Iosyne's Gift of Pain and Power

AyukaziAyukazi Member Posts: 19
(Tells): Agony wracks Ayuna for an instant as Iosyne's words bestow the gift of Pain upon
her, "Come."

A light rain wets her surroundings, falling pleasantly around her.

Satisfied with her bearings, Ayuna digs underground with alarming speed.
Deep underground.

Ayuna travels to


--- Overlooking a bowl-shaped pit - 2:1:0 ---
The chamber opens up spaciously, nearly swallowed up by a bowl-shaped pit in the center.
Approximately eight feet deep in the center, the pit ramps up steeply along its perimeter
to provide an escape from its depths. There is just enough room rimming the pit for a
single row of onlookers, as even a single step forward would draw one into the pit.
Rimming the chamber is a crowd of shadowy forms, erratic and vaguely humanoid in outline.
The monstrous half-woman, half-spider form of Iosyne, the Malevolent is here.
You see a single exit leading west.

A figure wrapped in darkness straightens, preparing herself in the presence of Iosyne. "You called for me."

(Tells): On a soft, clicking whisper, Ayuna hisses against Rhyot's mind, "I will be silent for
a short while."

(Tells): Rhyot tells Ayuna, "Are you well?"

(Tells): On a soft, clicking whisper, Ayuna hisses against Rhyot's mind, "Order things."

(Tells): Rhyot tells Ayuna, "Understood."

"I did," Iosyne replies, Her back turned to Ayuna - the Malevolent's attention is, instead
on the erratically writhing crowd of shadows adorning walls. "Have you been here before?"

A figure wrapped in darkness nods. "I have been in this room before,
yes."

You abandon the veil obscuring your form, becoming visible once more.

A wry smile appears on Iosyne's lips as She reaches a hand towards the shadows. In
response, they reach back. "And beyond?"

Ayuna tilts her head curiously. "I do not believe so, no."

"The Pit leads to the Bloodletter's Domain," Iosyne explains, circling the giant maw
dominating the centre of the room. Her movements stop when she stands on the other side of
the pit, facing Ayuna. "But the shadows hold something for My representatives as well." With
that, the Goddess leans backwards into the wall of twitching shadows - hands reach out for
Her as She does so, enveloping Her completely.

Rimming the chamber, plastered against the earthen walls, is a crowd of humanoid shadows.
Each one is slender, tall, and moves erratically by the ushering of the trickling
torchlight. No matter which way you orient yourself, you are always at the center of their
attention.
It is strangely weightless.

It is now dusk on Quensday, the 22nd of Variach, year 488 of the Midnight Age.

Ayuna steps closer to one of the slender, twitchy shadows rimming the pit, reaching out with
both hands to intersect the incorporeal form. Continuing to move forward, she merges with
the shadows completely, its inky form matching hers in every dimension. Her surroundings
warp into zigzagging lines, pulling away to reveal another place entirely.

Beyond the void.
This room has not been mapped.
The monstrous half-woman, half-spider form of Iosyne, the Malevolent is here.
You see exits leading northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest, and out.

Amidst the chaos of their surroundings, Iosyne alone appears unchanged, Her normalcy itself
jarring against the warped background. "Much has been lost to Mine over the past years."

"No fault of yours," Iosyne continues, arachnid legs carrying Her to stand beside Ayuna.
"Those who came before you have fallen to slumber." The Goddess waits in line with her
expectantly, gesturing for her to lead on.

Ayuna blinks, taking note of the social cues quickly. "Alright then."

Iosyne follows Ayuna to the northeast.
A scorched landscape.
This room has not been mapped.
A giant simulacrum of the Malevolent stalks the grounds in rage, her four arms equipped
with wickedly-curved obsidian scimitars.

The terrible form of the simulacrum is impossibly tall, nearly thirteen feet in height and
shaped like a strongly-built athletic woman. Her glowing ebony skin holds a constant sheen
of moisture upon it, barely clad in an ornamental covering of crimson silks and gold-
plated armaments and bangles. Upon her head is a conically-shaped, massive headgear,
framing her scowling face on three sides. She walks barefoot, and her four arms are each
equipped with a wickedly-curved obsidian scimitar.
A simulacrum of the Malevolent looks weak and feeble.
It carries over ten weeks of survival experience.
It weighs about 460 pound(s).

Ayuna drops her jaw. "Absolutely beautiful."

A scorched landscape.
This room has not been mapped.
A lifeless and scorched landscape stretches in all directions, with no tree nor mountain
to provide variance to the flat terrain. The surface of the ground is volcanic rock,
fissures splitting it in many places to provide glimpses of volatile, churning magma
beneath. A fine layer of grey ash hangs in the air, lowering visibility by a great deal. A
giant simulacrum of the Malevolent stalks the grounds in rage, her four arms equipped with
wickedly-curved obsidian scimitars. The monstrous half-woman, half-spider form of Iosyne,
the Malevolent is here.

Ayuna asks, "Do you mind if I continue?"

A stark contrast to the humanoid form of the simulacrum, Iosyne remains in Her spider
form. "Greet it."

Ayuna greets a simulacrum of the Malevolent with a sincere smile.
A simulacrum of the Malevolent ceases her movements for a moment, looking to Ayuna and
listening.

Ayuna blinks.


Ayuna says, "I am here to bathe in your blood."

A simulacrum of the Malevolent immediately snaps to attention, moving over to Ayuna in a few
massive strides. The scowl fades and her visage shifts to one of dutiful obligation.
Scarcely after she has come to a stop, the simulacrum turns all four of her scimitars
inward toward her unarmored form, impaling herself gruesomely.

A simulacrum of the Malevolent finally sinks to her knees, slumping forward and releasing
her grip on her weapons. The flesh slides away from her body until she is a mere skeleton,
a black viscous coat of something foul-smelling clinging to the bones. The gory remains
congeal into a shuddering, massive pile of gore, wherein the skeleton finally collapses
into.

The abhorrent smell of the mess coating the floor easily identifies this pool as being a
fresh result of recent carnage. Bits of gore and offal appear here and there, along with
what appears to be a very large ribcage, are completely coated in a black, viscous
substance which drips thickly from the pile. Every once in a while, the unholy remains
shudder and strain of their own accord, their movement defying explanation.

As Ayuna reaches out to touch the pool, a shriek of pain emerges from the pile of carnage and
the gory remains surge forward to envelop her hand. She wrenches her arm free, but not
before it manages to become coated in a black, viscous substance.

To her relief, the viscous substance no longer coats her hand, dripping away and
vanishing into nothingness.

A faint throbbing is felt in her hand, and she glances down to notice thin black lines
crawling over its surface.

Individual black lines run multiple paths over her hand and forearm, impossible to touch
and never remaining in one place at any given time. Where the lines appear to come into
contact, an acute and burning pain accompanies.

The pain in her forearm and hand at this point is nearly crippling, the illusory black
threads running over every surface of her arm with maddening speed. A rapid series of
arachnid clicks whispers to her, "Can you imagine what it feels like to be dying and never
die?"

There is the briefest sensation of fire in the muscles and tendons of Ayuna's arm and hand,
and at once, the whispers cease, the pain fades away, and the skittering lines passing
over her body dissolve.

Iosyne traces a finger along the streaking lines of blood now adorning Ayuna's face. "Mine
painted themselves such, long ago," She recounts. She brings the finger to Her face,
tongue flicking out to lap out the droplets of blood. "You have seen it on My Voice,
perhaps."

Ayuna stares at her arm most curiously. "For battle or constantly, I have
to wonder?" she whispers as she simply watches the Divine taste of her blood.

She is a typical Azudim vampire of Human heritage and Chiav form at a height of five and a
half, most of this length rooting from her legs. Her stature is slightly muscular,
feminine curves not lacking despite how lean she appears. With moon kissed milky skin, her
chiseled cheekbones highlight her cool black eyes. She wears black eyeliner that swooshes
out past her crease, long black lashes building a catlike regality to her face. Bold red
lips are full with an arch. Her full-bodied onyx hair falls past her shoulders in tribal
dreadlocks, the side-swept part in the front defining her long bangs as they frequently
fall over to partially conceal her right eye. Fair sized black horns curl up and backsweep
from either side of the top of her head. The very top back of her hair is pulled into a
dreaded bun, letting all the other locks fall to either side of her hair, all woven with
deep red ribbons that hue crimson to leave a black and red candy striped effect that parts
around her horns, getting more vibrant from the black as they weave down to the tips. A
large full bloomed blood-red rose tattoo can be discerned on her left thigh as a few
petals peek into view under her clothing, vines piercing her flesh leaving a trace of
blood to drip where it enters. Onyx bat-like wings as long as her form reside on her back,
able to fully encircle her. A long, smooth tail seemingly coming out of nowhere dips down
almost to the ground, often curling around in subtle wisps. Wrapped around the shoulder
and secured with a copper band is a paired shoulder cord showing off colors of red and
crimson. Streaks of crimson blood spatter her face. Translucent strands of spiderweb
periodically weave around her form, empowering her with Iosyne's blessing. Duskywing
butterflies flit lazily around her as a sign of Chakrasul's blessing.

(at the back of the neck) : a black-inked tattoo of a pair of crossed
fists
(worn on a finger) : a silver ring etched with feathers
(ring313318) : a venantium ring of camaraderie
(around the neck) : an entwined venantium locket
(covering the eyes) : an intricate mindseye blindfold
(hanging from the shoulders) : shoulder cords in red and crimson leather
(worn on a finger) : a wave of shadow ring
(covering the body) : a magnificent flowing gown of oscillating
shadow
(worn on the hands) : heavy protective gloves
(worn on the hands) : a mighty hardy enhancing shadowy Ankyrean
ylem gaunt..

"That is at your discretion," Iosyne replies, stepping over the massive pile of gore
remnants of the simulacrum. "Entrance here is restricted to those of you who have been
elevated among Mine, though any can command the simulacrums once inside." Clearing the
obstacle, the Malevolent considers the endless expanse of scorched landscape enveloping
the both of them. "You mentioned you had finished the task I assigned. Tell me what you
learned."

Ayuna reaches a hand to her face, feeling the blood-paint curiously. "I
will admit that I have found that there is quite a lot of inactivity going on. I see most
of the posts were of one called Moirean. However, what I do see that has been lacking is
the growth and empowerment of Your Order. Tasks are not being recorded, events are lacking
from Our history. It is far too silent." She ponders. "I also noticed that compared to my
writings, Your Order is lacking a position that I was only aware of from the OHELP
scrolls. And something I did not quite understand fully of a time of the Shadow Plague."

Shadows roll off Ayuna's gown, rising above her to display a glowing insignia of crossed
fists before dissipating.

"Moirean was My first General," Iosyne expands upon Ayuna's words. "A force in the realms,
leading alongside My Bloodletter. Another has held the position, though she now slumbers
as well." The Goddess pulls Her attention from the blasted landscape, focusing entirely on
you now. "Lacking growth and empowerment. What do you propose?"

The aura about Ayuna fades, leaving her somewhat more vulnerable again.

Shadows roll off Ayuna's gown, rising above her to display a glowing insignia of crossed
fists before dissipating.

Ayuna looks down at the gore at her feet that has dissipated, before
snapping her head back up to Iosyne. "I'll be honest about my standing on such behaviours,
Malevolent, none that have ever followed my influence have failed. Look for instance at
Vyktaire, and those within the Order that were brought in by me. They stay. They attain
Power. They shape the world around them. And they do not cower. That being said, it makes
more sense that a keen eye be brought upon the actions of the Order mates to influence
them back to a place of activity. A few who crave Your eye reached out immediately after
my recent post to take better care of the Congregants. We have lost several to silence of
being recruited, then not being challenged, pushed, or even acknowledged. Your Bloodletter
is loyal, and excellent at his role. The Order simply needs to be reminded of what they
need to do. I won't stand around, whether You are present or gone, and let Your Order fall
to shambles, Your tenets be ignored. They need a stronger hand to guide them."

"Is that hand yours?" Iosyne replies simply.

Ayuna tilts her head curiously. "Perhaps." She takes in Iosyne's form in
great detail before locking eyes with the Divine. "I would like to see anyone else who
wakes that pours as much work and passion into everything that is Yours, or has the proper
influence to replenish Power to Your Order. They know Pain, but most have either forgotten
Power or have yet to learn what it means to attain Power without guidance."

(Bloodloch): A humble bellman says, "Midnight is upon us."

Iosyne rises from Her perch, closing the distance between the two of them. "We shall see.
You have performed admirably - exceptional, even, given the tools available to you. I will
oversee your further growth. Hold out your hands."

Ayuna brings her hands forward to Iosyne, palms up. No fear shows, only acceptance and
true faith as she follows Her command.

Iosyne gives an anonymous, featureless mask to Ayuna.

Iosyne says, "Your first task."

Secured by a simple leather band, this mask is a thin wooden oval, big enough to
completely cover it's wearer's face. Relatively unadorned, the mask has been painted a
pale, white colour, the grain of the wood visible through the thin layer of paint. Two
small holes at the eyes allow for a relatively uncompromised field of vision when worn,
and a bigger, mouth-shaped opening makes it possible to actually breathe.
It can only be worn in the following location: face.
It weighs 8 ounce(s).
It bears the distinctive mark of Iosyne, the Malevolent.

(Order): Axius says, "Greetings, Lady Iosyne, and the Order."

Ayuna looks over the mask curiously. "I'm assuming You want me to wear this."

Ayuna is now wearing an anonymous, featureless mask.

The mask settles across her face, curiously warm.

An inexplicable sense of dread ripples across her being.

The mask abruptly pulses, a rippling heartbeat against Ayuna's face as it contorts, shaping
itself around the contours of her features.

Incredible hot, burning pain is felt against Ayuna's skin as the mask renews its grip on her
face. Trails of black smoke waft out lazily from the eye-holes of her mask, carrying with
it the distinct scent of burning.

A smile flickers across Iosyne's face. "You have followed Me well, and now you will be
forged into the very embodiment of My Rules. We shall see if you endure."

Ayuna simply nods. "As you wish, Malevolent."

"We need not be coy," Iosyne continues. "You must know where this path will lead. To lead
Mine, to be the face alongside My Voice, you must fully understand. The history, the
Rules, those who came before, those who laid the groundwork. At the end of that journey
you will attain what you seek."

Ayuna blinks. "Where do I begin?"

Iosyne sniffs the acrid air, breathing in the scent of Ayuna's burning flesh. "You already
have."

Iosyne warps out of perception, Her monstrous form separating into inky threads of shadow
which slither away in different directions.

(Tells): Agony wracks you for an instant as Iosyne's words bestow the gift of Pain upon
you, "You may explore further or leave as you wish. There is not much beyond the
simulacrums."

(Tells): On a soft, clicking whisper, Ayuna hisses against Iosyne's mind, "Understood."
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