Runas was busy doing what Runas does...snorting things up his nose and doing tedious salvaging work to try and find stuff, his backstory bears a history of rummaging through old ruins trying to scrounge up quite a bit during his tenure as a refugee hiding out in the Underbelly of Delve, and thus he has found a place to do this in Sapience as well.
---SOMEONE GETS SLEEPY---
All this salvaging begins to slowly show its toll on your body - your arms grow heavy, and your legs grow weak. When's the last time you stopped for a break?
You let loose a long breath from your lungs, exhaling slowly.
Your eyelids begin to flutter shut of their own accord, and in but mere moments you find yourself drifting.
You suddenly feel weary and tired.
An unusually vivid dream swirls through your sleeping mind, and you have the distinct impression of movement.
The stars glitter above you, outshining even the afternoon sun. The Navigator peers down a spyglass towards the River sparkling with gold, down which Fionshi guides the Essence of the Sea. The Lovers embrace in the light of the Radiant Flower. Though a storm flashes and rumbles over the Marketplace, Azimel stands guard, shoulder to shoulder with the Noble Protectors. The legends of the night sky surround you, until you realize your body, too, glows with the inconstant light of stars. You look down upon Aetolia from your perch in the darkness, eager to hear your story told.
Warm tinglings of love and joy sift through you with the gentle caress of a summer breeze. Your vision is consumed by pure, unwavering light that you sense springs from your very soul. You bask in the beauty of the light, the essence of your being swelled with unparalleled grace and majesty.
With a heavy, blood-filled cough you are jarred awake. Pain shoots through your chest as you try to move, but you find yourself too weak to do so. Blinking through the blurry liquid in your eyes, you try to shift your legs but find yourself unable to. Your frustration growing, you glance about the tent you are in, and finally sitting up in the cot, glance down at your legs in horror. The flesh is in gooey piles from your thighs down, and maggots and other carnivorous insects writhe within the remnants of what were once your legs. Your voice rises in a scream as the walls of the tent melt as though burning.
The sound of laughing children brings a smile to your lips, their carefree voices warm as afternoon sunshine. The giggles quickly change, however, into the deeper chuckles of adulthood. Before long, your ears hear only the hoarse, gruff mutterings of old men and women. Even these fall silent as death. Childhood in all its happiness has never felt more distant.
Turning like thick syrup, your body seems to flow in the air around you. Before you stands a friend, animatedly talking. You reach out to touch them, your hand fluid in the air, and as your skin comes in contact with them, their body shatters as though made of stone. The pieces fly through the air entirely of their own volition before gently falling to the ground like snow.
You tumble among the clouds, the heavenly ether carrying you as high as you will it. Air flows over your body more smoothly than any water and you fly without restraint. You play games with the breezes and laugh happily, pitying those who must walk upon the earth.
Omei releases a quick exhalation of breath, a fist slamming on the countertop nearby as its partner rises to massage lightly at Her left temple.
You stand within a spanning laboratory that's bedecked with all of the absolute necessities needed to flourish in the field of scientific discovery. Describing the room as clean would be putting it lightly - not a speck of dirt makes itself evident either on the floor, the spacious countertops that line the room, or the tools and utensils therein. The chamber in its entirety reeks of chemicals, though pinpointing precisely what the exact source of the smell is is a task made difficult by the sheer quantity present across the room. Reality twists and contorts in slivers of fragment-like visions around the form of Omei, the Nightmare.
There are no obvious exits.
Gesturing wildly, Omei says to you, "Runas! Now is not the time to be napping. Get back to work or you will -die-."
There's a frantic note in Omei's tone as those words escape Her lips, Her body tense as She eyes you.
You have emoted: Runas gestures as if trying to collect himself in a state of exhaustion which has so been abruptly lifted before Omei, "I...work, always working, plenty to be done, to discovery, it is the body which fails me, not the mind." he stammers, realizing just what is before him, his mouth closes abruptly as awe bears upon him, perhaps fear as the hair on his neck stands on end, "I-I, wel...it is You..." he stammers, reaching around in a fathomless scramble to pull himself to his feet in the laboratory and propping his weight against his stave, "I, work, y-yes, lets see here..." he is confused, looking around a laboratory with his pupil-less gaze.
She is an Immortal. Tall and slender, She stands at the height of a Human, but everything about Her screams larger-than-life, Her very form harshly breathtaking. A shaved head frames Her face, each side shorn clean, while the mane atop Her crown itself seems to be formed from the stuff of Dreams - a cloud of moths one moment, writhing tendrils of Nightmare the next. Her skin is a deep purple, the hue of a forest's vespertine shadows, and Her complexion is dark, Her angular cheekbones creating sharp planes across a thin face. Sunken eyes rimmed in kohl-dark earth are a piercing, pure violet, with dilated pupils star-flecked and fathomless. Her dark, bruise-purple lips are full, bisected by an intricate tattoo slicing down the middle of her lower labrum and chin to twine around her neck, unfurling in stunning swoops and slashes across her shoulders, breast and belly. Inked in a rich, lustruous black, the tattoos scrawl out words in every language, from common Aetolian to Rajamalan to words and thoughts only known to the denizens of the Dreamworld. A soft haze hangs over the markings, a faint purple fog that seems to gather and recede of its own volition - and, as the mist skims the Goddess's skin, there are whispers, faint and susurrant, murmuring half-heard prayers of battle and glory and war.
It doesn't take Omei's gaze that constantly finds itself flicking to your forearms to alert you to
their rather dire state - a dull burning accompanies the blisters and oozing bubbles that seem to have taken residence beneath your skin. She releases a sharp breath as She turns on a heel, Her fingers curling in exasperation as She erupts into a light pace. "I cannot cure it, it is foreign," She notes with a hint of annoyance punctuating Her words. "Find the cure before it spreads further; I will not have you responsible for spreading that... that..." She trails off, visibly flustered. "THAT, to the populace. No, no no no."
You have emoted: Runas rubs at his forearm, the scarring and brands upon his flesh burning as his finger traces along the runic markings, his eyes dim as he places his stave against a wall and peers upon the laboratory with a rather curious examination of the contents, "I...am, not fa...familiar with...." he pulls free a few of the chemicals, stammering with a trembling hand at the pouch at his hip, the nerves getting to him as he scoops out a nail-full of the faint glowing powder and inhales it deeply, coughing. His raspy voice hacks as the powder goes into his lungs and his eyes light up once again, the markings on his flesh glowing brightly beneath the turgid blisters forming upon his forearms. The air stills around him as he focuses upon the channeled elements in his form, a palpable heat flaring around him though to no avail. "W-what is this, I was just..." his shaking hands rattling with the phials of chemicals between his fingers, he pops the stopper out of a couple of them sniffing them as if trying to discern the contents.
Is this just a dream, do the consequences matter. Is this a test, should I just drink these....
Even if it is real, you are no coward, if you are truly sick you must sacrifice, others cannot perish to your irresponsibility.
A pulse of energy ripples forth from Omei's tattoos as the violet, haze-like energy that surrounds them flares violently a sinister red. "You have been at this for DAYS," She bellows as She quickly closes the distance between you and Her. Her claws drag slowly along the metal countertop in a way that produces a spine-tingling screech that only manages to emphasize Her rather... discontented demeanor. "I've already hidden the Vanguard, put to sleep the Heralds and locked them away - I swear to Varian Runas - if you do not fix this catastrophe before Enorian needs to reelect its entire ruling council I will personally see to it that you do -not- die to this curse, but wish you would have," She seethes through gritted teeth.
There's something so real, something so visceral to the words She spits and Her overall demeanor. Were this somehow a dream, it's a damn convincing one to say the least.
The pain in your forearms begins to grow in intensity as a small cluster of blisters on each arm erupts. A foul-smelling pus pushes forth from them, oozing downwards as it begins to spiral down the length of your arms only to drip to the floor from your elbow.
You have emoted: Shuddering beneath the shrill sound of nails upon the metal, Runas is dripping in his own sweat at this point, "D-days..." he stammers, the pain hardly ceasing, if not it has just gotten worse with the bursting of the blisters and sloughing to the floor, "unicorns!" he exclaims, dropping a phial as the pain sears his arms, shattering it on the floor. Without hesitation he pours the contents of three of the chemical containers into his throat, uncertain of the results. "I-I so help me, I am but a mortal, if....can, I do not know what this is, I cannot stop it." he seems distraught, his face sinking in as he trembles beneath the pain, "..p-please help me, I-I will do anything to protect them."
Why have I done this.
The substance you'd just swallowed feels vaguely acidic as it sloshes down your throat, coating the flesh therein with its viscous embrace. "What was that?" Omei hisses, skepticism dripping not only from Her tone, but Her posture as well as Her fingers curl and Her back straightens. "Is that how you work? Hope for the best?" She shoots back, the questions weighed down with a mixture of disbelief and disappointment as She hurls Her fist at the countertop once more. "Is that how MINE work? Just HOPE that they will succeed with no actual basis?" A low growl pushes forth from Her lips as a hand shoots outwards to wrap around your throat, the claws that sit atop Her fingers digging lightly into the tender flesh of your throat. "Skin infection," She ever-so-slowly hisses. "You got it from that substance you keep inhaling," She adds, gaze flicking to the floor where some residue of exactly that remains, now intermingled with droplets of pus. "It spreads with contact, and from that coughing you've been doing. Think. Use your brain. What will fix this?"
You have emoted: Runas exhales as the burn of the acidic fluid in his throat, like one has drank of a fluid which is too hot he rasps for a moment, "T-think." he repeats, quietly pushing the pouch at his hip onto the counter and pushing it away, "I..the powder, I need the powder...it, it cannot be tain." his mind wanders as if he is questioning himself before a Goddess, he is skeptical, fearful. His tone dries as he turns around and faces Omei with a certainty in his expression, prepared to make a sacrifice his tone lowers and dire acceptance comes free from his lips, "Contact must cease, if I cough I spread what comes forth from me and ...the wiping of my nose upon my arm has infe...infected my arm." he shakes his head, vulnerable and weak, "I-if I stop, it will kill me."
"And if you -don't- it will kill you," Omei lowly remarks after your words have a few fleeting moments to linger upon the air. The pain the wracks your body now seems to stem from everywhere at once - your throat and stomach suffer as a likely result of that substance you'd just quaffed, and your arms roar like they'd been sit ablaze. "One of these is more immediate, the other, well," She trails off as Her gaze flicks once more to your forearms. "What do you do [Your body shows all the signs of fighting a foreign substance intent on doing it harm; air is difficult to take in, and maintaining a steady staccato of your breaths is nearly a futile effort. Sweat oozes from your pores at a level beyond what nerves alone could cause, and the edges of your vision begin to steadily blur.
Your stomach heaves, but barely - just barely, manages to settle before spewing its contents.
You have emoted: "I live n-now, and find the source of contamination.", Runas says, grabbing the pouch and wincing beneath the pain, "I need to p-purge what remains w-within me, I need what exists now to cease, and.." with the vomit pouring from him and the very trembling of his body beneath the onslaught of affliction he is facing, his eyes dim dully, flickering like a candle being blown by a draft in an old house, "Destroy what is here, it i-is too late to quarantine, this must cease, and I must begin anew, I give myself to You." he intones, barely able to hold himself up and speak atappropriate volume anymore, "This must stop though, I cannot do this alone, I give You my word, my oath."
You have emoted: Runas drops the pouch, his hand barely able to clench the fabric, the contents staying intact as he hunches over in pain, clutching his abdomen as the sores fester upon his flesh.
So much pain, this is too real...what have you done, why have you done this....
Why, why you came here to get away from the pain, the suffering.
Omei takes a step back from you, yet Her gaze remains plastered upon you all the same. Time seems to blur before your very eyes, sped up in a way that only manages to emphasize the tremendous pain you feel. The blisters begin to slowly crumple away, leaving behind only reddened skin for a time as the laboratory around you too faces the negative effects of time; the countertops grow dull, the supplies and instruments begin to rust, and the floor starts to bear spiderweb-like cracks. Your stomach heaves, your arms burn, your head bears a splitting pain as if a brick had been dropped upon it - but despite this, despite all this pain that absolutely ravages your form and the changes that occur right before your very eyes in this increased time flow, the pouch by your side remains in absolutely pristine condition.
You could reach for that pouch. Take it. Inhale. Savor it. Your body longs for it to the point that it practically cries out for it. You want it. Need it. You could end all of this now with one little inhalation - but such would, obviously, have other implications. Your skin itches. Want. Want. NEED. A selfish greed.
...But She watches. Every move, every action, Her own movements blurred with this passage of time, yet altogether still unflinching in Her assessment of you.
You have emoted: Runas drops to his knees, the pain coming out in a whimper of submission from the frail, dilapidated mortal form which sits within the chamber that slowly expires around the Yeleni. His hands twitch and burn, almost mechanically as if impulse pushes him to just indulge one last time. Inching closer, the desire yearning the understanding all could feel better with just a tiny bit more. He cries, his tears splashing against the cracked laboratory floor, amidst the silence in minute splashes time ticking with each second as the droplets fall like a fluid metronome. "N-no." he rasps out, shaking like a stray animal that has been left in the cold, almost too weak to move further it comes once more, and this time louder, "NO." hes sobbing now, collapsing into the fetal position.
Your last cry seems to startle everything around you into stillness. You, the laboratory, the pouch -Her, even. For what feels like an eternity you're left to stare at that little pouch that glistens from within. You can smell it from where you are, and for a moment its succulent aroma is a distraction from the immense pain you feel as your body all but begins to consume itself from the inside. Then, Her lip quirks. It is the last thing you see before you wake abruptly up within the rubble-choked cavern you'd fallen asleep in.
You find the weather around you imperceptible. The path meets the edge of the shaft here, becoming a stone platform that hangs out over the abyss. The area is filled with rubble, a tumble of dirt, rocks, ice and metal implying some kind of cave-in, though it is impossible to tell how long ago it occurred, nor the reason why. Whatever the case, it makes navigating this area of the chamber somewhat difficult, with unsteady footing and not much space left to actually place one's feet. Whatever handrail there might have been at the edge is also long gone, jagged chunks missing from the edge of the platform implying that if one was bolted down there, it must have been torn violently away.
You have emoted: Runas pushes himself in a scramble on the floor, his hands running along his body as if examining himself over and over, markings, blisters, burned flesh it is all away, but it felt so real. His very expression shows an uncertainty as he takes a physical inventory of himself. His face still stained with the tears which streamed, the sensations all too real as they linger yet within him, "I.." he is wordless, still shaking he takes in a deep breath, using his stave to pull himself up against the stone platform.
He is an adaptive Yeleni of Tsol'aa heritage who has seen greater days in his arcane studies. His
skin is rather unique in comparison to the more common sun-kissed exterior of those more
traditionally found as remnants of the Aalen and went on to create further bloodlines in the Tsol'aa race. He however from a long exiled stock, took on a darker complexion, more akin to an aubergine-grey in colour although one would swear it bears a faint glow to the flesh itself as if infused with arcane energy itself. Numerous runic markings line his flesh, some of the markings resembling runes being dug deep into his very flesh like scars, upon his right hand the scars fill with an energy alight with a slight violet hue. Amidst his rather dodgy, twitching movements there are few, extremely rare occasions in which he is still, as if something within him stirs with a yearning unease. His most fascinating feature are his eyes, instead of pupils the entirety of his eyes is a solid, vibrant purple seemingly focus-less yet hypnotizing in their roiling gaze. Between the two long, pointed ears similar to those amongst the common of his race, long silvery locks have been pulled back into a tightly braided ponytail back behind his head keeping his hair out of his face whilst busy with other matters.
(slung across his body) : an elemental weaponbelt
(draped across his lower half) : a midnight kilt adorned with arcane runes
(around his feet and up his calves) : a pair of charcoal wraps
(wrapped tightly around the hands) : a pair of charcoal leather wrap gloves
(strung around his neck) : a length of elemancer's focusing beads
(draped off his shoulders) : a cloak of fallen stars
(worn over his pinky like a claw) : an ostentatious, platinum clawed ring
(under one wrist) : a black-inked tattoo of a feral eye
You notice immediately the black-inked tattoo that sits upon the underside of your wrist - it
certainly wasn't there before you'd fallen asleep, but a light tingling beneath the flesh where it
sits marks it as convincingly real.
Omei, the Nightmare has invited you to join the Divine Order of Omei, the Nightmare and awaits a response.
AGREE if you wish to join the order.
Omei grants you entrance into Her Order. Congratulations!
You have emoted: Runas looks upon himself, bearing a mark under his wrist his hand graces it for a moment, tracing the edge of the feral eye and nodding quietly to himself, "T-thank You." he says quietly, exhaling deeply.
(Order): Omei says, "Welcome, Runas. You did well."
GOOD GOD @Omei
that was hot.
The Divine voice of Tiur echoes in your head, "You know better than that. Bad."
A telekinetic newspaper swats your nose.