(In my haven, just done talking to Slyphe about Veid and Isomann, the Delvian guys, when I get a few messages about a prickling on the back of my neck, Assume it's Slyphe. Suddenly:)
You sip from a tall glass of a Golgotha's Grandmother cocktail, sweet and herbal flavours coming together with a formidable alcoholic kick.
A stab, sudden and hard, like the stinger of some vast and hideous creature jammed into the crevices of your brain!
(Tells|presence): A hideous, alien presence tells you, "YOU ARE KNOWN."
Volka shrieks, hands flying to her head as she howls suddenly, doubled over.
(Tells|presence): A hideous, alien presence tells you, "YOU ARE MARKED."
The immense, bone-crushing pressure of the deepest abyss, the darkest ocean depths, assaults you, laden with the stink of rot and the sweet, perfumed smell of decay. Your vision flickers at the edges as a buzzing, crackling tone swells in your ears.
Volka staggers backwards, thumping solidly into the labstation behind her, pressing her hands to her skull, eyes squeezed shut and teeth set.
(Tells|presence): A hideous, alien presence tells you, "YOU SEARCH. YOU ARE FOUND. THEY ARE COMING."
Hissing the word forcefully, you say, "GOOD."
All at once, you are alone in your laboratory. The ringing in your head is like the distant tolling of drowned bells, but the impossible pain of the alien presence is a rapidly fading memory.
You have emoted: Volka whimpers, sliding down to land on the floor with a soft 'thump'.
(Tell Eleanor to meet me in the guildhall)
A shadowed, heavily warded vault.
Flickering fitfully, a fractured crystal globe lies here. Fractured almost into bits, a cracked glass lens lies here. Resembling a heavy spring, a coil of iron has been left here. Bent almost in half, a broken cog has been cast aside here. Shining despite the tarnished surface, a silver coin lies here. Rusted to the spool, a length of coiled wire lies here. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Gleaming dully, a writing stylus has been discarded here. Resting on the ground is a cube-shaped silver sigil. Arms across her chest in a protective guesture, Volka is here, shivering.
Eleanor arrives from the south.
Volka paces slowly about the room, a bit glassy eyed, occasionally reaching up to rub at the back of her neck, looking at her fingers as if to reassure herself she isn't wounded.
She is a normal Idreth, a prime example of an unstable ascension. 'Human' would best describe the silhouette she casts, though her features themselves seem non-descript and somehow fluid, changing in subtle and seemingly random ways. A pattern of black swirls shifts and whorls over her skin, reminiscent of a necromancer's withering power. She walks with the blessing of Chakrasul.
(around the waist) : a silver-buckled black leather belt
(Fitted snugly) : a pair of black leather gloves
(worn on the belt) : a classy black silk and suede pouch
(worn on the legs) : tailored black trousers
(tucked behind her left ear) : an unnatural crystalline blossom
(worn on the ears) : a beaten gold and silver cuff earring
(worn on the belt) : a secure brass keyring
(pinned to her lapel) : a glass beaker and silver scalpel charm
(encircling her left wrist) : a bangle of dancing crustaceans
(covering the body) : a formal longcoat of the Cabal
(worn on the belt) : a snowy leather sheath
Eleanor strides in, her cane tapping loudly against the floor. "Alright then," she says briskly. "Let's hear it."
A nagging irritation on your arm alerts you to something you hadn't noticed before...
You are now wearing a crazed, fractal mark.
Volka is quiet for a moment, staring at Eleanor. Suddenly, she speaks, though her voice is horribly distorted. "Kelliara and I were searching for the Delvi-ow!" She stops cold, both in movement and in speech, clapping a hand to her opposite arm.
This section of raised, seared flesh is a hideous red-black, tangled in a labyrinthine web of scarring and burns that defies the eye sickeningly.
Eleanor folds her hands atop her cane. "Is that something you want me to look at," she queries, though she is giving a decent amount of space thusfar, should you need it.
Peeking under her hand gingerly, you say, "It's not bleeding."
Eleanor tilts her head, inviting further explanation, though her dark eyes are fixed neatly and intensely on the spot in question.
Glancing about worriedly, as if this sudden pain has somehow destroyed the sanctity of the Vault, you say, "We were looking for the Delvians. Veid. Isomann."
Eleanor nods. "Right," she prompts, letting her gaze flick up and down your form momentarily.
You say, "I talked to Cronides. He was no help. I asked to talk to one of the Fabricator's order. Cronides, again, was no help."
Eleanor makes a face. "Bunch of useless gits, is what," she comments.
You say, "So He answered me instead. I talked to the Tempest, or whatever He goes by now..."
Volka relaxes slightly, as if explaining things logicaly is bringing it a bit more in focus.
You say, "He essentially told me to knock it off."
Eleanor frowns, but doesn't interject.
You say, "...I talked a bit with Him, and I'll admit I was trying to cajole Him into talking. It didn't worrk."
You have emoted: Volka frowns slightly, as if more
with this development than upset.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Divinities can be persnickety like that. They take a careful hand."
You say, "Something happened, after that."
Eleanor raises her brows slightly. "Go on," she urges, though still gently.
You say, "I..I don't know what. I don't know how to explain it. Like...in my head. Something-not-me. Not a monk either."
Eleanor frowns, grimly. "Try and describe it as best you can," she suggests. "Don't worry if it doesn't seem to make a great deal of sense."
Volka frowns, as if the situation was clear before, and just recently dissapating, like a dream upon waking. "It...hurt." she says, rubbing the back of her neck reflexively. "Felt...pressing? Like I was underwater. Knocked a bunch of stuff over, but it was -in- my -head-." she looks up sharply, leveling a pale blue gaze at Eleanor, as if she can't stress the statement enough.
Eleanor nods, gravely. She doesn't seem to think that is inconcievable in the slightest. "What other symptoms can you recall?"
You say, "It talked."
Shivering, you say, "It talked, in my head."
Eleanor nods, again, and briefly digs in her coat, coming up with a small folded sheaf that is at least representative of a notebook. "It talked," she prompts. "And said what?"
You say, "It ...said I was Known. Was Marked. That I was Searching, and that They knew me, and They were coming."
Under her breath, Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Known... marked. Searching. Hmm."
You have emoted: Volka frowns as she speaks, the accentuation on each word clear.
You say, "It was gone, just as fast.
"Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "This is ominous. We'd thought that these fellows were on the mundane, just a pair of troublemakers. But this implies a more powerful... either source, or ally.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Or interjector, I suppose."
Volka snaps her fingers to demonstrate.
Eleanor paces off to the side, frowning, her cane tapping against the floor. "Ominous forewarning of an arrival, of course, is not uncommon. A startlingly large percentage of possessions-and-or-interjections contain something of the sort."
Snapping her head up, Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Had Him of the Wet left by then, or did it happen in His presence?"
Grumpily, you say, "If I ever get my hands on those Delvian hound-sons, I'm going to wring their bloody necks myself."
You say, "He never came in person."
You say, "He was in my head too, but He had stopped talking a bit before that."
You say, "And the 'in your head' bit was different."
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Hrrm-mm. And what reasoning- if any- did He give you to drop the subject?"
You snort arrogantly.
You say, "'nothing good can come of it'"
You say, "Self-fufilling prophecy."
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "You'd think They'd learn there's ways to fan a Cabalist's flames, and being vague about warnings is one of them."
Volka rubs the spot on her right arm, just above the wrist. "It may have been the intention."
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Mm. Altogether rather clever for such an individual, but not inconcievable."
Eleanor points at the spot you keep rubbing. "And that," she finally points out. "Tell me about that."
Volka holds out her arm to Eleanor, glancing at it only slightly, as if looking at it makes her dizzy. "It wasn't kidding when it said Marked, I think."
You display a crazed, fractal mark for all in the room to see.
Eleanor grimaces. "Evidently not," she responds. The fingers of one hand drift to her opposing wrist, absently. "And that's proof that it's less likely to be something inconsequential.
You say, "You know what it felt like?"
Eleanor tilts her head, questioning without words.
You say, "Like the testing. Same place. Worse, stronger, but same feeling."
You say, "Like I lost something."
You say, "Smelled like death. Felt like drowning."
You shudder violently as a chill ripples down your spine.
Eleanor quirks a brow. "Pardon, 'the testing'?"
You say, "The stupid plague testing from a few years ago, Ishin and his cronies with their damned pokey trinkets."
You mutter discontentedly.
Eleanor grimaces strongly. "Eugh. THAT. Alright, that is worrying."
You say, "Rather -never- feel that again."
Eleanor begins to pace again. "Right," she comments, though her concentration is clearly shifting inward. "Hmm. Hmm. Well." She halts. "I want a report, obviously. And I want you to keep a strong eye on this. Anything changes, it needs to be noted."
You nod your head emphatically.
Eleanor runs a hand over her hair. "And I'd like you to do some self-examination. Sit down and think, run through things you know, right down to the words for objects and places. If you find a hiccup, somewhere there's a gap there shouldn't be, that's important."
You say, "Aye. Wouldn't dream of not turning one in."
You nod your head emphatically.
Eleanor's words are grim and level, and come with the sort of conviction that speaks of experience.
Thoughtfully, you say, "If I don't know it..."
You ask, "How am I going too know I don't know?"
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "I know. It's difficult to put your finger on, but sometimes you can tell there's something wrong."
think for a moment before nodding slowly.
Eleanor glances downward, both hands atop her cane. "There was... an incident," she says at length. "I still don't- ah. Well. It's not terribly important, but I can tell you that sometimes you can tell there is something missing."
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Like you know that you should definitely know the word for a thing, but it's as if you never learnt it at all."
You say, "Ah. I see. I will definently do so."
You say, "Also..."
You say, "Until I can figure out what's going on, I'm putting what few projects I've been working on on hold. I don't need to find out I've forgotten some super-important safety measure -after- I should have used it."
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "That's probably a good step to take."
say, "None of it is pressing or important, so it shouldn't cause issues."
You look about, rubbing your chin thoughtfully.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "It may be that nothing was actually taken on an informational level, but... well. I've experience with things getting knocked over in your brainpan."
Idly, you say, "I wonder if this thing is related to the things Aarbrok saw when he was poking about the Tempest's place."
You peer at a crazed, fractal mark suspiciously.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Difficult to be sure."
Eleanor pauses a moment, grimacing.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "And if you could not use His name when we're standing in here."
Eleanor jerks a thumb upward. "Prying Ears," she comments.
You say, "I've never seen a mark like this, though I doubt people would walk about with them openly. I should probably...oh, sure. Yes. Ears."
You look about, rubbing your chin thoughtfully.
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "Indeed, keep it covered."
Conduit Eleanor Junakutz-Lionheart says, "But keep an eye out. Kelliara might fall under the same wagon."
You say, "She needs to be warned, surely. He knew what I was looking for."
You say, "And He knew she was involved."
You say, "So if they are all related, she's likely at least being watched."
Eleanor nods, grimly. "At the very least."
Only a little jokingly, you say, "Does this mean I get a gold star for being Known though? I don't even know who knows me anymore."
Eleanor gives a crooked grin. "If fame or infamy is the goal, then yes, good progress."
Eleanor rakes her hand through her hair. "Right. Okay. This is going to need some thinking over. Was there anything else?" She pauses, peering at you. "Did you need anything?"
You say, "Other than a stiff drink? Nah. I'll be alright. I'll write up the report in a bit, and send it to you."
Eleanor nods. "Alright then. Well, you look after yourself, hm? And tell me immediately if something changes, or you recieve more... correspondence."
You nod your head emphatically.
You say, "I will.
Eleanor nods her head at you.
Eleanor leaves to the south.