Kanivara's Tainting

XeniaXenia Member Posts: 1,083 ✭✭✭✭✭
This is old, but a log that I go back to and read when I'm missing the Carnifex. Those feels crep up from time to time, but this was one I was especially proud of. Hope you all enjoy it.

Chapel of Souls.
Hewn out of blood-stained stones, this small chapel is dimly lit by guttering torches, with a bleak blackness radiating from more than just the ever-present shadows. Narrow windows allow slender slivers of illumination to pool into the room, the glass stained a deep, lurid crimson. The result is a wash of dusky light and dancing darkness, skittering across the chamber in unnerving movement. A large altar dominates one wall, inset with a deep basin. Dried rivulets of blood cling to its obsidian bowl, hinting at an ominous purpose, while carvings of carnage and slaughter line the stone above the piece, enhancing the room's minatory air. A sigil in the shape of a small, rectangular monolith is on the ground. Ominiously silent, a vicious warhound stands here, teeth bared. Kanivara is here, methodically draining blood from the nearby corpses into the basin in the altar. She wields a blackened warhammer in her hands. A murky darkness has settled in here.
You see a single exit leading northeast (open pine door).

You have emoted: Her form cloaked in a swath of souls, Xenia reveals herself by stepping from the long, flickering-torchlight shadows to stand in the drying blood of the corpses. Her feet are bare, taking on a rusty hue in the congealing stain of blood and the rest of her form covered only by the engulfing skin of chitinous exoskeleton armour.

Kanivara's left ear flicks as she finishes sluicing blood into the basin. Once she finishes, she turns to you, giving you an expressionless salute.

Kanivara morphs before your eyes, taking on the form of Rolk.

You have emoted: "Tell me of your vigil," Xenia asks, cutting the silence in a low growling tone, "What did you contemplate?"

Quietly, almost reverently, Kanivara says, "I contemplated my place in the Keep, the path I took to get here, the work I must do further, and what is to come next."

You have emoted: Xenia's green eyes pierce Kanivara with an intensity that studies the other Idreth. The streaks of blood trailing from flecks which have begun to dry and harden on Kanivara's face. The crimson, now brown, stains that decorate the knight's hands. "I wonder what my Commander, Moirean Seirath would say on such a thing?" she ponders and then holds her palm up, unifying and then summoning her soulstone.

You have emoted: Xenia's eyes close, her countenance an expression of extreme focus as a pulsing soulstone begins to pulse within her grasp.

Kanivara nods once, her head tilting curiously to one side. She makes no move to clean the blood off herself, leaving her face and hands stained. Beyond the spatter left by her hammer and the violence she dealt to the denizens of Torston, if the body of a Grook child behind her is any evidence, she painted a spiral on her forehead in the blood of her victims.

You have emoted: The glow illuminating Xenia's hand slowly grows, shifting from a dim electric-blue, brightening with each pulse until it begins to strobe with blinding light.

The light dims, in its wake the ethereal form of an imp comes into existence. The imp is small in stature, face and eyes a never ending stir of mischief and play, her head adorned with tiny horns and wild curls of auburn hair.

Kanivara closes her eyes partially, her own eyes' glow brightening in response to the blinding light as a sort of reflexive defense. She waits patiently, curiously, until the Imp appears and the light dims. Recognizing the form as the former Commander, she gives a brief salute.

You have emoted: Xenia's eyes flicker open and spotting the imp before herself, she straightens immediately into a stance of attention, hand flying up to her head in salute. "Commander," she barks out, all authority and edge to her tone gone and replaced with a recruit's eagerness. The imp's head turns sharply to regard you, a malicious smile working its way into her lip as she turns to casually regard the Commander. "Ser," the ethereal imp remarks in cold tone, "what is the reason for your summons?"

You have emoted: "A Tainting, Commander," Xenia calmly responds as her hands settle in a fold at the small of her back. "The knight which stands before us here, Kanivara Sor'Tirivan, is to be tested. She speaks now of her vigil, in which she contemplated her path thus far and her future within the Keep."

Kanivara remains at attention as you speaks to the apparition, her ears and eyes focused on the two before her. She waits, taking her cues from her own Commander, though a slight smile touches her lips as she hears your tone towards the former Commander.

You have emoted: The imp's head tips in the faintest of a nod and she turns to Kanivara, her form shifting suddenly from imp to that of an Azudim. The woman, lithe in build, stands no more than about five foot, head still adorned in a set of horns and auburn hair. She regards Kanivara with a calm, cool stare that betrays little of what she may think beyond a haughty air. "She looks weak," she comments idly to Xenia, shooting the standing Commander a snide look of disapproval. "Tell me, Ser Sor'To--whatever," her tone an icy mock as she speaks Kanivara's name, "how is it you got this far and what will we stand to gain?"

(Tells): You tell Satomi, "I am currently tainting Kanivara, you should come if you can. However, I summoned Moirean's spirit and she is now currently questioning her."

(Tells): You tell Satomi, "Or soul, rather."

Calmly, Kanivara says, "I got this far through the strength of my soul, which is far stronger than my body. Through the strength of my mind, which has kept me alive through tribulations uncountable. Through the strength of my heart, which knows no limits."

(Tells): You tell Satomi, "If you feel that she has pulled away from you, this is why, because I have summoned all of her, which is within the Tainted soul network, in order to assist me in this tainting."

Kanivara pauses, one ear flicking as she ponders things. "What the Keep stands to gain is a soul that will not break, a drive that will not end, and a heart that will not cease its functions. I am whatever I choose to be, and I choose to be a Carnifex of the Shadow Keep."

Satomi places her hands on her hips as she stands near the entrance, watching quietly.

You have emoted: The Azudim woman's cool expression turns with a sneer at Kanivara's words. "Strength of mind, strength of soul, strength of heart," she bites back with a snarl, "all things with no tangibility. Fine, I will grant you that these things have brought you here but I wonder now if the knights I left forgot the importance of strength of body." She turns back now to face Xenia and then Satomi. "Ser's," she commands with a sweeping hand towards Kanivara, "seeing as I can not do so myself, will you two test this knight's body?"

You have emoted: Until Moirean's address, Xenia's eyes remain locked on her, their only break coming to follow the ethereal Commander's gaze towards the entrance and Satomi. She nods at the Tainted knight a silent form of greeting. "As always, just in time Satomi," she says with light tone and a faint grin, "why don't you take the first crack?"

Satomi chuckles softly as a fond glimmer lights her eyes, her gaze on the manifested soul for but a moment before she focuses her gaze on Kanivara, "It is true. The things you say are important, Kanivara, but if you cannot survive physical toll of upholding the ideals of the Carnifex.." As she speaks, she walks closer to Kanivara before taking hers chin with her fingers and holding firm, "How can we rely on you when we fight side by side?" Her final words are met with the sudden stench of decay as the flesh of Kanivara's chin and neck burst into puffs of rainbow-colored dust, the sudden removal of skin revealing muscle beneath. As she pulls her hand away she casually takes a step back and, with a sudden kick, strikes Kanivara just above the knee leaving the bones unconnected.

Kanivara lets out a soft startled grunt as the skin of her neck and chin disappears, one hand reaching instinctively for her warhammer. The warhammer ends up being her support as her knee ends up dislocated, the pain drawing little more than a soft hiss from her. Settling her weight on her good leg, she stands at her full height, ignoring the blood cascading down her chest and saturating her clothes. "That all you've got?" she asks tauntingly, tucking her wounded leg behind her, preparing for another attack.

Satomi grasps Kanivara by the neck, casually supporting some of the weight as she closes her other hand into a fist and begins to slowly, methodically punch her in the face. Each blow coems with a harsh 'thud' with the cheekbone breaking after only a few strikes, though once it shatters she relents and shoves her backwards to fall. Taking a moment to examine her nails, she steps forward and focuses on her. A moment of silence is followed by the sound of metal being forcibly bent and warped, the armor being pushed in on by telekinetic force into a position that barely allows room for breathing with points and folds being in all the wrong places.

Kanivara reacts instinctively, trying to block Satomi's punches. Each one lands despite her efforts, though, and the sound of bone cracking echoes through the space before she falls to her back. A short, sharp squeak of pain escapes her before all sound is viciously clamped back. Her breathing quickens as a sort of battle fury builds, a mixture of shadowy tendrils and brilliant emerald essence beginning to twist around herself. The miasma vanishes as her armor begins to bend and warp around her and even into her, her body twisting with the twisting of the armor. Her natural flexibility becomes quite evident as the armor warps. Her breathing comes in short, sharp gasps, followed by a demented-sounding giggle. "Thufek makes you look weak, Tomi," she says teasingly, a hint of pain lacing her voice.

You have emoted: The ethereal Commander stands in a set silence, her eyes narrowed into an assessing glare. "She yet mocks you, Satomi," she asserts in neutral tone to Satomi, "break her." A step back and to the left, Xenia stands at attention, eyes set forward in a focus-less stare that pans the scene of the battered knight.

Satomi murmurs a soft, "And here I was being nice.." A light laugh echoes through the room as she straddles Kanivara's waist and, dropping down to her knees, takes hers head in her hands. She leans forward, wisps of green, noxious gas oozes from her mouth and she presses a firm kiss to hers lips, forcing the cloud to fill hers lungs and leave her choking for air. She climbs to her feet as, with a casual kick to the broken side of Kanivara's face, she tilts her head back and smiles blissfully. The ground begins to shift and rumble, the solid structure of the Keep reducing the majority of it, before a sudden shift causes a thick spike to burst from the ground and, piercing the weakened structure of hers armor, punches through hers guts and impales her to the ground. The ground ceasing to rumble, Satomi looks over her shoulder with a crazed excitement in her eye and asks, "Does it hurt, darling?"

Kanivara grunts and writhes as Satomi kisses her, trying to fight the other woman off her. The gas leaves her choking and coughing, a rough sound issuing forth from her, blood speckling her lips and trickling from the corner of her mouth as her lungs are corroded and her body starts to retch. The kick to her face draws another sharp squeak from her. A harsh, hacking laugh starts to escape her throat before it's cut short by the spike of ground impaling her through her guts. The glow of her eyes dies out briefly before resurging fiercely, glowing brighter than usual. "Heh heh heh," she rasps. "Nothing... you can throw at me, my dearest heart," she murmurs, taking a pause to breathe, her breath rattling in her chest, "compares to what I endured growing up. You.... you won't... break me." Blood pours from her midsection and neck, her skin going pale as she slowly but surely exsanguinates. "I showed... Thufek twice... I will -die- before I break."

You have emoted: Xenia springs suddenly forward, grabbing hold of Satomi's shoulder and using it for a thrust of momentum as she surges towards Kanivara, boot connecting with a sickening crack to Kanivara's jaw. "You just," she barrels down into Kanivara, driving a fist squarely into the knight's face, "never know," it rises and falls again with another pummel. "When to shut," it crashes in again, "the unicorns," and again, "up."

Satomi gently caresses the tip of the spike as she watches Kanivara, still smiling, before murmuring a soft, "Don't die yet, love." She licks her lips before giving the spike a tap and, kissing it's bloody side, exhales into it. Her efforts begin to bear fruit as the spike begins to glow a dull red. It takes a few seconds, but the bloody wound begins to smoke and char as the growing heat burns the wounds mostly shut.

Kanivara finally lets out a full-on scream as you assaults her. When the scream dies, no further sound comes from her beyond the breaking of bones as her jaw, nose, and other cheekbone break. Her face bruised and bloodied, she can't speak even if she wants to. She writhes as the spike begins to heat and cauterize the wound around it. Within moments, though, the presence of her soul seems to grow smaller, more compact and distant. Her body goes limp and unresponsive.

Satomi raises an eyebrow as she glances at you, her foot idly caressing Kanivara's thigh, "I think we found her limit."

L Kanivara:
She is a powerful Idreth of Tsol'aa heritage and stands barely five feet tall. Her hip-length red hair is bound half-back in ornate braids. Her long ears extend six inches beyond the back of her head, and a pair of jagged, black-edged insectoid wings are on her back. Her emerald eyes are peculiar, sclera and pupil both a vivid shade of green, the iris barely delineated, a faint emerald glow illuminating them. Her face is delicately-formed, with high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes. Strikingly, a pattern of black swirls has been inked around her left eye. The tattoo arcs over her eyebrow and onto her forehead, covering half her forehead, and downward across her cheek where it ends parallel to the curve of her bow-shaped, red-painted lips. Any bare skin below her collarbone, save for her hands and feet, is inked in a spiralling, vine-like pattern of black, similar to the tattoo on her face. Wrapped around the shoulder and secured with a copper band is a paired shoulder cord showing colors of teal and crimson. She walks with the boon of Severn.

(covering to the knee) : a Carnifex's pleated woolen skirt
(defining the lips) : a silver moonstone piercing
(hanging from the shoulders) : shoulder cords in teal and crimson leather
(around one wrist) : a silver and moonstone bracelet
(dangling just beneath the throat) : silver moonstone warhammer and serpent necklace
(hanging open) : a Carnifex's side-buttoning black wool longcoat
(around the neck) : a small silver snowflake pendant
(around one wrist) : a bracelet of iridescent pearls
(worn on a finger) : a wrapping bird ring
(tied around her hips) : an ethereal spiderweb knitted lace shawl
(worn on a finger) : a delicate platinum ivy band
(tucked into her skirt) : a tight-fitting dark shirt
(wrapped around her waist several times) : a teal silk sash weaponbelt
(hanging from her weaponbelt) : a secure brass keyring
(polished neatly) : tall, thick-soled, gray military boots
(pinned through her braids) : an elegant silver-threaded mahogany hairpin
(plonked rakishly on her head) : a 'lucky' lure-hooked fishing hat

You have emoted: The smell of burning flesh curdles the air, the scent seeming to give Xenia pause there, hovering over Kanivara, fist raised and set for further assault. She glances over her shoulder towards the offensive odor, nose flaring in distaste before turning back to look over the fallen knight. With her free hand she reaches down, grabbing the collar of clothing and armor alike, to jerk Kanivara upwards for inspection. Her face hovers intimately close to Kanivara's, eyes darting this way and that over the bloodied and bruised features. She turns her head, ear but a hair’s breadth from Kanivara's nose and lips. "She breaths yet, Commander," she informs, eyes flickering towards the ethereal form of Moirean, "I stand at your command."

Kanivara breathes slowly and shallowly, her breathing slowing. Her eyes are devoid of their glow and barely show any sign of life.

You have emoted: "Leave her for me," Moirean hisses from behind Xenia as she steps forward to bend over Kanivara's slumped and broken form. "Did they break you," she coos gently over the knight as she raises a translucent hand to stroke gently over the knight's face. "Lay her down, Ser," she instructs of Xenia, who obliges as she carefully lowers Kanivara back to the ground. "Gently, now, gently," the ethereal Commander instructs in a sharp hiss, "do not deny me of my own test." There at Kanivara's side she kneels, her fingers gently stroking down Kanivara's face in a tender and nurturing fashion. "There there," she murmurs, leaning close to whisper at Kanivara's ear, "be strong."

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
Where Moirean touches your cheek, a soothing trail of warmth begins to spread, arousing your inner consciousness. Bolstering it with what must be her very own.

Seeing the wound fully cauterized, Satomi hums a gentle melody as the spike slowly folds back into the floor of the Keep, leaving a hole in it's place where Kanivara's innards used to be.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
Suddenly the sensation shifts, the soothing warmth growing to a burning that spreads all throughout your body. You can feel it, a poison that spreads through your soul, that burns and threatens the final threads of consciousness.

You have emoted: Moirean turns back up to regard Satomi and Xenia in a calm manner. "She awaits her final test," she says in a quiet tone to the two knights. "Drain her."

Kanivara continues to breathe slowly, though that breathing gets slower. Deep within her core, though, her soul has taken refuge in some sort of construct, a fortress of her own built to protect her soul and her own essential self. Within, the tsol'idreth fights against the poison infecting her, clinging to her existence. Her soul, fractured and scarred as it is from both life and obtaining her soulstone, doesn't give up. The poison drops her to a bare fragment of herself, but she keeps fighting.

Satomi exhales gently as her carapace begins to fall away, exposing the flesh beneath as it becomes a tightly controlled vortex of sand before her. Slowly, the sand coalesces into the form of a violet soulstone, pulsing gently. She turns her gaze to Kanivara as a line of violet shoots from her soulstone to hers chest, spreading tendrils throughout hers form as it hunts down the fragments of soul and begins to slowly drain them away into her soulstone.

You have emoted: "As you command," Xenia murmurs and reaching her hand forward, she sets a pulsing soulstone to hover just above her palm. From it violet tendrils stretch towards Kanivara's chest, drumming with a suctioning pulse that Kanivara's soul simply can not hide from.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
Your consciousness slowly begins to recede, though try as you might to retain whatever shards of it remain, you simply are too weak. Images of your failures begin to plague your mind.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
I was not good enough for the Syssin, I failed there and here now, I have failed. I can not

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
Your life force continues to drain, and with it, further thoughts and insecurities begin to plague your mind.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
My life, devoid of closeness and love despite the family I have so desperately attempted to form. I am alone, I lived alone. I will die alone.

Kanivara's soul slowly emerges from her body, whirling and writhing in fury. A brief flash of her as a five year old slave appears, the little tsol'aa screaming. A flash of her as a Syssin appears, worry and doubt in her expression. A flash of her at age twelve appears, sobbing and her flesh freshly-carved. Multiple times her image changes, her failures and every bit of pain she suffered becoming visible for brief moments.

Satomi gently caresses her soulstone with her fingertips as it continues to drain Kanivara, her gaze soft before she firms her expression and glances at you.

You have emoted: The haunting images of Kanivara's failures, moments of weakness and insecurities flash, one after the other, baring her soul entirely to you all. As the final image comes to light, Kanivara scorned and alone, Moirean speaks: "I see now, the struggles and constitution of this knight." Turning to Xenia and Satomi she nods, "Return this Knight's soul, bolstered and stronger than ever before."

You have emoted: The violet throbbing of Xenia's soulstone slows to a still, its hue shifting to the brighter, electric blue, its motions and waves changing direction to flow through Kanivara's chest.

Satomi rests her forehead gently against her soulstone as the flow reverses, flooding Kanivara's body with a steady stream of hers soul bolstered by her own.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
Pieces of you return, your mind and consciousness growing as your soul begins to take root. Though now there is the distinct presence of others: Xenia and her unwavering sense of duty. Satomi's cunning and shrewdness for knowledge.

Kanivara's soul returns to her body, which takes a soft breath once her soul is once more within. Her breathing remains shallow but becomes steady as her soul is bolstered by your and Satomi's, and her limbs remain still. A faint light appears within her eyes as her soul takes root once more.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
You sense the presence of others still as your soul returns joined now with the soul network of all Tainted knights to come before you. Moirean's ferocity in leadership, Akarn's methodical state of mind, Jura's strict adherence to laws and authority.

Kanivara blinks several times as she begins to come to, the light in her eyes brightening, a look of childlike wonder appearing on her face.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
The last of your soul finally takes anchor, bolstered now by the strengths of all Tainted knights past. A few you recognize, Grimdale, Yettave and Argolis, while countless others hover just in the backdrop, strengths unknown and undiscovered.

Satomi leaves her soulstone to continue it's work as she kneels beside Kanivara. Spreading her arms wide, she faces upward and grits her teeth. A miasma of deep violet mixed with black and jade swirls about her as she flares her essence to an intense blaze before bending over hers form and enveloping Kanivara and herself in the blaze. Swiftly, the wounds inflicted on her begin to mend and knit back together, joints popping back into place and flesh repairing. Small bits of Kanivara's plate remain embedded in flesh, though Satomi seems unconcerned with that for the moment as her essence's burn dies away leaving her more-or-less repaired to an.. acceptable degree.

You conjure up the illusion to Kanivara's mind:
I am not alone, and never shall I be. My service was not a failure nor was my time with the Syssin. I am strong. I am worthy. I am Tainted.

Kanivara breathes slowly and deeply as her body begins to knit, the hole in her torso knitting together visibly as her subconscious focuses on that. Her conscious mind focuses on the new sensations, the new thoughts and knowledge, and the senses she gathers from her Tainting. "I am Tainted," she whispers, her body knitting back together more fully with Satomi's aid.

You have emoted: "Rise now, Officer," Xenia's voice echoes out, the image of Moirean no longer and now returned once more to the network of Tainted souls, "and stand amongst us a Tainted Knight of the Carnifex."

Kanivara rises slowly, shaking a little as her nerves fire off with residual pain. She lifts herself to her feet, leaning on her warhammer, a grin on her lips.

-Everyone bails-

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