Unless otherwise stated, these conversations are private
…During our arrival at the village of Night Falls, the people of the village were impressed with the ability of Alexander to heal people magically. As the rest of the party went about their business, Alexander and Selene tried to assist in healing the people. Alexander sat in a chair, with a line of supplicants before him, Selene flanking him, curious to know his plans. This is that conversation.
Selene gripped the staff firmly with one hand, the fingers of her other hand pulling the long cigar from her mouth, exhaling a blue plume of smoke from her lips. The people in the village who stand before them eye her skeptically, as her eyes burn brightly with blue fire, but Alexander, with a stern but friendly face continued to assist the people, speaking of his goddess, from time to time.
“My lord,” she said, giving him the title in the presence of the people, so not to reveal either his name, or hers, to the ears of possible spellcasters or spies “though you have armed the peasantry here, are you truly intending on staying at this place? Will you make a stand here, or are you not prepared to leave so we may return home?”
“It seems to be a dangerous thing to make a stand here,” he said quietly, out of the corner of his mouth, as he laid his hands on a peasant, offering soothing words to her. “For now, though, I wish to offer a buffer between ourselves and what enemies roam these lands while we seek a way home.”
“Then you are using these people?” she asked, somewhat skeptically, tapping a flake of ash onto the ground near her.
“Not at all,” Alexander said, his eyes cool, and his expression neutral. “Say rather that we are assisting each other. It is likely that these people will be slain by our actions by agents of evil. They have no hope of defending themselves, so I offer them hope so that they may do well whether they live or die. In the meanwhile, they offer us assistance on our quest. What could be the harm in that?”
Selene’s eyes narrowed as a young woman clutching her child looked up in some sense of fear and nervousness at this conversation, though saying nothing.
“You speak the truth, lord, yet I am concerned about the… underlying intention of your plans.”
“And what is that intention you speak of…. Praise be to the goddess,” he added as an aside to the next one.
“I do not know, lord…” she added, a frown wrinkling the lovely skin of her forehead. “Yet I am reminded of the vision you had, and would help assist you from the encroachment of the Beast…”
He turned his gaze to her, his eyes now growing somewhat frosty, raising a palm to the next supplicant.
“Speak not to me of the vision, woman,” he said coldly. “I have not forgotten it, and even now I feel its presence… I feel it strongly around me, and near me… even… in me… And so I resist it. But the strength of it ebbs like the darkness that covers the sun above,” he added, pointing a finger to the heavens. “I… I cannot fight it with the same ease as before, for this land stinks of shadow and darkness. I feel its tendrils seeking for me even now, and know I must leave this place, else it will consume me. So if my… intentions?… seem selfish, forgive me,” he hissed.
At the utterance of the words his eyes lost their coldness almost immediately and as they softened he wet his lips, suddenly wiping his forehead with a cloth kerchief.
“I… I am sorry Selene,” he said, his eyes losing some of their coldness, looking distant and distracted. “I was not myself for a moment… but the moment has passed. Send these people away now,” he added with a wave of his hand “I would speak with you alone. Tell them I will congregate with all of them at this villages’ great hall, or some such place.”
Selene nodded quickly and raised her hands, gripping the staff and ordered the people dismissed. Alexander, standing from his chair and walking stiffly away from the crowd, wiped the cold sweat from his face.
After a moment Selene returned to him.
“They will wait for you where you asked,” she said, worry in her eyes. “In the meanwhile, how can I assist you, Alexander?”
He said nothing, breathing heavily for some time, taking a deep gulp of the cold ale from the cup that had dangled from his hand.
“Did you see that, Selene? How they fawned on me? How they offered their service to me, how they would seek to serve me?”
She placed her hand on his arm, waiting for him to continue.
“I saw the chance for power now… the chance to unite these people and use them, to bring them to my will. To take power… such a place as here; this would be a first step… to take power by using the name of my goddess, for her name brings their awe, and with awe comes worship. But… I am not a deity or a king to be worshiped,” he added to himself.
Selene handed him the cigar, and he pulled a long tug of the smoke, the taste of tobacco calming his nerves somewhat, though she still remained silent.
“I will not use my goddess to further selfish ends here. I will bring order as I may, do good things, if I can. But I shall not use the name of my goddess to further my own ends here. Her name, and awe of her power… that shall not be the way I shall gain support. I shall not blaspheme her, but rather… I shall use my own wiles to bring about Justice for these good people,” he added to himself.
“Well spoken, Alexander. Come, let us go to the hall you spoke of, and rest. After proper rest you may be better able to act.”
“Yes… yes,” he added smiling somewhat. Throwing his mug aside he handed Selene back the cigar. Rolling his shoulders back he put a smile on his face and moved forward intently and confidently