it, then start in on the one that scares you the next most. Once you're comfortable with what you can do now, we'll work on some new abilities." He laughs just a little, "And once you actually tell me what you can do. But that can come later." Leaning back against the railing behind him, he smiles, "We should probably also set up some time to get together regularly and talk about things. You can ask me questions, I'll do my best to answer them, that sort of thing."

Lorelei ducks her head, "Sorry…I should have a list." She'll smooth her skirt, "I'll contact you when I work some of it out, then?" She'll give him a soft smile, "Can I do anything for you or your husband as thanks? My Ma makes wonderful pies."

Jeremy shakes his head, "Don't worry about it. I'm amazed that you've come as far as you have without real teaching. Just check in every few days, let me know how it's going, if there's anything I can do to help." Not exactly the most hands-on teaching method, but Jeremy did say he didn't have much experience as a teacher. "And I do have some boots that could use some shining…" A broad smile splits his face, "I'm joking. I wouldn't say no to a pie or two now and then, but you won't owe me anything."

Lorelei can do that. every few days. Her smile is brighter, "I could shine boots…I used to mandmaid for lady Eilara…You couldn't get muddier than her!" She'll laugh and then cover her mouth. "What kind of pies would you like?"

Jeremy shakes his head at the offer, patting Lorelei lightly on the shoulder, "No, no… that really was just a joke." The question that followed causes him to shrug, "So long as its tasty, I don't much care. I'm easy like that. Lie likes peach pie though. Don't get him started on why, it's all dirty jokes."

Lorelei's eyes start to brighten at the mention of peach pie, but as soon as Jer says it's a dirty reason, she blushed bright red. "Oh, Six. Ephriam does the same thing!"

Jeremy laughs softly, "Don't worry about it, Miss Quellton. Everything about Lie is a dirty joke, and I wouldn't have it any other way." Again, he reaches out to pat her on the shoulder, and then his eyes fade back to their usual blue-gray, the love for his husband shining through clearly, "Some time later, I'll ask you if Ephriam is the fellow you so carefully don't dream about, but now I'll just let you cool down and stop blushing." Indeed, the snowflakes are now falling down onto them, the careful stillness in the air around them gone.

Lorelei covers her face, embarrassed. "He's…We're…dating….sort of. I think." Her voice is muffled as she keeps hiding.

Jeremy nods his head, "Boys are confusing and stupid." He flashes a broad smile, "Although I have to say, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with trying to figure out if a girl liked me or not growing up." Rising to his feet, he half-turns to offer her a hand up from the bench, "Don't worry about it. A little intrigue in your life does you good, so long as it doesn't turn into nasty, ugly drama."

Lorelei takes his hand to stand, "it's already ugly drama. He's…he's a noble. And he wants me to be his companion, but it's all messed up." She'll sigh, "I on't know what to do…I love him, but if I accept, I'll never be able to have children. His family has already made it clear they don't want any bastards…" Her cheeks flush again, realizing she just blurted out a lot more than she intended, "oh…I'm sorry.You don't care about any of that…" She's now permanently blushed.

Jeremy sighs at the additional information, "Oh Maid and Mother." The prayer has a little laughter behind it, however, and he shakes his head before continuing on, "Nobles are just trouble." Of course, he's technically a noble himself, even if his own children will never be such. "If you'll accept a little more advice from me, Miss Quellton, if you love him, and he loves you, take him up on the offer. Everything else can be worked out in time, but love is the most important thing in the universe."

Lorelei hides her face again, she's awfully young for all of this. "I know…But he's….he's been with a lot of others and there was a scare and it's all very… messed up." She'll peek at him between her fingers, "He adopted an manatee for me and wants to take me to go vista her…My brother is insisting that he go with. Chiron doesn't like him, at all. It's just complicated. The stables need me, I can't just leave, not with Bey going to school now…" Loree's throwing a lot of different things out, but everyone else that's tried to talk to her has just yelled at her, or tried to get her to date someone else completely.

Jeremy nods solemnly at the further information, although he laughs a bit at the mention of the manatee. "Well, if your brother doesn't like him, you should at least listen to his concerns, even if you ignore them in the end. Family is important, even if I just said that love was the most important thing." He laughs softly at himself, shrugging, "And Lie has a past too, but so long as it stays in the past…" Once more, he shrugs, "everyone has some sort of past, whether it's with other people, their family, events… it's part of life."

Lorelei nods, finally lower her hands. Her cheeks are pink and her voice is slightly wobbly, "I know…I love my family, more than anything." She'll let out a sigh, "It wasn't a big deal, except when she showed up and slapped him and yelled at me. He said things to her that he's said to me, so…it's confusing."

Jeremy nods his head slowly, "Don't rush. Unless he's a knight too. Life's a little dangerous for us these days." And that sobers him the rest of the way, and he draws in a slow breath, blowing it out, "With that said, I should get back to Lie and Dax. We're looking over possible surrogates."

Lorelei shakes her head, "No…he's not." She'll smile a bit sadly, "That's wonderful. I hope you find the right one, right away." She'll glance down and smooth out her skirt. "I'll send you a message in a few days."

Jeremy nods his head, smiling at the expressed hope, "Thank you, Miss Quellton. Good luck." And then he turns about to step through the gathering snow back toward the way down from the Aerie.

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