Yes, this is yet another Ascendril/Morwen log! I know that I already have posted three others, but I really enjoyed interacting with @Slyphe
and am really thankful to his/her/its player for the time, beautiful writing, and character development! I love RPing with people who force me to try and step up my own writing game. It's a process, but I enjoy the challenge!
...Also, I would be lying if I did not admit that I wasn't using this as a bit of advertisement for the Guild! Lots of cool things ahead!
[ -- LOG BEGINS HERE -- ]
In a thundering crash of spray and sea, the Deity Slyphe manifests atop the Lighthouse, water spilling away and downward toward the ocean from whence it came.
Beaming, Slyphe, the Maelstrom exclaims to you, "My child! It seems that we CAN talk, after all!"
Morwen's webbed hands wrap around a fiery aetherstaff of swirling spatial motes as she bows her tentacled head in Slyphe's direction. "I appreciate Your time, Maelstrom!" she says, her voice soft and sincere.
"Time's precious," Slyphe agrees, readily. It flows closer, coming to a halt just before you, Her mighty arms folded across Her chest. Raising Her head, She regards the noonday sun, its light glimmering brilliantly upon Her scales. "Now then, my beautiful Kelki - what's on your mind?"
"I am at the beginning of a long journey to bring the Ascendril to a point of strength and progress," Morwen begins, her head lifting. The young kelki cannot help but smile fondly at Slyphe as she continues to speak: "It will take quite a good deal of effort." Her weight shifts from one bare, webbed foot to the other as she leans into a fiery aetherstaff of swirling spatial motes. "I want ingenuity, invention, and experimentation to be championed in the Order and, in that I believe that You would be a good Patron for us... That is, if You have the time and inclination, of course!"
Slyphe's webbed hands go to His mouth - He recoils, His brow furrowing upward, and then He emits a sharp, pealing laugh of delight. "I would be HONORED," the Deity enthuses, leaping forward and executing a swift, dancing circle around the top of the Lighthouse. "I will be your God! I will help you invent, I will help you think, I will help you experiiiiiwhat about my Brother," It realizes, suddenly, coming to a halt before you. Its expression is grave and somber for a moment, before It decides, with a flippant wave of Its hand: "He'll get over it."
Morwen chews on her inner cheek. "I suppose I should give Him the courtesy of letting him know why I sought to replace him. It's hardly personal! I have not even met Him! I just-" she pauses, a flush tinting her teal flesh. "-I just think it's a better fit and I want what's best for the Ascendril Order."
"No, no. I'll let Him know now, if you want," Slyphe interjects, hurriedly, raising His hand and beaming across at you. "It'll be fine, it'll be fun. Would you rather I do it?"
"Oh! If uh You could-" Morwen pauses before she shakes her head, a flash of resolve in her gaze. "No, I will send Him a message, at least! I owe Him that much as He has served the Order." Her tone is firm, though it's obvious from her knuckles whitening around a fiery aetherstaff of swirling spatial motes that she's more than a little anxious. "I just have never dealt with Gods before. It's not in the invisible manual I didn't receive on how to lead a Guild!"
Slyphe's lips twist, and She gives a small nod of Her head. "Adrift. Lost at sea. But you're setting your own sail, and that," She adds, decisively, "Counts for something. So - all right." She smacks Her hands together, rubbing them with a growing smile. "What do you need Me to do around here?"
"Well!" Morwen says, chewing on her bottom lip. "Engineer Rhulin is working on our [ -- NOPE SECRETS -- ]," she says, her eyes brightening. "[ -- GUILD STUFFS -- ]. We have a core group of five or so members that show up with some regularity so things are... Small. But quality over quantity, right?" she asks with a nervous laugh.
"Mmm..." Slyphe chews on Its lower lip, Its head canting as It listens to the sound of Its bell. A slow smile trails over Its face. "Can I..." It probes, tentatively: "Can I start with asking you what your idea of the perfect Ascendril is?"
"Oooh!" Morwen says, her expression brightening as she ponders the question - almost visibly savoring it. "I see the Ascendril as a united group of warriors and scholars, leading the charge of Light and Spirit across the land. We would stand strong, not just in defense of Enorian, but outside these walls as well, spreading the rational case for Light and Spirit where we are able, and purging Shadow, Corruption, and Darkness where we are not." The young kelki takes a few steps toward the Lighthouse's ledge, her glassy gaze cast across the sea. "We would be a true beacon of light in the shadows, banishing them into the crevises of the earth where they no longer could spread their taint." A soft smile touches the corners of her lips as she coninutes: "...And we would invent, and research... And share our inventions and discoveries throughout the realm, spuring progress and strengthening Spirit's hold on Sapience."
"So I'm hearing..." Slyphe gestures, momentarily, to Its ear, cupping a hand there, "Your ideal Ascendril's a warrior, scholar, and inventor. Not religious," She offers, and then amends, with a self-effacing grin, "Well, not too-too. But they're not going to take things on faith, this ideal Ascendril of yours. No..." He trails off, just for a bit, before picking up the stream of thought once more: "You want to build wonders, you want to collect knowledge, and you want to fight the Darkness." She smiles, then pauses, holding a hand out toward you - "Right? Wrong? In between? Have I heard you correctly, Archmage?"
"That is right." Morwen says, a nod in her head. "I have nothing against being religious. I, myself, seek to follow You and have since I was a small child," she says with a soft smile. "I just believe that if Light and Spirit are the correct paths forward, then they are the rational paths forward. Corruption? Darkness? Shadow? They are self-interested, they hoarde knowledge and stifle it. They enslave people who may just be the ones who could help society progress if they were just given the chance to /grow./ The self-interested consume themselves with powerlust and greed. That is not, and cannot, be the rational the way."
"I agree!" Slyphe asserts, with a nod. "The powerful try to keep things the same, and always, they fall..." She shakes her head, pushing out mist through Her lips. He considers the situation for a moment, eyes upon the distant ocean. "So," He continues. "We have your ideal Ascendril - a warrior, a scholar, an inventor." The Deity turns to you, smiling crookedly. "You have three nouns - pick one. Which comes first? Of your three elements, which two are Fire and Water, and which one is Spirit?"
Morwen mulls over Slyphe's words, her large eyes churning like the sea with thought. "...I believe that Fire is our warrior," she begins after a few thoughtful beats pass. "It is powerful with great destructive potential, but it also possess a great deal of creative force as well. An Ascendril warrior would not just be a blunt weapon, but someone with finesse and the ability to temper themselves as a fine weapon on a hot forge." The kelki's attention shift from the sea to find Slyphe. "Water would be our scholar... Ever constant but ever changing. Learning and adapting, mysterious and persistant... And our Spirit..." the kelki's eyes brighten as the following words come to mind: "Our Spirit is invention. Ingenuity. Creation."
"Inventors." Slyphe's grin is broad enough, nearly, to sever Its head from Its jaw. It circles, feet unable to keep still, water trailing around It in a slow, susurrous rush. "First and foremost, you are inventors and creators. An Ascendril made the plans to rebuild this-" His arm sweeps around, in a grand gesture, "-entire city! And even without cities, monuments, machines, [ -- SECRET -- ], all of that," the Deity speaks, in a rush: "You have your ingenuity, the drive that leads to these things. You can see when old laws need to be made into new laws; when old words need to give way to new words; you are the force of change in this City."
Pausing for confirmation, Slyphe, the Maelstrom asks, "Yes? No?"
"Yes!" Morwen pipes, energy shaking through her slender frame with such force that she hops from one webbed foot to the other to relieve it. "Yes, exactly!" The young kelki takes a few steps toward Slyphe, though she maintains a respectful distance from the diety. "That's exactly my vision."
Her fists gathering and clashing together with a cacophonous clap of thunder, Slyphe beams broadly at you. "Then," asserts the Deity. "Your job, and My job, are to help the Ascendril fulfill this vision. You are inventors, a force for change, clever, clever Magi like the Magi of old." The Deity smiles. "The [ -- NOPE SECRET -- ] is a fine project, but on its own, it's not enough. Projects come and go, Archmage, but ideas and visions have to be kept in mind every day. Your vision's a good one, and you'll make a fine guild out of it. You just need commitment - and something to keep your prospective Wards on the hook." Its teeth bare, gleaming and sharp.
Morwen's head nods, her tentacles bouncing against her back. "That I am working on for certain. [ -- GUILD PLANS MINE, NOT YOURS! -- ]." Her weight shifts into a lean against a fiery aetherstaff of swirling spatial motes. "[ -- SO NYAH -- ]."
"You may..." Slyphe trails off, for a moment, frowning gently with contemplation, "Also want to look at your history. You did not arise from nothing, Archmage," the Goddess remarks, "And although the Magi and the earlier iterations of the Ascendril are long gone, they're worth remembering. The Magi had a great legacy, once upon a time," the God continues, His voice a low rumble. "I liked them. It was a different time, of course, and their divide in two was the worse for both halves. Neither Ascendril nor Sciomancer, in My own view, has proved a worthy successor." Its solemnity broken, It turns to you, smiling. "The history would be compelling, I think, if you presented it that way, Archmage - a fall from grace, and an attempt to reclaim that lost ground."
Slyphe, the Maelstrom laughingly says, "Or My imagination just might be running away with Me, here."
The shades of orange, yellow, and green in Morwen's glassy eyes sparkle as her webbed fingers release and regrip a fiery aetherstaff of swirling spatial motes. "I agree, Maelstrom. I do believe that history is important. It informs and motivates us."
Slyphe nods His head eagerly, dashing to the edge of the Lighthouse and peering out over the late afternoon ocean. "How beautifully the light strikes it," the Deity enthuses, with a gesture to you. "See how it sparkles. Even more beautiful is the coming sunset - and the stars, oh, the stars..." It shakes Its head, the thought forgotten as soon as it's been voiced. "You have the history in the scrolls," She continues, "But it would be My recommendation to... integrate it. To give your students a sense of all that has happened and changed before they even set foot near the Lighthouse." The Deity's eyes shine, sparkling in turn, and It rests upon Its haunches, arms crossed lazily over Its knees. "But," It allows, "You likely know this and have your own plans. These are just My own observations. Is there any part of this in which I may render My assistance? Much of it falls on your shoulders, of course, Archmage, but if that is a load that I may lighten, tell Me," It smacks Its hand downward upon its knee, another thunderclap ringing over the city, "And I'll do it just like that."
Morwen jumps slightly at the thunderclap, her eyes widening a bit at the casual display of power from the diety before her. A soft gasp lifts in her throat, though she swallows it back down like a hard lump before she says, "...Well! Erm! The paper work is all mine to do, though the Docent has also been assisting me - thankfully!" Her webbed right hand lifts to scratch lightly at the back of her scaled neck. "So right now it's just the small steps needed to build a strong foundation to grow on - I think!" Her hand lowers to wrap around her staff, her weight falling against the item once again. "But I will look to You for inspiration and guidance. Like I said earlier - just because I believe that the non-religious path is the right one for the Ascendril does not mean that I, myself, lack faith!"
Slyphe, the Maelstrom asks you, "I know you do not. You are faithful to Me, and in time, I will consider a test for you, Archmage - to see if My Order may be the right place for you. Right now, though, THIS Order is test enough for you. You and your Docent have the paperwork, but if you would permit Me," the God gestures to Himself, "To pen My own scroll, that is one less for you to update. Yes? No?"
"Well, no one is more knowledgeable on the subject!" Morwen says with a bright laugh and a nod of her head. "The scroll on our Patron is Yours to draft, Maelstrom. I am certain that You will know... Well, You, best!"
"True! True..." Slyphe trails off, swiveling on Her heel and turning to go. Then She pauses, midstep, and wheels around to face you again, eyebrows shooting upward in alarm. "Was there anything else?" She asks, pointing at you with one webbed finger.
"I did have..." Morwen pauses, chewing on her bottom lip. "Well, it's a silly and unrelated question, if You have the time?"
"Is it about your father?" Slyphe asks, gently. He flows back to you, on graceful feet, and bends down to heed you more attentively.
"It is in some regards, and not in others." Morwen admits, a soft sigh in her voice. "I am... Well, I am approaching becoming a Yeleni. I know in some ways I will still retain my kelki heritage but in others I almost feel like..." the young kelki pauses, a heavy swallow pushing down her throat. "I feel like I am turning my back on my people... Telling my father that being 'just' a kelki is not enough, that /he/ isn't enough."
Slyphe's lips purse tight. She crouches again, meeting you gaze for gaze, assessing you with a calm glance. "You are Kelki. There is nothing except your own choice that will take that from you, understand, Archmage? You are still My child, wrought by the womb of one who was wrought by the womb of one who was wrought by the womb, and so on, so forth, all the way back to one of the Kelki I first shaped with these very hands." The Deity's webbed fingers rise - they seem small and humble in the twilight, but power resonates from them, whispering with the song of the ocean. "This is but an outward transformation, that you speak of - it is one change, among the many you've experienced since you came here." The Goddess smiles, soft and slow. "If those did not turn you from your people, then neither shall this one. And when the time comes, I will sculpt you, Archmage, just as I sculpted your ancestors - I shall make you beautiful and efficient."
Quietly, though Her eyes still shine, Slyphe, the Maelstrom asks, "Yes? No?"
Morwen nods her head quietly, forcing somewhat of a smile. "I suppose I just don't want him, or any of my friends and family in Kelun, to think that I don't need them anymore," she says, tears welling in her glassy eyes though not daring to fall. "But I trust You, Maelstrom. I cannot stop progress out of fear... And, in my heart, I know that my people - making them proud and protecting them - are goals for which I will always strive." Her nose wrinkles with a light sniffle. "Always."
Straightening up from you, Slyphe gives you a soft, reassuring pat upon the shoulder. "Your people will still love you and accept you," the God promises you. "And if they don't," He adds, with narrowed eyes: "I'll smite them. But politely."
Slyphe's words bring a soft smile to Morwen's lips and she nods her tentacled head. "Then I will try my best to not let my fear control me," she says, a hint of resolution creeping into her voice. "Thank You for your time, Maesltrom. I- I look forward to working with You and getting to know You better."
"Soon, Archmage," Slyphe promises. It takes a step back, then another, Its eyes fixed upon the ocean. "For now, though... Night comes, and I go." This said, It flings Itself forward, off the edge of the Lighthouse, hurtling downward, downward, until the ocean swallows it up.
A resounding splash sounds from the ocean near the base of Enorian's Lighthouse, and the faint, receding sound of thunder rings out.
[ -- Fin! -- ]