A Familiarly Odd Scene

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Shinobi
Posts: 156
Joined: Sun May 24, 2015 3:05 pm

A Familiarly Odd Scene

Post by Shinobi » Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:35 pm

A collection of refugees lollygags around the imagined square of Tanchico. Some are wearing insectoid helmets and look disgruntled—a few drawls attempting to disguise their words in says. There is a stage laden with gold and jewels. The curtains, fully extended, are clearly of streith, the amount of which boggles the mind and really says a lot about the immense wealth of the organization that set up this event. In fact, and oddly enough, the entire stage is made of cuendillar. It is, to say the least, impressive. A few of the easily recognized hoarders in the crowd swoon, and there is a swelling, of the crowd as it were, as they step closer--pulled in by the sashays of the fabric and the loud and boisterous voice behind.

"I said Shyra damnit. Not this imposter. Shyra. Even a drunk sheriff could tell the difference between this person and the person in question."

"Sir, you are a drunk Sheriff."

"Check. Set. Match. Touchdown. Thank you, captain obvious."

The crowd, bothered by such mediocre, yet thankfully short-lived dialogue, clamored for the main event. The transition. The curtains to reveal what other magic could be behind such a spectacle. Was it for the crowd? Or just for the sheriffs? Several of which had lavish tables near you overflowing with food and golden goblets. They were surrounded by refugees who they wore naturally with some sort of chivalry that reeked of self-righteousness. It is no wonder that the Saldaean Cavalry accepted the surrender of these magnificent beasts.

At the mention of the Saldaean Cavalry, you feel a ping of regret. A pile of absence. Yes, a pile. A steaming pile of regret. A bit on the nose and a little obvious, you think lamely. It is your thinking that is lame, though, and you recognize the folly of your ways and quickly swipe a goblet as the streith opens dramatically.

THE STREITH IS OPENED FROM THE OTHER SIDE.

Ah. What a scene to behold. A gaggle of gorgeous women in scantily clad outfits: skirts, nets, tidbits, whimsy, confidence. In the center, a leading lady stands with long dark brown hair, perfect make-up, and a large badge that reads "DEFINITELY NOT SHYRA" legible even from this distance. A sheriff looms close by, gesticulating grandly. He is without a doubt wearing a full kit with at least four rares and possibly a unique, no lie. A choreographer who seems to be mouthing something about chaps and snaps while emulating what you imagine to be a radio show announcer in an airship with a long staff. He moves his hands as if to say, alright. We're wasting time here. Let's move on with the show.

The ladies begin a number that you remember fondly from your days in Falme, an old Seanchan lullaby shouted across the ocean. Something your mother sang to you as a child.

"Let's get down to business
To become Humans!
Did they send me Sei'taers,
When I asked for none?

You're the saddest bunch I ever met
But you can bet before we're through
Mister, I'll make a Civil Watch out of you"

A woman emerges from the midst--clearly a Seanchan--who seems humanized. Even human. She has changed into an outfit very similar to the sheriff still on stage, now dancing. Only she has much fewer rares. A purple vest as well. Likely she killed the innkeeper in the Smiling Gleeman for her equipment, you think to yourself nostalgically. The clear way you know she is a Seanchan though, or was, is the strange-insectoid helmet on her head. Very incriminating stuff, you think to yourself, as you pull your plain hood closer, definitely not looking like a Seanchan.

"Tranquil as a forest
But on fire within
Once you leave your race
You are sure to win"

She removes her helmet like a madman and throws it into the crowd knocking over a woman with a shawl who begins bleeding and a man wearing entirely too much armor and wielding a long sword jumps up OUT OF THE SHADOWS or nowhere. Definitely hidden. Very Gaidin. He starts lambasting the performer, who pointedly ignores him. The Gaidin picks up the woman with one finger and starts swinging the sword at refugees, which makes sense to you. They always seem to be picking on the less fortunate, those who make less money, who get fewer bonuses out of their work. Deep down, all that anger must make them wish they were Civil Watch, you think, as you find yourself surprised that your toe is tapping and you've had this many thoughts between the lyrics of the song that you hear very clearly.

"You're a spineless, pale, pathetic lot
And you haven't got a clue
Somehow I'll make a Civil Watch out of you"

This last stanza heard echoes of "TRUE" from the audience. Those familiar with the days of yore. The Damos days. The sheriff screamed the last line as he drew a jewel quirt and started snapping it in rhythm with the music. At this point, several individuals on the stage stepped out and sang of their personal experiences being worked over by the hard training tactics of the Civil Watch. The grueling challenges of life as a new recruit. The sort of stuff that makes you happy to tuck into bed with a new and budding love, you think to yourself, this is likely an experience the Civil Watch has regularly. One line, though you do catch, and it seems true.

"This guy got 'em scared to death!"

The climax arrives for everyone, even the Gaidin, who is now doing finger push-ups of the shawled woman in the front row while both cackle like crazy lunatics. What do they feed them in Tar Valon, you think. They must really run the numbers in their favor.

"Time is racing toward us
'Til the Seanchan die
Heed my every order
And you might survive
You're unsuited for the rage of war
So pack up, change race, you're through
How could I make a Civil Watch out of you?"

While seeming out of place, this stanza is sung to an individual wearing a mask and wearing a sign that says clearly, Joachim. Obviously, you think, the Civil Watch isn't for everyone. Not Joachim for sure. There might be others, you think, but they'd have to ask. The stage shakes its cuendillar boots as the scene begins its true climax promised before, but elongated for tension and pleasure. Both of which are equally important (only if the climax is fulfilling, though).

You must be literally any Seanchan
(Be a Human)
With all the force of more than 400 quest points)
(Be a Human)
With all the strength of literally any clan eq you steal from your chest
Mysterious as the dark side of racial animosity and regrets

This climax is terrible, you think. But then the burly Gaidin starts shouting and gesturing. He's clearly been robbed, and his shawled woman is nowhere to be seen! But, what's this? She's right there in the sheriff's arms! The sheriff has robbed the Gaidin! What a clever and magnificent champion of the people, you think to yourself, who wears all of the rares. At this point, he's even wearing the rares of the shawled woman! The Gaidin tries to rush the stage, but is deftly thwarted by a couple of well-thrown goblets from the crowd (obviously from other tables of the Civil Watch, which are also gold, you note). He trips, he falls. Somehow in his tumble, he is able to kill all of the cityheads of the Dark Side in one fell swoop, yet falls to his knees and begs for forgiveness and mercy. It is granted. The sheriff relinquishes the lovely lady, only stealing a kiss (and all the rares she had from her inventory because she didn't use her backpack (lesson learned, you think smartly)). There was a moral, and you found it in the climax.

As you walk away, you think, what was that? Did I learn anything? As you move toward the citygates you see a sign.

"ALL SEANCHAN WELCOME TO JOIN CIVIL WATCH FOR FREE AND LEAVE YOUR RACE BEHIND FOR GOOD, NO QUESTIONS ASKED".

It is then IN THAT VERY MOMENT. You commit your heart to the Civil Watch as you weasel your way back to Silvak. Likely dead to the Gaidin as well.