Of idols and monsters

SibattiSibatti Mamba dur NayaAmidst vibrant flora and treesMember Posts: 371 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited March 2020 in Roleplay Logs
Some important notes to read this log: both Lin and Sibatti heavily rely on telepathy/mind-RP, especially with each other. I marked these in the log as "Sibatti -> Lin: Blah blah blah"

Thinks will be labelled as such and you can safely assume they see one another's thoughts.

This is a short log, but a cool character development that I liked a lot. The historical context might be lost on some, so for that I apologize. The log starts midway through an existing scene where Pilar, Lin, and Sibatti are in an emotional discussion about recent events.....

"That is not quite accurate. Her presence brought me... comforts. Certain joys that are difficult to explain. It's beside the point." Lin's taken up smoking again - she flips out a green-dyed cigarette, lights it, and employs it in filling the natural lulls of her speech. "I have been variously disowned, chastised, threatened, tolerated. This is well and good. It was what I deserved. I will spend the rest of my life fixing that damage."

Sibatti -> Lin:
A vague pang of hurt.

Lin frames her fingers together around a loose space in the air, and swipes her hands apart. "What I cannot accept is Aisling's... Aisling's -cruelty-."

Sibatti looks to Pilar to gauge her reaction, her lips pressed into a thin grimace.

Lin -> Sibatti:
She distances herself, a mental handspan, just a touch of space. It is important to her not to succumb to her constant need for comfort; to express herself confidently.

Pilar begins to look visibly hurt at these words, her mouth hangs open and tears well in her eyes. Swallowing, she presses her lips together and grasps a heavy quartz pendant on a gold chain tightly in her hands. The more Lin talks, the more she begins to crumble until tears begin to fall down her cheeks. Her lone ear flicks back again and she closes her eyes, doing her best to hold her growing sobs and failing.

Lin's lip curls, hurt scrawled on her face. She can't bear to see Pilar crying. Neither can she easily make herself emotionally available, her body language withdrawn, an arm tucked defensively about her midsection, her elbow held flush to her belly as she leans into the cigarette, looking away, finding anything to look at but her beloved family. Her eyes are uncannily angry.

Pilar just thought:
The lingering sadness in the faun swells like a rising flood, quenching her hot anger as it rushes over her in waves. Within it a small voice whispers amongst crashing echoes of melancholy, "...How can she be so cruel..."

The loud sound of thunder rolls through the skies, shaking the air around you.

The crash of distant thunder elicits a twitch of both Sibatti's ears, and they drop further at the sound and sight of Pilar's weeping. She appears desperately torn between the two, eyes darting between Pilar and Lin. Her tail swats in agitation at nothing at all, inadvertently slapping the eldbeast in what passes for a face. It does not react, but Sibatti pats it reassuringly nonetheless - a convenient distraction.

"Hate me for it if you must - but you weren't there," Lin says, exposing her uppermost teeth, shooting a thin stream of smoke through her fangs. She glances askance at you for a while, wordless and unsure what else to say, a questioning look in her eyes as if to ask: what do you think?

Pilar wipes at the tears on her cheeks and leaking from her eyes with the sleeve of her robes, allowing the crystal to drop with a heavy thud against her chest. Her sobs calm and she looks up at Lin again, her eyes wet and rimmed with red as her expression begins to harden again. The little faun's lips press tightly together before she practically hisses, "I hate that thing on your face. It makes you say the most disgusting things."

The barb from Pilar causes Sibatti to flinch, but it achieves the effect of drawing her attention to the mask in Lin's possession. "Come to think of it.... why -do- you still wear it, shavora?" There isn't a hint of accusation or threat in her words - just honest curiosity.

Lin just thought:
"Because it's the only thing left of my Living Nightmare, even if it's-- it's this."

Lin glances down at the mask in question, hanging from her other hand. Separated from her face, it is little more than an unlovely obsidian carving, only its bizarre outer skin of butterfly's wings to mark it as something special. "Because it's beautiful," she says, not without apparent defensiveness in her voice.

Sibatti just thought:
.... what?

Pilar inhales sharply, clearly bristling again at Lin's answer. She looks over at you desperately, then to Lin with a look of pure betrayal. Fighting back tears again, she rushes toward the paddock's exit, forcing herself not to look at the Rojalli or look back at her eldest sister.

Pilar just thought:
The whispering voice has grown louder, almost hysterical as even internally the faun struggles to hold back the rising tide of sadness. Over and over again, it murmurs, "...All this because it's 'pretty'...All you've sacrificed thrown away because it's 'beautiful'...All the love you've given forgotten because it's 'nice'..."

Pilar leaves to the southwest.

Lin just thought:
"What? Does she think it was about a mask?"

Lin just thought:
[Utter bewilderment.].

Pilar's departure confuses Sibatti just as much - a problem she sets aside for the moment, as her attention is still on Lin. "Where... did you say that mask came from, again?" she asks, each word slow, as if she were struggling to get them out. She takes a cautious step toward Lin.

(Tells|Pilar): In a deep, gravelly voice, you impart to Pilar, "Sister.."

(Tells|Pilar): In the back of your mind, you hear Pilar saying to you, "I cannot listen to her anymore. I cannot!"

Where her sister's tears could not move her, the simple mention of the mask brings Lin's tail low, her shoulders slumped, sluggish. The cigarette hangs limply in one hand, and her new mask in the other. She turns and approaches you, but it's not easy for her to just out with the words, not right away.

"She destroyed it," Lin says, her throat tight. 'It' does not sound like the mask in her hand.

Lin -> Sibatti:
Woodsmoke and chipped, curling paint. Bone pitted and striated with centuries of age. Every detail stands out crisply in her mind - were she a Goddess, she could recreate the mask perfectly without hesitation.

Sibatti is in front of Lin before anything else happens, her hand flying to her face. Her palm grips her cheek - more of an investigative hold than a gentle cupping - and her thumb skims just beneath her left eye. She nods at Lin, slowly and deeply thoughtful. "I should have destroyed it when I had the chance," she whispers.

Lin cringes, pushing her face needily into your palm, encaging your slender wrist in her closed hand. "You may have found satisfaction with who you became - but I refuse to forget who you once were," she says grimly. "You own my heart - but the one who earned it in the first place was my -demon-."

Lin -> Sibatti:
To invoke the memories is to have her heart broken all over again. Outwardly she is mournful; the sense she's been honoring the loss of someone for a very, very long time.

Sibatti twists her arm away from Lin, attempting to break her grasp. "Let's talk about that, shall we?" she asks, her brow setting and her lips forming a grin. The softness flees her voice and her expression both. "Where did I go, mm?"

Sibatti -> Lin:
A cloak drops over her, and all you sense is the grey of obscurity. She's holding something back from you, or at least unwilling to let you peek first before answering.

Lin releases your wrist at the first sign of struggle, hooking her thumbs instead beneath the straps that bind her loincloth to her body. "You went nowhere," she says, lowering her voice, beginning to exhibit signs of chastisement. "You're here. I'm looking at you. I didn't lose anything."

"It's in my head," Lin continues, chasing her answer, not above sounding a little frustrated.

Her freed arm forms a loose fist, clawed fingertips grazing together, but Sibatti does not move away from Lin. Her stance shifts into something vaguely battle-readied, knees bent and shoulders forward. "It's more than that. It's occupied every space of your thoughts - and I've let you. I've ignored it for too long. Speak your truth."

"They made a -slave- of you," Lin's voice finds an unusually high pitch, two fingers coming just short of jabbing your chest. "They made you a slave, made you fight for your life. Made you escape. All on your own. You were so... large, so imposing, and you hid yourself nigh-endlessly. Esry... of -course- it has occupied my thoughts. How could I not relate to that?"

Lin taps her chest repeatedly, with a brace of claws. "You were the most terrifying person in Sapience. People idolized you. What more could I ask for in a memento? What stronger inspiration? What better reminder?"

"They idolized insanity." Sibatti's voice warps, marred by the roughness of emotion. Her tail snaps in the air. "I didn't know which reality I was living in, half the time - and the other half, I was drugged out of my own consciousness. There's nothing inspiring there, not if you looked closely."

Sibatti -> Lin:
She cracks here, too - you see multiple images of her, blurred and moving as one. A strange form of self-image projection

"I wanted to remember the good," Lin murmurs. Gazing at you, her eye beholds your image in dark fish-eye reflection. She lowers herself to her haunches, looking for all the world like a savage version of a knight beseeching their lady. "I'm not stupid, nor so callous. Esry, I-- I helped you overcome yourself. You had all the reason to. You don't think I want you back to being that, do you?"

Sibatti mirrors Lin's movements in rough approximation - she does not quite lower herself to her level, but hovers somewhere in between standing straight and crouching. Her leg muscles twitch and tremble. For a long time, she is silent, and her hands work at nothing. Only her tail seems confident in its gesticulations, arcing through the air. "..... Do you?"

"Gods... -Gods-," Lin throws her arms around you without warning, her horns pushed lovingly into your chest, the grass parting around her knees. "Gods. No, Esry. No. ******* -no-. I want this, this right here." She places a special emphasis on your heart, against which she has smushed her head.

Lin -> Sibatti:
"You used to be -dreadful- to talk to," she vocalizes in your head, where she can laugh freely and honestly about it.

Whether by words, or Lin's physical touch, the quaking in Sibatti's frame subsides, and she permits her knees to finally rest on the grass. A long, held-in breath escapes her lips slowly, the rest of her tension going with it. "I haven't forgotten her, either, shavora. I did not simply cast her aside. I feel her within me often... she is a guttural reaction, an instinctive snarl in the face of fear."

"She's a symbol, a potent image to crush the worst in you," Lin says, a continuation of your expounding, framing your face in her claws, her palms rough against your cheeks. "And I see those things I loved about her every day I am by your side. Only a fool would dismiss you as... -what-. Soft. Domesticated." The moon limns the tall grass and the two women in beautiful, pale light.

Both of Sibatti's hands, too, move to hold Lin's face. She tilts her chin down and closes her eyes, as if participating in a sacred ritual. She sits in this space, with Lin, in contented silence.

Sibatti -> Lin:
She is soothed, for now - whatever savage projection she forced onto you nonexistent.

After the long pause, you say, "...what will you do now?"

Like a blanket of darkness, the night sky obscures the horizon from view.

In this fashion, both kneeling, both cupping one another's faces, you and Lin look like nothing so much as penitents as depicted in some old First Epoch painting, the sort of thing you'd see in an illustration of Ankyrean piety. She shuts her eyes too, her expression somewhat flat but her mood trending toward the encouraged. "Make up for lost time," she says. "The next time I feel Dendara calling... I will make sure that Sapience misses me."
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