A little while back Omei came to me and showed me the hand She ate glowing in Her belly and told me Aarbrok had Niur's other hand. So I met with Aarbrok amd during the meeting I told him of an Ark of Stability I had build long ago and that Niuri had imbued with Her essence and power. It was at the time to hold a durdali and did work well. So this latest event starts like this...
Aarbrok tells you, "You may wish to get to the Laboratory." (so I run tight over)
Complex laboratory Floating within a murky aura, the ark of stability is here. An adolescent boy in a shining cloak moves about unhurriedly, sweeping the floor clean. A rough piece of ore lies here. Mariena Aquila is here. She is riding on a roan brumby stallion. She wields a Shamanic quarterstaff in her hands. Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart is here. She wields a white and ginger quill in her left hand. Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent is here. You see a single exit leading south.
With acrobatic grace, you quickly hop off of a majestic gryphon.[0m You deftly lower the hood of a cloak of obscurity, revealing your identity.[0m You nod your head emphatically.
An adolescent boy glances up from his position before Aarbrok, offering you a respectful nod. "Come." He instructs Aarbrok, dragging him towards the fuming ark. "A lure will be needed."
You say to an adolescent boy, "Hello Vrennin."
Eleanor narrows her eyes, watching every movement and development. "A lure," she repeats in a murmur.
Mariena tells you, "Greets, lady. A rundown of what is going on. Aarbrok has the Lady's hand attached to him, it's spreading shadows and 'death-spasms' all through him. The boy is going to draw the Lady's essence out of Aarbrok's hand/arm/chest so Aarbrok doesn't spend eternity in an abyss like the one we pulled Niuri from a century ago." You crease your brow in a frown. You tell Mariena Aquila, "Yes I had seen the hand he was carrying."
Aarbrok paces over towards the Ark, following direction as he stands nearby awaiting further instruction the only response or expression to be a look at Eleanor of curiosity.
Eleanor looks at her palm. "How's the procedure intended to go?" Mariena ceases to wield a Shamanic quarterstaff. An adolescent boy seems to think for a moment before nodding slowly at you. You say to an adolescent boy, "Do you need help?" An adolescent boy informs Eleanor, "It will be a simple incantation. The ark will bring Her scattered threads together and allow them to be removed from the flesh."
Mariena Aquila asks, "Where does the blood shedding assistance come in?" Eleanor rubs her chin. "And the blood. Open to the air, or will you use it in a channel?" She looks at the floor. "A circle for increased resonance?"
Simply, an adolescent boy says, "Blood is power. Your essence spilled within the circle will amplify the call to Mother." You think for a moment before nodding slowly.[0m
Mariena starts to wield a jewel-encrusted sacrificial dagger in her left hand. Eleanor sniffs. "Essence, then. The donors going to be linked to the operation?"
You have emoted: Neoma examines the surroundings making sure all is secure.
Aarbrok looks upon those present, watching and curiously glancing between the hand and the faces of those inquiring.
An adolescent boy ignores Eleanor entirely, his focus on Aarbrok. "We will begin." He breathes. "If you are prepared."
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says, "We do what we must, I cannot torment Her any longer." Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says to an adolescent boy, "Proceed when ready."
(examine ark) Shaped like a small iron cauldron, the ark of stability is here, floating in midair. A nebulous cerulean aura swirling with slivers of murky shadow surrounds the floating ark. Layers upon layers of leather and cloth have been braided and stretched over the curved sides and bottom of the magical vessel. The iron feet have been replaced with three triangular wooden supports, offering a non-conductive medium to the container. Thick leather straps hooked on either side of the ark serves as handles. Filling the inside of the ark like a liquid is an eerie essence moving counterclockwise. Faint murmurs and whispers in a guttural language escape from the surface of the essence, which whirls about inside the ark radiating a violet luminance.
Eleanor tucks her hands behind her back. "Probably best for me to spectate. My blood's kind of... funny." You cover your mouth with your hand, hiding an amused grin.
An adolescent boy plunges Aarbrok's hand into the ark without ceremony. Aarbrok lets out a deep exhalation of breath as the final words come from his lips, no sooner does the breath finish as his hand is plunged into the ark.
The air crisps, becoming heavy with frost and ash. Space curves weirdly around the ark and the two figures before it, and the intersecting, wavering lines of the ritual circle begin to gleam.
Aarbrok grits his teeth, no words, no sounds. An expression, once again one laden with absolute confusion paired with a rich look of pain as the sweat beads on his forehead, still no sound though just absolute shock.
You have emoted: Lips pursed in silence, Neoma eye's widen as she watches intently.
An adolescent boy begins to whisper, low and sonorous, his small and youthful frame giving voice to a sound much older. A pulse runs through the temple as he calls quietly, "Mother."
Aarbrok says nothing, the inherent fear of ruining the prospective chances of a positive ritual laden in his eyes as he just grits his emotions behind his clenched teeth and allows the hand within the ark to be held, forcefully within.
You have emoted: Hardly moving her lips, Neoma chants under her breath, "Mother".
The murmurs fracture crazily against the laboratory walls, spreading into a discordant mass of whispering that trickles oddly across the ears of those who hear it.
Aarbrok's expression shatters as the sound of his breathing slows from the fevered pant into a slow, labored, almost restful breathing. A look of focus crosses as he calms himself from the anxieties of the matters taking place, a noiseless groan and expression reminiscent of a mother during childbirth crosses his features, as if he is attempting to push out a child.
Mariena poses the dagger over her right palm, the tip indenting her skin as she waits to add assistance by way of power as suggested. Sharply, an adolescent boy says, "She comes. Now." Mariena draws the sharp edge of a jewel-encrusted sacrificial dagger across her palm, blood beginning to trickle from the new wound.
Eleanor nods to Mariena. "They'll be wanting the blood on the circle," she notes.
Aarbrok freezes his expression as the mixture of emotions overcome him and a series of spasms contort through the infected portions of his body, half of him twitching and jerking as the side being forcefully held within remains stationary, unmoving in the boys' grip. The hand remains within the Ark.
Mariena clenches and releases her fist, pumping her essence so it falls to the ground in erratic plops. "Yours would be quite powerful too, as Neoma's would," she notes with a grimace, her attention splitting towards Aarbrok.
You draw the sharp edge of an ancient spear of House Nebre'seir across your palm, blood beginning to trickle from your new wound.
You have emoted: Neoma moves forward a bit letting her blood flow into the circle.
The air begins to condense around the circle, a scattering of blood droplets hitting the edge of the lines with hissing into steam. Vrennin makes a strange noise, and another pulse rattles through the temple walls, buzzing unpleasantly in teeth and bone as it passes.
Eleanor surreptitiously takes a slow step backward, her eyes fixed on the procedure.
Aarbrok murmurs under his breath, his lips uttering the words 'Mother' without actually saying them as he feels the pains in his arm. Resisting every impulsive reflex to yank out his arm, his eye twitches with the pain he is obviously feeling.
You feel an odd drawing sensation tugging at the core of your being, as though the notice of some rapacious spirit has been drawn to your soul.
You have emoted: Her bloody hand still held over the circle, Neoma reaches out with her other hand to Aarbrok's shoulder to steady him.
(I was trying to speak) You are being possessed and cannot do that.
Mariena allows her blood to flow still, though quickly the dagger traces a warding over her heart. Her actions are if in answer to unseen feeling.
You say, "Children."
Aarbrok looks up as you speaks, the pain no longer present in his eyes albeit his hand still within the Ark he opens his mouth in wordless acknowledgement to the word uttered.
A splintered voice demands from every corner of the room, "Where are my children?"
(I am released and can speak again) You say, "I am here Mother."
Aarbrok for once in his existence is speechless, in fact in awe and wordless as he allows you this moment without word or interruption.
An adolescent boy moans, low and unpleasant, his eyes glazed. Smoke is rising from his flesh where it meets Aarbrok's stolen hand.
Eleanor narrows her eyes, watching attentively. A frown tugs at her mouth, but she makes no comment.
Words dropping out like stones into a pool, Mariena Aquila says, "You hurt Me. You left Me to die. I died. Where are My children?"
You have emoted: Neoma stares at Mariena but recognizes the voice.
The pain no longer filling his body, Aarbrok acknowledges the boy taking on the brunt of what he was experiencing. There is nothing he can do though, he is frozen, his eyes express acknowledgement but his body, expressions frozen, no words, no argument no fighting it.
A thin, dispassionate scream rises from an adolescent boy's lips, his face twisted and slack-mouthed.
You say, "Mother You are not alone and we will help You." Head shaking and voice her own, Mariena Aquila says, "We are here."
Voice cracking on a plaintive note, Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says, "You are killing Me."
Gasping, an adolescent boy says, "She clings to this vessel. But She is rotting already! Can't you see it, Mother?"
You have emoted: Neoma approaches Aarbrok slowly, reaching for his blackened hand, "Mother takes refuge in the ark, for now". You say, "Or take me."
You drop to one knee, demonstrating your humility and respect.
An adolescent boy cries out hoarsely as you breaks the ritual circle, his hands jerking spastically as he cuts off his reflexive lunge.
Mariena grunts and brings her hand up to her chest, cradling it there as the other holds the dagger loosely. "Not good, not good," she murmurs as her eyes quickly scan the boy's face.
Aarbrok refuses to move, be it the fear of doing something wrong or just his inexperience he remains motionless. The upper half of his coat drenched in his own sweat as he does nothing but submit himself to the boy and his grasp.
The light of the circle quivers violently, contracting rapidly about the triad of figures within it. A violent pulse of power disrupts the ceaseless whispering of the walls, drowning out the splintered voice of the dead Goddess.
he blinding white light overwhelms your senses, and for a moment you lose hold of consciousness.
Mariena blinks rapidly, rubbing her eyes. Your senses return to you as the blackout ends. Eleanor blinks rapidly, rubbing her eyes. Aarbrok blinks rapidly, rubbing his eyes.
An adolescent boy staggers, losing hold of Aarbrok's hand as he falls; parts of his fingers come away, burned to charcoal[37m and baring white bone beneath them. "No!" He cries, keening. "She will escape!"
Aarbrok staggers as he loses concentration, gripping unto the ark for balance as his body slumps over it for support.
You have emoted: Uncertain of what is happening, Neoma glances around the room to each person, trying to understand.
Mariena scrubs her knuckles over her face as she tries to clear the multitude of shinies that float there. "She's out of Aarbrok I think but I think She's uh.. floating. Circle broken, power moving," she tries to summarize for you.
You say to an adolescent boy, "Escape! She is not a prisoner here." You crease your brow in a frown.
Eleanor glances downward. "You want her to disappear like a puff of smoke on the wind?" She mutters to herself. "Not enough time for a diagram."
An adolescent boy's face twists into a snarl, and he retorts to you, "She's dead, Voice, but now Her power will be lost to us!" A violent shuddering accompanies his words, and the whispering begins to die, accompanied by sharp crackles of Divine power earthing themselves around the circle.
Eleanor ceases to wield a white and ginger quill in her left hand. Eleanor starts to wield a gleaming butterfly knife in her right hand.
With a plaintive and unearthly voice, Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says, "Severn? Beloved? Are you there? Sister, are you there?"
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Wonder if I can't..." Eleanor leans down[37m to touch her knife to the floor. "Hey. Neoma. Containment circle, going to need some blood. You game?" You nod your head and say, "Aye."
The circle dies completely, and Vrennin slumps visibly; the whispering of the temple is silent now, barring the tinkle of falling stone and dust. The ritual is over.
You say, "Nooooooooooo."
Eleanor bares her teeth. "Too slow," she mutters to herself, tilting her head up. You shake your head.
You say to Aarbrok, "What was this crying to Severn, from what I heard He turned away from His love when She needed Him."
Aarbrok pulls his head up, from the leaning position over the ark, "Th....this feels very wrong." he intones, pulling the dead looking arm out of the ark slowly with a pained expression, "I...so weak."
Eleanor strides across to Aarbrok. "Not unusual. You've had a measure of essence extracted. Take a few deep breaths."
Mariena tells you, "Perhaps She did not remember in the last moments." Aarbrok takes in a few deep breaths, looking at the lifeless appendage and sighing.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says to Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent, "How do you feel. Dizzy? Tired. I need to know what your symptoms are, lad."
An adolescent boy pants harshly, propping himself up on one hand and mopping his sweaty face
Mariena moves to kneel beside Vrennin. Offering up a plethora of vials, bandages, and salves, she murmurs quietly, "let's see what we can do for you."
Aarbrok looks about himself, "I, feel cold." he admits, looking down upon the boy, "Do take a look at this one, I....he was keeping the pain off me....I know he was, There ain't no way that I was dodging all that. Fella, are you okay?" he asks.
You have emoted: Neoma remains silent now but the frustration and disappointment shows in her face.
An adolescent boy clutches his mangled hand, eyes downcast and shadowed, his faceset in a grimace. "You don't know what you cost us." He hisses towards you.
The air itself seems dead and cold now, heavy with ash and the echoes of pain.
You say to an adolescent boy, "What I cost you. I may have been able to help you if you would have at least let me know, Aarbrok here is the one who called out to me."
An adolescent boy's voice cracks as he cries with frustration, "You broke the circle! You let Het die before I could cage Her!"
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says to you, "I promised I would not keep you uninformed, time ....time was of the essence."
Eleanor crouches down by the boy. "Broken ritual circle, basic mistake. Allows the contained resonance free, it just wobbles away into nothing."
You say, "Well i guess you can blame me if it all makes you feel better." Mariena tells you, "He left out 'stand where you are while ritual is going on'" You tell Mariena Aquila, "Yeah nice to know now."
You say to an adolescent boy, "And since you were the one conducting this it might have been nice to have been told what I was expected to do."
Eleanor leans in to the boy. "I could attempt to mend some of that for you, but it won't be pretty. Would you prefer that, or just to bind it?"
You say, "I need a moment." (I leave to the south) Room of prisms An ornate, handmade platinum mirror has been hung upon a nearby wall, its rose-tinted glass surface reflecting much of its surroundings.You see exits leading north, south, up, and down.
You slump down dejectedly. You draw a tear-choked, shuddering breath as you begin to sob openly.
Aarbrok tells you, "She was dead, She is dead.....we were trying to give Her rest. Give unto Hers the power that was left. Her pain, Her struggle. That is why the hand did what it must, I was keeping part alive that should have never been."
You say, "Mother, I can only hope you are still out there." (I go back to the Laboratory)
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says to an adolescent boy, "Neoma, the Voice has had a very hard time with this...She was one of Mothers most loyal." Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says to an adolescent boy, "Please consider as much, I normally do not request such of ones feelings."
You have emoted: Without fuss or ceremony, Neoma wipes her face and tries to regain her composure.
An adolescent boy twitches beneath Eleanor's ministrations. "We were so close." He laments thickly, wiping his nose on his cape.
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says, "Fate has its ways, and perhaps this is what was meant to be all along.
You have emoted: Neoma looks at everyone gathered, "It is not over" she insist. You say, "I will seek out Omei whom carries Mother's essence."
Eleanor glances between the boy, Aarbrok, and you. "Seems pretty over to me."
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says to you, "We just gathered all of Her essence.....its dead."
You say, "What about the other hand?" You say, "I have not forgotten that."
Aarbrok takes a deep breath and nods, "I will need a new arm." he says, glancing [0m[37mback to you, "If the essence has been called here, to gather...in ritual...the other hand is as dead as this." he intones holding out the dead limb.
Aarbrok displays a withered, blackened hand for all to see: Cleanly severed, this withered hand looks to be ancient. It is black as pitch, though it is unclear whether this is from age or burning.
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says, "This body was a replacement for the one that She gave me, I imagine a limb is just as feasible."
Aarbrok slouches and lets out a deep breath, the look of focus crossing his features. Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lion[57mheart[37m says, "Been a while since I brushed off those old procedures."
(realizing how much pain both Aarbrok and Vrennin suffered) You say, "I am sorry." You say, "I do appreciate all you have done, all of you."
Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says to you, "You can rest, knowing She does....you carry on Her legacy Neoma, as you were trusted to."
You shake your head.[0m You say, "So far all I carry is anger and hatred, as my defilement aura shows."
Mariena shakes her head. "Neoma, it might have failed without you moving an inch, we don't know. This path solidified but it had equal chance of walking another, with equal failure."
The ghost of a smile passes fleetingly across your lips.[0m Witch Doctor Aarbrok Furor, the Virulent says, "You got people from every walk of life, death and in between here....it goes to show that Mother had an influence of some sort on many people." An adolescent boy straightens, shrugging sulkily away from Eleanor, and drags his broom away, staggering here and there, his ruined hand clutched to his chest. Seeing a mess to the south, an adolescent boy leaves with his broom.
You say, "Excuse me." (I leave to chase after Vrennin)
An adolescent boy in a shining cloak moves about unhurriedly, sweeping the floor clean. You give an adolescent boy a tight hug. You say to an adolescent boy, "Thank you."
look Vrennin This adolescent boy moves purposefully about, methodically sweeping the floors with his well-made reed broom. While extremely alert and obviously intelligent, he seems almost a little dazed, as if his surroundings intimidate him a bit. Over a comfortable grey shirt and equally plain trousers, he wears a shining white cloak bearing a brilliant insignia: a silver owl in flight enclosed in a many-hued pyramid. The embroidered design is so exquisite that regarding it feels more like looking through a window. While this finery seems foreign to the lad's upbringing, he wears it with a surprising dignity. One of his hands - the left - is burned beyond recognition, furled into a blackened claw. He is called 'Vrennin.'